I was searching through the void one day, looking for something new about knots. I ended up on a site that gave the directions for tying the knots on an Eastern Orthodox prayer rope — their version of a rosary. Making them out of knotted cords makes sense to me — they would be cheaper and easier to make. The materials are whatever is to hand; it is the blessing and prayer which make them holy. They also have all the other virtues of knots tied on a cord: inexpensive, practically unbreakable in the normal sense, and made to your desired specs. You can make them as plain, or as fancy, as your humility or pride demands.
The only thing that puzzled me was how they tie the knots. It is like a single- handed version of Cat’s Cradle. They drape the cords over their hand, and then use a very involved weaving pattern. After I had tied two of them using their method, I took a closer look — they are structurally identical to the Sailor’s Knife Lanyard knot (ABOK # 787 — also called the Two Strand Diamond knot). This is also the same basic structure as the Chinese Button knot (ABOK # 599). It is the method of tying them that is unique, at least to me. It might be that this was done purposefully as a form of meditation. It might be that this was done as a form of sacrifice of personal time and labor. It might be they never asked a sailor how he did it. I have no idea, and no way to find out. The video file I saw wasn’t attributed to anyone I could ask, and had been stripped of all identifiers. This may have been a side effect of trying to shrink the file for the net.
The two knots on the left / lower end were tied by meticulously following the original video. After examining the knots, I decided that the sailor’s method was better for me. I then tied the next two knots for comparison, using the Ashley given method. I can not tell any difference between them. The doubled knot ( the last one on the right / high end) is evidently how they join the loop of beads to the dropper with the cross.
It is amazing what you can learn on the net. If anyone could explain the reason for the involved knot tying method used to make these I would be happy to post it. After all, if you take some out, you should occasionally put some back.
There is now an additional post on this subject. I tried to pass on the answers/ideas that some people had given me in response to this post. I also tied a 10 knot sample of imitation prayer cord with the Sailor’s Knife Lanyard knots as closely spaced as beads would be — this in reponse to one of those ideas.
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