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.)

  • Point of view in LOTR

    One of the achievements of The Lord of the Rings is its complicated narrative architecture. Stories are interlaced and we follow, now this sub-plot,…

  • Arthur contra mundum

    The consensus opinion among Tolkien critics -- including those who greatly admire his work -- is that The Lord of the Rings is slow to get going,…

  • Not all ancient institutions are good

    The institutions of the Roman Republic have cast a long shadow over western government. Even our Founders paid close attention to the Roman model,…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.