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Linked Overhand Knots

Linked Overhand Knots

Description: The Linked Overhand Knots described on this page are often referred to as connection knots. This means their primary purpose is to link two cords together.

They all have a raised appearance and are sometimes used to decorate cords instead of beads.

Most of these designs are historical knots that date back to the early days of Macrame.  You will find them called different names than those I use here, and will sometimes see them in fishing knot sites.  

These unique decorative knots are very strong and sturdy, and I have seen them used to make nets, hammocks, and other items that hold weight.

But they can also be used in jewelry designs and just about any type of Macrame pattern.

The following knots are described on this page:

  • Shake Hands Bend
  • Shamrock Knot
  • Rosendahl's Bend
  • Fisherman's Knot
  • Overhand Bend
  • Sheet Bend

Shake Hands Bend

 Shake Hands Bend

Linked Overhand knots often have interesting names. When you shake hands, you make a connection. So this name is very appropriate for this type of Macrame knot. 


Step 1: You need two 18-inch cords to practice, preferably different colors.

Make sure you look at the photos carefully, since the direction of the ends is very important.

Secure both cords to your board, so they are vertical.

  First Loop on Left  

Use the left cord to make a counter-clockwise loop 

The secured portion should be at the top. The working end should be resting to your left.


  Start Second Loop  

Step 2: Make a clockwise loop with the right cord, passing it through the left loop under - over (from below.

Make sure the end passes under the secured portion as you move it to the right.



Step 3: Move the loops toward each other slightly so there is an extra space between them.

It's a good idea to secure both loops at the crossing points, if you have not done so already.


  Complete Right OH knot  

Step 4: Complete the right Overhand knot by moving the top portion down.

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

Make sure it passes through both loops.


  Complete left OH Knot  

Step 5: Complete the left Overhand Knot by moving  the top portion into the same space from above.

The end should pass over both loops at the top, and under them at the bottom.


  Tighten the Knot   Like all Linked Overhand knots, this variation should be tightened gradually.  Keep it flat on your board so you don't twist the knot. 

There should be one end of each color coming out the bottom of the knot, on the right and left.

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Shamrock Knot

Shamrock Knot


Linked Overhand knots often have more than one name. This one is called the Shamrock Knot, or the True Love Knot.

This technique is useful when tying Lanyard Knots, so you have a sturdy base to start with.

It's easy to tie and makes an interesting crossed design.


Step 1: You need 2 cords, at least 18 inches long, to practice this decorative knot.
  First Overhand Knot  

Make Overhand Knot A in the center of one cord. The crossed area needs to be at the top.

Don't tighten the knot just yet.


  Second Cord  

Step 2: Pass cord B (purple) through the first Overhand Knot.

It should rest over the bottom and under the crossed area at the top.


  Complete Second Knot  

Step 3: Bring the upper segment of cord B down, so it surrounds the crossed area of the first knot.

Complete Overhand knot B. The crossing point needs to be at the bottom, and should rest inside the first knot. 


Design Tip: Linked Overhand Knots need to be constructed carefully, or they don't work out.

So pay close attention to the over and under details, as well as the direction of the ends.

  Turn Sideways  

Step 4: Turn Overhand knot B sideways, so the ends are heading vertically (up and down).

The ends of Overhand knot A should remain horizontal (side to side).


  Tighten the Knot   These linked Overhand knots should be tightened gradually.

Make sure to keep the ends in the proper direction during tightening.

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Rosendahl's Bend

Rosendahl's Bend


This decorative knot, also called the Zeppelin Bend, is a unique way to tie linked Overhand knots.

ItÂ’s very useful if you want the cords to end up heading in 4 different directions, rather than two at the top and bottom.



Step 1: You need 2 cords, each at least 12 inches long, to practice this decorative knot.

Secure one end of the first cord to the left.  Make a clockwise loop at the center, and arrange the end heading towards the top (upper end).
  Two Loops Completed  

Make a loop in the center of the second cord, crossing left over right.  Position it so the crooks of both loops are touching, as shown. 

The upper end should be arranged heading right, and the lower end downward.


  Left Loop on Top of Right  

Step 2: Carefully move the left loop on top of the right loop.  Secure them at the crossing points.

The crook (curved portion) of the right loop should be near the crossing point of the left loop, and vice-versa.


  Complete Left Knot  

Step 3: To complete the left Overhand knot, bring the upper end down, moving clockwise.

Pass it through both loops under - over (from below).


  Complete Right Knot  

Step 4: To complete the right Overhand knot, bring the lower end upward, moving clockwise.

Pass it through the loops over - under (from the top).


  Ends in Different Directions  

Carefully tighten the linked Overhand knots, by removing the slack and pulling on all 4 ends.

When finished, the ends will head in four different directions.


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Fisherman's Knot

Fisherman's Knot

Some of these Linked Overhand knots are used in other crafts. This one is used in fishing, to repair broken lines.

First OH Knot

Step 1: Tie the left Overhand Knot in the center of a 12-inch cord, so the left end passes under the right at the crossing point.

Don't tighten it yet.  Position it with the crossed area at the top as shown.


Right OH knot  

Step 2: Tie the right Overhand Knot at the center of a second cord.  Make sure you tie it so it's left under right at the crossing point.

Position it to the right of the first knot, and so the crossing point is at the bottom.


Right End

Step 3: Pass the right end of the left Overhand knot through the other knot over - under (from the top).


Step 4: Pass the left end of the right Overhand knot through the other knot,  over - under (from the top).

Fisherman's Knot

Tighten the Linked Overhand knots as they lie, taking care not to twist or rotate them.

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Overhand Bend

Overhand Bend

Like all of the Linked Overhand knots, this variation is a simple way to connect two cords.

This knot is handy if you run out of material, because you can add more length by using this knot.

Half Knot and Circle  

Step 1: Cross the right cord over the left cord, so the crossing point is at the center of the cords.

Secure them to your board at the center.


Counter-Clockwise Loop  

Step 2: Curve the lower portion of the left cord, which is now on the right, back towards the left.

Weave the right cord under - over - under the left cord.



Path of Left cord  

Step 3: Bring down the top portion of the left cord (above the crossed area), and pass it under the lower end of the same cord.

Rotating counter-clockwise, bring it over the crossed area at the bottom, and under the left cord further up on the right.


2nd Knot

Step 4: Bring the top portion of the right cord down, and pass it over both ends that are on the right.

Bring it under the crossed area at the bottom of the knot, moving clockwise. It should pass over both cords on the left, as you complete the circle.


Overhand Bend

Tighten the Linked Overhand knots gradually, by pulling on all four ends.

Macrame Cord Divider
Sheet Bend

Sheet Bend

I consider the Sheet Bend to be the most unique of all the Linked Overhand knots on this page.

It has a flatter profile than the others, and when tightened, there are three cords on one side, and one on the other.
Fold Cord

Step 1: Fold the first cord in half, so the center is on the right, and the ends are horizontal, heading left.

  Second Cord  

Step 2: Place the second cord through the first one, 1-inch to the left of the folded area.

It should pass over the top portion of the first cord, and under the lower portion.

Secure the lower portion of the second cord.


  Bring End Down  

Step 3: Use the top portion of the second cord as the working end.

Move it under both segments of the first cord, so it's to the left of the secured end.


  Counter-Clockwise Loop   Step 4: Make a counter-clockwise loop by bringing the working end over the lower portion of the first cord.

Bring it under the working end in the area between the two halves of cord 1.

  2nd Cord Nestles Inside  

Step 5: Push up on the crossed area of the second cord, so you are working below it.  Rotate the working end clockwise.

Follow the path of the first cord, so it nestles inside the folded area.  It should rest over the secured end.


  Follow the Path  

Step 6: Use the working end to follow the path of the lower portion of the first cord, heading right to left.

Pass it through the loop made in step 4 under - over.


  Tighten the Knot   Tighten the Linked Overhand knots gradually, keeping the loops flat as you work. Three ends will be on the left, and one on the right.  
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