String figure glossary

Macbeth: Is this a dagger which I see before me?

string figureInvented by Martin Probert 2002. This figure depicts the speech in Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act II, Scene I, beginning:
 
Macbeth: Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand?

Construction time: 3 seconds.

  1. Use a 0.80 metre wide loop doubled (or use a 0.40 metre wide loop).
  2. Position 1. Pass the left index towards you over the near thumb string and, with the back of the left index, pick up the near thumb string. (The near string of the left index loop now passes to the right thumb, while beneath it is a string joining the near side of the left thumb to the far side of the left index.)
  3. Release the right hand.
  4. Insert the right index from below into the left thumb loop, then from above into the left index loop and, hooking the tip of the right index to the right palm, capture the near string of the left index loop in the curl of the right index. Separate the hands, drawing the near string of the left index loop (and no other string) to the right as far as it will go.
  5. Pinch the strings around the right index between the right thumb and right middle finger, then remove the right index. Place the right index alongside the right middle finger. This gives Macbeth: Is this a dagger which I see before me?
  6. To dissolve, release the left index.

(For another character from Shakespeare, see Hamlet's Cloud.)

Copyright © Martin Probert 2003
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