Xmas 2008 Snowflakes

6 sided good luck knot I started thinking about this year’s ornament sometime around November. Of course, if I wanted to make a seasonal kit to sell, I should start the process in the summer and be done some time in September or there’bouts. In any case, I was having my usual thoughts about stars and snowflakes and after a few prototypes decided to go with snowflakes.

I have to rant now.

Everyone has their particular hobby horses that are unimportant to most of the rest of the world. Maybe for you it is run on sentences 8) 8), toilet seats (up, down, down with lid too?), or shopping cart lock chains. Well one of my hot buttons is snowflakes. To be precise: representations of snowflakes that are not 6 sided. Some of them can be very nice, but they are not snowflakes (or even representations of snowflakes)! These travesties are usually caused by people folding their paper for cutting snowflakes in a simple half then half again manner, although I have seen them in printed form and in wire with four fold symmetry as well (so what’s their excuse?). A more precise term that doesn’t need to raise anyone’s hackles is kirigami (via). The shape of water molecules, which makes snowflakes hexagonal, gives water unique properties without which life as we know it on this planet would not exist. So stop it! Teach the kids properly. Please. 8)

Ok, I’m done ranting for now.

6 sided good luck knot with beads It’s a simple 6 sided good luck knot (double crown on the bight, overlap of 2). For me, at least, it strongly evokes snowflakes. Up against a tree it looks pretty snazzy (sorry for the white background on the scans) although it could use some punch or bling.

First thing I tried was adding some beads. These beads are metalized plastic which makes them lighter, under many circumstances that’s a good thing. In retrospect I could have used actual metal beads from my collection because I have many and with one bead an ear, the weight should not have been a problem. At the time, however, I was thinking of these beads of which I only had 100 (purchased from Chinese String Arts in Monterey Park, CA (greater Los Angeles area)) and at 12 per ornament, I would not have enough.

6 sided good luck knot with spiky ends While I was still just thinking snowflakes, though. I considered ways to be even more like a real snowflake. One way would be to cut the ears and rejoin them so that they were more spiky like the branches on a snowflake. Eh, not the effect I was hoping for. Plus it’s using more beads.

6 sided good luck knot with 2x4 bao ends 2x4 bao in whiteBut the side branches on a snowflake always proceed from a strong main branch. Could I make a configuration like that? I could, using a 4 eared knot, although the side ears would not branch at the right angle without some assistance with needle and thread, I suspect. The first choice for that sort of thing is always the 4 eared flower, but I didn’t want the square in the middle (60° not 90°). To avoid that, I could tie a 4 eared flower with a centre overlap of 2, or a 2x4 bao knot. I tried both and decided that the bao looked better. Completing the next prototype, however it didn’t look any more snowflake-y and was a lot more work. I could have done another with the short ears also tied in small bao knots, but I don’t think it would have helped.

I thought I had an instance of my final design, but it may be that I have given them all away and need to make another for posterity. So you’ll have to wait until tomorrow or the next day to see that. Sorry.

While I was shopping at the Chinese String Arts store, I asked about books, of course. They had Lydia Chen’s first book and a small generic Chinese book that I think I already had. I mourned the lack of books and the shop owner commiserated saying that there are few books, especially in English, but some former visitor to her shop had said that he would write one. Was she talking about you, Lindsey? 8)

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