The Helava Knot





Introduction: The Helava Knot

This Instructable demonstrates how to tie a novel necktie knot.

I decided to tie my tie this way the morning before an interview a few years ago. I looked around online, and couldn't find any documentation of a similar knot. I've never seen anyone do this before, so I figure I can give it a name. If anyone out there's seen this, and it has a proper name, I'd love to hear it.

The thing I like about this knot is that the lines on the tie (if you're *very* precise about it) echo the angle of your collar.

Step 1: The Start

This knot starts out a little strange. Instead of moving the big end around, like you're used to doing, you'll be mostly manipulating the short end. You want the long end to come down to about an inch or three above the top of your pants.

When you pull the knot tight, you'll be pulling on the wide end, so you'll end up with a slightly longer tie than you start with. It looks *really* short in the photo, but it turned out just about right.

Step 2: Crossover

Starts simple. You want the seam towards you when you lay the tie out. Take the skinny end, and cross it over *in front* of the wide end. Then take the skinny end, and pull it back around the back of the wide end to the side you started from.

Step 3: Loop

Now back over to the other side. There's an optional step here, but you have to have a really long tie. Just loop the short end back around the wide end to thicken the knot. If your tie isn't really long, skip the extra loop.

Step 4: Under the Right

Now, take the short end, and pull it up and under the right side of the ... uh... neck loop.

Step 5: Dumb

You don't actually have to stick the skinny end in your nose now. I just wanted to show you what the thing looks like so far.

Step 6: Now Add Detail

This, hopefully, isn't like the step where someone's teaching you to draw Garfield, and they say, "Draw a circle, then another circle. Now add detail. Voila! Garfield."

Take the skinny end, which you didn't stick up your nose, pull it back down to the outside, around the back, and then up around the front of the left side of the neck loop.

Step 7: Here's One I Made Earlier

Here's where it *actually* gets a little tricky. So, in the photo, you can see that the short end is going over the left side of the neck loop. It's now gotta go through something to hold it in place. If you feel around the back of the knot, there should actually be a place to stick the short end. You'll end up basically going through two loops.

In the second picture, it looks like one loop, but it's not. If I can figure out a way to document this better, I'll take another picture and post it. But just poke around back there. There is a way to get that skinny end through.

Step 8: Almost Done

So, yeah - that's the short end. It's really short. I honestly don't really know how this knot can take up so much fabric, but not actually be huge. Okay - I do know - it's that you end up wrapping a lot of the tie around the "edges" of the knot, and not in the center of the knot itself. So it looks sort of normal sized.

Next, shuffle the short end back behind the big end, and you're pretty well finished.

Step 9: Done!

Now, just tighten. Grasp the knot gently with one hand, and pull gently on the wide end of the tie with the other. If you overtighten the knot, it looks sort of ridiculous, so just get it to the point where it's snug but not all bunched up.


Most people won't notice, or care. But if you've gotta wear a tie, might as well do something interesting.

As for that interview? I got the job. I don't think it was the knot that got me the job, but it was at a place where a little bit of creative thinking makes a big difference, so who knows. Maybe it was the thing that pushed me over the edge, maybe they didn't notice at all.

Good luck!



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22 Discussions

A tie is just an upsidedown noose...
Clever though.

Hi, You should also try the the 'Christensen' (aka 'Cross') knot, if very well tied, will give you 3 layers in diagonal shape.. and because it's very slim (well tied) in my personal opinion, it's the most girly of all the tie knots.. :)

I tore apart my room to find the one tie that I own just to try this out. It's a wicked awesome knot. Besides, even if it is another knot backwards, it's still a statement. Just think about the first guy to wear his baseball hat backwards. He didn't invent a new hat, but he's still being innovative.

Ha! You know, I've been tying this thing for years now, and never really realized that yeah, it's basically an inverted tie knot. When you mentioned that, I was like, "What? No. Surely there's something different..." then went to the bathroom, and tried tying the knot a couple times. There are only three differences: 1.) The extra loop, which leads to the tiny bit that you can see at the bottom left of the knot in the picture, which lends the knot a bit of balance 2.) The fact that you have to start the knot with the wide end short and the narrow end long. 3.) You have to start with the tie back-facing front. But yeah, apparently if you do that, you can tie a regular knot, pull the tie off your head, flip it over, and tighten to get exactly the same thing. Nice! Reminds me of a time one of my friends was really psyched to have invented a new sorting algorithm, then people realized, "Hey! This is bubble sort."

actually the extra loop is part of the double winsor knot. :P. Still clever. Extra clever for Hugo figuring that out though :P.

Hrm. I looked around at some instructions on 'double windsor' knots. Are they actually different than windsor knots? Seems like many places talk about the 'double windsor' as essentially 2x the 'half-windsor'. The 'extra loop' in this case doesn't match the loops I've seen in the instructions for 'double windsor' knots - it's not a that it wraps around both sides of the 'neck loop' - it's that early on, the skinny part of the tie does a full extra revolution around the wide part. Maybe that's part of the 'double windsor' and what separates it from a 'windsor knot', but I couldn't find instructions that seemed to lead to a similar result. Not saying you're not right, I'm just saying I couldn't confirm. :)

Funny you should ask: Half Windsor vs
Full Windsor

(Some silly people call these the "Single" and "Double" Windsor.)

The Full is not 2x the Half. It has only one extra loop and is not nearly twice the size or complexity. As you say, it wraps around both sides of the 'neck loop' where the Half only wraps around one (and the Four in Hand doesn't wrap around either).

Neither of the Windsor knots has an extra loop around the stationary end the way you describe. I think you're referring to the move that Thomas Fink refers to as T T.

*grin*. There's no arguing about taste, particularly when it comes to ties.

I do believe the TT is the case. I wonder if there's a _ move, so I could have a tie that had a T_T combo move. :D

I figured it out because I'm not very good at tying ties myself, :/ and a good deal have come out looking like that. ;) So I'm afraid that doesn't make me very smart...


Here are pictures of the backs of conventionally tied Four in Hand, Half Windsor, and Full Windsor knots for comparison.