Saturday, September 22, 2018

2018 venture vermont: learn to tie two new knots (decorative edition)

this summer i learned to tie the friendship knot, which is traditional for girl scouts and girl guides. back in the old day at girl scout camp, counsleors had to wear one as part of our uniform. it is traditional to wear one tied for you by someone else.

of course, even though i knew how to tie one back then, i had long forgotten and had to learn it again.

turns out it's in the ashley book (because of COURSE it is) as #1423, the japanese bend.

and then i was in williston one day (ingress- remember, we're the RESISTANCE!!) and i happened to have been at the grave of governor chittenden and although i have looked at his monument many a time, on this particular day the west side of it caught my attention:

i decided to learn how to tie the knots on it. i figured it couldn't be that hard. the one in the center is a square knot. but the one on the sides, well, that took a little bit of puzzling out for me and after some happy hours i was able to both tie them AND to identify them according to ashley.

the side knots are carrick bends (ABOK 1428) and are traditionally used as decorative knots for "trumpet cords and military braids".

when i tried to tie them by looking at the picture, at first i tied them and then went to pull them tight without paying attention to the dressing and of course it fell apart and i was ready to blame the sculptor for not really understanding how to represent an actual knot.

knots are fussy in that when you tie some of them, it's not just the pattern of loops and bights and overs and unders, but as you pull it tight you have to preserve the PLACEMENT of each strand else the whole thing spills and you just get a tangle.

this is called "dressing" the knot.

those knots on the monument are properly dressed, but not pulled tight. because ornamental.

so here's my carrick bend, dressed, but not pulled tight:

this is what it looks like pulled tight:

and here's the series of three knots more or less how they appear on the monument. it takes four cords.

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