Netting Knots: The Same or Not?

The last few weeks I’ve introduced a variety of netting stitches, all dealing with increases and decreases.  Today I’d like to take a closer look at the netting knot itself.  The netting knot has more names than any netting stitch and more than one way to be tied.

A few weeks ago I was asked if the structure of the netting knot remained the same, no matter what it was called or which method was used to tie it.

I figured the best way to answer that question would be by video so you could see the examples and come to your own conclusion.

So take a look and then let me know how you would answer the question.

Netting Knot Structure


  1. You are right of course Rita. I never use the reef knot on any net that will be subject to strain. When I am bored at my net making demonstrations I will include one reef knot to show that alternatives to the sheet bend exist. Tony

  2. Rita and others,
    I do enjoy knot tying and especially like net making. I am not a purist.
    I do not know names for the different ways of tying the sheet bend. The first technique you describe I call the lacemaker’s method. Barbara Morton in her book “Down East Netting” (wonderful book) calls it “new-fashioned nettting”. The second technique I call the fisherman’s method. Morton calls it “old-fashioned netting”.
    There is a third method that I call the “tatting” method. It was intended to increase my net making speed but I have found that it is less confusing to teach (and learn) net making using this technique. I have been using it at my net making demonstrations for years. Tony

    • Tony,

      Didn’t mean to label you as a purist. You just seem to know more about knot tying and net making than I do. You’re a good resource. Thanks for posting the link to your “tatting” method of tying the netting knot. I’ve tried it and it is a simple and fun way to tie what I refer to as the netmaker’s method.

      I’ve added captioning to the video, so now you can see what I am saying, even if your computer won’t let you hear it.


      • Thank you for adding the captions.
        I disagree with your statement that I know more about net making than you do. When Dan Callahan was putting together the Pineapple Knot Forum he asked me to moderate the Net Making Section. One of the categories was “netmaking blogs and websites”. Your website (and blog) was the first to be listed. If I were making the list again your site would still be number one. (there was a slight shifting of the list when the forum as reorganized 3 years ago).
        Regards, Tony

        • Tony,

          Thank you for your kind words, but I still think you know more about making nets than I do. I know more about making doilies and possibly general netting and different stitches. I’ve only made a couple of nets and I had to ask for a sample to use as a pattern for them. Thanks to my grandmother training I can usually create a pattern from an existing sample.


  3. The sound on my computer is out so I probably missed something critical.
    The knots seem identical but when you look at how they are formed you can see a difference.
    In the first method (lacemaker’s) the working end (WE) rests atop the loop being tied into, goes around the loop and down through it. There is a 180 degree twist in the loop.
    In the second method (fisherman’s) the WE goes up through the loop, around it and under itself.
    For all practical purposes they are the same, but to the knot purist they are different.
    To comlicate matters consider the bowline, which has an identical structure.


    • Hi Tony,

      I should have attached text to the video so you could see what I was saying as well as see the pictures.

      I wondered if a knot purist would come to the came conclusion as a netter would. Thank you for your clarification. What name would a knot purist attach to each of the methods?

      I had not realized that the bowline and the sheet bend were that closely related. You’ve taught me something new again. Thanks.


  4. Rita, thanks so much for taking the time to look into this issue. I have to concur that no matter the method, the results are the same!

    I really like the way you handled this demo. These little ‘video’ slideshows with audio work very well indeed.


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