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Monkey Fist

Monkey Fist

Description:  The Monkey Fist is an interesting decorative knot seldom used in Macrame patterns. It is a unique way to finish off the end of a cord.

You could use this technique in combination with a Buttonhole Clasp rather than using a plastic button.

Try using this button knot as a pendant, or make it large (with rope), for a dog toy.

To view a Macrame pattern featuring this knot, see the Monkey Key Chain.

Step 1:  Cut one cord, at least 36 inches long. 

The first part of the knot is tied around two fingers, so you won't need a project board to practice.

Wrap 3 x

Arrange the cord so one end is behind your right hand (tail).

Wrap the working end around your spread fingers three times.

Make sure you wrap right to left (towards the tips of your fingers).

Switch Direction

Step 2:  Bring the working end between the ends of your fingers, and across the wraps left to right.

Pass it down through the space between your fingers (near the palm), and wrap around the back portion. 

Then bring the cord up again for the next wrap (above the first wrap).

Step 2, continued:  Arrange the next two loops closer towards your index finger, which is at the top in the image shown above.

You may need to spread your fingers open more than what is seen in the photo above.


Step 3:  Carefully remove the Monkey Fist from your fingers, and position it so you can see the two spaces.

Bring the working end into the left space, across the wraps you made in step 2, and down through the right space.

Position of Ends

Step 4:  Wrap three times, with the next two wraps below the first.

Make sure the working end is on the right when you are through. 

The tail should be on the left.


Step 5:  Tightening the Monkey Fist is the most challenging step.  Start at the tail, and tighten each wrap in the order they were made.

The three sets of loops are labeled 1 - 3 in this image.   The last thing you do is pull on the working end (4).  

Here are some Tips for tightening:

  • Locate each loop by pulling gently on the one before it. You will be able to tell that it's the one to pull next by the fact that it moves slightly.

  • Once you know you have the right segment, pull it firmly to tighten the loop before it.   It's really hard to go back a second time to remove slack from loops not tightened enough.

  • Tighten only one half of each loop at a time.  Move the knot front to back and side to side as needed. This takes longer, but it's not as confusing.

  • Gradually push the Monkey Fist into a round shape, particularly when tightening the loops in areas 2 and 3.

  • You can tie an Overhand knot in the tail, and push it inside the knot before tightening the loops in area 3.  

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Have any comments about the Monkey Fist? Contact Me.


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