Lark’s Head

A lark’s head tied around a gray pole. A doubled blue rope goes around the pole and through itself.

The lark’s head is a simple knot that is useful on its own and as a component of many larger ties.

When to use it

The lark’s head is a great way to tie a doubled rope to a bedpost or to add a new rope to a harness.

It’s also the starting point for many reverse tension cuffs.

There are numerous clever ways to tie the lark’s head in special situations: one handed, onto a ring, onto a pole if the end is accessible, etc.

Step by step

The bight of a doubled blue rope enters from the left and goes over and around a gray vertical pole. The bight is now pointing to the left.

1Pass the bight over and around the pole.

The bight remains stationary, but the working end passes down through the bight and exits to the left.

2Go through the bight.

A lark’s head tied around a gray pole. A doubled blue rope goes around the pole and through itself.

3Snug the knot.

CAUTION
Notice how the lark’s head constricts when you pull on it. That makes it great for attaching to furniture or rope, but terrible for attaching directly to a person.

Notes for nerds

References and naming

This knot is ABOK # 1673 (Cow Hitch)

Ashley would like us to remind you that all true Englishmen refer to this knot as a cow hitch: the term “lark’s head” was imported from France by the dastardly Tom Bowling in 1866 (c.f. ABOK 3).

There’s a bad tendency to give the lark’s head different names depending on how it’s tied. Ashley calls it a bale sling hitch (ABOK 1694) when it’s tied in a sling, and some riggers refer to it as a cow hitch when it’s tied by threading the end.

For clarity and consistency, we always call it a lark’s head.

© COPYRIGHT 2018-2022 FULL CIRCLE KINK LLC
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© COPYRIGHT 2018-2022 FULL CIRCLE KINK LLC