the button knot

There is a major Chinese knot button exhibit that is touring China. It most recently was (is?) in Beijing and is moving to Shanghai for the World Expo next month. Follow the link below to see an English video about the exhibit. It looks like the current fashionable style is to make a pictorial quilt with the button frogs, but considering the size of the thing maybe there's some knotted frogs in there too.

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Today's blog is brought to you by the letter 'Y'purple button knot and diamond sinnet letter Y One of the many names for the Chinese button knot is the one strand diamond knot. Strangely enough, the exact same knot can also be called the two strand diamond knot. This wackiness is due to the idea that if the top of the knot is a loop, then there is only one strand of cord tying the knot. If, instead, there are two separate cords instead of a loop at the top, then it is a knot tied in 2 cords, hence two strand button knot. It's a very fine distinction that I chose not to make most of the time (what exactly is it if you've tied it with one "strand" and then cut the top loop, eh? 8)

button style 4 eared flower knot in grey satin cordback of button style 4 eared flower knot in grey satin cord Now, each cord you use will have different characterisics unique to that ty

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button style 4 eared flower knotback of button style 4 eared flower knot Another way to get nice ear loops all the way around your polygonal knot is to tie it button style (knobby thing that you could put through a button hole or button loop formed on top of a short stem). There are more flower-ish buttons to follow, but whether the transformation is extensible to the entire family of flower knots is a matter for further research. Now, the knot here (see left) is tied with some nice ear loops because I could, but in practice you probably want the ears tight against the body of the knot so that they don't catch and the cord doesn't wear out prematurely.

I've included a scan of the back side (see right) so you can clearly see where the ends are.

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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...