Author Topic: How many Bowlines?  (Read 10898 times)

TheKnotGuy

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How many Bowlines?
« on: February 20, 2011, 11:33:23 PM »
The report from the Solent Branch in the December 2010 issue of Knotting Matters (KM Issue 109) brought up the question again of how many Bowline knots exist.  In the report the Solent branch indicated there were 80 to 85 Bowline knot variations with over 250 names.  This prompted another look at the research I had done and reported in Knotting Matters, Issue 87, page 16.

Thanks to the IGKT board, I have copies of issues 1 to 30 on CD.  I also have Issues 67 through 109.  I researched all of the issues of Knotting Matters in my possession looking for references to Bowline knots.  I also did a cursory look through my library of knotting books and did another search on the Internet. 

My research found 157 Bowline NAMES including bends and hitches with 50 names describing the same knot.  There is also one instance of a knot being called a Bowline (The Baker Bowline) when it is actually a variation of a Trucker?s Hitch.  This leaves us with 139 separate Bowline KNOTS.  As hard as I tried, I?m sure I missed a few references to Bowlines and I haven?t researched instances where different knots have gotten the same name.  Allowing for mistakes I feel this would give us approximately 135 Bowline knot variations.  Other than the example above I also haven?t recorded instances where knots are identified as Bowlines but are also identified as non-bowline knots. 

If you are concerned my calculations aren?t correct, there were 47 names in 17 different groups for the same knot, but I had to subtract one name from each group to identify a specific knot.  For example the names,  Common bowline, Inverted bowline, One handed bowline, Ordinary bowline, Right Handed common bowline, Seized bowline, Simple bowline, Spilled Hitch bowline, Standing bowline, and "The" bowline all refer to the same knot.  I had to subtract one from the group to get an accurate count of Bowlines.  The complete listing of Bowline names is shown on my website www.morethanknots.com/bowline/bowline_list.html 

In doing this research, I excluded instances (when and where I could) where a Bowline was named by an individual but wasn?t in common usage.  For example, one individual called a Bowline the ?German? bowline because he had seen sailors who had trained in Germany using a variation of the Bowline, but the name wasn?t in general usage aboard ship.  The name ?German? bowline was his reference to the knot used by the other sailors.  In this example, I didn?t use ?German Bowline? as one of the names in general usage. 

By no means is this a definitive report.  It?s just an example of the combinations and permutations that can happen in the knotting world and the confusion that results.  However, I encourage IGKT members to find other Bowline knots and names.  I keep an active list on my website, www.morethanknots.com/bowline/bowline_list.html 

OK guys, I?m putting myself out for comments here.  Does anyone have any more names for Bowlines and Bowline variations?  With adequate documentation I will change my website accordingly.  You can send your comments to me via my website. 

Bowline knots and their names have proved to be a fascinating (at least for me) part of learning about knots and their usage. 

Happy knotting!

Dan_Lehman

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Re: How many Bowlines?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2011, 07:18:29 AM »
The How Many Bowlines? question has been raised before,
and it remains unclear what is sought in this question:  do you
care how many things --no matter their nature(!)-- have been named
"...bowline..." by somebody (on the phone, in person, in ink, in e-form,
...?), or can you specify some structural characteristics of a *bowline*
and see what number might qualify?

For in the case of just giving a name with "bowline" in it --such as was
done with "the Irish bowline", one person's fancy-- , we can have as
many "bowlines" as you'd like:  just whip them off; get Xarax pointed
in some eye-knot (is that even necessary?) direction and call 'em all
"bowlines", presented right here on the World-Wide-Web!  (I could toss
in another few hundred unnamed knots to this folly (but I'll decline).)

Or is there some quintessential aspect of a *bowline* that qualifies
a knot to be so regarded (named "b." or not --a rose smells as sweet)?
This is a much better criterion, IMO, which will spare the minding of
Irish impostors and much of the nonsense coming from Hensel&Gretel's
make-believe land.  But these, too, are things that can be generated by
the batch, though they will become ungainly soon enough, and tiresome
after overwhelming even earlier.  Of these, I do have a few batches done
and more tying up my playropes awaiting the pen-to-paper work.


The study of how the name "bowline" has been employed carries some
merit as a work in knotting history.  Unfortunately, it really entails a lot
of NEW work in trying to sort through the extant literature to figure out
which reports have any semblance of truth --a great deal of what's printed
amounts to hearsay from prior printed work.  As I imply above, I don't
find much of G&H's "Encyclopedia" credible; they seem to have made
things up on the fly (or where are other traces of them, if not?), and
much is not worth the time to bother with.

The study of how the essential bowline structure can be employed/realized
in knots is helpful in finding "new" knots and understanding old.  To my
thinking, the sine qua non / essence of a bowline is the nipping loop;
I don't hold the bight collar to be key, just one way of forming a knot
using that loop.  And from a structural assessment, I find the
"double butterfly" (two eyes) to be a bowline variant (indeed, a good
candidate for the moniker "double bowline" !).

.:.  An easy-sounding question has more to it than one might suspect.

--dl*
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TheKnotGuy

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Re: How many Bowlines?
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2011, 01:55:52 AM »
Dan:

Thanks for your response.  It helps to have another person looking at this question.  Thanks for adding two new terms, ?bight collar? and ?nipping loop?.  It will aid me in my research. 

>The How Many Bowlines? question has been raised before, and it remains unclear what is sought in this question:  do you care how many things --no matter their >nature(!)-- have been named "...bowline..." by somebody (on the phone, in person, in ink, in e-form, ...?), or can you specify some structural characteristics of a >*bowline*  and see what number might qualify?

The question remains the same.  How many Bowlines are there?  Do we worship at the altar of Ashley and count only the ABOK knots as being ?true? Bowlines?  Or do we allow others to specify knots as Bowlines?   Or do we come up with some definition of what forms a ?Bowline? knot and use that criteria to catalog and define one style of knot?   Or do we descend into the chaos of letting people add a new loop or turn and call the knot anything they wish? 

The question of how many Bowlines was started by Harvey R.R. Wallace in Knotting Matters - Issue 81, page 44.  He gave 54 names of bowlines.  Most of the names were from published books on knotting.  I took the question to heart, researched books, Knotting Matters, and the Internet.  At that time I found 112 NAMES of bowline knots.  With these names being found in published books I felt they had some legitimacy as being defined as Bowlines.  Further research has brought the count of Bowline NAMES up to 160.  I am in the process of making illustrations for each knot.  Perhaps after the knots have been illustrated we can then move on to the second question of what constitutes a "True" Bowline. 

So when I pick up different books and one author refers to the ?Climber?s Bowline? while another refers to the ?Simple Bowline? where do I go to determine what knot is being discussed?  Yes, I did and still do pick up names that refer to a knot called the ?Bowline?.  So I am guilty of collecting names. However, I limited my name collection mostly to published books.  Data collection is the first step to classification.  More compulsive people than me can go to one location on the internet get an alphabetical name index and a reference.  This makes my website a one stop location for starting classification.  At the moment it is limited to a list with a few pictures to document what I?ve found.  In the future I plan to have each knot documented with either a graphic illustration or a picture. 

I too have run into the problem where a person has added a different loop, turn, or tuck and decided to coin a new name and call it a new knot.  I?ve also run into the problem where a person has seen someone using a knot and not having a book reference has chosen to call a knot by a new name.  Two examples, a ?German? and a ?Kiwi? Bowline come to mind.  In the first case, do we accept these as new knots because of their possible unique construction?  In the second case, are these commonly accepted names that will become public and general usage?  These are questions for which I don?t have answers.  However I do feel these questions need to be asked and not just shouted down or sneered at. 

>The study of how the essential bowline structure can be employed/realized in knots is helpful  in finding "new" knots and understanding old.  To my thinking, the sine >qua non / essence of a bowline is the nipping loop; I don't hold the bight collar to be key, just one way of forming a knot using that loop.  And from a structural >assessment, I find the "double butterfly" (two eyes) to be a bowline variant (indeed, a good >candidate for the moniker "double bowline" !).

The question still remains, ?How many Bowlines are there??  Does the structure define the knot?  Or do we define the knot because of the nipping loop or the bight collar?  Or does a ?true? Bowline need both a nipping loop and the bight collar?  Once again, I don?t know, but the question still needs to be asked. 

In addition to names and descriptions being published in books, IGKT members have published articles in Knotting Matters where they have defined knots as Bowlines without the nipping loop.  Case in point being an article in Knotting Matters - Issue 67, page 28 - article is "The Bowline".  IGKT member Owen K. Nuttall has an illustration on page 29 of the "True Bowline".  The knot is a Figure Eight knot with the working end run through the lower loop of the knot and then seized to itself.  This Bowline doesn't have the nipping loop of the Common Bowline.  So did Owen make a new knot and coin a name?  Or is this the true, "True Bowline" with other knots such as the Common Bowline coming later?  Also, Owen has published several articles in Knotting Matters over the years about Bowlines with new names.  So do we throw out all of his articles as being inaccurate?  Fortunately Owen is still alive so we can contact him and ask him. 

>As I imply above, I don't find much of G&H's "Encyclopedia" credible; they seem to have made things up on the fly (or where are other traces of them, if not?), and much is not worth the time to bother with.

I had the fortune of being reared in the presence of my paternal grandmother.  Being born in the late 1800?s she gave me a unique perspective into thoughts and ideas two generations before mine.  She related instances that my father hadn?t heard.  So do we dismiss what she said as being a lie just because my father couldn?t corroborate what she said? 

I ask the above question because you don?t find G&H?s Encyclopedia as ?credible?.  So we automatically dismiss everything they?ve done just because they didn?t document each and every instance of a new knot?  So what is your point?  G&H made new knots and coined names?  Or G&H found new knots made by others and didn?t document their sources?  G&H have a published book and have documented knots.  Do you deny they have some unique knots? What is your point? 

We have numerous instances in published knot books where the author created a new knot and coined a new name.  One example was Dr. Harry Asher who added an extra loop to the Common Bowline and called it the ?Enhanced Bowline?. He also created another bowline and named it after his home city ? we know it as the Brummychan Bowline.  So do we throw out these knots because Dr. Asher created them himself?    Again, what is your point? 

As for Graumont and Hensel's book, they do show different knots.  Whether or not they learned the knots from others or invented the knots and names by themselves should be researched by someone other than me.  I think both are deceased.  Perhaps another IGKT  member has an answer?

So I feel your question of what is the - "quintessential aspect of a ?Bowline? that qualifies a knot to be so regarded" - needs to be asked and then researched.  Also the - "New" work in trying to sort through the extant literature to figure out which reports have any semblance of truth - now needs to be addressed.  I've taken the first step of assembling data and getting references. 

The question of "How many Bowlines?" needs to be asked.  First from a counting of names standing, then secondly as a question of what constitutes a "Bowline" and how do we identify a specific knot as a true Bowline. 

So how many Bowlines do we have? 

xarax

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Re: How many Bowlines?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2011, 03:38:39 AM »
One thing is certain with "knot experts" : They are conservative, indeed they are almost afraid of new knots, and when they are pushed a little harder than they are accustomed to be,  they just open their Bible, ABoK, and read the relevant holy phrase from there. I am no "knot expert", so I can speak freely, that is, I can speak MHO. Also, because I have tied at least as many bowlines as any "knot expert", in half a century of sailing and boating, I believe that I can speak of bowlines.
   There are thousands of "practical" knots out there, known and ( - who knows how many - ) unknown. From them all , one is the King of Knots, the most marvellous knot of all : The bowline. I have tied the bowline thousands of times, but each time I see a bowline finished and holding, I feel the same admiration for this marvel of nature as half a century ago, when I was just a little kid. I believe that anybody s list of "best knots" should have the number 1 place occupied for ever : the bowline.
   There are three, and only three elements that characterize a bowline, in relation to any other end of line loop:
  1. The knot tied on the standing part s leg, should be a slip knot. Any sailor will laugh with an end of line loop that is not completely untied like the bowline. :)
  2. This slip knot should include one, at least, nipping loop, which secures the tail.
  3. The tail should form one, at least, collar. 

   That is the more general description of the indispensable elements of any bowline worth its name. Now, there are people who place further restrictions on those elements, and some of them manage to place so many, that, at the end, they achieve to come out with one and only one bowline... :)
   How many bowlines ? Hundreds, that is for sure. Of course, to remain within the limits of "practical" knots, there must be a reasonable limit in the number of times the tail passes through the openings of the knot. For any such limit, I think that we can enumerate all the possible bowlines, and then test and decide how many of them are better suited for the particular job we need them for, the loadings, the materials, the environmental conditions.
   This work, the enumeration of all the possible bowlines within a certain practical limit, has not been done yet by anybody. The periodical table of bowlines has yet to be explored, perhaps because the Mendeleev of bowlines has not been born yet ... :)
This is not a knot.

Dan_Lehman

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Re: How many Bowlines?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2011, 05:48:08 AM »
KnotGuy, learn to favor the
Quote
quote
function
--it serves better than the Net-trad. ">" delimiting, which w/o forced
linefeeds becomes line-width sensitive.  And quote gives the nice
shading to its text, too.  --penultimate button of 2nd line of compose
options, and of course the initial lead to Replying for capturing the
replied-to post details (but one need take care when breaking the
text into snippets to focus on, adding ' [ / q u o t e ] ' to end-quote.
To quote new, double-click highlight, then go to that button, and
it inserts the goodies.   :)
And I find Preview essential to catch my inevitable goophs.    :P  :-\


Dan:
Thanks for your response.  It helps to have another person looking at this question.
Thanks for adding two new terms, "bight collar" and "nipping loop".
It will aid me in my research.  

Quote
The How Many Bowlines? question has been raised before,
and it remains unclear what is sought in this question:

do you care how many things --no matter their  nature(!)-- have been named "...bowline..."
by somebody (on the phone, in person, in ink, in e-form, ...?),

or can you specify some structural characteristics of a *bowline*  and see what number might qualify?

The question remains the same.  How many Bowlines are there?

The words might be the same, but the questions differ,
as I noted:  in the case of nominal "bowlines", one is taking the
measure of some linguistic activity; in the case of structural
"bowlines" --once that has been defined--, one is surveying
knots.

Quote
Do we worship at the altar of Ashley and count only the ABOK knots as being *true* Bowlines?

It's convenient that you phrase the question this way --with "true"!
as ...
Quote
km67:28 - article is "The Bowline".
IGKT member Owen K. Nuttall has an illustration on page 29 of the "True Bowline".
The knot is a Figure Eight knot with the working end run through the lower loop
of the knot and then seized to itself.
... it goes to my point, actually:  there is among this collection of
"bowlines" one (it's Hensel&Gretel's EKFR p.34-pl.10-#186) of just
this name, which ironically doesn't fit my definition of a *bowline*,
and arguably was never tied until it saw print in an inattentive artist's
image, and got so (mis)construed as a Fig.8 base with a tucked tail!
The artist & original author (if he even paid any attention to it) most
likely saw it as a common bowline; but the artist's pen/etching (made
by a printer and error introduced there?) can lead the eye in to seeing
the hidden crossing in a different manner.  The image came in Bowling's
1866 (& later) knots book; somewhat copying Bowling, Burgess in
1884 remarks at the knot (copying the image?) and says that it "can
hardly be called the true 'bowline' knot, which is shown [elsewhere]."

Then come Hensel&Gretel to clumsily mis-copy Burgess and actually
name this non-bowline a "true bowline" --exactly opposite
Burgess's remark!!

So, +1 to someone's count of "bowlines".  And what's that worth?
Both the name & the knot are born of mistakes.  And among many
such things, yes, they were published (and copied!!)!  That says
a lot, but not about knots per se.

Quote
With these names being found in published books I felt they had some legitimacy as being defined as Bowlines.

I hope that the above example opens some light onto just
whether conferring legitimacy based on publishing is sound.

Quote
Or do we allow others to specify knots as Bowlines?

As I noted, IF this is the goal, it should be made clear; and one might
care to have some sense of worth for it, and maybe press that such
naming have been done seriously and accepted (not merely desired
and published, e.g. the "Irish Bowline").

Quote
Or do we come up with some definition of what forms a *Bowline* knot
 and use that criteria to catalog and define one style of knot?

This more suits my fancy, although it too runs out of hand
pretty easily, as one can build all sorts of knots from my simple
criterion (i.e., the central, nipping loop).  One can specify certain
aspects of bowline variants and then by a sort of Choose one from
Column A, one from Col. B, ... construction method build more
and more *new* bowlines.  Combine the extra nipping turn of
the double bowline with the extra eyes & collars of the Brummycham
bowline
(aka "dbl.bwl" per EKFR p.34pl.10#187) and the leg collar
and finishing tuck of a Janus bowline (suggested by Wright & Magowan
in 1928), and --presto-- a *new* bowline.  Then go and extend this.

Quote
Or do we descend into the chaos of letting people add a new loop or turn and call the knot anything they wish?

Exactly my worry of what it has already started to come to.
There is this cachet to the name "bowline" and it draws
pretenders to the throne.

Quote
In the future I plan to have each knot documented with either a graphic illustration or a picture.

That should prove useful as a reference.  Please try to avoid the
troubles of ambiguous images as shown above, and as I find also
in your (URLinked to) image for the "Chinese bowline" --that
EKFR p.94/5pl.43#290 is mistied, by my reading of this book's photo
--the S.Part comes down around the bottom in anti-clockwise turn
and then arches up & back down as the left-side eye leg; the tail
returns through this crossing-knot base up to collar the S.Part and
make an 8-shaped (but not a knotted-8 ) finish to bind the knot.
And quite contrary to H&G's assertion, it in no way can jam (not
in the way your image shows, either) !  Makes ya wonder ... .
(Now, on this page --your #118--, #292 the "round turn single
bowline on the bight" is a photo-image I cannot decipher !
(I can make from it, though, an overhand base with the tail
coming up from the right eye leg to make two turns through
the knot to bind; that works, but is that it?!))

Quote
I too have run into the problem where a person has added a different loop,
turn, or tuck and decided to coin a new name and call it a new knot.

And here too can come some ambivalence : a simple --one might think,
obvious-- alteration can have significant beneficial effect!  --or can be
nothing more than an extra ... whatever.  Which is one of the great
complaints against EKFR : their text usually provides zero insight.

Quote
... "German" and a "Kiwi" Bowline come to mind.

Not to your point, but we should note that in "bowline" one is
looking at English names; or do you take the basic translation,
and then task (preferably) native speakers to follow the same drill
in other languages?
(In looking at structure and not naming, nationality is not an issue.)

Quote
Quote
As I imply above, I don't find much of G&H's "Encyclopedia" credible;
they seem to have made things up on the fly
(or where are other traces of them, if not?),
and much is not worth the time to bother with.

... my paternal grandmother ... gave me a unique perspective into thoughts
and ideas two generations before mine.  ...
So do we dismiss what she said as being a lie
just because my father couldn't corroborate what she said?

No, but we do question her account if nOnElse corroborates
it --especially if it's dubious prima facie!  H&G were contemporary
with Ashley; CLDay was nearby in time and keen in interest, and
then there is what preceded H&G:  why do things appear only
with H&G?  And, btw, how well do they record things that we
DO know about  --above is one egregious example of more that
can be shown.

Quote
So what is your point?  G&H made new knots and coined names?
Or G&H found new knots made by others and didn't document their sources?
G&H have a published book and have documented knots.
Do you deny they have some unique knots? What is your point?

My point is that they seem to have been quite inept at recording
history --even where they can be seen in obvious copying--,
and so much of their collection begs the question --which they
nearly never help answer-- Why is this knot-thing here? !!
Hence my (et al.) jocular moniker for them "Hensel & Gretel",
a name from a fairytale.

So, if you're looking to learn what things knot-USERS have put
into rope and called "...bowline...", H&G are a dubious source;
you find what they called something, but who knows whether
that had a real life in rope beyond their photo-shoot.  Just reading
some of their knot-names is good entertainment --quite a hoot!
(Coming up with one's own knot nomenclature for such a big
set though is a sobering task I've yet to fathom.)

Quote
One example was Dr. Harry Asher who added an extra loop->[turn to the collar]
 to the Common Bowline and called it the "Enhanced Bowline".
He also created another bowline and named it after his home city
--we know it as the Brummychan Bowline.

And the first, I think, had his city name, Birmingham (but I'm not
finding a reference for that --just hazy recall); preceding him by a half
century are none other than (at least) H&G, "round turn bowline", which
you have separately listed --can one distinguish by the dressing of
this round turn, which can have behavioral effect, after all ?!  (In a
similar dressing difference, what we mostly refer to as a "double bowline"
can have its roundturn re-shaped; I had this tested, in fact, and it did
pretty well (I liked the gradual curvature of the S.Part in it).)

Quote
As for Graumont and Hensel's book, they do show different knots.
!!
Btw, I regard their plate28#94 --loading its left end (=#95, loading right)--
as the basic "anti-bowline" --"anti" based on the direction that
the tail takes in going through the nipping loop (which in this basic
form tends to open a bit into a spiral); take the tail around for one
more turn, and you've got a nicely more stable & I'll guess stronger
knot; collar the other eye-leg with this tail and you've got an Eskimo
bowline
(whose tail can then go collar the S.Part, and which form
matches one of the Janus bowlines if the tail-side eye is cut and glued
to the former tail-end!).  And by my notion of a *bowline's* essence,
these qualify.

Btw, I see EKFR p.84/5pl37#204 carries the name "Single Bowline on
the Bight Variation" ; it cannot be tied on the bight, though --it varies
in that way and more (not really a *bowline*) from those others.
(And, my goodNESS, whaTHEck is #208 on that plate?  --great!  :o
--or #203, "The Thief Knot Loop" ... ???   )
.
.
.
"So, how many *bowlines* do we have?"
That might've been the sort of question to which the Swiss mathematics
wizzard Euler could've given a neat, concisely stated answer!

--dl*
====
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 02:05:43 AM by Dan_Lehman »

Dan_Lehman

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Re: How many Bowlines?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 02:23:21 AM »
Another post (in Practical Knots forum) brought to mind the
point that there is the possibility of projecting knots with
the specification of component structures
:

a. single-turn nipping loop
b. double-turn nipping loop
...
c. <n-turn> nipping loop

d. clove-hitch ("water") nipping structure
e. cow-hitch nipping structure
f. cloverhand ...
...
g. <rolling-hitch>...

---------------

h. regular bight-collar (as in #1010)
i. reversed bight-collar ("left-handed")
j. the above with a round turn (think "Brummycham")
...
k. simple round-turn through nipping loop

----------------

l. collar around loop-side eye leg
m. <of variety as articulated above (h..k)
...

----------------
...


Now, one can pick various combinations above and project
*new* knots, new "bowlines" --which I just did in the other
thread, finding something I'd not tried and rather like (though
I think that a double bowline with the Janus collaring is quite
adequate & simple for many purposes).  And I can say, though,
that mere tossing together of some combination of the above
doesn't ensure a good knot, material to material.  It raises a
question if one has *invented* something just by doing so,
or even by --as I've done here-- laying the groundwork for such
knots-building!  This is certainly a positive, instructive step
towards making *new* knots, even if most of the projected
knots have yet to be formed in some piece of flexible material .

I should note that I have tied & illustrated knots not covered
by this quick sketch of *componentry* (e.g., ways of including
an overhand knot be jammed around the S.Part for security
--keeping that part from flowing back into the knot & loosening it).


Without too much trouble, one can produce a set of components
that by easy math is shown to yield some considerable number of
"bowlines" beyond the current high count, even.  There is some
bit of trickiness in figuring out that the combinations will be
unique (or else of how to count down the duplications), but
with some care, I think it's a doable task.  And such a table
can help one craft a desired knot, picking attributes!  Here, now,
my point is just to show the vast number of readily identifiable
knots, to give some fodder for consideration in the How many
*bowlines*?
  pursuit.  This question then merges in with,
or is shaped by the question What is a **bowline**? .


--dl*
====
[edit 3/07 lundi to add final prg]
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 09:34:54 PM by Dan_Lehman »

DerekSmith

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Re: How many Bowlines?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2011, 09:23:19 AM »
The Sheetbend has two elements, a bight loop and a simple hitch (often called the 'nipping loop').

The Bowline is simply the Sheetbend 'wired up' as an end of line loop.  It has identical elements to the Sheetbend.  It would be inconceivable to describe the Sheetbend as 'a nipping loop  - with or without the bight loop', and I hold that it is incongruous to describe the Bowline in any way other than we would describe the Sheetbend.

There are four 'ends' from the basic Sheetbend core, and these can be 'wired up' to form 'L' and 'R' basic Bowlines and 'L' and 'R' Eskimo bwls. (the bwls. made by wiring up the SP to either of the bight legs are biased towards spilling and are ignored as practical knots).

Recapping - the 'Core' or 'SBCore' structure is a bight loop with a simple hitch, which can function as a loop or as a bend.

    SBCore

Beyond this, you are into variations - doubling, TIB with refold security, enhancing the bight, enhancing the hitch and securing the 'end'...   but in all cases, to be a variation it should still contain the two basic components - the co-embracing bight loop and the hitch - the SBCore.

So, for something to be 'Bowlinesque', I hold that it must contain the SBCore elements, any embellishment beyond this core and you are into variants which should be described as SBCore(B or E, L or R) + Variation

Give it whatever variations you like and call it whatever crazy name you like - Bobs Bonkers Bowline - the Triple B - but please, only give it the Bowline appellation if it contains the SBCore  - the co embracing bight loop and hitch.

This leaves us with just four simple or 'true' bowlines and as many variants as you would wish to waste use your life inventing.

For me though, the 'King of knots' just lost its crown and I am heading off to join the Karash Loop (which I flatly refuse to call a bowline) crowd...  After all, the bowline was not that much of a 'King' if it needed to be adorned with such a huge array of variants just to make it usable.

Derek

Dan_Lehman

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Re: How many Bowlines?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2011, 09:07:23 PM »
The Sheetbend has two elements,

It also has two SParts : it's common to see it taken as some
basis for the bowline without remarking that one must first
take a particular perspecive/approach to the end-2-end knot
for making this eyeknot.  Going from the other end remains
a sort of possibility, logically and a little beyond that.  You
do note this, though, a little later --to wit:
Quote
(the bwls. made by wiring up the SP to either of the bight legs are biased towards spilling and are ignored as practical knots).


Quote
a bight loop and a simple hitch (often called the 'nipping loop').

Or, in some terms often enough promulgated in knots books,
the bowline is the marriage of a "loop" & a "bight".

Quote
The Bowline is simply the Sheetbend 'wired up' as an end of line loop.  It has identical elements to the Sheetbend.  It would be inconceivable to describe the Sheetbend as 'a nipping loop  - with or without the bight loop', and I hold that it is incongruous to describe the Bowline in any way other than we would describe the Sheetbend.

It seems you're putting the cart before the horse.
One might as well begin with the sheepshank and make
some connections to the bowline and see if you can play
that tune with your pipe-view; the bell-ringer's knot comes to mind,
in case you bell needs ringing to jog the thought process.   :D

It comes down to what one wants to do  with this sort of
classification.  A very broad grouping almost begs the question
of any selectivity & usefulness; while a narrow one that excludes
things one would rather not exclude is also a problem.

  ;)

knot4u

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Re: How many Bowlines?
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2011, 07:16:56 PM »
The number of Bowlines is infinite.  That is, if you include the Karash Double Loop as a Bowline, which many here do.  Watch this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EyfYyJkZss
As shown in the video, you tie the Karash Double Loop by starting with a loosely tied Figure 8 on a bight.

Now, try this.  Instead of starting with a loosely tied Figure 8 on a bight, start with a loosely tied Figure 10 (Stevedore) on a bight.  Then, finish the knot as shown in the video.  If you are putting a Karash Double Loop in the Bowline family, then you also must put this knot I described in the Bowline Family.  If you continue with this same line of thinking (Figure 11, Figure 12, etc.), then the number of knots you must now include in the Bowline family is theoretically infinite.

You could get around this problem by putting this infinite number of knots into one group.  Maybe call it the "Karash Group of Bowlines".  However, that's problematic because the term "Karash" refers specifically to the knot shown in the video above.

I say we solve this problem by limiting the definition of "Bowline" to exclude knots like the Karash Double Loop.

xarax

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Re: How many Bowlines?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2011, 03:02:08 AM »
The number of Bowlines is infinite. 

   All families of knots are infinite, if you do not put a limit on the number of tucks, or the number of crossings. The family of bowlines is not infinite, if we consider only the practical knots. In that sense, if we put a reasonable upper limit on the number of nipping loops and the number of collars of a bowline ( say two, for example ), the number of practical knots that belong to the bowline family remains big, but finite...

 
  I say we solve this problem by limiting the definition of "Bowline" to exclude knots like the Karash Double Loop.

  The only thing you might achieve if you try to reduce the number of bowlines by trying to exclude the Karash loop, is to exclude the Karash loop  :) , and perhaps a few only other members of this family...Forget the Karash loop ! Try to think what the bowline is, why it became the king of knots, and then it would be easy to classify the Karash loop, and all the other secondary complex loops. The interesting problem is not if the Karash loop is a bowline or not, or even if any other loop is a bowline or nor... it is what is the bowline !
This is not a knot.

Atomic

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Re: How many Bowlines?
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2011, 09:48:11 PM »
Considering that a bowline is simply a half hitch I think the name of this thread should be "How many half hitches?"

There are a lot of things that people call bowlines I don't consider one. Even the bowline on a bight is stretching it for me. But if we named every knot there would be a lot of names to remember. I can't even get my guys to tie a reef knot correctly much less remember names of knots they may only tie once. Of course I'm probably rambling off topic.