How can I shorten a string without cutting.. Any knots or braiding techniques?

I know the questions seems unusual but it is simple.

Let me try to explain…

I bought a trinket that comes with a string… But it was originally meant as a necklace so the string that comes with it is long.

I would like to use this trinket as a keychain instead.

Is there a way to shorten the string significantly without cutting? Or is there a way to braid it very short?

Suggestions welcome pls! Thank you!

PS. If it is hard to understand, I will try to take a picture and show it

The Sheepshank Knotis the traditional method of shortening a cord that you don’t want to cut.

But the sheepshank is a horrible knot - it takes continuous tension to hold, else it fails.

teddybound, how about a series of double-overhand knots down its length? Do you have access to the ends of the string or is in already in a circle shape that you can’t untie?

Good point. There are other knots and braids more suitable, but I wouldn’t know them by name.

teddy, can you remove the ends from the trinket or do you have to do something with it still attached?

Yeah the sheep shank was the most google search result…

Unfortunately, I can’t untie the ends without cutting it, hence it is difficult.

Tried to sheep shank it but the result was a mess as i had to manage 4 strings. It is doable… Just messy.

Adjustable sliding knot, if you are willing to make one cut…

Bowline, if you don’t…

I think the Alpine Butterfly Loop can be tied without needing to cut the loop. It’s an attractive little loop and you could use several of them to shorten the string.

In swampespruce’s second link there are a collection of knots titled mid loops that you should be able to tied without accessing the ends of the string. Including the Alpine Butterfly loop mentioned by CurtC


A simple overhand on a bight should also do the trick. Just pull the doubled string out into two lines next to each other, hold the two together, and tie an overhand knot in the pair. Or any other knot, really.

Alternatively coil the necklace-length loop into a number of smaller loops of the desired size, as if you were coiling a garden hose for storage. Then use several twist ties, tie wraps, pieces of tape or somesuch to hold the smaller loops together.

The tail of a bowline doesn’t hold weight
For a simple knot that holds wherever the weight is put, You can also use a figure of eight…

Just pinch off the extra , Like this … =========> , to make it one string, and make a figure of 8 with that tail.
You can also braid it. Whether you make the loop with a bowline or figure of 8 or overhand knots. you have a loop and a tail, and you weave the tail between the two sides of the loop …

Yep. Maybe something like this:

I would use a sheepshank with this modification: Form it the usual way, then throw an additional half-hitch around each end. In effect, putting a clove hitch around each of bight ends. Constant tension no longer required.
This is far simpler than it sounds.

Would a chain sinnet work?

My first thought is to crochet a chain - it’ll make it about a third of the size it is now, but it could make it too thick to string through the trinket - but if you were thinking of braiding it, that might be a good alternative.

Fold it over as many times as necessary to get the desired length and leave some string to coil around it.

However, removing and replacing the necklace string with something heavier would seem to be a much more effective proposition. A keychain “string” is going to get a lot more beat up in normal use and carrying than a necklace string regardless of length.

I’d go with astro’s suggestion of replacing the string if possible. Otherwise I’d get one of the split ring key rings and wind the excess cord around it then slip the ends into the split to hold it all in place.

For a keychain, I’d dump the string and find a short bead chain. That’s just one supplier, you could find them at pretty well any hardware store.