Tuesday, 29 September 2009

ABC Wednesday - K

K is for Knots

These seemed to be very secure knots, which they probably needed to be. This mooring was at the top of a very large slab of rock at St Briac-sur-Mer in France. The rope continued down a long way
over the seaweed covered rocks lower down and then
attached itself to the little rowing boat at the bottom.
The tide was out in the bay but this is a view from the top looking inland, the flowery boat whose sailing days were over, but whose keel and that of the yachts laying on the sand are plainly in view.

There are an amazing variety of knots for all sorts of purposes. An animated selection here. Seafarers have to know many different types
and E. Annie Proulx uses extracts from The Ashley Book of Knots as chapter headings in her novel "The Shipping News", which give clues to the events about to happen. The main character called Quoyle, a play on words for a coil of rope, heads for Newfoundland, his ancestral home, from New York with his daughters, when his no-good wife is killed. Dark secrets are all around but as the blurb says its an "irresistible comedy of human life and possibilities". Knots of course can be made and remade in different forms.

I like the quote she uses in the frontispiece "In a knot of eight crossings, which is about the average-size knot, thee are 256 different 'over-and-under' arrangements possible... Make one change in this 'over and under' sequence and either an entirely different knot is made or no knot at all may result". I seemed to make a lot of those 'no knots' when I was in the brownies, and I have not improved since, so I would not make a good mariner.

Page from 'Celtic Art. The methods of construction' by George Bain

Then there are knots that are knots, but not as we know them Jim. The knotwork borders as used in Celtic art are drawn as a continuous line to symbolise infinity. Here are some examples of drawing the borders, as originally used in the 7th century manuscript the Gospels of Lindisfarne and the much older 1st century Book of Kells.

Click on ABC Wednesday for more interpretations of the letter K

16 comments:

Life with Kaishon said...

Wow. Those knots at the end are SO pretty! I always think of cute little boy scouts when I think of knots! Great idea for K!

Sylvia K said...

What an interesting post and great shots! Love the boat full of flowers! And I never realized there were so many kinds of knots! Fascinating!

Have a great week!

Sylvia

Beverley Baird said...

What great photos and such interesting info. I have seen the movie but not read the book. You have inspired me to read it!

photowannabe said...

Great info and wonderful pictures. It seems a very long way down for that little boat to be moored.

Carol said...

Great photos and a great k post. I love the celtic knots.

Tumblewords: said...

I remember reading The Shipping News and enjoying the types of knots which became an integral part of Proulx's tale. Your photos are wonderful!

Leslie: said...

Gee, I never realised there are so many different kinds of knots! Great post. :D

magiceye said...

interesting and informative post

Rinkly Rimes said...

The boat full of flowers is a gem on its own!

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

a wonderful post about the importance of knots.

Roger Owen Green said...

Those knots seem secure. Not my strength, and that's why I washed out of Cub scouts.

Paula Scott said...

WOW! I can't get over the extremely long (and involved) mooring lines! One certainly needs an effective knot for that!
Thanks!

Trillium said...

WONDERFUL! Thank you!! A love knot to you for this post.

Jay said...

I LOVE the picture of the 'flower boat'! Perfect composition, and so pretty!

I used to have fun tying knots. :)

Buenos Aires Photoblog said...

Very informative post and a beautiful set of pictures. The tides must be enormous there judging from the stranded boats.

Irene said...

Hi Joy,
Interesting K indeed. I like the third pic showing the moorings, how the knots led to the boats. Nice.