the pan chang knot

When Wire Almost Behaves Like Fibresquare flower knot with beads So, I had this scrap of wire in my wire working box (cutters, pliers, cup burs, etc) and it was... 20cm long or so. What had I originally cut it for? What had I cut it off of? Dunno, but is it long enough to do anything with? Often when I've got some cord scrap in my hands they will do what they so frequently do: flower knots, button knots, double connection, double coin, etc. So, this little bit of wire, could I tie a flower knot in it with some beads? How would it look with such a small gauge of wire?

As a general rule, to a certain extent to duplicate the fibre knots I tie, I try to tie wire knots in higher gauges. Almost cord sized wire (I've got some wire that is close to 3mm in diameter. Expensive though and I'm expecting it to be brutally difficult to work. Someday...) is kind of self-explanatory. Smaller gauges though (I think it's 24ga)... let's see!

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Somewhere in China there is (or was) a street lined with giant glowing mystic knots.

Here's some more links to pictures (and descriptive text in Chinese) of the giant glowing knots:

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Notes: The Pan Chang knot (also known as the Endless knot or the Mystic knot) is one of the eight buddhist treasures. It represents the endless cycle of life, the infinite wisdom of Buddha, the duality (yin and yang) of existence, and is also a symbol of balance and harmony.

Additionally, from older traditions, knots are thought to be where gods dwell and as a result bring good luck. It is for this reason that monks would wear knots and knots are hung in temples.

shutara: “flower knots”. knots are where the gods dwell, and knots hung in a room will drive away evil spirits and invite good fortune. Shutara were hung on a monk’s shoulders over the formal surplice to ensure that the words of the sutras would not be dispersed.

Text: The endless knot is one of the eight buddhist treasures.

The gods are said to dwell in knots.

the endless knot, one of the 8 Buddhist treasures

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inline 2x2 mystic knot tied in black edged white shoelaceuntidy back of an inline 2x2 mystic knot tied in black edged white shoelace Now the illustration/instructions for Ashley #589 is of the line and circle (indicating unders) variety. It is extremely difficult to visualize from that, especially for a knot of this complexity. He recommends enlarging the diagram and pinning everything down very carefully. Well, I was winging it freehand, and I'm pretty sure it's not right, at least the "back side" looks like there's a mistake (see right). The "front" side on the other hand, looks reasonable except that the loose ends extending through the loops are back to front versus front to back as in the diagram.

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inline 1x2 mystic knot tied in black edged white shoelace1x2 mystic knot tied in black edged white shoelace Unlike the inline square flower knot (see left), Ashley #588, a rectangular knot is not simply the 1x2 mystic knot (see right) with one end passed through the body of the knot to give a half-hearted extra ear (although it could certainly be done that way). The pass-through occurs earlier and still has no structural support, so the ears still need to be either "closed" or sewn in order that casual handling not destroy the knot.

Let's make that a definition shall we? A closed ear is an ear loop that is snugged up against the main knot (see left).

square flower knot tied in white and black shoelace While the flower knot, when considered as a polygonal knot, is a family unto itself with many (many!) variations starting with the number of petals (ears) and the ways that the structural loops interlace, the basic square flower knot is also the basic unit of the mystic knot (see right

2x2 mystic knot tied in black, white and grey shoelaces1x1 mystic knot tied in black and white shoelaces In the next post, I'll illustrate the relationship, but for now let me just say that the square form of the flower knot (see right) is the basic unit of the mystic knot (see left). The Ashley Book of Knots (also known as Ashley's or ABoK) has much to say on the topic of mystic knots, but not in those words (Ashley calls this knot family the Chinese butterfly knots), so let's extract them and put them in one post for easy reference, shall we? I'm making pronouncements based on visual inspection and could easily be wrong, I'll tie them and post the pictures later, correcting as I go if necessary...

mystic knot tied in a black, white and grey shoelaces The mystic knot is the pan chang knot is the endless knot and is also less commonly known as the coil knot and the temple knot. Pan chang is, of course, the romanization of the Chinese name. The best literal translation of pan chang is probably coil, but the word evokes a much different image for most, I would suspect.

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mystic heart with main ends sewn togetherzoom in on satin cord ends sewn together What I've done here is taken the cut end of the 3mm red satin cord and butted them together and sewn them with a black thread. If I had wanted the join to be more invisible, I should have (1) used red thread and (2) either lightly heat sealed the ends or treated them with Fray Check or similar product.