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Once I realized that any series of loops along the edge of a knot can be extended into a mat, as shown with the "When Knots Collide" pieces, another idea occurred to me, but I had to approach it somewhat elliptically. There had to be a knot that would cover an area without too many, or too large, gaps, to make this piece possible. A friend of mine, a member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers, Patrick Ducey, has made a number of patterns available, some of which were Turk's-heads designed to be laid out flat, and filled in with other, smaller Turk's-heads, and it seemed to me that these filled the bill.

(Click any image to get a closer look.)
Two TH mats connected with an ocean plait. You can get Pat's pattern for the circular mat (it's the 24-bight) from the Knotheads World Wide website library, to see where these two mats came from, but I drew them out without regard to over and under crossings, just to see that the single line path was complete with the connector.
Okay, fine -- it worked with a single connector, now to add a second one. I had to choose (with several missteps) how many loops along the edges it would take to complete a single line throughout the knot. Since the order the passes are in repeats at every sixth loop, I knew that I could "cheat" by making it simple at first, just to verify the knot. Note that there are six loops in the straight connector, and seven in the curved one. Mats connected with two ocen plaits.
Two TH mats connected with two ocean plaits, added wings. I still needed the side-straps, and they "broke" the neckstrap pattern, so I had to change the number of bights (sorry, loops) to restore the single line path throughout.

It's still just a sketch, at this point, no string involved, because I saw no point in using up materials before the virtual knot had some chance of success.
I did a very quick revision of the knot, adding loops along all the edges of the straps where I estimated the needed length to match my model's measurements, laid it out in string, then realized it would be far too wide where the straight connector was; taking some loops out of that changed the values for the others, but it all worked out.

Note that this time I plotted out all the crossings, i.e., over and under weave. In a misguided attempt to save space, I bent the straps around, which just made it hard to work with, but the dimensions were pretty close.
Mats connected, with side straps, full pattern.
Knot tied with a single pass of cotton twine. This is just a proof of concept, with a single pass of string going through the knot, laid out on the dressmaker's form. You can see that it is worlds away from being ready to wear...

Here it is with a second pass, throughout. Oh, for the information of those who like minor details, this is a little less than a hundred feet of string -- about fifty for each pass. Probably less, once I tightened it up, but that's how much I started out with.

It still has a little too much open space, and probably couldn't be worn in public as-is, but I've got an idea about that, below.
Mats connected, with side straps, full pattern, doubled.
Completed knot, with contrasting filler strand. Looks like it might work this way, but adding the blue line tightened it up a bit more than I wanted, actually, and shrank the over-all size, so I may do the entire thing again, slightly larger.

Still, I regard this experiment as a success. You'll probably never see one on a beach near you, unfortunately, because nobody could afford to pay me for all the time involved in creating and custom fitting one. I think I've spent several dozen hours on this knot already, let alone the overall project, and I still don't have a good handle on what size I'll end up with.
A closer shot of one of the mats, showing how the blue highlighting strand follows the original 24-bight mat that I got from Patrick.

Next phase of the project is to figure out an appropriate knot to form the complementary part of the ensemble.
Close up shot of blue highlight.
It never fails... A behind-the-scenes shot, creating the knot from the drawing. I numbered the loops 'round the edges, to prevent errors... or, at least make it easier to fix them, it turns out. Note that there is a misweave (inset) which came about on loop number 108, and that I discovered it while adding loop number 168. There are 190 loops in total.

(This site last updated on 07-21-2017)

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