Good Luck Variations 3: Inset Ears

4 sided good luck knot with inset ears variant I have this vague recollection that Lydia Chen hadn’t really named the variants in her Chinese Knotting 3 book, they were more like “variant A” and “variant B”. Whether numbered or named with poetry, I just wanted to see what she was naming things and check if it was different in the English version, but where was my book? Not on the shelf where it’s supposed to be with one and two. Not in the bedroom where I might have piled it upon unpacking from the last trip. Not in the living room, not here, not there, still not here, etc. I must have wasted most of a day looking without success.

I take the Chinese version which is right where it belongs and look at the characters. I do pattern matching and determine that it’s named “complex character 1, complex character2, Good Luck Knot”. Now I’ve got Chinese-English dictionaries, I could have gone to look it up, but when you have a hammer… So I decide to look it up online. A check of my bookmarks and a little Googling brings me back to nciku an online Chinese-English dictionary with a little widget that allows you to write the character you want to look up with your mouse. I had found it before, but somehow lost (?) the bookmark. It’s so much easier just write the character than it is to count strokes, hunt for radical, pattern match, pattern match, hope you counted the number of strokes correctly, pattern match. I write the characters and get a translation: complex ears. sigh

複翼吉祥結 complex wing lucky knot

Okay, so I can’t find my English copy. I could always check when I’m at the bookstore… except that there are no copies in the GRVD in the big chain. sigh

The inset ears variant of the good luck knot starts out the same as the basic, but instead of just folding over, take the arm through the loop at the other side. Unlike some of the later variants, this one is symmetric front and back like a good Chinese knot.

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