The Original Post Starts Here…….
There is a site named “Semantron” which I found while following my normal tangential surfing pattern, bouncing from knot to knot. The Semantron is a large wooden plank that is sounded by striking it with a wooden mallet. It is used to summon the faithful to prayer in much of the Eastern Orthodox world. It can range from being a large plank planed down from a tree trunk, to being so large it has to be hung from chains.
The gentleman who runs this site, Zacharias Thornbury, has made and uploaded a PDF file which you, in turn, may download. (This link will take you to his site; click on the link to the PDF file, this will take you to “MediaFire” where the download lives.) It shows a well-done tutorial on using the “one-handed cat’s cradle” method of making an Eastern Orthodox Prayer cord — also called a kombskini.
He does answer several questions which have come up about the prayer cords and their construction. Evidently, while you may say a prayer before you start, to assist you in your labors, there is no set prayer to be repeated as you tie each knot. Some people do have the habit of saying the same prayer they would use while praying with a cord, but it is not mandated. They use wool to make them to remind them they pray to the Lamb of God. I would also imagine that wool was historically one of the more available fibers to fulfill the needs of the cord maker. The basic wool was black to symbolize mourning for having committed sins, and as a reminder to be serious and sober in living a religious life.
In addition to the basic knotted cord with a doubled gathering knot, he also makes a cross using the same knots. There is also a tassel under the cross. Considering there are no store-bought beads or chains used, it would be available to almost everyone. The whole arrangement as he shows it is a handsome piece of knotwork.
Thank you for coming by my site. If you have any ideas on how I could make either my site or my knots better, sing out. I greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts. Come back again; the parade of knots goes on: