Crossed Ian Shoelace Knot

This knot is a curiosity that often results from tying the Ian Knot incorrectly. Twisting the starting loops in the wrong direction results in a knot with the ends crossed within the knot. It seems more secure, but can easily fall apart.

Crossed Ian Shoelace Knot diagram 1

Step 1:

Tie a Left-over-Right Starting Knot as shown, then double each lace back on itself, exactly as is done with the regular Ian Knot.

Crossed Ian Shoelace Knot diagram 2

Step 2:

Unlike the regular Ian Knot, the left (yellow) loop is formed by rotating the loose end behind while the right (blue) loop is formed by rotating the loose end in front.

Crossed Ian Shoelace Knot diagram 3

Step 3:

Here's the crucial difference: The left (yellow) loop, which would naturally end up behind the right (blue) loop, is instead crossed back to the front, restoring it to the exact position that it would be in for the regular Ian Knot.

Crossed Ian Shoelace Knot diagram 4

Step 4:

With everything back in position, this move is identical to that of the regular Ian Knot, where each hand uses the two fingers inside its own loop to grab the loose end of the other hand's loop.

Crossed Ian Shoelace Knot diagram 5

Step 5:

This step, again identical to that of the regular Ian Knot, sees each hand releasing its own loop and pulling the loose end of the opposite loop through its own. The only noticeable difference is the lace ends, which cross over each other in the middle of the knot.

Crossed Ian Shoelace Knot diagram 6

Step 6:

When pulled tight, the result is a perfectly symmetrical knot just like the regular Ian Knot with an extra crossover of lace ends in the middle. With practice, this can be tied almost as quickly as the regular Ian Knot.

Finished Knot

Finished Crossed Ian Shoelace Knot picture

The finished knot looks very similar to the regular Ian Knot except for the additional crossover in the middle of the knot.

Technical Details

The Ashley Book Of Knots

Technical Description

Just as the Ian Knot uses the same core technique as the traditional "Tom Fool Knot" (which appears in the definitive reference The Ashley Book of Knots as both #1141 and in more detail as #2534), the Crossed "Ian Knot" uses the same core technique as the traditional "Handcuff Knot" (which in turn is shown as #412, #1134 and #1140). This knot is generally used to make "handcuffs" from a length of rope. The Crossed "Ian Knot" could be described as a more intricate variant of the Handcuff Knot.

Is It A Worthwhile Knot?

Note that although this knot seems more secure than the regular Ian Knot when initially pulled tight, this is easily undone if the knot is disturbed or if either the loops or the ends are given a slight tug. Doing so will spill the crossover out of the knot, after which the knot easily falls apart. In fact, the Ashley Book of Knots states:

"After the Handcuff Knot has been drawn up snugly, each end may be half hitched around one of the loops to render the knot secure."

In other words, without this final step, the knot is not secure.

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