David M. Delaney, May 2010
I have tied my shoelaces with this knot
for at least 45 years. If my shoelaces come untied by themselves
once every two years, I feel I'm getting pretty sloppy in the tying.
How often does your shoelace knot come untied by itself?
I got this knot from a book, but the only knot book I owned back then
that I still own is The Art of Knotting and Splicing, 1947, by Cyrus
Lawrence Day, and it's not in that book. Nor is it in any knot book I
now own, including The Ashley Book of Knots, which is surprising. I
remember that it was indeed called "the better bow" in the book I
learned it from, but the name of that book is lost in the mists of my
memory. The knot is fairly well known, because it's present by
the same name at Ian Fieggen's excellent web site, http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/betterbowknot.htm
Ian's site does a good job of showing how the strings move when the
better bow is being tied, but not how the fingers move (because he
doesn't show any fingers.) So I thought I'd show how I do it as
fast as I do, which is fast, which is as it should be I guess, after 45
years of daily practice. The eccentric lacing in the photographs
is to keep the white cord from presenting a confusing background. I do
the initial left-over-right wrap twice, as shown, to make it
easier to keep the lacing tight as I'm finishing the knot.
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