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Alpine Knots

Alpine Loop

Alpine Bend

Alpine Butterfly

Description:  These Alpine Knots are used in a variety of sports and activities that require the use of ropes.  So they are not considered decorative knots, but can be used as such.

These are good knots to introduce beginners and children to knot tying. 

In Macrame, the Alpine Loop and the Alpine Butterfly can be used as mounting knots for items like curtains that require strong, stable loops at the top.  They can also be used as a clasp for jewelry items and belts. 

The Alpine Bend can be used to connect two cords, similar to a Linked Overhand knot.


Alpine Loop

The first knot is called the Alpine Loop.  At the top is a strong, stable loop for hanging heavy items.  For that reason, it's useful for plant hangers and hanging tables.

Loop 1

Step 1:  Make a large loop at the center of a 36-inch cord, crossing the ends left over right

The curved portion is considered the front.  The back is the crossed area, which should be secured if you are using a board.

Loop 2

Step 2:  Bring both ends to the front, creating Loop 2.

Pass the end now on the right over the left to make the crossing point.

Pull Loop 1

Step 3:  Pull the front of Loop 1 towards you, passing it over the crossed area of Loop 2.

Adjust the size of Loop 2 if necessary, so you have room to complete the next step.


Step 4:  Fold the front of Loop 1 under the crossed area of Loop 2.

Pull to Back

Step 5:  Pull the front of Loop 1 to the back of the knot, passing it over the crossed area.

Tighten the knot carefully after adjusting the size of Loop 1.


Alpine Butterfly

The Alpine Butterfly is the most useful of all the Alpine knots.  From plant hangers to jewelry, you can use it whenever you need a stable loop.

What makes it interesting is the triangular shaped design below the loop.

Cross Ends

Step 1:  Make a loop in the center of a 25-inch cord. Cross left over right as shown.

The working end is now on the right.

Overhand knot

To complete the Overhand knot, bring the working end through the loop from below (under - over).


Step 2: Turn the Overhand knot so the crossed area is on the left.   Make a bight, which is labeled 2 in this image.

Bring the working end of the cord through the Overhand knot over - under, as you bring it down.  This is called a Slipknot.

Move End

Step 3: To make Loop 3, move the working end in a clockwise direction.

Pass over the other end of the cord, below the Slipknot.

Bring the end up to the top, passing under the second loop.

Bring End Through Loop

Step 4: Bring the working end down, passing through Loop 1 under-over.

Make sure it rests to the right of the other segment  (loop 2).

Tighten Loop 1

Step 5: Alpine knots should always be tightened slowly and carefully. 

This variation has three loops, which have to be tightened in order.

First, pull on Loop 2 to tighten Loop 1.

Tighten Loop2

Step 6: Reduce the size of Loop 2, by pulling on the third loop.

Loop 2 should be left slightly loose, so you can use it as a hanger or part of a clasp.

Final Step

Step 7: Tighten Loop 3 by pulling on the working end, which is on the right.


Alpine Bend

The Alpine Bend is the most unique of the three Alpine Knots.  It's made with two cords, which are linked together.

See Linked Overhand Knots for similar decorative knots.

Clockwise Loop

Step 1: You need 2 cords at least 20 inches long.

Secure one end of cord A to your left (brown). Make a clockwise loop, so the working end is heading upward when you are done.

Cord B

Step 2: Secure cord B on your right (purple).

Pass it through the first loop under - over (from below).

Rotate it counter-clockwise, so the crossing point is on the right, and the working end at the top.


Step 3: Move the two loops towards each other, to create an extra space.

That is where the ends will go in the next step.

Pass Ends Thru Space

Step 4: Move both working ends down and through the space under - over (from below).


Like the other Alpine knots, you need to tighten carefully. 

For this design, it's important that you don't twist or move the loops while pulling on the ends to tighten.

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Have any comments about the Alpine Knots? Contact Me.

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