HOW TO TIE A SQUARE KNOT

Hold up a 4' long piece of rope by one end. Swing it gently back and forth while you talk about learning to tie knots in the Boy or Girl Scouts or in the Navy. Catch the other end in your other hand and hold up both ends of the rope so that it hangs down in a loop. By now the audience should be convinced, without you saying anything about the rope itself, that it is a plain un-gimmicked rope. (They are wrong, but we'll get to that later.) Now tie a SQUARE KNOT in the rope. Say as you tie, "Let me see, now, that's right over left and then left over right, I think. If I did that right, I mean "correctly," it should make a square knot." At this point toss the loop of knotted rope up and catch the two sides. When you pull the sides gently apart the whole rope forms an eight inch square with the knot on top. Hold it up so that everyone can see and say, "Yes, I guess that's about as "square" as a knot can get." Toss the rope back into your magic case and move on to the next effect. Square Knot can lead into another rope trick or a trick with a Boy or Girl Scout or Navy theme.

To create this special "Square Knot" rope take four feet of sash cord from the hardware store and pull out the center core or, use magicians rope that is already hollow. You will need two 8" sticks to make the two opposite sides of the square rigid. I recommend using 8" lollipop sticks available in most craft shops where cake decorating items are sold. Wood may splinter and metal may have sharp ends but the lollipop sticks are rolled paper, stiff enough to straighten the sides and thin enough to slide easily inside the hollow rope. Once you have the two sticks inside the rope with 8" of rope left between them and 12" at either end, use Super Glue to hold them in place. I use a little glue on the rope ends, too, so that they won't fray. Now tie the rope so that it forms a perfect square. Use a pen to mark where the knot is on the rope so that the next time you tie it you will know how tight to pull the rope before you reveal the surprise "Square Knot."