In this tutorial I will show you how to tie a Spanish ring knot.
The knot is widely praised as a decorative knot and is indeed a great looking knot that can find place on many handles, wraps, whips, medallions and so on.
When referring to the knot, do please remember, that this is not just one knot. Like most turk head knots, it can be tied in a wide variety of lengths and passes. But learning how to tie this knot will enable you to apply the principle to tying different sized Spanish ring knots as well.
I learned this knot from Bruce Grant’s Encyclopedia of rawhide and leather braiding, a resource for a variety of different knots and braids. It is one of my favorite books and I highly recommend having it around, given the chance.
What you will need
For tying this knot I usually use:
- a mandrel, usually a wooden stick or in my case a PVC pipe is used to hold the knot while we work on it
- some sort of cordage is needed. Be it paracord, rawhide, leather or just plain rope, whatever you work with
- a lacing needle is very handy as well, you can find a tutorial on how to make one, here.
A quick terminology refresher
In the tutorial I will be using the terms standing and working end. The standing end is the end we are not working with, in my case, the left end. The right end is the working end, which has the lacing needle attached. This is the end we braid the knot with.
Spanish ring knot tutorial
The first step to tying a Spanish ring knot is to tie a long, three lead (part) turk’s head knot. I already made a tutorial on the knot once, but for the sake of clarity, I will demonstrate it below in detail. We then interweave a ring knot into this base turk’s head.
The set up
The long turk’s head knot is started by wrapping the cord around a your mandrel twice, forming an “X”. After that the working end is passed under-over from the right to the left.
Braiding the turk’s head
With the set up complete, we can start braiding the three part turk’s head.
Start off by passing the left cord over the right (standing end).
The working end is then passed under-over, from the left to the right.
Now the right cord is passed over the left.
Now the working end is passed from the right to left in an under-over fashion.
To finish the basic turk’s head, the working end is brought next to the standing end.
Interweaving into a Spanish ring knot
The basic, three lead turk’s head is now ready to be interwoven. The following images and instructions show how the interweave is made.
Start by sliding the working end over the standing end.
The right end, now on the right, follows the inner side of the standing end. It goes under the first cord, then travels to the left side, over the standing end to the left.
The right end, now on the left, follows the inner side of the standing end. It goes under the first cord, then travels to the right side, over the standing end to the right.
Now that we have followed the standing end, we have created parallel cords that are split to finish the knot.
The first two are the standing and the working end, right where we started. We split them, then continue to the left of the knot.
The next two parallel cords are on the left, which we again split, then continue to the right side.
The final two parallel cords are on the right. After splitting them, pull the working end through to the left.
Finish by bringing the working end next to the left of the standing end, going under three.
See the video instructions below for further help:
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that it helped you tie this beautiful knot. Be sure to ask any questions, if they arise!