As a boat captain, rescue guy, nautical interior design laborer for @katielady08, and person who wears shoes with laces, here are my favorite knots and why. If you'd like to tie them, I recommend the app "Grog Knots"
  1. Bowline
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    A very common knot that is used to tie lines to sails, secure main/belay lines to victim/rescuers, or we use to rig big heavy things that we want to move quickly. It creates a non-closing loop that is easily identifiable and will untie after a load is placed on it. It's easy and fast to tie. The ropes here are long-tailed bow lines which don't show the knot great, but show the versatility.
  2. Figure Eights
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    This knot is awesome because it's so easy and you can do so much with it. A simple figure eight is a stopper knot that can be undone easily, tie a figure eight on a bight to make a non-closing loop, join two lines of equal diameter together with a figure eight follow-through, anchor a long length of line around something with a follow-through, or put a directional loop mid-line. All of these loosen easily after a load is placed on it. The red rope is a figure 8 on a bight
  3. Wall and crown
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    Although it's considered decorative, it's functional as a stopper on stranded rope. Katie and I made a cool rope banister and finished the ends with this. It's fun because it's the only knot that I tie that can be easily screwed up if dressed hastily or incorrectly. This is a good stopper if you make a rope fence or a rope swing with wooden seat.
  4. Splices
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    Splicing is the correct way to join ends or finish an end of stranded rope/line. On the boats I work on, we splice eyes into the ends of rope for dock line or to throw a loop to another boat. When repairing cut rope (pictured), a short splice is used to join the pieces back together. There are also end and chain splices. All are done using the same basics with the stranded rope. They're fun to do.
  5. Monkey's Fist
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    These look super complicated but you can get good at them pretty easily. Katie and I thought selling these would be our brilliant million dollar idea but a bunch of other people had the same idea, it turns out. They were originally used to weight the end of a heaving line to throw from boat-to-boat or a dock-to-boat, but now they're used for stylish people to have sitting on their bookshelf.
  6. Cleat hitch
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    This isn't really a favorite, it's more of a PSA because it is commonly tied wrong. I constantly encounter this knot tied incorrectly and/or not even close to correctly on docks, even by professionals. There is basically one variation that is correct but overall, refer to the photo for an example. This knot secures line to a cleat. Only one half hitch finishes it.
  7. Trucker's hitch
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    This is sort of a system, or collection of several simple knots. The Trucker's hitch is a way to cinch a length of line between two points. A common application is if you have rope and are trying to secure equipment in the back of a pickup or on the roof of your car. Of course, using straps is better, but if you want to make it hard on yourself: use a trucker's hitch
  8. Lanyard knot
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    This is easy, looks nice, and is useful to finish a loop if you're looking to just tie a quick little loop around something like a key. This photo is done With frayed manila rope but it works for paracord or whatever round cord/rope you have.