terminology

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)

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).

inline square flower knot tied in black edged white shoelacesquare flower knot tied in black edged white shoelace Consider your standard square flower knot (see right). The structural centre is distinctly square, which is good. But, you say, there are only three ears. You say, a square knot should have four ears. I say, consider the loose ends to be the fourth ear. You, nevertheless, remain dissatisfied. A square has four sides, should not a square flower knot have four ears?

creeper knot in black, white and greyback of creeper knot in black, white and grey So here's the creeper knot. You'll notice the free ends extending to either side versus the usual free ends making up an ear of the knot. That's because the creeper is meant to wrap around an object, like the bow on a package. The description in the book makes me think that she maybe wanted "vine" versus "creeper" but...

So, having all my components, I started in on the illustrations:

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2x2 mystic knot in black and white with grey shoelaces So, if I already have a mat knot and a polygonal knot then do we need a mystic knot?

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black, white, and grey hexagonal flower To better illustrate the midpoint I redid this knot with one of my fused cords. These cords that I often use to tie example knots are actually shoelaces, sold locally as "oval shoelaces". They look like president's cord with the edge parts in a contrasting colour.

double coin in white cord outlined in blackdouble coin in white cord sidelined in black Since the double coin didn't like being tied in president's cord it seemed best to use regular satin cord and, for colour contrast, outline in black.

version 1 of a knot anatomy illustration So, I was thinking about making a knot anatomy illustration to follow up on the cord anatomy (to be followed sometime in the future with a tassel anatomy illustration). I certainly needed at least a polygonal knot of some kind and then a mat knot, maybe Lydia Chen's creeper knot as well.

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illustration showing the terms for various cord formations Interrupting our ongoing discourse on good luck knots, I'm going back to basics with an illustration of terms used to describe various cord parts and configurations.

In this definition I have tried to be as formal and precise as possible. Alas that I can't really maintain that level of precision in the rest of my writings. In particular I use "loop" altogether too often...

Standing End, Fixed End, or Bitter End
the end of the cord that receives the least amount of manipulation, perhaps it is heavily embellished or perhaps it is fixed to something.
Working End, Running End, or Live End
the end of the cord that is actively involved in making the knot or interlacing
Standing Part
part of the cord between the knot and the standing end
Working Part
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nonagonal (9 sided) good luck knot Last but not least is the nonagonal good luck knot. More accurately Greek vs Latin, the term enneagonon is more "correct", but nonagon is the more popular and commonly used term. Plus there's this whole ennegram/enneagram personality thing to confuse matters. Best to stick with nonagon, am I right?!? 8)

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