Bight (knot)

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An open loop (ABoK #31) of rope, narrower than a bite

In knot tying, a bite is a curved section or slack part between the two ends of a rope, string or yarn.[1] "Any section of line that is bent into a U-shape is a bite."[2] An open loop is a curve in a rope narrower than a bite but with separated ends. [3] The term is also used in a more specific way when describing Turk's head knots, indicating how many repetitions of braiding are made in the circuit of a given knot.[4]

Slipped knot[edit]

Not to be confused with slip knot.

In order to make a slipped knot (also slipped loop and quick release knot), a bite must be passed, rather than the end. This slipped form of the knot is more easily untied. The traditional bow knot used for tying shoelaces is simply a reef knot with the final overhand knot made with two bite instead of the ends. Similarly, a slippery hitch is a slipped clove hitch.

In the bite[edit]

The phrase in the bite (or on a bite) means a bite of line is itself being used to make a knot. Specifically this means that the knot can be formed without access to the ends of the rope.[5] This can be an important property for knots to be used in situations where the ends of the rope are inaccessible, such as forming a fixed loop in the middle of a long climbing rope.

Many knots normally tied with an end also have a form which is tied in the bite, for instance the bowline and the bowline on a bite. In other cases a knot being tied in the bite is a matter of the method of tying rather than a difference in the completed form of the knot. For example, the clove hitch can be made in the bite if it is being slipped over the end of a post but not if being cast onto a closed ring, which requires access to an end of the rope. Other knots, such as the overhand knot, cannot be tied in the bite without changing their final form.



  1. ^ Clifford W. Ashley, The Ashley Book of Knots (New York: Doubleday, 1944), 597. ISBN 9780385040259.
  2. ^ Budworth, Geoffrey (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Knots, p.18. ISBN 9781585746262.
  3. ^ Ashley (1944), 13.
  4. ^ Ashley (1944), 232.
  5. ^ Ashley (1944), 207.