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The Untying Knot Trick

By: Chris Welsh - Updated: 19 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
Untying Knot Trick Magic Trick Rope

Rope magic is a staple for most stage magicians and the ability to tie a knot that is not a knot is a must have.

The Effect
The magician displays a large silk and twirls it into a rope. Holding the silk by the ends in each hand, he then moves one end over so he is holding both ends in one hand. Reaching through the loop with his right hand he grabs one end and pulls it through, forming a knot roughly in the middle of the silk. Running his hand down the length of the silk the knot seems to slip off and into the magician’s hand, but when he opens the hand the knot has vanished.

The Secret
When the magician makes the move to tie the knot he instead creates a slip knot.

A large silk or a three foot length of rope can be used for this trick.

No advance preparation is required.

Performing the Trick

Performed with a rope or a silk, the Untying Knot Trick is a real crowd pleaser:
  1. magician holds silk between fingersThe magician takes an end of a large silk in each hand, gripping each end between the first and second fingers of the hand. Whipping the silk around and around, he creates a rope of sorts and then announces he is going to tie the silk in a knot. 20px break
  2. magician passes silk through his fingersThe right end of the silk (End B) is passed off to the left hand thumb and first finger, but passes first through the second and third finger of the left hand. 20px break
  3. magician reaches through loopmagician holds silk with left handReaching through the loop that has been created, the magician takes the left end of the silk (End A) in his right hand. The third and fourth fingers of the left hand hold back End A where it passes through the left hand. The second finger of the left hand hooks part of End B as the right hand pulls End A through the loop.20px break
  4. magician pulls the silk from both endsAs the loop closes and begins to form a knot, the magician pulls the part of End B hooked by the left second finger through the loop - as the loop closes it will close on a doubled-back portion of the silk, creating a slip knot.20px break
  5. magician shows the knotmagician runs his hand along the silkThe silk is left to dangle from the right hand, showing the knot for all to see. The magician then runs the left hand down the silk, cupped, which seems to carry the knot right off the silk. The hand can then be displayed to show it is empty.20px break
These moves must be performed effortlessly. Any hesitation will ruin the suggestion that the magician is simply taking the most expedient route to creating a knot. If the magician hesitates the audience will assume he is up to some trickery and the end result will be spoiled.

Magical Tip

If performed with a rope it is important to cover the forming slip knot with the left hand to hide the small loop created. The magician can then pull on both ends of the rope, one at a time, to tighten it just enough to give the appearance of a true knot.

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