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The Daily Knot (2013)

Impressed with a friend's recent completion of a 365 project, I have been inspired to pursue a yearlong activity performing one task everyday.  I propose identifying or tying a different knot each day of the year. I will document my daily quest of knots by posting a picture and description of the knot on Facebook and "365project.org/thedailyknot" to maintain a record and to share my adventure with family and friends.

Why knots? I have always been interested in learning and tying knots. For me, and I believe others,  there is something satisfying in tying a knot to perform a task or for aesthetic enjoyment. 

Knot tying is similar to language with its own words and grammar. Just as a string of words must comply with basic grammatical rules in order to convey meaning, the same is true with knot tying. Coils, loops and bends randomly arranged in a line will usually result in a meaningless knot. The grammar of knot tying involves the proper use of tying, dressing and setting the knot in order for it to function properly. Just as the meaning of many words and concepts are difficult to translate between languages, the same is true with knots. Many knots are unique to the specific type of line being used. For example, the knots used by early humans worked well with simple plant and animal tissues, but would not be effective with modern synthetic polyester lines used today.  Language and knots are continually changing over time. The emergence of new and modified knots is driven by the introduction of new materials composing the lines. And of course there is the discovery of new knots from those intrepid knot tiers who stumble upon novel knots accidentally, or purposefully, by modifying existing knots. 

Knot tying is a task shared by people from around the world. Learning to tie knots is unique in that it typically requires a hands-on approach, bringing the teacher and student together in a ritual that probably extends back to a time before there was a distinct language among early humans. Tying knots was a critical step in the development of tools and weapons for early humans.  Knots were probably one of the earliest ways humans recorded information. Knots may be one of those things that all cultures on this planet share. Knots truly bind us all together.

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