A simple red cord can be braided into several dozen delicate chinese knots. Tying knots for clothing originated in the Old Stone Age and has evolved through thousands of years into a modern decorative Chinese handicraft.
In Chinese, “ 结” (knot) means unity and harmony, just as people express good wishes by saying “ 永结同心” (May the couple be of one mind forever). And people encourage each other by saying “ 团结一心” (hang together). What’s more, in Chinese “ 结” (“knot”) is partially homophonic with “ 吉” (auspicious) which expresses good wishes.
Almost all basic Chinese knots are symmetrical in design because, for Chinese people, symmetry symbolizes grace and elegance, and, at the same time, it implies “ 好事成双”(Good things come in pairs). And different designs express various wishes. For instance, the Chinese knot formed by the pattern of two characters of “ 喜” (happiness) is called “ 双喜结” (Double Happiness Knot) meaning “ 双喜临门” (A double blessing has descended upon the house).
Chinese knots are good accessories, ornaments and popular gifts for the family and friends, and people are fond of Chinese knots for their characteristic forms and auspicious meanings.
Now let’s get started to make a Chinese knot together.
1. Make four symmetrical loops as shown in the picture above.
(No. 1 is actually a non-loop double thread).
2. Fold Loop 1 counter-clockwise over Loop 2.
3. Fold Loop 2 over Loop 3, and fold Loop 3 over Loop 4.
4. Tuck Loop 4 through the hole formed by the fold-over of Loop 1.
5. Tighten the knot, and leave the loops available.
6. Repeat Step 1 to 6 once again to make another knot. Tighten the main body and adjust the loops.
7. The finished knot.
When tying the first knot, the three loops should be kept large enough to make the second knot easier.
- More Handcraft Workshops in ConfuciusMag.
Published in Confucius Institute Magazine
Magazine 15. Volume 4. July 2011.
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