Intrigued by the the fact that reef knot showed up on the front page of Everything2, I set out to draw one using ASCII art.

It was harder than it looked (or maybe I'm even stupider than I think I am). I did end up with three (and a half?) different styles, and I'm not sure which works best. So, I thought I'd put examples of them here, and let people comment.

The Warm Fuzzy

This is the one I used first (and, since someone thought it was nice, I will just leave my reef knot the way I made it). I used @ and : symbols for the two ropes; this gives strong visual contrast, and they are both fairly symmetric.

         @@@@     :::::    @@@@@  ::::
         @@@@@@ :::::::::@@@@@@@::::::
            @@:::::   :@@@@@  :::::@
             ::::@@@@@@@@@:::::::@@@
            ::::  @@@@@   :::::  @@@@
            ::::                 @@@@
            ::::  @@@@@   :::::  @@@@
             ::::@@@@@@@@@:::::::@@@
            @@:::::   :@@@@@  :::::@
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ :::::::::@@@@@@@::::::::::::::::::
@@@@@@@@@@@@@     :::::    @@@@@  ::::::::::::::::

High-Altitude Fuzzies

I found a problem with this approach, however, when I drew a Carrick bend: when a rope crosses itself, how do I indicate which side goes over the other? I tried to use a character that was similar but different to the main character for a particular rope. This worked, but not very well.

      ooooo     ::::::::    oooooooo     ::::::::::::
      oooooooo::::::::::::oooooooooooo:::::::::::::::
         ooo::::::    ::oooooo    oo:::::::
           :::::oo    oooooo::    ::::::o
          :::::ooo@@oooooo::::++::::::oooo
          ::::  @@@@@@oo    ++++++::  oooo
          ::::  oo@@@@@@    ::++++++  oooo
          ::::oooooo@@oooo::::::++:::ooooo
           :oooooo    oo::::::    ::ooooo
         ooooooo      ::::::oo    oooooo:::
oooooooooooooo::::::::::::oooooooooooo::::::::
ooooooooooo     ::::::::    oooooooo     :::::

In this case, I tried to use @ as a "closer" version of o; I couldn't think of anything better than + for the "closer" version of :. So, while I could figure out what I was talking about, I didn't really care for this solution.

The Pipeline

I decided to try tracing the outline of the ropes, instead of filling in the rope itself. This worked pretty well:

         ______  ______  ______  ______________
        |      \/      \/      \/
        |____   \  __   \  __   \  ____________
             \   \/  \   \/  \   \/
             /\   \  /\   \  /\   \
            /  \   \/  \   \/  \   \
           /   /\  /   /\  /   /\   \
          |   /  \/   /  \/   /  \   |
          |   \  /   /\  /   /\  /   |
           \   \/   /  \/   /  \/   /
            \   \  /\   \  /\   \  /
             \   \/  \   \/  \   \/
  ___________/\   \__/\   \__/\   \____
               \       \       \       |
  _____________/\______/\______/\______|

However, I still needed a way to distinguish between the two different ropes. I wanted a character that would fit into the middle of the outline; as a first stab, I tried using yet more slashes and underscores:

         ______  ______  ______  ______________
        |_____ \/      \/ ____ \/
        |____ \ \  __   \/ __ \ \  ____________
             \ \ \/  \   \/  \ \ \/
             /\ \ \  /\   \  /\ \ \
            /  \ \ \/ /\   \/  \ \ \
           /   /\ \/ / /\  /   /\ \ \
          |   /  \/ / /  \/   /  \ \ |
          |   \  / / /\  /   /\  / / |
           \   \/ / /\ \/   /  \/ / /
            \   \/ /\ \ \  /\   \/ /
             \   \/  \ \ \/  \   \/
  ___________/\   \__/\ \ \__/\   \____
  ____________/\       \ \____/\       |
  _____________/\______/\______/\______|

I found that just a little overwhelming, however, so I settled on using a more sedate . (period / full stop) instead. This is probably the format I like the best for now:

         ______  ______  ______  ______________
        |..... \/      \/ .... \/
        |____ . \  __   \. __ . \  ____________
             \ . \/  \   \/  \ . \/
             /\ . \  /\   \  /\ . \
            /  \ . \/ .\   \/  \ . \
           /   /\ ./ . /\  /   /\ . \
          |   /  \/ . /  \/   /  \ . |
          |   \  / . /\  /   /\  / . |
           \   \/ . /. \/   /  \/ . /
            \   \. /\ . \  /\   \. /
             \   \/  \ . \/  \   \/
  ___________/\   \__/\ . \__/\   \____
  .............\       \ ......\       |
  _____________/\______/\______/\______|

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