Ian Knot – Ian's Fast Shoelace Knot

Ian Knot animation

I tie my shoelaces with my own "Ian Knot", the World's Fastest Shoelace Knot (yes – I am the inventor): Make a loop with both ends and simultaneously pull them through each other to form an almost instant knot. Don't confuse this with the very similar looking Two Loop Shoelace Knot – the technique is quite different and much faster. It's a truly revolutionary way to tie your shoelaces!

Please don't be put off by these detailed instructions – even the Standard Shoelace Knot looks tricky when illustrated! Give it a try – you'll find it's easier than it looks.

Step 1:

Ian Knot diagram 1 Ian Knot picture 1

Tie a Left-over-Right Starting Knot as shown, then hold the laces as pictured. The right (blue) lace is held between the right thumb and forefinger while the left (yellow) lace is held around the left thumb and forefinger, using the other fingers of the left hand to hold the lace taut.

Step 2:

Ian Knot diagram 2 Ian Knot picture 2

This move creates two loops, one with the loose end behind, the other with the loose end in front. Use the middle finger of the right hand to push the loose end of the right lace behind, while the left hand simply rotates forwards to swing its loop across to the right.

Step 3:

Ian Knot diagram 3 Ian Knot picture 3

This next move crosses the two loops over each other. Use the left thumb to push its loose end over to the right, while the right middle finger continues to push its loose end all the way between the left thumb and forefinger to end up inside the left loop.

Note that the diagram at left shows somewhat exaggerated crossed loops. They are really more "alongside" each other, which is difficult to illustrate.

Step 4:

Ian Knot diagram 4 Ian Knot picture 4

This tricky move requires each hand to use the two fingers inside its own loop to grab the loose end of the other hand's loop. Use the left thumb and forefinger to grab the loose right end, then the right thumb and middle finger can grab the loose left end.

Step 5:

Ian Knot diagram 5 Ian Knot picture 5

This move sees each hand releasing its own loop and pulling the loose end of the opposite loop through its own. Take care not to pull the ends all the way through, as this will form a "knot" instead of a "bow". In fact, this is a quick way to tie a starting knot (though the finger movements must be reversed left/right to balance the finished knot).

Step 6:

Ian Knot diagram 6 Ian Knot picture 6

This final step simply completes the knot by pulling the loops tight. With practice, I can now tie my laces in about one third of the time of a conventional knot!

NOTE: You do not have to follow my instructions to the letter. So long as you retain the "core" of the technique, you are welcome to use whatever finger movements are most comfortable for you.

Finished Knot

Finished Ian Knot picture

The finished "Ian Knot" is identical to either the Standard Shoelace Knot or the Two Loop Shoelace Knot. Because it was tied much more quickly and symmetrically, the laces suffer less wear and tear and thus last longer.

NOTE: If your finished knot comes out crooked, it's probably because you tie your Starting Knot the opposite way to mine. This will result in an un-balanced "Granny Knot", which both sits crooked and comes undone more easily. See my Granny Knot page for more information.

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