Ashley

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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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).

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?

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...