This is my favorite forward-tension single-column tie. It can be applied when the trailing end is already attached to something! It requires no tail pulls.
This amazingly useful tie is a variation on the Carrick Bend that also incorporates elements of the French Bowline. It was discovered and introduced to the BDSM community by Topologist in 2009 and quickly became one of the most widely-taught ties not of Japanese origin.
Pros: Can be used to tie up something when the other end of the rope is already tied to something. It can also be untied from either end. That said, this knot is very stable under tension, so if you anticipate needing to untie it when under tension (such as in a Gote Shibari), be sure to “slip” the bight so you can pull it free.
Cons: It is a touch more bulky than some options, but that’s pretty minor…
Here is a simple view of how a Somerville Bowline is structured. For a more procedural version of how to tie this, along with a bit more detail on each step, check out the “Detailed” version below.
You can create a Single Column on anything. I’m choosing the wrist in this case. It is easier to learn this tie when you are perpendicular to the column you are tying. With practice, this can be tied in just a few seconds!
This example shows the tie being done with two wraps (for a total of four strands), but you can do three wraps as well (for a total of six strands), which spreads the force over a larger area. Using that extra wrap is particularly helpful when putting two wrists through one Single Column like you would in a Box Tie.
There is a cool trick for untying a Somerville Bowline quickly!
Sometimes it is helpful to tie a Single Column so that it can be untied very quickly in cases of discomfort or numbness. Here is where the slipped version of the Somerville Bowline can be very helpful, especially for Box Ties. By releasing the wrists quickly, the bottom can then straighten and turn their whole arm, which in most cases instantly alleviates the compression issue.
The Slipped Somerville Bowline can be released in seconds!