Google has plenty of results on how to tie a monkeyfist knot at the end of a rope, but it still took me awhile to figure how to do it. Here are some tips I didn't quite see in the instructions I studied:
- There are two distinct parts to the workflow: laying out the strands, and then tightening and working it into shape. Instructions are mostly about the layout, but the finishing usually takes the most time.
- Because of this, the initial position of the knot on the rope doesn't matter much... it can be "slid" along the rope during the tightening. Multiply the knot's final diameter by 28 (pi * 9) to estimate how much rope it will consume, although you'll need more than that to create the knot. Bottom line: Start out with *plenty* of rope in the free end.
- After wrapping the first set of loops around the fingers, you can reshape the rope into a narrow tube to make the second set easier... the knot doesn't need to keep its shape, only its relationships. Simple point, but I hadn't worked much with rope before, and it took me awhile to realize it.
- Keep looking at how many strands are in parallel along each side of the knot... it's easier to count three stands on a side than to count three complete circuits of each loop.
- The final working end comes out the opposite side of the knot from the standing side of the rope... has to run along the inside for the final symmetry.
- The tightening is straightforward along each side... just pull the six loops alternately. Figuring out which strand to pull next after a change of direction is still tough for me, and I often tease apart the overlaying strands to see where the free end goes next.
- Sometimes I've turned the knot around while tightening and ended up pulling the slack the wrong way. At that point it's easy to just untie the whole thing and start again.