Author Topic: Monkeys Fist Knot  (Read 4067 times)


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Monkeys Fist Knot
« on: July 29, 2006, 12:35:01 PM »
Hi Tyers,
Thank you for afording me this opertunity of asking the following;

I design and make minature knitware for 2" to 4" dolls and teddie.

I would like to use the monkey's fist to make buttons on an outfit.
What thickness of thread would you suggest I start to practice with.
Also what is the secret to tightening up a knot without becoming all fingers and thumbs.
As it is always easier to watch someone do something is there a video available showing how to tighten up this knot.
Sharon Chrystal


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Re: Monkeys Fist Knot
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2006, 01:34:17 PM »
Hello Christal,
I am not sure that the Monkeys Fist will work on the small scale you want to use, but why not give it a try.
Start with making a monkeys fist in the size of string you are well able to see and is not too hard to get hold of. I do often use shoe laces for this stage, but any relative smooth string between 2 and 20 mm will do.
Here are some links to sites where they show how to make a MF, (Monkeys Fist):

In your case I would go for only 2 passes each direction, to reduce the size a little.
If you can it is best to make the first 2 sets of coils as near the size you want the final knot to be, to reduse on the need to tighten.

When you have made the knot you start tightening by pulling on one end till you see movement in the string of the knot. Repeat with this bit of string and pull hard on the one you see moving now.
From now on you work all the slack (unwanted length of string) out away from this spot.
Each time you pull a bit more string farther on through the knot. There is no way around it, you might need to pull twice the lenght of the knot out. (Or more if you have not managed to keep the knot small in the first place.)

An alternative for the MF is a Turks Head knot or a diamont knot, also known as a Chinese button knot.
These do behave better in small string.
There is a words only set of instructions for the button knot here, (Chinese way)
With pictures on a site found by Nautile:

A set of drawings, different way of tying, same knot here:

A set of instructions for the turks head knot you can find here:

I hope this is some help.

« Last Edit: July 29, 2006, 01:36:49 PM by Willeke »
"Never underestimate what a simple person can do with clever tools,
nor what a clever person can do with simple tools." - Ian Fieggen

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Re: Monkeys Fist Knot
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2006, 06:04:24 AM »
Practice with a 2-3mm cord, when tying your buttons you'll want 1mm or smaller.

My site also has a number of different methods for tying the Chinese Button Knot:
« Last Edit: July 30, 2006, 06:06:58 AM by KnotMe »