Rope Magic, Part II
This is a continuation of what we started in Rope Magic, Part I which lays a foundation for all that you'll do here.
The Tom Fool's Knot
This is a knot which looks a lot like an ordinary Bowknot, except that the ends cross as they leave the bow making it much less easy to undo when used as a temporary kind of handcuffs where one wrist is slipped inside each of the two loops. Sailors like to show off the making of this knot, wiggling and twisting their fingers as it is being made to make it seem extremely complicated.
Actually it is a very easy knot to make and will take you far longer to read about it that to make it. Hold out your right hand, thumb on top and the palm facing away from you, fingers pointing left. Hang your rope over the hand so that about one foot of the rope hangs in front of the palm and the rest of the rope is hanging from the back.
Reach with your left hand, thumb down, palm to the front, under your right arm and close the left hand forming a loose fist around the rope which is hanging to the back. Now move your left hand back to the left side, rotating it so that the thumb of the fist is now on the top.
Now use the first two fingers of the right hand to grab the part which is hanging from the back of the left hand, and the first two fingers of the left hand, grab the part of the rope which is in front of the right palm now facing your body.
When you pull your two hands apart continuing to hold the parts which are grasped by the fingers of each hand, the knot will form. Do this a few times for practice until you feel comfortable doing it.
Later, once you are comfortable doing it, when you have the loops slightly formed and your hands are still together you can use your fingers to seem to grab different parts of the rope and move them from one side to the other quickly to make this seem very complicated.
The One-Hand Instant Knot
Begin with your right hand open, thumb up and the rope hanging over it with the end on the back side of your hand held loosely in the crotch of your thumb and the longer part passing between your third and forth fingers, held loosely.
Drop your hand down twisting your fingers inwards so that you can grab the end hanging behind the hand, using the first two fingers.
Once you have that end between your first two fingers you can release the other parts and use you thumb to help push the loop off your hand as you shake it.
As the loop falls off moving over your fingers an overhand know will form. With practice all these movements will happen lightening fast and the knot will appear to be formed almost out of thin air when you shake your hand.
One-Handed Ring Hitch
The One-Handed Ring Hitch is a knot which looks very tricky when performed using a quick flick of the wrist. Begin with the right hand's thumb pointing toward your audience away from you. Hang the rope over your thumb and lightly squeeze it in the crotch of your thumb. Bend your wrist so that the first two fingers of your hand can reach backward and grasp the part of the rope that is hanging closest to your body.
Now raise your fingers up again pulling the held rope toward the front, and notice that the other part of the rope is laying on top of the loop formed around your thumb. Move your hand to make the end which is held by the fingers flip over to also be on top of the rope passing next to your palm.
Now bring the tips of your thumb and first finger together and use your other fingers to push the loop off your finger onto your thumb. Pull the two parts of the rope with your right hand to close up the Ring Hitch around your thumb. Practice this until you can make all the moves flow together into one quick movement so that the know seems to be formed by a simple flip of the wrist.
You can play with the knot a bit after it has been formed, squeezing it with your thumb and forefinger of the left hand where the two ends come down and slip it off the thumb making a pretend monocle, then later open it outwards to show a pair of comic eyeglasses.
You now have two additional knots to start weaving into a rope magic routine. Continue practicing these and those in Rope Magic Part I and when you feel comfortable move on to the more complicated knots you'll learn in Rope Magic Part III