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A very handy knot, this bend is particularly good for joining two ropes of different sizes together. The thicker rope is formed into a bight, and the thinner rope makes a half-hitch around the doubled-back section; the loose end of the thin rope is pulled through the eye of the bight, and the long ends are pulled to tighten the knot.

This bend is tied exactly the same way as a bowline is; in that case, you form the half-hitch in the long end of the rope, and the very end of the rope serves as the bight.

An ASCII art version:

                    ______                _______________
                   /      \              /
                  /   __   \            /   _____________
                 /   /  \   \          /   /
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\   \~~~~~~~~~~  /
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\   \~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\   \~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\   \~~~~~~~~~~~~
                |   |        \   \/   /~~~~~~~
                |   |         \  /   /  ~~~~~~
                |   |          \/   /   ~~~~~~
                |   |          /   /\   ~~~~~~
                |   |         /   /  \  ~~~~~~
                |   |        /   /\   \~~~~~~~
         |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~/   /~~\   \~~~~~
         |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~/   /~~~~\   \~~~
         |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~/   /~~~~~~\   \~
         |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~/   /~~~~~~~~\   \
                 \   \__/   /          \   \____
                  \        /            \       |
                   \______/              \______|

Another useful variant is the double sheet bend, formed by looping the thin rope around the bight twice before sending its end back through the eye:

          ______          ______              _____________
         /      \        /      \            /    
        /   __   \      /   __   \          /   ___________
       /   /  \   \    /   /  \   \        /   /
  |~~~~~~~~~~~~\   \~~~~~~~~~~~\   \~~~~~~~~~~/
  |~~~~~~~~~~~~~\   \~~~~~~~~~~~\   \~~~~~~~~~~~~
  |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\   \~~~~~~~~~~~\   \~~~~~~~~~~~~
  |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\   \~~~~~~~~~~~\   \~~~~~~~~~~~~
           \   \   \   \   \   \   \  /   /  ~~~~~~~
            \   \   \   \   \   \   \/   /    ~~~~~~
             \   \   \   \   \   \  /   /\    ~~~~~~
              \   \   \   \   \   \/   /  \   ~~~~~~
               \   \   \   \   \  /   /\   \  ~~~~~~
                \   \   \   \   \/   /  \   \~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\   \~~/   /~~~~\   \~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\   \/   /~~~~~~\   \~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\  /   /~~~~~~~~\   \~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\/   /~~~~~~~~~~\   \
                     \   \__/   /\__/   /    \   \___
                      \        /       /      \      |
                       \______/\______/        \_____|
Update 2001-06-11: The earlier pictures were incorrect. The long end of the thin rope should always come through the middle of the bight in the thick rope; tension on the long end is what holds the short end of the thin rope down, securing the bend.

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