Fun with piyutim – Iti Milvanon, 4/4

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


The hardest part was getting the braid around the outside right. I wanted it to be just one line, going round and round, but if you just run a sinewave around the edge, you get either two or four lines, and I very much wanted only one line, because I only wanted to have the one text in the border.

It frustrates me no end that I no longer have the mathematical vocabulary to articulate the problem and thus find the solution easily. I contemplated asking a certain chap I know who works with knot theory, but didn’t want to admit defeat, and eventually figured it out the painful way, by drawing it on squared paper.

If you look carefully, you can see that there are eleven troughs along the top border but only ten along the bottom border. This is because a one-strand braid works if your border isn’t a whole number of wavelengths but is something-and-a-half wavelengths. The easiest way to do that is remove one of the troughs on one of the short edges and stretch the others a bit to make up for it – you could say, ok, the border is 100cm and the wavelength is about 4cm which would come out to 25 phases so let’s make it 24.5 okay divide 100 by 24.5 that’s 4.08 rightio let’s make the wavelength 4.08cm and figure out how to centre that so that the side borders are level with each other…but that’s very tiresome, so I didn’t bother.

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