There are 3 easy ways i can think of off (i'm definetly sure there are more ways...but these are all i could think of
You could simply take a cylinder and move around the vertices to get the desired shape, this might take the longest time...but it is probably the easiest.
You might also try to attach a lattice to the cylinder for better looking deformations.
The best way would probably be by making a nurbs circle. Then making a path curve in the way you wish to make the rope
. To finish it up you do an extrude on the circle based on the path curve...giving you your "rope"
Hope this helps
The only constant is change...