CowboyWay.com

How To... Tie A Stopper Knot

The end of a lariat-type of rope needs a kind of knot known as a "stopper knot" to keep the rope from unraveling. If the roper is using a metal, rawhide, or plastic honda, a stopper knot also serves to hold the honda in place.

This article covers how to tie a Matthew Walker stopper knot, a type of stopper knot commonly used for both of the purposes mentioned above. Since there are several variations of the Matthew Walker knot, it's worth mentioning this article covers how to tie a three-strand Matthew Walker knot. The three-stand Matthew Walker knot is secure, not too small but not too bulky, and pleasing to look at.

At right: A three-strand Matthew Walker knot being used to keep the end of the rope from unraveling, and to keep a rawhide honda in place.

Matthew Walker knot and a rawhide honda

Tie A Matthew Walker Stopper Knot

Begin by unraveling several inches of the end of your rope. In the photo at right the rope was unraveled about eight inches, which is more than enough. Unravel a few inches of rope

For the next few photos we have switched to using three strands of differently-colored nylon cord instead of the rope shown above. Using the different colors of the cord made the photographs easier to understand. Cord to practice knot tying

Begin by taking the right-hand side strand (white):
  • behind the other two strands (red and black)
  • then across the front of the rope
  • then up through the loop that it makes.
Matthew Walker Stopper Knot: Step 1

This should be the result. Step 1 completed

Now take the middle strand (red):
  • behind the third strand (black)
  • then across the front of the rope
  • then up through the loop previously made by the white strand, and also its own (red) loop
Matthew Walker Stopper Knot: Step 2

This should be the result. Step 2 completed

Now take the remaining strand (black):
  • across the front of the rope
  • then up through the loops previously made by the white and red strands, and also its own (black) loop
Matthew Walker Stopper Knot: Step 3

This should be the result. When looking at the bottom of the loops, notice that the strands are in order (first strand on top, middle strand in the center, third strand on the bottom). Step 3 completed

To tighten, pull the first strand a little tighter, then the second strand, then the third. Work with the natural twist of each strand to help it lie flat and neat. Continue to tighten the knot slowly, tightening each strand a little bit at a time. For now, keep the strands in order when looking at the bottom of the knot (first strand on top, middle strand in the center, third strand on the bottom). You can see this order in the photo at right.

As the knot starts to become tight, the bottom and middle strands will want to roll upward. At this stage, that's what you want and you can even help them by gently pushing them upward with your fingers.

Carefully tighten the knot

This is the tightened knot. After we took this photo we cut the strands off to about 1/4 inch in length, then melted them with a candle. The finished knot is shown in the first photo at the top of this page. (Note: The honda was slid onto the rope first, then the knot was tied.)

Like many knots, the three-strand Matthew Walker knot isn't difficult to tie, but can easily be ruined if you pull it tight incorrectly. Since it may take a little practice to learn to tighten this knot correctly - and since it can be difficult to untie - it might be a good idea to practice on some cord, or an old rope, before you tie it on one of your good ropes.

Matthew Walker stopper knot

Comments

About Matthew Walker

To the best of our knowledge, the origins of the Matthew Walker knot are not certain. However, the popular book "The Ashley Book of Knots," by Clifford Ashley, contains the following information regarding the origins of this knot.

"A sailor, having been sentenced to death by a judge who in earlier life had been a sailor himself, was reprieved by the judge because of their common fellowship of the sea. The judge offered the sailor a full pardon if he could show him a knot that he, the judge, could neither tie nor untie.

The sailor called for ten fathoms of rope and, having retired to the privacy of his cell, unlaid the rope halfway, put in a Matthew Walker knot, and then laid up the rope again to the end.

So Matthew Walker secured his pardon, and the world gained an excellent knot."

You might also like...

Cowboy eBay Cowboy Dictionary Saddles For Sale Photos Posters Photos Posters

 


CowboyWay Facebook
CowboyWay Facebook


Shop for the Best Discounted Pet, Equine, & Livestock Supplies!

Shop at Horse.com!

Quarter mark templates

CowboyWay.com

Some images and/or other content on this website are copyright © their respective owners.
All other material copyright © 1999 - 2014 by CowboyWay.com - All Rights Reserved

CowboyWay Home

Horses For Sale / Classifieds

Cowboy eBay

Cowboy Compare

Saddles For Sale

Horse T-Shirts

Jeffers Equine

Coupon Codes

How To / What Is

Horse Gestation Table

Horse Names

Cowboy Dictionary

Cowboy Music

Cowboy Quotes

John Wayne Quotes and Sound Clips

Sitemap

Links

Newsletter

Miscellaneous

Is Bronc Riding Cruel?

Rodeo News

Recipes

Reviews

Quarter Marks

Photos / Posters
Photos of cowboys, cowgirls, horses, and more, often accompanied by text, descriptions, or other information. Also posters for sale.

SmugMug Photos
Photos of cowboys, cowgirls, horses, and more. These photos are for sale, or simply fun to look at.

Check Your Email

Contact CowboyWay

CowboyWay Facebook   CowboyWay Facebook

Download CowboyWay app Have a smart phone?
Download our FREE CowboyWay.com app!

CowboyWay.com is not responsible in any manner for the content found within the CowboyWay website. If you choose to use any of the information on CowboyWay you are doing so at your own risk. It is your responsibility to verify any information found on CowboyWay. Further, CowboyWay is not responsible for the content of any website that can be reached through a link found on CowboyWay. Period.