Originally Posted by Squarehead Chris
It's truly amazing how many people out there these days don't know the difference between even a square knot, and a granny knot.
Well, I can tell you the difference.
One holds, the other doesn't.
One can save you, the other can injure or kill you given the right/wrong circumstances.
I know quite a bit about common knots, lashings, splicing etc.
And I've found this knowledge to be very useful in everyday situations.
...am also interested in and familiar with a variety of common knots.
As to the square knot, I've found that the figure eight (or "fireman's knot"), although slightly more complicated, is much to be preferred over the square knot (or the bowline, for that matter). The figure eight puts much less stress on the rope strands itself, and is generally easier to untie.
True, the ability of most kwans to use and tie appropriate knots is typically nil. Still, facility with knot tying seems to be largely a White thing; the best most nigs seem to do with a knot is a ball of twisted mess.
Simplest and most awesome knot: The clove hitch.