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The Dolly Knot. Can You Tie One?

The dolly knot, so called because when tied it looked like a peg doll, was the driver's best friend. These days though it is being replaced by webbing straps tightened with mechanical ratchets. It is a knot that can be tied into a length of rope at any point without disturbing either end of the rope and is easily undone without leaving a tangle. It consists of three loops, the head, the body and the legs and when tying it the hands stay in contact with the rope at all times. The best way to practice tying it is with a length of rope hanging down in front of your face with something to hook it around. If nothing else is available then a door handle comes in handy. (Please be certain that the Domestic Services Manager is not at home when trying this). Tie the rope to one door handle, pass it over the top of the door and down towards the other handle leaving a good length trailing below the handle.

1) Put the left hand on rope at eye level with the right hand on rope at chest level. The thumbs should be pointing inwards. With the right hand pinch an egg sized loop in the rope, the loop pointing up, bring it up to just above left hand and lay it across rope with loop at right angles pointing left. This is the head.

2) With left hand; loop rope up, around and down head to form neck. Make sure head then points up or rope will slip. You should now have two loops, a small one that is the Head and a larger one, the Body.

3) While your right hand is holding the neck slide your left hand down the body to the bottom of the loop. Then with the left hand, twist the body 180 degrees to the left to form a figure of eight, and pull the trailing rope through the lower section of the 8 to form another loop: - The legs.

4) Pull the legs with the left hand until they are long enough to slip over the hook. Keeping the downward tension with the left hand, slide the right hand down from the neck to the trailing rope and pull tight.

5) Practice this until you can do it without thinking you will be surprised how easy it becomes but do not pull too hard or you'll pull the door handles off and I'm not answering to any Domestic Service Manager.

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