aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

knotty thoughts

I was contemplating my shoelaces this morning, when it suddenly occurred to me: the shoelace bow is one of those rare beasties, a left-handed knot. At least it is, as I was trained to tie it.

Consider: The shoelace bow begins with an overhand knot. On top of that knot, a second knot (the bow) is tied. I begin by making a bight in my right hand, which becomes the standing part. The actual knot is then tied with my LEFT hand, which guides the running end. It does so by putting a bend around the right-hand bight, then making another bight and pulling it through the bend. Voila.

This makes me wonder whether any of the difficulty in learning to tie one's shoes comes from using what is for most of us the off hand to tie the knot. It also makes me wonder whether anybody out there ties the knot backwards to me, by first making a bight in the left hand, then tying the bow with the right.

(BTW, the Better Bow knot is made by putting two bends around the right-hand bight, then making a left-hand bight and pulling it through. This makes a knot that will not slip. Geh-ron-teed.)

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