Author Topic: How many knots are published in Ashleys Book of Knots (ABoK) - really?  (Read 5777 times)

agent_smith

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This is an open question to members of the IGKT.

How many different knots (I use this term as a generic phrase to include hitches and bends) are actually published/illustrated in ABoK?. I'm not entirely sure how decorative knots and splices should be treated... perhaps someone wiser than me can elaborate.

I know Dan L has beliefs about this subject... but has anyone seriously done a head count?

I know for a fact that there are numerous duplications in ABoK... the Double fishermans (AboK #498 and also at #1415) is but one example of duplication in his classic text.

I await to be instructed by learned IGKT members!


agent smith

paulj

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Re: How many knots are published in Ashleys Book of Knots (ABoK) - really?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2007, 04:58:22 AM »
What makes two knots the same or different?

For example, Asher's Shake Hands bend appears in Ashley in two loop forms, one tied in a bight, and one tied with end.  Counting the bend, are we talking about 1, 2, or 3 knots?

paulj

Dan_Lehman

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Re: How many knots are published in Ashleys Book of Knots (ABoK) - really?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2007, 07:14:22 AM »
What makes two knots the same or different?

For this purpose, let's say loading profile--where a "knot" is the schema
for tying cordage and the loading profile is percentage of tensions on the
parts going away from the knot body (so one may consider the eye of a
loopknot part of the "knot" but distinct from it's body (or "nub", per Chisholm)).

The Bwl/SheetBend/MeshKnot makes for a slew of different knots, thus.

And we'll leave out distinctions arising in hitches from the object--e.g.,
a Clove H. to a ring being considered the same as if tied to a pile.

For the questioned knot-count, one might want to consider whether to
count those entanglements that arise from parts of a rope--tying
the strands, i.e..

--dl*
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roo

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Re: How many knots are published in Ashleys Book of Knots (ABoK) - really?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2007, 05:12:01 PM »
This is an open question to members of the IGKT.

How many different knots (I use this term as a generic phrase to include hitches and bends) are actually published/illustrated in ABoK?. I'm not entirely sure how decorative knots and splices should be treated... perhaps someone wiser than me can elaborate.

I know Dan L has beliefs about this subject... but has anyone seriously done a head count?

I know for a fact that there are numerous duplications in ABoK... the Double fishermans (AboK #498 and also at #1415) is but one example of duplication in his classic text.

I await to be instructed by learned IGKT members!


agent smith

Go for it, agent smith!  Use the index to help you put a a light pencil mark through duplicate knots.  That will be the most time-consuming part.  Then use a hand-held tally counter to help you count quickly.
If you wish to add a troll to your ignore list, click "Profile" then "Buddies/Ignore List".


paulj

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Re: How many knots are published in Ashleys Book of Knots (ABoK) - really?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2007, 03:19:34 AM »
I've only browsed this book a few times, so am not an expert on its contents.

But for a start, there are some 3000 figures.  Eliminate those that show steps toward completing the knot.  That may cut out 1000 or so.  That step is relatively easy.

Eliminating duplicates that are tied by different methods, such in a bight v. an end, would be desirable, but may be more work.  I know for example that the two versions of the 'shake hands loop' are on different pages.  Unless Ashley or someone else cross references cases like this you might miss the duplication.

Any further weeding probably requires defining what makes two knots different or the same?

The bowline/sheet bend family was mentioned.  It makes sense to distinguish between the uses for nets (load on all for ends), for loops (load on 3 ends), and bends (load on 2 ends).  These knots are consist of an interlocking bight and loop.  But with the sheet bend, does it matter which end of the bight is loaded?  On the bowline, the consensus seems to be that strength is the same whether the bight puts the free end on the inside or outside of the loop, though one may be more prone to snagging.  On the other hand, which end of the loop is loaded seems to matter.  The Eskimo Bowline (as in Budworth) is distinguished from the bowline by the fact that bight wraps around one of the loop legs rather than the standing end.  I don't recall seeing an 'Eskimo sheet bend'; the load is always on the end of the loop that exits through the bight.  [unless Budworth's 'Complete',p35, reference to a 'false sheet bend' under Lapp Knot qualifies].  Plus there are variations of the sheet bend in which the bight is replaced by a spliced eye, or a slit in (leather) strap.

When tying a bend, there are, in theory, 4 possible loadings  (end 1 or 2 of rope A, end 1 or 2 of rope B).  Symmetry may eliminate some choices.  Stability may eliminate others.  For example, a square knot loads the two 'bottom' ends (right-left symmetry).  When I try to tie a version that loads diagonally opposite ends (bottom on one side, top on the other, diagonal symmetry), I get a knot that rolls when loaded.  I don't know if Ashley bothers to include that insecure version or not.

paulj


« Last Edit: October 13, 2007, 03:42:02 AM by paulj »

Dan_Lehman

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Re: How many knots are published in Ashleys Book of Knots (ABoK) - really?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2007, 06:27:03 AM »
But for a start, there are some 3000 figures.  Eliminate those that show steps toward completing the knot.
That may cut out 1000 or so.  That step is relatively easy.
The arithmetic might be easy, but the reality needs careful attention,
and with more than a browsing (heck, even with just a ...) you'll soon see
that there is little merit in this thinking.

Quote
Eliminating duplicates that are tied by different methods, such in a bight v. an end, would be desirable, but may be more work.

Or less, in that the Index ostensibly does this, or gives a handle for doing it
(but at least in some versions there were omissions in the Index in a few cases).

The more direct way to get a feel for the number is to work outwards, so to speak
(for practical knotting):  start with the chapters on pratical knots and just count.
You'll need to make some mental (or hand-written) notes about duplicates where
Ashley gives cross-references, and try to catch them where he forgets.
I've made a stab at this I believe in the post to this Forum some year(s) ago, which
might still be available with a Search.

That said, Ashley omits some thousand other knots of various worth, so ... .

 ;)

lcurious

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Re: How many knots are published in Ashleys Book of Knots (ABoK) - really?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2007, 06:44:40 PM »
There is one step that must be done before a 'knot count' can be completed and that is an agreement on knot names. Unfortunately, or fortunately, there is no known Knot God who states THIS IS KNOT SO-IN-SO!!!

ABOK has the same 'knot' with many many different 'names' New knot books, when they publish 'new knots' often have just renamed a knot, most often unknowingly.  New new Knot books continue this tradition further confusing knotty people.

Ashley would have done a great service had he defined one name, BASED ON IT'S STRUCTURE and then referred to it when stating its use in various occupations; ie The Bookbinders Knot 177 is a Bowline is a Sheet Bend is a Becket Hitch is a Weaver's Knot etc etc

IGKT could do this definitive service by defining each knot once; similar to the Opus references in music. It is the Opus number that brought definitive definitions to pieces of music. IGKT could and should do the same for the knoting world. In so doing they would  truly be the worlds knotty arbiter.   

I suggest IGKT set up a committee, define standards, set goals, recruit volunteers and get to work!!!
 


Dan_Lehman

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Re: How many knots are published in Ashleys Book of Knots (ABoK) - really?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2007, 09:09:37 PM »
There is one step that must be done before a 'knot count' can be completed and that is an agreement on knot names.

Why?  One can count knots irrespective of their various appellations
(a recognition of the entity is implied in the 2nd, and dubious task anyway).

Quote
Ashley would have done a great service had he defined one name, BASED ON IT'S STRUCTURE
and then referred to it when stating its use in various occupations; ie [<= E.G.] The Bookbinders Knot 177
is a Bowline is a Sheet Bend is a Becket Hitch is a Weaver's Knot etc

Your e.g. is a string of confusion--those aren't the same knots, for the most part (but for the
Weaver's knot & the Sheet Bend, all others differ in loading profile).  Knot names can arise
from a variety of sources, including mistakes & stupidity.  One can hope to only hack away
so much of the confusion, after which competing names are likely to have rather equal
merit/rationales.

Quote
IGKT could do this definitive service by defining each knot once; similar to the Opus references in music.
It is the Opus number that brought definitive definitions to pieces of music. IGKT could and should do the same
for the knoting world. In so doing they would  truly be the worlds knotty arbiter.

There might be some point to creating a catalogue and some sort of NEW identifier,
which could be both unique and more awkward (in that one would not expect it to go out
and replace names in use, but to be a thing to use to qualify names at times where precision
was wanted).  One should expect that many common names denote a set of like knots.

--dl*
====