How to Tie a One-Handed Knot

Learn how to tie a one-handed knot in this dinner table magic tricks video from Howcast.

Q: This is how to tie a knot without letting go of the ends of a rope. Okay, so here’s how it works. In order to tie a knot in the piece of rope, you have to make a loop and you have to take one end and pull it through the loop. That’s how you make a knot. Everyone knows that.

A: Yeah.

Q: It should be impossible to tie a knot without ever letting go of the ends of the rope.

A: Okay.

Q: Do you want to see if you can figure out a way?

A: Sure.

Q: So you’re not allowed to let go of the ends of the rope, from the moment you touch them.

A: Yeah, not without tying myself up.

Q: Right? That’s for later. All right. Here’s how it works. I just got in trouble with my girlfriend. Here’s the secret. You don’t ever let go of the ends of the rope, but you tie your arms in a knot first.

A: Okay.

Q: So you cross your arms. You make sure that one hand is on top, one hand is on bottom and they make this kind of pretzel look. So you grab one end over here. You grab the other end over here. You notice one’s on the bottom, one’s on the top and then you pull your arms through, and that creates the knot. You want to give it a shot?

A: Sure.

Q: I’ll get the rope ready. You cross your arms.

A: Okay.

Q: And could you make sure…

A: Hold this one?

Q: … that’s on top, that’s on bottom. You hold onto this. Don’t let go. You hold on to that and then straighten them out. There you go.

A: Yay!

Q: You did it. There’s one more way I’ll teach you.

A: Okay.

Q: And I’m not going to make you do it because it’s a little more complicated. But everybody else, you should try this at home and you should be able to get it. You hold on to the ends. You wrap one over the right arm. You go inside the right, then back out around the left, and you pull your arms tight like this. Then all you have to do is shake them off the wrists and you have a knot.

A: In a knot.

Q: So once you know the first one, you guys should go home and try this one out here. And that’s how you tie a know without letting go of the ends of a rope.