The tag wiki for the knots tag currently reads "utility of or method of tying knots for use in any of the following activities" followed by a bullet list of a few obviously outdoor-related activities.

Meanwhile, a user has recently come along, on April 9, 2018, asking about a good knot to use to create an adjustable loop in a length of leather cord, and revealed that this would be used for a piece of jewelry. Because of this, the question is receiving down votes and close votes.

NOTE: The question was edited on April 11, 2018, and the reference to jewelry, as well as type of cord (leather) were removed. Here is the text of the original.

Apologies for the incompleteness of my former entry here. My question relates to a leather thong loop used to hang a pendant on. The knot needs to be at the point of the join of the 2 ends so that it will sit at the back of the neck. I can remember seeing this knot a long time ago on a pendant from India and it meant the length of the pendant could be adjusted from almost zero to any length at all but clearly only as wide as the back of the wearers neck is best for aesthetic reasons I don't know if there are any commonly used "outdoor" knots that might suit but thought it worth a try. Hope someone can help.

This has me wondering, consider the following two examples:

I need a knot that forms an adjustable loop, so as to hang fenders from the railing of my pontoon boat.


I need a knot that forms an adjustable loop, so as to hang a sun-catcher from the rod of living room curtains.

The two questions begin the same and will have essentially the same answer. Therefore, we need to decide whether we will judge the first question as on-topic and the second off-topic. Also, what if the question did not specify the intended use at all?

I need a knot that forms an adjustable loop, so as to hang a modest weight object from a vertical bar.

I am intentionally not stating my own opinion here nor my arguments for that opinion. I want to see what the community will have to say.

  • 1
    As a side note, nobody actually read the tag wikis, so I wouldn't actually put to much stock in them Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 16:43
  • I am happy that you are suggesting edits to them and am happy to review the edits, but it might not be the best use of your time. Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 17:59
  • Hi cobaltduck. I feel that the question which sparked this discussion was edited enough to affect your initial point. In an effort to help alleviate confusion, I put in the text of the original. It wasn't personal in any way, I just think that meta discussions need to have all the information available for future viewers. I sincerely apologize if I did something wrong, and ask you to please roll back or re-edit in a way that's more acceptable to you. Thanks! Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 2:21
  • I'm not sure if this is relevant to your question, but I happened to notice it. What is a good knot to tie a short loop around a bracelet?, from 2014, was looking for a knot to help tie a hairband around a bracelet to store it. It was closed because it wasn't for an outdoor activity. Someone suggested re-wording it to say they needed to store it while backpacking. OP said that would be a good "spin." It stayed closed. I'm just mentioning it, not asking someone to go and "spin" it! Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 3:34
  • @Sue Maybe start a new discussion with multiple examples from the main space? Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 10:11
  • @Sue and others. I am content merely to have gotten the ball rolling. Where it goes from here is up to the community. Thanks.
    – cobaltduck
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 11:30
  • @James Jenkins, I was just thinking about that this morning! Exactly how to approach and word it is still rolling around in my head, because I don't want to end up in the same boat of using questions from the site which then change! I'll try to come up with something. The community can then weigh in and help me. Thanks for the suggestion! Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 18:51

4 Answers 4


I would say that we should keep it open, but with a few edits. There are a few good examples of whistles/compass being tied using knots. I'm not sure how to edit the question without losing the orginal content, hence I've not edited it yet.

  • I like your answer, but there is a difference between the whistle and the pendant. The pendant appears to require adjustability to allow marketing for resale, how do you make the whistle/compass knot require adjustability and still fit in the TGO scope? Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 10:08
  • @JamesJenkins I don't think it's about marketing. It's about adjusting the length of the loop to allow for a comfortable wear. I felt that would apply for a compass/whistle one would hang around one's neck? Correct me if I'm wrong. Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 10:20
  • The question says "for aesthetic reasons" If you were adjusting your whistle cord, would you make it adjustable, or tie it once at the most comfortable and usable length? Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 10:28
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    valid point @JamesJenkins. Ideally I would not adjust the cord multiple times. Unless of course, the item in question is something that I would lend to others while they go on their on adventures (maybe if I'm part of an trek organizing group or something?). And yes, since the question says it's for aesthetic reasons, it becomes non-outdoorsy. However, the answer in itself shows that it could be used for multiple outdoor situations. Hence my concern with editing. If I edit, i might lose the original context. If I don't, I don't know if it would stay here. Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 10:38
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    Well, asthetics being involved is definitely no reason to consider something off topic on TGO - asthetics is a huge factor in todays outdoors equipment (though I tend to ignore it and thus usually wear a weird looking color combination, but that's just me).
    – imsodin
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 12:49
  • @imsodin true that. I do believe a lot of research goes into making an outdoor equipment aesthetically pleasing. Although I do fall into your category and that would make two of us :D Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 15:47
  • @Ricketyship the user has not been back in two days, they got what they wanted and left. I think your good to rework the question anyway you want. If they do come back and hate it, they can reject your edit..But I seriously doubt that will occur. Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 12:33
  • @JamesJenkins Done. In case anyone wants to add any more edits, please feel free to do so. Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 12:49
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    @Ricketyship, looks good, I have retracted my down and close votes. Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 12:57
  • @James Jenkins and others, I'm not sure it's okay to do whatever we want to a question because we don't think the author will be back. That should probably be the subject of a new meta discussion though! Maybe I'll start one. Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 19:30
  • @Sue "user contributions licensed under cc by-sa 3.0 with attribution required. rev 2018.4.12.29829", this means every post is community property, while it is polite not to modify a post, the best interest of the community means any changes that are appropriate can and should be made. Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 22:02
  • @Sue Yes, it would be interesting to see if there's a different point of view on this. For me, the sole reason to go ahead and refactor was the answer by Mike. It has great relevance to outdoors and it would've been a shame to have lost it because of the question being borderline on-off topic. Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 6:20
  • @JamesJenkins I keep my whistle cord fairly short and non-adjustable. It needs to reach my mouth, which is at a relatively fixed distance from my neck. My compass, on the other hand, needs to reach to a map which I might be showing to someone else, have on a table etc. But a long cord makes it swing far too much when walking, and risks snagging. Shortening and lengthening the cord easily and quickly is a great compromise.
    – AdamV
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 15:32

If you read the guidelines yes it seems out of scope.

This site in general seems to allow a lot. If it can be used in the outdoors then it is in scope.

I did not vote to close and OP got a good answer.

I almost voted to close because the original question was not clear.

A question on wattage was allowed and it is not specific to the outdoors. The site electronics would have been a better fit.

A knot is related to the outdoors and there is expertise on knots in this site. This site is the best fit in the stack exchange network for a knot question. I could have easily been a small compass rather than a pendant.

I get you don't allow just because another was allowed. Knot where I would draw a line in the sand.

  • FWIW, Arts & Crafts also has knots tag. Whether this (Outdoor.SE) site is the best fit for knot questions or not, it's debatable (but not the main point here)
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 9:23

I found it easy to vote to leave the Q open, because the OP provided a fig leaf in his next-to-last sentence. That fig leaf is now gone because the question has been edited, but this is what it said:

I don't know if there are any commonly used "outdoor" knots that might suit but thought it worth a try.

I don't know what I would have done if the fig leaf had not been there. I think of knots as very outdoorsy things.

This doesn't answer your fundamental question; my response to that is if the Q has even peripherally outdoors contents, I would probably leave it open. I think. If the Q had been about needlepoint, a quintessentially indoor activity, I would have VTC.

Darn -- why did you have to ask such a confusing question?


Edit: 4/11/18 The question being discussed as an example has been modified. The original text can be found in the discussion question above, and the current version is here. I withdraw my concerns with it.

Yes the intended use is critical in the case of knots.

In this case there are number of potential answers. Ultimately the end use the knot will be asked to support is critical for deciding if it should or should not be used. The use in the question starting this post does not carry over to outdoor activities.

For the OP question about a necklace, a square knot or even a bow knot could or would be appropriate answers. For a pontoon boat the square knot 'might' be ok, but the bow knot not so much. For curtains the bow know might be the best answer purely for aesthetics. And if you are going hang something that your life might depend on (like yourself) then different answers would be more appropriate.

Edit: I posted a comment on the question, that further expands on my concerns.

Lito I suspect that the answer by mike is exactly what you are looking for, so your needs here are met. We are discussing scope issues with your question and if it should stay as is or be modified to unquestionably be in scope. I also suspect that you are asking about adjustable for aesthetic reasons, as you will be selling them (which is fine) but also further out of scope. Would you be ok with @Ricketyship (or someone else) significantly modifying you question to bringing it clearly into scope?

Follow-up I just realized there is a Arts & Crafts.SE which would be a better home for this question, and their need for increased traffic is greater than ours. .

  • This is a quick answer, do to time constraints, others may be able to phrase it more clearly, and I encourage them to do so. Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 16:26
  • Mountaineers will carry their wedding rings on a a neck lanyard instead of on their fingers since fingers will swell due to altitude. Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 18:31
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    The other obvious use case in the outdoors is whistles. Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 18:32
  • Hi James. I'm trying to bring this entire meta post back in line with @cobaltduck's question. Otherwise, I'm afraid the discussion will be too confusing for people. Part of that effort is to refer to both versions of the question that spawned this discussion as much as possible. For that reason, I edited this post. As with everything, I mean no harm, and hope that if I've done something you don't like, you'll accept my apologies and roll back. Thanks! Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 2:30

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