Tied on the bight, the good luck knot is somewhat fragile (eg. don't put one in your pocket and expect it to come out unscathed), but used where appropriate and reinforced when necessary, it is extremely decorative and easily varied with nice effects.
The good luck knot is different from most of the other knots with multiple ears in that there are double the number of ears than the size number of the knot would indicate. The 4-knot has 8 ears, 4 short and 4 long. But, of course, ear size is subject to the whims of the knot tyer so basing terminology on that would be foolish. However, notice that what is traditionally the "long" ear comes out of the side of the knot and the "short" ear wraps around the corner of the knot. Just because I can't leave well enough alone, I will point out that when you have a bigger knot (with more sides) the corner and sides get more diffcult to distinguish, but in this instance I doubt that mathematical terminology, like "verticies" and "edges", is going to help.
The knot in question was reportedly a "nameless orphan" until Ms. Chen named it the Good Luck Knot. The Chinese name, 吉祥結, machine translates as "auspicious knot", so apparently it was a nameless orphan in Chinese as well as English (if we don't want to count "a four-looped knot with a double square crown" as a proper name 8). The Japanese and Korean names (chrysanthemum and one mind, respectively) do not appear to be varations on the good luck theme, so one is tempted to assume that it was named in those disciplines prior to its naming in Chinese. Perhaps its identification in Chinese prior to Ms. Chen's christening was of the four-looped knot with... variety. 8)
I've been blogging about my own experiments with variations on the good luck knot. Eventually, I will make step-by-step how tos for each as would be appropriate. Until then, see the pictures and read about what I was thinking at the time (sorry if some of them sound like Freestyle Skiing manoeuvers 8):Some colour variations.
Creation Date: Mon Feb 16 23:59:44 PST 2009
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