The Monkey's Fist Knot is most frequently used as a heaving knot, and can even be tied around an object to make it heavier. The knot is also popular with children, and is used as a decorative knot. It is made small to give earrings a nautical look, larger to make key fobs, and larger still to make doorstops. A pair tied to opposite ends of a 2-foot cord makes a good cat toy.
Before you start making the knot, estimate the length of line needed by making nine or ten loops of about the size that will be tied.
1 Make the initial set of three vertical turns.
2 Hold the turns in place as you add three horizontal turns.
3 Next, add three turns that go through the middle of the knot, wrapping over the top and around the vertical turns.
4 Take care that the loops stay in place, and that they continue to stay in place, as you carefully work the slack out through the knot, one turn at a time.
The end can be left long and spliced into the standing part, or tucked into the knot. If the end is to be tucked within the knot, an Oysterman's Stopper tied in the end will help fill its center. After it is pushed into the middle of the knot, work the slack back to the standing part of the cord.
A variation on the Monkey's Fist Knot is to use more than three turns. And for the ambitious knot tyer, a three-turn Monkey's Fist can serve as the center for a five-turn Monkey's Fist, and so forth, tucking each Monkey's Fist inside the new one such that lines stay perpendicular.