Step 1: The Original Monkey's Fist
here you can see an illustration of a monkey's fist done all with one string. It was used originally as a heaving line for sailors.
This one we will create is more for decorative purposes.
Step 2: Things You Need
Here, I have 3 pieces of para-cord, you may use rope or any knotting cord. Dice for the core of the monkey's fist. Pic or a pointed tool to help negotiate the material.
Step 3: Creating Your Monkey's Fist Tool
This home made tool will aid you in tying a monkey's fist. It is easily made by cutting a wire clothes hanger with a pair of wire cutters and bending it into a "U" shape as shown in this picture.
Step 4: Begin Wrapping Cord
Now we can begin to start the monkeys fist. Start by holding a piece of cord as shown below as you begin to wrap the paracord around the tool you just made.
Step 5: 1st Wrap
Now you will make four complete turns making sure all sides have 4 strands before continuing to the next step.
Step 6: Starting the Second Wrap
Now you will begin making the next wrap of color making your way around the gray with the orange as shown. Again making 4 complete rounds and making sure that each side have 4 strands showing.
Step 7: Second Wrap Completed
here you see the second layer taking shape after you have made your rounds.
Step 8: Final Wrap and Core Placement
Now you will start with the final strands looping over and under the orange feeding the cord as you make 4 more rotations. before you completely finish the final strands slip in your core. This time I'm using dice as the core.
Step 9: Begin to Tighten
In this step you will begin to tighten the cord. You will pull slack to work with and begin working the slack out of the line toward the other end of the blue cord. Remember, don't pull the cord too tight at first, your goal here is to only gradually snug up the cord one color at a time in a rotation while attempting to keep the other colors in mind by keeping the strands in shape and order. As you get the knot tighter, this is where the pic comes in handy, helping pull the cord. I know it sounds confusing and complicated, but the more of them you do the faster and better you get the hang of it. "ANY THING WORTH HAVING TAKES TIME TO ATTAIN".
"ALSO, DON'T FORGET... YOU MUST GRADUALLY TIGHTEN EACH COLOR AND REPEAT THE PROCESS TO AVOID OVER TIGHTENING. IF YOU OVER TIGHTEN, IT WILL RESULT IN YOUR OTHER CORD TO DISFIGURE AND GET OUT OF ORDER."
Step 10: Snug As a Bug
Now that you have the knot snug as I do here, you will start to cut and tuck .
Step 11: Cut and Tuck
As illustrated, you can see that I have cut the blue cord and push the pic through on the opposite side to recess the cut end, to conceal it. HERE I USUALLY CUT ALL BUT THE LONGEST CORD AND USE IT TO TIE INTO A KNOT TO BE USED FOR A KEY CHAIN."
Finishing: you may also add a touch of glue at the recessed cuts to keep it from moving, I have experimented with wetting the cord and letting it dry which also seems to tighten the cord even more. If you use water don't use it after just applying the glue, it will create a white pasty color and ruin the hidden effect. You can use the water technique and after drying use the water. I have mad them without using glue or water and they seem to last without coming undone.