Double Ian Shoelace Knot

By hanging onto the loops and repeating the Ian Knot technique, the result is the more secure “Double Ian Shoelace Knot”. This is also handy for consuming excess lace to keep the ends from dragging.

NOTE: It's worth mastering the regular “Ian Knot” before attempting this variation!

Double Ian Shoelace Knot diagram 1

Step 1:

Begin with a completed Ian Knot. Ideally, you'll still be hanging onto the loops. Make sure you have fairly long loops to work with.

Double Ian Shoelace Knot diagram 2

Step 2:

Repeat steps (3) and (4) of the regular “Ian Knot” to rotate the loops and cross them over each other. The main difference is that there are no loose ends to which you must pay attention – the loops can be crossed any way you want.

Double Ian Shoelace Knot diagram 3

Step 3:

Start to feed one side of each loop through the opposite loop. Again, as neither end is loose, it doesn't really matter which side you choose – although obviously it's easiest to repeat the exact same movement as used in the regular Ian Knot.

Double Ian Shoelace Knot diagram 4

Step 4:

Once each hand has a hold of the other side's loop and has let go of its own, pull tight to complete the knot. If done correctly, the second knot will work its way downwards to end up on top of the first knot.

Finished Knot

Finished Double Ian Shoelace Knot

The finished “Double Ian Shoelace Knot” is quite bulky, which is helpful for consuming excess shoelace to keep the ends from dragging.

Multiple Ian Knots picture

Three or more repetitions

With plenty of excess lace, the “Ian Knot” can be repeated as many times as desired. The result is a rather ridiculous looking construction that vaguely resembles a tree fern: A rough, thick “trunk” with two large “leaves” on top. Although novel, it's of little practical value other than for some serious shortening!

Technical Details

Untying the Double Ian Knot

The “Double Ian Knot” can usually be untied by simply pulling the ends, especially if the second “Ian Knot” is tied fairly loosely. However, if tied tightly, this can end up jamming at the last minute, requiring fierce wriggling or resorting to picking apart the second knot.

It's also near impossible to untie three or more repetitions any other way than picking them apart one by one.

Other Uses

I've found that a double or triple “Ian Knot” is a very quick & efficient way of tying closed the loop handles of plastic shopping bags, which I like to reuse as garbage bags. The loops are exactly like the loops of shoelaces, and two or three repetitions of the “Ian Knot” is much quicker and easier than the two or three overhand knots that people normally use to tie these bags closed.

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