Carol's blog

"Coming soon" Instructables will be running a paracord contest. Anything using primarily paracord is eligible. At stake is a custom laser engraved Leatherman (type unspecified). Once the contest gets going, it will be open for 2.5 weeks. The instructable must use paracord, it cannot be done with some other kind of rope with the note "you could also use paracord for this".

Players of a game called "Ether Saga Online" are nattering about Chinese New Year quests on their game discussion board, and apparently there are Chinese knot quests. I wonder what those are about... ah, apparently characters are given red silk "thread" and taught how to tie knots. Boxes with rewards are given when the knots are completed. I wonder what this all looks like in the game...

Things to make

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Friday, March 26, 2010
7:00 pm. Beltrami Electric Cooperative Room, Bemidji, NM.
Marion Hunziker-Larsen of Jewels in Fiber is having a trunk show

April 19-23, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica Campus, Utica, NY
Chinese Language and Culture Camp: This program is for ages 8-14 year-olds.
Mandarin, culture and crafts including Chinese knotting.

Wednesday 28 April 2010, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

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Things to make
Peter Dekker shares an illustrated how to for wrapping your Chinese sword grips. (336 kb) (via)

Speaking of wrapping things, ITS Tactical wraps a mini-prybar with paracord and shows you how with photographic step by step and a video

Tying It All Together has instructional videos for Ashley's flower knot (ABok #2445) on youTube and Wonder How To (which is just a redirect to the youTube, but you can browse around to see if they have anything that youTube doesn't)

Illustrated how to make Celtic knot cookies!

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knots tied in headphone wires with labelsI think I got this advertisement from the knot tyers mailing list. The photography is lovely and the knots are nicely rendered. Click through for the complete ad with more knots. It's interesting that the ad is supposed to be for Ford's bluetooth (now standard with every new Ford, at least in Germany) but the wires used are distinctly Apple/iPod. Standard/generic wires would have been black, possibly with bright coloured ear buds (or not) and taken on a white background would probably have been just as dramatic. But maybe it's just my personal biases that makes the ad, at first glance, seem more like an Apple ad than a Ford ad.

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good luck knot Over a year ago I scanned the pictures I needed to put together an illustrated step by step set of instructions for the good luck knot. Finally, words have been combined with the pictures and posted to the main site.

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Knot in Korean (romanized), maedup or maedeup. Po-tae-toe po-tah-toe or more accurately Beijing vs Peking. I first saw it as maedup and still see it as that from time to time, it's shorter, I like short. Brevity is good. When I'm copying something down and it's written as maedeup, I'll copy it that way though. So, no consistency. Sorry.

But, knot in Korean (Hangeul) is 매듭. No confusion there.

Traditional knot: 전통매듭 jeon-tong-mae-deup

In the translation grid below, I'm leaving the "maedeup" off of the Korean romanization (MCT), "knot" or "매듭" off of names from time to time to keep the table as compact as I can without excessive ambiguity. Consider them implied if they're not there. 8) Also, if the romanization has dashes in it, I probably got it from an online conversion tool, if it doesn't, then I got it from one of my books.

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Carol James went to Korea for a couple of weeks and took an intensive course on maedup (매듭) at Dong Lim Knot Museum. Luckily for us, to help herself remember, she's posted a number of videos to her YouTube channel.

She begins with the double connection (two strand Matthew Walker, 도래매듭, dorae maedup, machine translation: advent):

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My entertainment reading of choice is science fiction, fantasy, myths, legends, the occasional light horror if written by a favourite author, that sort of thing. As a general rule I stay out of the romance, mystery, fiction and literature areas of bookstores. I will often be found on the children/youth sections looking for books for the kids as well as myself (I have a particular soft spot for remixed fairy tales). Where knots intersect with fantastic fiction, well, it's a happy place for me.

A book I have just finished rereading (bed time story for Tiger for the last couple of weeks) is Hellspark by Janet Kagan, and therein the character of layli-layli calulan (a shaman of Y) ties and unties a "glittery koli thread" throughout the story (I have read this book many times in my life, but reading it out loud was just brutal if totally worth the effort 8). "Intricate" knots are tied in her "thread" as both meditation and ritual. When she is done, she pulls on both ends of her thread and all the knots come undone.

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cover of the Echo edition of Lydia Chen Chinese Knottingcover of the current Tuttle edition of Lydia Chen Chinese KnottingIn print in one form or another pretty much continuously since 1981, this book is responsible for reviving the art of Chinese knotting and likely many cascade effects.

First was the original (Traditional) Chinese edition published in Taiwan (the cover of the original Chinese edition is identical in illustration to the English edition pictured at left but for the title rendered in Chinese text):
Author: 陳夏生 (Chen Hsia-Sheng, chén xià shēng)
ISBN: ??
Publisher: ECHO Publishing Company; 1 edition (January, 1981)
Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.7 inches

Soon followed by an English edition also published in Taiwan and distributed by Tuttle (see left):
Chinese Knotting
Author: Lydia Chen
ISBN: 0-8048-1389-2
Hardcover: 116 pages
Publisher: ECHO Publishing Company; 1 English edition (January, 1982)
Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.7 inches

The easiest way for me to enter Chinese text is by typing English text and getting something to translate it for me. Generally speaking this does 60% of the job. Then there are the characters that are more difficult to translate, so I need to enter them directly. For this task I like to write the characters into a system that does Chinese handwriting recognition. For this job I used the free iTranslate iPhone app and the nciku dictionary. I used the iTranslate app, mostly because I was out, but it had the added advantage of quickly swapping the Chinese and English back and forth from the translate/translated windows for refinement of the desired characters. Also, unlike the other translation apps on my phone, iTranslate allowed me to get the data out (via email in this case). Apparently iTranslate is "powered by Google" and indeed once I got home I also used Google Translate with largely the same results although there is no handwriting recognition involved there.

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