Here is something that most of the people do wrong and the ones who do it right are just plain lucky! We are talking about tying a knot (trefoil) – yes, we know it sounds insanely stupid. But bear with us, and we shall explain our claim.
The very basic knot is simply a folding of the rope over-and-under itself and is known as a trefoil. Two variants of trefoil exist that are mirror images of one another; the left-dominant trefoil (LD trefoil) and the right-dominant trefoil (RD trefoil). For the LD trefoil, the left lace crosses the right by passing over it whereas for the RD trefoil the right lace crosses the left by passing over it. If you were to stack two of these knots on top of one another, the following four possibilities would be possible;
LD + LD — same knot twice
LD + RD — opposing knots
RD + LD — opposing knots
RD + RD — same knot twice
Let’s consider what happens when the two knots oppose one another. The RD/LD double trefoil is also known as a square knot or a reef knot. The LD/RD double trefoil is also a square knot and a mirror-image of the RD/LD double trefoil. When you pull these knots tighter, the square begins reducing up until you end up with a strong and sturdy knot. By tucking the ends of the strings back via the ‘cage’ of the knot to form loops – you will end up with the basic shoestring knot.
The loops naturally hand on the sides, away from one another on either side of the shoe. This is a ‘slipping version’ of the square knot also known as a bow-tie. Generally, you will make two ‘rabbit ears’ after making the first trefoil and then tie the second opposing trefoil using these ears. Many of you have been accustomed to ‘the rabbit goes around the tree and in the hole’. Well, as it happens, a lot depends on which way does the rabbit go round the tree.
What makes the square knot so impressive is the fact that the more you tug at it, the tighter it gets. Now that we have discussed this; let’s talk about what happens when the two trefoils are the same. When you make an RD/RD double trefoil or LD/LD double trefoil, you will end up with a cage, but the corners of the cage ‘communicate with one another’ differently. When you start tightening this cage, it capsizes. This is the technical term used for the occurrence that takes place when you add tension to the same knots; the shape re-orients.
For the same kind of knot, double trefoil, the more you worry the knot, the looser it will become. Now that we have explained all of this, consider this; as children, we learn to stack two trefoils, but only half of us would learn to use the opposing trefoils, and the rest of us would end up with same trefoils.
If you want to learn how to tie the knot properly, that is to say, that your knot keeps on opening, you need to tie the first knot differently and then execute the loopy-loop the same way that you have been doing it!