Runaway

by EDMUND ROWLAND

Several methods of tying a knot which disappears when it is tightened have already been published, but in none of them is the actual knot made in the simple manner in which a genuine knot is tied.

In the following version of this effect an ordinary overhand (or thumb knot) is slowly and deliberately tied in a square silk scarf—by bringing two opposite corners together and passing one of them round the other. As the corners are pulied apart the knot is drawn more tightly to the centre until suddenly—it disappears !

METHOD. A length of strong linen carpet thread is fastened between two opposite corners of a heavy silk square. (The exact length of the thread is slightly ['ess than the distance between these corners when the silk is held by them and stretched between your hands, as shown in Figure 4. This is to allow for the greater elasticity of the silk).

To begin with, the silk square is picked up in your left hand by one of the other corners. In Figure 1 this is shown as corner

C. At the same time your left thumb is hooked under the thread in the direction D to C. Your other hand takes hold of corner

D, and at the same time your right thumb is also slipped under the thread in the same direction, D to C. The two corners are then brought together so that most of the silk hangs between them in a loop, as shown in Figure 2.

One of the corners is then twisted around the other to form an ordinary knot. If this is tightened slowly and carefully you will find that corners A and B begin to be drawn out of the same side of the loop because of the increasing tension of the thread. This is shown, exaggerated for clarity, in Figure 3. As soon as they begin to move, separate your hands very quickly and release your hold of corners C and D.

If the knot has not been drawn too tight before you do this, the sudden pull on the thread will jerk the corners out of the loop and straight to your fingertips. It will also cause the other corners, C and D to slip apart so that the knot unties itself.

The final result is that you are holding the silk by corners A and B, as shown in Figure 4. It should be obvious that the effect is not intended to be performed at close quarters, but with a fittle practice you will find that the switching of the corners is done too quickly for the eye to follow.

Some of you might care to know that I have often used this flourish as an introduction ro the effect known as Blondino ! This should already be familiar to the readers of this magazine.

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