The Carrick bend (I've also heard it called the double Carrick bend and one of its variations the double coin knot; It's ABOK #1439, and I'll explain that reference at the end) is a fairly decorative knot all on its own. It is a bend
, which is jargon for a knot that joins two ropes (or two ends of the same rope). Because of its symmetry it is often used as a symbol for things nautical -- it can be found on the insignia for US Navy Master Divers
-- and is quite popular as a base for decorative work. I've never seen it tied as a mat before*, but it actually lends itself quite nicely to our purpose.
To begin, take your first rope (I'm using two ropes with different colors in the pictures below) and fold one end back on itself. This is called a bight
. We actually want a crossing turn
, so tuck the end back under itself as shown in the second picture below.
Next, place the end of your second rope over the top of the your crossing turn and weave it under and over the two ends sticking out (technically called the working end
and the standing part
) like in the third picture.
Take your end under the next section of the crossing turn, over its own standing part and back under the last part of the crossing turn as shown in the first picture. Congratulations! You now know how to tie a Carrick bend!
Actually, if you're interested in the details, the true Carrick bend is fully interwoven (meaning that the lines alternate over and under at each crossing) like ours but is also diagonally opposed, which means that the two ends come out on opposite sides of the knot. This variation, according to Wikipedia
, is known as the Josephine Knot in macramé, the double coin knot in Chinese knotting, and Wake knot in heraldry. I told you it was popular.
*edit: as I was writing Step 8 I flipped through The Book of Knots and Ropework (Practical and Decorative)
and discovered that Mr. Fry suggested tying the carrick bend as a mat and actually has quite an extensive section on different rope mats. I highly recommend his book if you're looking to learn more ropework.