Author Topic: TENTATIVE DEFINING OF "KNOT"  (Read 39284 times)


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« Reply #60 on: March 10, 2006, 06:40:47 PM »
Hi !
I was not trying to be stern or demeaning or disparaging, it is just that I fear that I am unable to write things really differently. It would only "feed up" the rare readers still somewhat interested. Your post certainly does not show any symptoms of failing neurons and I should know!
By nature I tend to avoid being disparaging since it is not what I put in the category or "intellectual arguments", sorry if the wording used ( but then I am French! ;-) ) came out somewhat stern or rude.

Here is a 'natural' knot :

See other 'natural' knots here:;action=display;num=1130521042;start=0

Thanks for the interaction.


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« Reply #61 on: March 10, 2006, 06:57:42 PM »
Hi !
I was not trying to be stern or demeaning or disparaging,

I never imagined that you were, I hope I didn't give the impression that I was somehow offended!

I use a somewhat formal writing style which might easily be mistaken for testiness. Nothing could be further from the truth, instead, "jocular and easy going" better describe me.

(Learning to make Pineapple knots)


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« Reply #62 on: May 26, 2006, 09:59:55 PM »
Let's take the new query by Derek into the extant thread on this very topic.

or - 'When is a knot not a knot?'
Charles (Nautile) holds that a knot must be a self contained entity and cannot rely on any external help for the maintenance of its function or existence.  Yet this seems wrong to me.
Is this then the essence which defines a 'clever kink' as a knot?  If the kink performs the function of holding - is it a knot?
This brings me to the root of my post.
Is the object around which the hitch is made in fact part of the knot?  I believe that there is good reason to argue that it is indeed part of the knot and that this has significant implications in Defining and Indexing Knots.
I concur in your sense of involving the object.  I'll excerpt & reiterate my thinking
on "knot":

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

Let's assume (keep in mind) that we are here trying to "come to terms" by
analysis & defining-as-per-needs, NOT looking for the Trvth of some What Is.

Further, I'm coming to regard such structures as nooses--fixed or sliding--and
trucker's hitches as rope structures that involve knots, but not as knots
themselves.  And I've wondered about cases where tension is necessary for
the integrity of the knot--say, for some fixed loopknot.

We should not be terribly bothered if we find there are fuzzy boundaries,
esp. if such boundaries are rarely touched.

« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 05:52:07 AM by Dan_Lehman »


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« Reply #63 on: May 26, 2006, 10:30:30 PM »
To my prior definitions, I see that some cases are left out:
1) 2 PoFM with all ends loaded:  net-knot ;
2) 1 PoFm with both ends loaded:  knob
3) 1 PoFm & object w/both ends loaded:  running binder hitch?

The first is fundamental, and the "2 PoFm" is taken to mean "in effect",
regardless of whether tracing back the material in a net finds that in fact it's
one continuous PoFm--at the point of the knot, it's effectively two.  (Same
consideration applies to e.g. a rockclimber's sling, single PoFM end's joined.)

The 2nd exists as marker knots.  In a gym climbing rope (hand & foot use),
mid-line knots would be loaded this way, then qua stoppers when the climber
bore upon them, and ultimately rather unloaded.

The 3rd case exists in e.g. the binding of nets & headlines, cord run in spiral
wrap around & around and into binding knots, w/tension on the ends.
(I've a sense of "running" that takes the perspective of the material; this clashes
with e.g. "Running Bwl" where one means that the loopknot's eye runs along
the rope to make a noose structure.  Frankly, this is not a function of the Bwl,
of the knot, but of a rope structure built w/knots.)

SquareRigger stated:
 A silk scarf or sarong tied around a comely waist is a knot, but the person is not.  Does that help?  

And it does & does not; i.e., it shows a puzzle for the definitions.
If the knot in question for this sash is a Square/Reef, I'd say that the object was
involved (and knot a binder) on the initial "throw" (medical tying term),
as the pressure against the object helped hold the tension (one hopes); but on
the finishing throw, making the Square/Reef, one has tied a bend!
--which happens to hold some tension of a wrap of rope around an object.
Similarly, although "Round Turn & 2 Half-Hitches" is a common "hitch",
I now prefer to see it as a noose structure with a Clove H..  "noose hitch"
might be a good term for such common things (Scaffold knot, e.g.).
The so-called "Midshipman's Hitch" is generally regarded as a fixed loop (or one
that is adjustable between fixed points); I see it as a "noose", because it has
the same structure of a knot around the line.  (Behavior?  --well, the same
knot can change with material & force!  Hence my preference.)
So,  ... a fuzzy boundary?!


Derek & SquareRigger:  Perhaps it is best if YOU each copy your full posts
from the new/short thread into this one, to keep in one place (even though
I've replied to each--I can amend my posts to point forwards ... ).


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« Reply #64 on: May 27, 2006, 02:14:20 PM »
No Dan, lets not joint these topics together - they are different and need to stand alone.  I hope you will look a little closer to my post in that other thread to see if you can 'see' the important difference.

Charles is, I believe, trying to define a knot by analysing its components.  A knot is a machine, and as such its components operate in both individual ways and in compound ways.  It is therefore rational to look at the components, sub components and major parts of this machine in order to understand its function.

But this approach can be limited, and starting from an altogether different point can be rewarding.

For example, take a motorbike and 'explode' its components into a three dimensional - walk through- presentation.  This is, I believe, what Charles is aiming to create.  Although you have all the components of a motorbike, and you have the potential to reconstruct a motorbike, in reality, all you have is a 'proto-motorbike'.  If you rebuild the components you have what many would recognise as a motorbike, but still you only have a machine which is capable of becoming a motorbike.

Sit on it, start it and wind back the throttle  --  WOW - so this is what all the fuss was about !!

Now you have something much-much more than that pile of components - you have the essence of the motorbike.  You have something you could never have  thought could have been contained within that pile of pieces.  You are now looking at the motorbike from a different standpoint and you are able to see and learn different things about it.  Same pile of bits, different perspective.

In order to talk the language of the knot, we must be able to understand the life, energy and the essence of the knot.  To do this we must strip away the adornments, lore and pre(mis)conceptions man has encrusted them with.  To do this we can try to look at knots from different perspectives - from different starting points - and that is the purpose of the new topic, its just one of a number of new perspectives I hope we will jointly explore.

This thread is looking at knots from the inside out.  Go to the new topic and try to keep 'outside' the knot and ask yourself - What point is Derek trying to make.  In order to learn to 'Talk Knot' I believe that we will have to take a number of 'Perspective Excursions' in order to be able to study various aspects of knot to get to the truth which has been hidden by way we have looked at knots up until now.