How to Tie the Wagon-Wise Knot

by Liz Spain, Thornwatch Developer
illustration by Aviv Or

Two winding paths cross, binding together to form an infinite shape. The Wagon-Wise knot symbolizes the determination of the traveler who is seeking a place of stability. It’s also one of the easiest knots to tie. It can be a bit slippery, though, so cording that is a bit rough works well. Suede, hemp, or cotton cording can be found at craft stores, usually with the jewelry-making supplies. If you choose something nice and thick, it’ll show off the doubled-up look of this knot nicely.

  1. Cut 2 lengths of cord, about 1 yard or 1 meter long each. I’m using faux suede cord, in two different colors because it’s easier to see the knot shape that way.
  2.  Fold one length of the cord in half, then in half again. Twist the loop over so that the ends of the cord cross each other like in the picture below.
  3. Fold the second cord in half. Then pass the loop of the middle of the second cord under the bottom leg of the first cord hen bring the loop up over the top leg of the first cord.
  4. Next, pass the loop of the second cord under the top of the first cord’s loop, and over the top leg of the second cord, forming an “X” with the second cord.
  5. Then, pass the loop of the second cord under the bottom of the first cord’s loop.
  6. Finally, adjust the second cord until its two legs are the same length. Pull on all four legs of the knot to tighten it, and fuss with the tightness of the knot with your fingers until it’s pretty.

Your Wagon-Wise Knot is complete! The four legs of the knot give you a bunch of freedom to wear it a bunch of different ways. You could simply tie the end around your wrist like I have here.

Or, experiment with weaving the ends into different macramé knots. Get creative! I made myself a badge to hang from my belt or pouch strap.