Miller's knot

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Miller's knot
Millers-Knot-with-Bag-ABOK-1241.jpg
ABoK #1241 around the neck of a paper bag
Names Miller's knot, sack knot, bag knot
Category Binding
Related Ground-line hitch, constrictor knot, strangle knot, clove hitch
ABoK #388, #389, #390, #1241, #1242, #1243, #1244

A miller's knot (also sack knot or bag knot) is a binding knot used to secure the opening of a sack or bag. Historically, large sacks often contained grains; thus the association of these knots with the miller's trade. Several knots are known interchangeably by these three names.[1]

Tying[edit]

This is to tie a Constrictor knot version of the miller's knot:

  1. Grip the neck of the bag with the left hand,
  2. Fix / immobilize one end of the rope tucked upwards over the left hand long and under the index finger (option 1 : double folded as a bight to prepare a start-side-slip for the final knot)
  3. Make two crossing turns around the neck of the bag. Detailed steps:
    1. Cross over the hand downwards and take one turn around (front, then back) the neck of the bag at the sack side of the hand (under the hand)
    2. Cross over the hand upwards as well as over the immobilized other end,
    3. Take a second turn around the neck of the bag at the opening side of the hand (over the hand)
  4. Cross over the immobilized other end of the rope, then cross back tucking under the crossing point of step 3.2 (of the immobilized other end, and the part between the two turns), (option 2 : this last tuck with a bight instead of the end as an end-side-slip for the final knot).

To tie the other variants:

  1. If at this last step one chooses not to cross the immobilized other end and tuck only under the part between the two turns, the knot will be a Clove hitch.
  2. If at this step one chooses to cross the immobilized other end and tuck only under the part between the two turns, the knot will be a ABoK #1242 or a ground-line hitch (ABoK #1243) pictured.
  3. If at this step one chooses to cross over the crossing point, and then tuck outwards under the first turn, the knot will be a ABoK #1241 pictured.
  4. If at this step one chooses to cross over the crossing point, and then tuck inwards under the first turn, the knot will be a ABoK #1674 pictured.

Tying other knots that also may function very well as a bag knot:

  1. Strangle knot
    1. Grip the neck of the bag with the left hand,
    2. Fix / immobilize one end of the rope tucked upwards over the left hand long and under the index finger (option 1 : double folded as a bight to prepare a start-side-slip for the final knot)
    3. Make two parallel turns around the neck of the bag. Detailed steps:
      1. Cross over the hand downwards and take one turn around (front, then back) the neck of the bag first at the sack side of the hand (under the hand), then over the hand and behind the immobilized other end.
      2. Take another turn crossing over the immobilized other end, crossing downwards over the hand around (front, then back) the neck of the bag parallel to the first turn
    4. Cross over the immobilized other end of the rope, then cross back tucking under both turns, (option 2 : this last tuck with a bight instead of the end as an end-side-slip for the final knot).
  2. Bottle sling

Variations[edit]

A slipped Constrictor knot where the ends are passed through the opposing slips for security is quite secure as a bag knot. Unslipped, it is even more secure, but it may have to be cut to open the bag.

A slipped Strangle knot where the ends are passed through the opposing slips for security is also quite secure as a bag knot.

A Bottle sling around a swirled and folded neck of the bag is also a very solid and reliable bag knot.

As noted above, several other distinct knots have historically been known as miller's, sack, or bag knots. The common aspects of these are two crossing turns, and both ends tucked under a turn near the crossing point. To avoid ambiguity, unslipped versions of these knots are listed below by the reference numbers found in The Ashley Book of Knots. All of these knots can also be made in a slipped form by starting with a bight and/or by completing the final tuck with a bight instead of the end.[2]

#1241[edit]

Millers-Knot-ABOK-1241.jpg


#1242[edit]

Millers-Knot-ABOK-1242.jpg


#1243[edit]

This knot is also a useful hitch and is known by the name ground-line hitch when used for that purpose.[2] It should be tightened by pulling the end first.

Groundline-Hitch-Loose-ABOK-1243.jpg


#1674[edit]

Shown in a slipped form at entry #1244, this variation is noted by Ashley as having better binding characteristics than the others.[2]

Millers-Knot-ABOK-1244.jpg


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clifford W. Ashley, The Ashley Book of Knots (New York: Doubleday, 1944), 62.
  2. ^ a b c Ashley, 224.