Originally Posted by notmenomore
...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.
Clove hitches are great.
Quick, easy and safe.
The only problem with them is they can be kinda difficult to undo if they've been yanked on real hard.
(always "lock" a clove hitch with a half hitch when possible)
Another great knot to know is the Carrick Bend.
This is a knot used to join two pieces of line (rope if you're a cowboy) together.
It will join different diameters and different types/materials of line together safely.
And like a Bowline, it can be easily undone.
P.S. Don't ever call line "rope" while working on a commercial fishing boat, you'll catch some serious shit/ridicule for that one.