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True lover's knot

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True lover's knot

True lover's knot
This variation is also a form of the Matthew Walker knot (#2421).
Names True lover's knot, True Love Knot, Fisherman's knot, Middleman's knot,[1] Shamrock knot[1]
Category Bend
Related Fisherman's knot, Matthew Walker's knot
Typical use symbolism, connecting two lines, lanyards, decorative
ABoK #798, #1038, #1143, #1414, #2418, #2301, #2394, #2420, #2421, #2423, #2424, #2425, #2425, #2426

The true lover's knot (or true love knot) is a name which has been used for many distinct knots. The association of knots with the symbolism of love, friendship, and affection dates back to antiquity. Because of this, it is not possible to consider a single knot to be the "true love knot".[2]


  • Naming 1
  • Variations 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


Modern western knotting literature has the name for these related knots deriving from stories or legends in which the knots symbolize the connection between a couple in love. Many examples feature sailors separated from their beloved. Ashley notes that it was once common for sailors' wedding rings, where gold wire was wrought to incorporate the "true lovers" knot such that resultant ring would comprise two tori: each flexible to move about the other; yet nevertheless inseparable.[3]


True lover's knot (#2421) before tightening. The intertwined overhand knots are readily visible.

In practical terms, these knots are generally shown as consisting of two interlocked overhand knots made in two parallel ropes or cords. The variations are differentiated by the way in which the overhand knots interweave and in the final arrangement of the knot.[3] To show if a young couple's love would last, each would take a small limb of a tree and tie a lovers knot. If the knot held and grew for approximately a year, their love would stay true.

See also


  1. ^ a b Scouting Resources, A-Z of Knots: S-T, retrieved 2009-06-14 
  2. ^ van de Griend, P. (1996), "On the True Love Knot", in Turner, J.C.; van de Griend, P., History and Science of Knots, K&E Series on Knots and Everything 11, Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, pp. 397–417,  
  3. ^ a b Ashley, Clifford W. (1944), The Ashley Book of Knots, New York: Doubleday, pp. 386–388 
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