To Upset The Knot

Take the very end of the right hand silk at the tips of the left thumb and forefinger. Bend the forefinger and extend the other fingers of the left hand, so that with the right hand holding that portion of the right silk horizontally between the hands, the knot is hidden behind the left fingers. Pull the hands sharply apart, as though to further tighten the knot. Provided the knot is not already too tight, the sharp pull will straighten out the right silk, leaving the left silk tied around its end.

This concludes what most magicians regard as the business of upsetting a knot, but the most important part is yet to come. Move the right hand away from you slightly, then slip that part of the silk on the right of the upset knot between the tips of the left second and third fingers. This position is shown in Figure 1, from the performer's view. The right hand now gives its silk three or four more sharp pulls, at each pull letting the silk slide through the right fingers, so that the hand ends up having slid to the far end of the silk.

Under cover of this misdirection, the left forefinger half straightens and the second and third fingers bend, sliding the knot as near as possible to the end of the right silk. The knot should finish up between a quarter and an half inch from the end of the silk.

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