Author Topic: TENTATIVE DEFINING OF "KNOT"  (Read 39272 times)


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« on: September 01, 2005, 11:56:25 PM »
LOOONG & RISKED! Hard work too : brain lodged a complaint for higher that admissible neuronal attrition rate.

Capitalization of letters is not for shouting but since I cannot highlight in yellow here it is what I use for  visibility and attention catcher

Please do not pass easy judgement without reading it all with an open mind.
Criticize only after arriving and not along the way please
I call for you to suspend incredulity for the duration of reading.

I suggest a printing or a copy/paste to a .txt editor for easier slow reading and annotation, rather than on the screen.

Will have to go in 2 successive posts.

First the beginning of the tentative definition of knot, then "explanations", then the full definition

Drawings are to be seen on my album : will give link only later, you have to read on to "exploit" them.

     - - DEFINITION beginning : a lure? a bait?

" A knot is a spatialy defined structure of crossings (to be "defined" under) that are made using one or several RoTaCa (to be defined) and that obey AT LEAST these following rules :

- -


A RoTaCa is what is used to make a knot in : one of the axiomatics element under

RoTaCa  ( Inpired by ROpes, TApe, sTrAp, CAble,but essentialy a non sensical word created for the present purpose, not to be taken for an acronym. No need to "translate" when using another language, so stay "same" all over the world even if definition is ever adopted after corrections/precisisons/complement)

RoTaCa is of natural (vegetable: e;g : hemp, animal : e;g strip od hide, metallic :e.g steel cable) or synthetic ( e.g : nylon) origin.

RoTaCa have a geometrical section ( circular or almost, triangular,parallelogram (thin or thick), losangic, whatever existing geometrical figure, so as to provide for the future) and a "lenght"of sufficient size to be practically used by human hands. They are either "continuous" substance ( e.g gelly is continuous) or "discontinuous" ' e.g : Rice shape , the sweetened dessert, is discontinuous in my mind map here, not going to fall in that  "composite"trap (or am I?) : structure made of a number different elements or "composite" made of a unique "homogeneous" new hig-tech resin)

RoTaCa have suppleness. Mandadory to make intertwinning possible.

- -

     - - AXIOMS

Knots can be indexed in a structured, coded, Unique Index Number ( UIN as of now)

UIN will provided a way to retrive the knot "personnal file" ( content of which are "out of topic" and will be addressed later...may be...if that first attemp bring active and CONSTRUCTIVE interaction. (To who if may concerned :  Demolition specialists lurking in the peripheric darkness please refrain yourself = one destruction must be funded/paid for by at least two usable/practical constructive propositions. Yes the right little Hitler I am!   One preventing is worth a thousand cures)

- -

A NON-KNOT is a knot ( could never have been a knot in he first place) that give you back the "original"
( original )before "tying a knot" in it
Tying a knot : creating crossings RotaCa in sufficient number and in a such disposition that you have a "stable" existence
Stable = exist for a sufficiently long span of time to be seen and touch)
spatial structure "invoked" by the noun "knot")

NK is a describing label not a valuing one.
It simply mean null-knot have (or have had) room to go (or to have gone) to a lower state of energy/organization.
- -

Just as ZERO/NOUGH/NULL digit, empty of numerical value in itself, is what give sense to the other nine digits null-knot (NK as of now) do make sense.

On the practical point of view they permit to include in the census of existing knots, structures that would without them be left out of the indexation/cataloguing/whatever-you-name-it. These null-knot belong in the "real world" of "tying" structures. ( yes it is no fault, notion I was to convey is "tying effect) and not "tied")


NK / INVERTEBRATES are divided in
- WORMS : ( no "hards parts" in the biological ones) they cannot "stand" by their "own power", they depend upon prop or tension
e.g ABOK#tete d'alouette
- MOLLUSCS ( have "hard parts" : shell) . They can stand up on their owwn.
e.g ABOK# noeud de plein poing

NON-NK are ALL VERTEBRATES KNOTS by nature.( even if they are not "recommanded" in practical usage)

- -

A RoTaCa is what is used to make a knot in or with.

- -

Crossing = the place where a part of Rotaca intertwin (with) another part of itself or another RoTaca

- -

     - - RULES FOR NOTING CROSSINGS ON KNOT PROJECTION  ( graphic explanation in album)

The RoTaCa is supposed to be lying on an horizontal plane of reference

The knot figure is "projected" , just as a " un personnage dans un theatre d'ombres" ( a figure in a shade theatre). 2D rendering od a 3D object.

A carefully verified drawing is made.
Great care should be paid to exact design of "crossings" ( crossing is when one part of RoTaCa goes over or under another part of RoTaCa)

With  a colo(u)ring  marking instrument ( pencil, brush, marker, bamboo stick this general designation should cover almost all).you follow the tracing from one extremity, be it real Spart of designated as such for the purpose, toward the other extremity ( WE working end or designated as such) each time you meet a crossing in the drawing CORRESPONDING to the crossing that the WE following the "virtual" design of the actual design would have met ( see album for graphical, easier for me to express) you change colo(u)r and note the "sort" of crossing it is.

Simple wording :  a crossing "exist" for that precise purpose IF AND ONLY you are meeting an ALREADY colo(u)red line.

To be continued in the next post.



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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2005, 11:58:45 PM »
Crossing can be over or under but seing I said horizontal plane of reference ( axes for the finickers can be oriented N-S and E-W) that will be denoted either
H (High) for above/over and L (Low) for under.

Why H & L : you get Commandant Charcot's answer "Pourquoi pas?" (Why not?).

Want some phony reasons explaining my personal choice :
H and L are not easily confounded
are, to my eyes, graphically "better" than O & U ( can be confused by bad eyesighters) or A & U.

More : behind the shy creatures of the depths with many ropes sorry! tentacles that gave me my Nautile
pseudo hide an individual named charle HameL, see H and L.
Clever way to put myself in that (egocentrism it is calle I am said), just as Hitchcock always appeared in every one of it films, even if only his shadow.

So H and L it is!


- - You must always go for THE LEAST or LOWER POSSIBLE number of crossings , without unduly distorting the drawing.
See graphical explanation in album ( clearer in my view that what my quite imperfect command of English language allow me to put into words)

Simple wording ( so high risk of imperfection) :
crossing in going High/over/above or going Low/under that is the first condition; but IN CONTACT with is the second one.
In the e.g graphically you will see that the yellow line in the 3D model is not in an "obligatory" contact with the green line but it is in a "mandatory" contact with the red one.
So "pile up" the crossings whenever possible without distorting the knot.

- - NO NON-NK can exist under 3 crossings.

- - NK and NON-NK are possibilities as soon as you have 3 crossings or more.

- - You can ALWAYS find AT LEAST one terminal triplet when there exist at least 3 crossings ( note : less that 3 is a "forced" NK)

HLH (e.g)give one TRIPLET
HLHL (e.g) give 2 TERMINAL TRIPLETS one is the Beginning triplet : HLH, the other is the Ending triplet : LHL.


- First :Can be used as such ( without forgetting that all the H may become L and all L can become H) : a serie of HL:e.g : HLHLHLHL

- Second :It can be used ("added to" and not "in place of") as a number, counting the letters. e.g : HLHLHLHL =8 denoted 08 in the UIN.

- Third : TRIPLET can tell you if the knot is a NON-NK or a NK knot

If either one or both or the terminal triplets or the GSC of a knot is of the type :

HLL  or  HHL  or LHH  or  LLH          then it is a NK ( null-knot)

Examples :

ABOK#1837 : HLHLHL    NON-NK  Fatal triplet does not appear
ABOK#1889 : LH under 3 anyway : IMPLY NK
ABOK#1188 : HHLL  2 Fatal tripets : NK
ABOK#360  :  HLHHLH  no fatal triplet but if bighted  HLHHLHHL  fatal end terminal triplet HHL therefore a NK but that is the "why" of doing a bight in that case.

- - - - - - - - - -


" A knot is a spatialy defined structure of crossings that are made using one or several RoTaCa and that obey AT LEAST these following rules :

- All knot with less than 3 crossings are NK

- All knot with at least 3 crossings are either NON-NK  or  NK

- Knot having in their GSC at least one terminal fatal TRIPLET : HLL  or  HHL  or LHH  or  LLH    are    NK

(should be verified if it is possible to state it is a NK if and if only with at least one fatal terminal triplet in other word are there NK without fatal terminal triplet, or can one of these fatal triplets "inside" the GSC be "fatal" : in my small experience : no. But experience is no proof : trying a little harder, a little longer could find such a specimen) (Good hunting country for the finicky-minded that one)


- NK fall in 2 main categories : VERTEBRATES and INVERTEBRATES
 INVERTEBRATES are in 2 sub categories : WORMS and MOLLUSCS
- Corrolary : All VERTEBRATES KNOTS fall in 2 categories : NON-NK and NK

- All knots can be affected with a UIN  [Unique Index Number ( rather than Unique Identifiying or Identification Number)]
UIN is to be adressed later.

For the moment with these elements one can try a dwarfish UIN

- Vertebratres/invertebrates : use either Worm or Mollusc in that case
- Number of crossing
- "Discriminator" number ( to differentiate between "twins" with the first three criteria. Suggest a, b, c....z,aa,,aaa, aab..aaz and so on. Should not be more ( but speaking out of turn here since i really do't know for sure) than very few "twins"certainly less than 26.
Perhaps their number can be cut down, and these discriminator "rubbed" out when adding before the vertebrate/invertebrates criterion one of two other criteria : unique identificator ( sort of security number , dont know how to get it here) and a "family" and/or "gender criteria. Neurons gone on strike for indefinite time.

A thousand mile trekking begin with one step!

Well I tried to take it, will I fall flat on my face;?

That is for you to decide and to pursue either new first step or second step...

No, Iam not shouting with my capitals! just know you are now quite tired and just try to make it visible

The above tentative definition has at least one merit : EXISTING!


I acknowledge that about my effort and DARE YOU TO GO ON......IMPROVING.

That will be , as the Royal Navy formula goes : FOR THE GOOD OF ALL, AND SO AS TO PREVENT UNREST AND CONFUSION" ( but that was for dealing stern punishments, here it is an energetic, well almost energetic, encouragement.

I will be going "silent running" while on vacation until Sept 12th .

Hope to have many posts ("good" and "bad" to read on returning, if I am not dead)


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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2005, 12:11:52 AM »
I found how to highlight your text in yellow, copy the code underneat into your text and put your text instead of the word TEXT
In the row of buttons above the 'type your text' window is one with a G on a green backdrop, click on that and you get the text highlighted in whatever colour named in the code. You can change the colour as long as the program understands the name of the colour.

Code: [Select]

"Never underestimate what a simple person can do with clever tools,
nor what a clever person can do with simple tools." - Ian Fieggen

Writer of A booklet on lanyards, available from IGKT supplies.


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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2005, 01:24:26 AM »
Before following with some longer msg. giving some of my musings re knot,
I should advise that there are various perspectives to take on this,
and my follow-up will be (initially) more on a philosophical bent.

There are physical entities that one can discover in cordage, and these are
called "knots"--like finding e.g. a sort of animal called "birds".  One can
imagine a game/challenge arranged for some scouting class in which children
were asked to enter a room and to count how many knots were in it:
most children might reply "ten", but one girl says (only) "four"; questioned
about her apparently low total, she justifies it with "There is a bowline, a
clove hitch, a timber hitch, and a square knot."--whereas what her testers
had expected would be expressed more like "there were 2 bowlines, 4 square
knots, 3 clove hitches, and a timber hitch".   --different senses of "knot".



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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2005, 01:26:17 AM »
[snippet of some response focused more on classification ]

There are two things to keep in mind, here: firstly, exactly
how should (or have been) knots be classified, and then how have
such classes been denoted in the language. I have a somewhat
clear conception of simple knot classes, where the knot involves
one or two pieces of cordage and possibly some object. I'm happy
to see this as a fundamental basis of a greater classification
in which more complicated structures are accounted for, but in
general practice I think that the simple classification covers
most of the universe of extant cases. Some of the problems I
see are how to classify mid-line knots--loops & hitches (but
sometimes binders)--, how to treat nooses, and whether to see
any knotted structure that could be noose if loose qua nooes
(e.g., the Midshipman's/Tautline H.s tied to form an adjustable
loop--which will be quite a noose in slippery rope!). E.g.,
Two Half-Hitches is a common hitch, but should it really be
classified as a noose; and should "noose", along with what's
called "Trucker's/Waggoner's Hitch" be classified not as a "knot"
but as a "knot structure" (which has component knots)?! Similarly,
I'd prefer to treat the lariat as a knot structure, not a knot;
it's composed of a loopknot with its eye around the line.

My conception for most simple things is of six classes:

| knot ::= A curvilinear structure that can be realized
| in one or more pieces of some flexible material(s)
| of uniform crosSection, incorporating or not some object(s),
| under tension, and independent of torsion
| hitch ::= A knot that joins a piece of flexible material
| to an object and is dependent upon the object for its
| structural integrity, for its shape
| or
| ::= a knot of a single PoFM with an object where one
| end is tensioned
| or
| ::= A knot that joins a PoFM to an object which gives
| it structural integrity, shape, where one end is tensioned
| loop ::= A knot that creates one or more eyes of any size,
| with one end tensioned in opposition to the eye(s)
| bend ::= A knot that joins two pieces of flexible material(s),
| tensioned on one end of each
| binder ::= a knot in a single PoFM with an object where both
| ends are untensioned
|stopper ::= a knot of a single PoFM with one end tensioned
| through an object against which the knot body is stopped

(some related notions)

| universe of existence ("UoEx") ::= the Flexible Material(s)
| in which a given knot can be manifest (so, maybe w/fuzzy
| boundaries, even tension limited?)
|natural univ. of exist. ("NUoEx") ::= the Flexible Material(s)
| in which a given knot is commonly manifest

I can see that in specifiying tensioning, I've excluded some
of the cases I would find problematic (mid-line knots), which
really wasn't my intention, but simply is the state of these
definitions & thinking at this time. Yes, one could form (and
in fact often does in setting up a 2-leg anchor) a Fig.8 loopknot
with BOTH ends tensioned: certainly, it's a knot, and a loopknot;
but it's a different animal, I'd think, than the Butterfly, though
the border then would be some fuzzy range of angles of the two

Note that I've defined "knot" to be an ideal as opposed to something
physical; this might not be the best course. And how to determine
what are "same" knots--exact geometry will differ by a range of
degrees for anything pair of knots we might commonly call "the same".
(A case to consider: Ashley's #1033 can look much like *A* sort of
bowline--same central nipping loop, and a collar of sorts--, but as
one tightens the end further it collapses the central structure into
a Crossing-knot form, which I think should be seen as a different
basis for the knot.)

The *noose* vs. *hitch* vs. *friction-H./adjustable loopknot*
issue is troubling: I'd like not to have a classifcation hinge
on materials or force of tension--i.e., to not have the adjustable
h./loop become a noose only at some higher force or slicker rope!
Rather, to assess class based on the construction & loading (type
vs. degree), irrespective of the particular function that some
physical knot might perform in a given circumstance (a Clove H.
can be a friction h. and effect a fixed loopknot, within some
constraints--perhaps to rupture).


[1] from Cyrus L. Day's _Art of Knotting & Splicing_, p.12ff

"The word 'bend' is almost obsolete as a noun except in names like
'carrick bend' and 'sheet bend'. It is still used, though not
extensively, as a verb (e.g., to bend a sail or cable). Now
primarily a nautical word, it was once familiar to landsmen as well
as to seamen. To bend a bow meant to tie (bind, bend) a bow string
to a bow. By transference, the word acquired its modern meaning
to curve or to crook.
Ashley tried to reestablish the word 'bend' as a noun; he wanted
on the one hand to limit its application to knots whose function
is to join the ends of two cords or ropes, and, on the other, to
call every such knot a bend. This system of nomenclature, however,
cannot be justified on the grounds of traditional usage. The sheet
bend, for instance, is so named because it was formerly used to bend
the sheet to the clew of a sail, not to the end of another line.
[nb: we'd prefer to call this "becket hitch", I think! --dl]


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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2005, 04:04:28 AM » would seem to me that if there is going to
be a universal catalog of all "knots" it would have
to involve:
1. a universal language (Latin???)
2. a number system
3. photos (and/or first-rate graphics) etc.
4. (again) some group/committee (IGKT!) to take
   on this huge project!...
5. ???
6. ???
.....i'd buy the book/catalog/dvd?!!!...


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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2005, 07:18:37 PM »
To continue Dan's note, how about:

5. Chapters (probably based on ABOK)

6. Different methods of tying the same knot.  As Roy Chapman has pointed out in other threads, there are several ways to tie a common bowline.

I would also buy a Book/Catalog/DVD.

Pat Ducey

P.S.  I will also add "H" and "L" in addition to Over and Under for my knot templates.  It will take a while to get them posted, but all future projects will start using these definitions in anticipation that some of my work might make it into a catalog of this nature.


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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2005, 11:46:15 PM »
With English now being the generally used language as well as becoming the language of science and on top of that the common language for almost all members of the IGKT as well as of this forum, let us use English and give as many names as we can find in as many languages as an extra feature.

I feel that any reference book on knots should have pictures. And I feel that line drawings are better than photos, as you can show those parts that are hidden and the parts that are only partially seen or have the same colour/same string and are against each other. On top of that, line drawings are easier to get the same all over, when you use string or rope, you will have to have several styles of pictures.
But why not have both.

And numbers are a big help when discussing a knot in ABOK, so yes, I would like to add numbers. Maybe with letters attached for the different tying methodes. So the bowline can be number 203 and a way to tie it will get number 203 a, a different way will get 203 b, and so on.

Maybe we need to leave gaps between sets of numbers to be able to add more knots that escaped being included the first time around.

"Never underestimate what a simple person can do with clever tools,
nor what a clever person can do with simple tools." - Ian Fieggen

Writer of A booklet on lanyards, available from IGKT supplies.


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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2005, 01:07:23 AM »
Hello to all!

Will be "sketchy" thinking, will have to go back later to some points.

Posts : Can of worms...Tentative defining and the ABOK unabridged-compacted are a plaiting of thoughts, rather similar but that I deem better kept on different lines of thought/post.

For all : I will have, if interest is sustained, to think some more about the GSC and the so-called "fatal-triplet" rules.
Must be "dug in deeper".

As a first practical step : see my post : ABOK compacted.

I will try to heed Willeke wish: shorter posts.
Instead of my previous procedure : One post and one paragraph for each point
I will try to adopt this one : One point : one post. They will be shorter but more numerous. Should make for easier reading of each, , reading, answering,retrieval, but for a "harder" synthetic viewing..

-- Knot-Tyer : thanks for an helpful input and your always open and friendly stance. Will have to ask you your help about (ornemental knots / simple and compounded or composed)

-- Pat-Ducey : thanks for a frienly post. Hope you will continue to read my post about this "topic". If nothing grow out of those postings, I will make contact with you and try to work out somethink with a handfull of other individuals.

For the above threesome : Will have to address your points in further posts.  
I think I will answer globally with a "practical" draft to be criticized and modified.
Have in mind a draft for a "Knot's individual file". Will be "multiple-entries" for retrieval and "exhaustivity" purposes.

Just to answer quickly and I hope, not too ellipticallly : I would rather adopt a "cladistic" point of view than the "linear/Tree-like" of hard and fast "chapters".
Just wait for me having time enough to do something clear (?) and relatively short enough for a post.

Or for those of you who want a "direct" contact, please feel free to use my mail.

-- Dan-Lehman : last but not least, I will address the "tension" issue and other points in another post. But thanks for your input.


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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2005, 06:58:32 PM »
We will have to agree to disagree
Tension as "a force applied to or on..." is not mandatory to have an " existing item that is recognized as a knot".

Under the provision that tension / pulling is used when "laying" a knot structure and when "dressing it" or putting it into use I would hold that a knot lying "flat on a reference plane does not need tension to exist, it can even be "taken in hand" without any precaution ( unless may be for "worms" knots).

A knot is what you get/have even if you have not "dressed" it. It will be "ugly" but still be a knot structure. ( structure is operating word here and not function!).

Even after relaxation of tension applied while "shaping, dressing" it, it will still be a knot.

If tension is intrinsic to "knot" then how come that it is not possible to make a knot on a RoTaCa under tension?
If no tension all along the RoTaca means no knot, I cannot suscribe to the idea.
If  relaxation of tension means disparition of knot into thin air I do not suscribe either.

I believe that a "knot" have an "existence" independent of its naming ( quite a Platonician stance!), that the different names given to it in a given language or in different ones do not change one iota to the "reality" of the "knot being". or that would be equivalent to saying that a "stevedore's knot" is quite different from a "noeud de tresillon". And they are the same, but different languages.

- - -
As for object incopored into knot

Ring, stone or nothing it is all the same! I would  not put it in the tentative defining of knot.

A Monkey's fist without something inside is still a monkey's fist!

What "it is" and not "what it do" is the angle of my tentative defining of knot.
Defining structure and not function or uses.

A hammer is still a hammer without a nail to strike.

My hand is not defined by what it does but by how it is constructed.

"Anatomical" definition and not "physiological" or "ergonomical" definition was my stance.

Or if you want to extend defining then go the whole way and include "pathological" and define the lessening of the RoTacA induced by a knot and the way it break, and the different method to "make " knot.

A jewel in the shape of a knot, made with gold or silver RoTaCa has no external tension applied to it and it is still a knot;


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Knot's individual file
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2005, 07:00:01 PM »
fictionnal and incomplete example given of one knot's individual file

1)UIN : 12...89

2)drawings of knot
3) photographies of knot

4)Tying methodS ( plural if apply)

5) Names: ( could be in position 2) )
     - ...
     - Dutch
     - English
     - French..

6)Qualifiers : Junction knot / same diameter / no loop

7)Uses :
     - considered best for/with ( or primary indications)
     - considered possible ( or secondary indications):
     - considered not recommended( or not an indication) :
     - considered prohibited ( or contra-indications)
8)RoTaCa usable : ( recommended - Possible or indifferent- not recommended- contra-indicated)
     - static:
     - Dynamic :
     - Other :
11) ?
??) ?
- - -

Trying to "name" some chapters or some grouping of knot - Remember it will not be a book with glued page in set charpters but "mention" in the appropriate place in the Knot's Individual File. Each is independant from the other. Remember "appellation should be as much "transcultural" as possible hence the "descriptive naming ratherthan using bend-hitch....)


Junction knots:( with declensions) ( splices if considered as knot would be there) ( tied in the bight or not : that would be in MethodS) ( the "bends" would be there)

     - single RoTaCa
     - multi-strand
     - Moving/Sliding
     - Non Moving
     - Same diameter
     - Different diameter
     - Forming a single loop
     - Forming multiple loops ( 2 or more) if Loop & Sliding = Noose)
     - simple or unitary
     - composed or compounded

Stopper or terminal knots ( here is the place of the monkey's fist : it is a termnal knot!)
     - single stand
     - multi-strand
Fixation knots: ( there would be clove hitch and crossing knots, and binding knots. Too the belaying and making fast ones and spar and rail knots, ring too, lashing and slings belong here))
     - right angle pull
     - lenghwise pull
     - indifferent pull

( can imagine Sports / Fishing / Trees climbing...if some knot does not fit in the above)
The Turk's heads case : I would tend to put them in Utilitarians seeing their ancesty in old sails days

ORNEMENTALS ( lanyards - buttons - knob) ( no differentiating "in hand" "on table"...that would be in MethodS of tying) ( flat and 2 dimensional knots would rather be here)( knot covering here too and fancy ones and sqaure knotting)( sinnets are here)

- simple/unitary
     - single strand
     - multi-strand
- composed/compounded

TRICKS AND PUZZLE : they should be put radically apart;

Note = the practical seamanship could be dispensed with altogether in a first time.
Note = each KIS need not by "complete" fisrt time. It could be "completed" afterwards.


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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2005, 03:29:17 AM »
We will have to agree to disagree

What, without any deliberation?  --not so fast.

Tension as "a force applied to or on..." is not mandatory to have an " existing item that is recognized as a knot".

Obviously, it is in my definition.  You miss the point of the requirement:  tension
is required in order to determine that the structure is not just a confusion of  crossings
of the PoFM.  E.g., loosely dump cord on the ground and you'll see a lot of crossings;
pull the ends apart and see if there is a knot.  So, to my mind, specifying tension
helps make sense of things.

I can see that in a practical way if someone asked whether there was a knot in some
PoFM and only a very loose ("exploded") knot was present, the answer "no" would
be wrong.
But another practical sense I don't think we want to spend time thinking about
such loose things.  (Would one care to wonder whether some such vague, loose
structure was a Bowline or rather Ashley's Stopper?)


A knot is what you get/have even if you have not "dressed" it. It will be "ugly" but still be a knot structure. ( structure is operating word here and not function!).  Even after relaxation of tension applied while "shaping, dressing" it, it will still be a knot.

Yes, which is consistent with my definition.  What exists there is something realized
in a PoFM that can sustain tension.

There are problems here re "dressing" and trying to establish some kind of identity
or equality function for knots, as actual geometry will vary with tension,
with materials, with different knot tyers (' moods).

You must always go for THE LEAST or LOWER POSSIBLE number of crossings , without unduly distorting the drawing.

The use of some notion of crossings bothers me, in that this notion is much
a planar view of something three dimensional (though, yes, a crossing implies
a bit of depth).  How to choose the perspective from which to determine its
crossings?  At least in some that I have, the Bowline has that fatal termination
you have defined (HHL/LLH).

I believe that a "knot" have an "existence" independent of its naming

Where was this ever an issue?
More the issue is whether a knot exists a priori to any human (or other)
awareness of it, any physical manifestation.  Note that my definition favors the
view that knots are ideal entities (although I ground that with the requirement
to be "realizeable in some PoFM").

As for object incopored into knot
Ring, stone or nothing it is all the same! I would  not put it in the tentative defining of knot.
A Monkey's fist without something inside is still a monkey's fist!

And a Clove Hitch w/o the spar it's tied around is a ... "Non-Knot"!  I don't see
how one can omit the object.

My hand is not defined by what it does but by how it is constructed.

Your hand's muscles & tendons are going to be hard to place/define w/o bones!

A jewel in the shape of a knot, made with gold or silver RoTaCa has no external tension applied to it and it is still a knot;

Well, I would only say that it might represent a knot; but a jeweler's workings
cannot be used to determine what is a knot, for the jeweler's materials are not PoFM,
for the most part; the structure holds shape by means other than what is thought
of for a knot.

But note here the shift from the ideal to the real:  my knot is ideal. and is what
"can be realized ... "; it is not the realization itself.  (But, of course, we do use
the same word and speak like this commonly.  Recall the example of the children
counting "knots" in a room, where the expectation was that they cound physical
objects, but one child counts identifiable schemas for such things (and so has
a lower count).



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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2005, 07:03:31 PM »
..let us use English..

Yes it is common sense to "begin" with the English language but to provide for "world wide" diffusion and translation ( sky is the limit! ) the way to use this language should provide as much point of congruence as is possible with the "mind map" of other people from other cultures or it will be a "ghetto" a wide spaced and pleasant "ghetto" but still a ghetto.
( See  : Edward T Hall : "The hidden dimension" and his other books).

Why risk to limit possibility of access.
I can tell you, having both, that the French translation od ABOK is quite "open to improvement".
The "fault" lie as much in the "english mind map and culture stamping" of the ABOK as on the lack of Naval/Maritime in-depth knowledge of the translator.
I would like to evade that trap.
If I could do it "compatible" with Martian or Jupiterian, I would choose to do it!

...add letter for different tying ...

I do not suscribe to that : the knot obtained  would be the same. I can do my "surgeon's knot"in at least 3 differents sequences of gestures ( methods if you will) but once they are "fast" you cannot decided how I did them.

MethodS would be in their own sub-paragraph in the Knot's Individual File were all the "recorded" manners would be duly noted.

...needs to leave gaps between sets of number

Sorry Willeke, but from were I stand that is a no-no.

At least as far as the "compacted ABOK is concerned.
I am not so "decided" for the "extended" part.

But I see no reason to provide for gaps it. The "new" ideas can always be put at the end of the queue.

Remember the numbers here have a "nominal" fonction only and certainly not a "ranking" or "ordinal" function (still less an "interval" one.)
So 4587 as as much or as less value than 412 or 7391.
It is just a way of "naming".
Since human brain is more at ease with "ordered" item it is best (easier to use for retrieval), to leave them in sequence.

These number does not have a"social standing" value in the world of knot.

In the case of a "new" variant found for a knot already numbered, one call always keep that numbered designation and add a letter as you say.
So in my mind no need for gaps.

Just as in London tube (subway) "mind the gap"! :-)

You see Willeke, I am being good : only a short post and all for you! Nice guy I am. :-)


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« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2005, 07:14:16 PM »
My "not young anymore" but not yet quite senescent ( hopefully) neurals network are approaching the pre-agonic phase.:-)

...knot structure...

I will certainly keep that point. Did a drawing to be put in my Yahoo album.
But that "subtlety" can be provided for in the "knot's individual file".
I see that, much more as a police file, than as an autobiography of the knot so to speak.


Make for quick expression, acronyms do, but are they not a bit "grand" once "deployed", may be it is simply that they are not "not my style".
Not enough "down to earth", "every day" words.
But sure that make for "high standing" formulation.
But then I am just arguing...:-)
More seriously : I think that all "expression of an idea" should be accessible to everyone interested in it, whatever his/her level of education and not necessarily with some years at University.

I strongly believe that ( but then some 37 years, all told, of practice made me meet with all sorts and trained me to stay "basic", Even my haughty nuclear theoric physicist was lost when I explained his condition with my medical mind-map.

Experience told me that since the onus of good communication rest on the sender and not on the receiver, then it is more efficient to address the intelligence ( even an idiot have one, of sort) of the other rather than his/her level of education.
That is without taking in account that a few were educated way beyond their intelligence. :-)

... is much a planar view....

Yes and I insist on it.
Please bear with this dictatorial statement.
All should be clear as to why at the end of this post.
And if it is not clear I am ready to bet that you will let me know. Want to bet? ;-)

fatal termination

Rule is to go for the least possible number of crossing IN WRITTING the sequence

BUT rule for DRAWING is to show ALL the crossings. ( here capitals are not shouts)

The bowline is HLHLHHL in DRAWING  and you are righ there seem to be a fatal triplet.
But the concept of fatal triplet apply not to the drawing but to the "sequencing" ( Jimbo you should not have introtuced me to BBcode!).

but in sequencing, applying the rule of "pilling up crossing" ( that is what happen when it is not anymore in a planar projection but becoming a "real" knot) the SEQUENCE is HLHLHL and here is no fatal triplet unless I am mistaken.

May be I was not precise enough before.
Thanks for giving me that opportunity.
That is why the forum is not only can be fun but is a tool to make the ideas expressed progress in quality.

I think I wrote it in one of my recent post : the fatal triplets need to be verified and precised. Working on it.
I would like that rule with no exception, however rare. So wait and tell me of all the "exceptions" you find, if possible with drawings in an album or by using my mail to send it.

A clove hitch....can omit the objet

Here again we are not on the same angle.

You are speaking of the "real" knot in use in the external world. And that is  where it must end ultimately.

I, am speaking of a "tool" and a "definition", rather a "screening definition" to get ( hopefuly) an exhaustive (hopefully) census of knots.
It is just the fishing net for getting knot.
After their capture they must be "dissected".
A schematic of each one must be one.
Schematics are nor reality certainly, but they have had, for as long as they have been put in use, a way of making understanding the "thing" much easier.
Sure they are not really the "thing" ( remember Magritte "this is not a pipe", or the map is not the teritory, but mighty useful maps are, at least in my experience).

Just as the museum dissection piece is not the animal.
But you cannot bypass that stage in building a "nomenclature - stuctured list- catalogue raisonné..."

After that study yes, yes, and yes :  return to the field of life is mandatory.
I will meet you there.
In the meantime help me clarifying my thoughts ( for me and for those to whom I dare express them), you have my thanks for that.

Your hands.....bones

Should not have tread on my patch!

Sorry by muscles, tendons are not the only parts of the anatomy of the hand I had in mind : bones, ligaments, fascia, nerves, blood and lymphatic vessel, skin, and all that I forget, you get it all for the same price in the "anatomy" box.So you see easy as pie to place/define my hands. All was in my words: "anatomical" , "constructed"= anatomy.

As for the "physiology/functionning" then that would be your stance as it is with the knots

represent a knot

I agree to that, most of the time (cast jewel)
Out there, is a guy,  making jewels : throwing real TH. They are knots.

As my paternal grand-mother opposed to me :

- Yes, of course you are right, but I am not wrong!

In fact two who disagree can still be "right" at the same time.
Speaking of the same thing but from a different perspective.

I look at the left profile and see no handicap.
You look at the face and you say "that person is afflicted".
Both right : person has lost the right eye!

That,only to say that, may be we are both right at the same time :

- you look at the knot in the wild, the living creature.  You can get the ecology, behaviour... of the beast..

- I look at the specimen lying on the laboratory dissection table.
I will certainly hold the upper hand on about its anatomical nomenclature and classification.

My "planar projection" is the knot undergoing an autopsy. Yes!
Your is the "real" one. Yes

I am speaking anatomy, you are speaking physiology. "Same hair, same beast" as they say in French Antilles.

View are not incompatible and certainly not mutually exclusive.

In the end both angle of perspective should be taken on account to get the "bit less" fragmentary portrait.


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Re: Petitroy-1021-1038-44-45-1053
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2005, 04:44:46 PM »
please consult album for a graphical "proof" using the H& L drawing sequence tool :

PABPRES and Jimbo gave this natural testing ground for the "in the wild testing" of the H&L [drawing] sequence ( not the Great Sequence of Crossing that is a different entity altogether in structure and usage)

#1021 and #1038 to the knot Ptitroy submitted."what's name"

I hope this example establish the ease with which one can graphically and quickly determine where the differences are if any.

And this should also show how this drawing sequence could serve for retrieval of a knot and for quick comparison with "near" knots.

Method/recipe for "doing" the knot should be irrelevant here since you are supposed to get the same knot in the end.

Ptitroy           : H1  L2 H3  H4  L5  L6  L7  H8  H9  L10
#1038           : H1  L2 H3  H4  L5  L6  L7  H8  H9  L10
#1021           : L1  H2 L3  L4  H5  L6  L7  H8  H9  L10

  #44                     : H1  L2  H3  H4  L5
  #45                     : L1  L2  H3  H4  L5  L6  L7
#1053           : H1  L2  H3  H4  L5 H6  L7 L8  H9  H10 L11 L12