Two patchwork blocks, Monkey Wrench and Snail’s Trail, share a construction method that alternates between the two.
Both begin with a 4-patch block:
A square cut diagonally produces two half-square triangles. Sew four half-square triangles to the sides of the 4-patch block. The 4-patch block rotates and stands on-point. This block is called Monkey Wrench:
Sew a round of half-square triangles to the sides of the Monkey Wrench block. The 4-patch block rotates and sits flat. This block is called Snail’s Trail:
Sew a round of half-square triangles to the sides of the Snail’s Trail block and produce another Monkey Wrench block:
Sew a round of half-square triangles to the sides of the Monkey Wrench block and produce another Snail’s Trail block:
The two blocks can build on each other indefinitely. They are limited only by the size of the initial 4-patch block (each round of half-square triangles requires a smaller 4-patch block than the block before).
Notice anything? For each round of half-square triangles, the arms spiral further inward.
When four of these blocks rotate around one corner they produce unique blocks that appear organic when placed next to each other.
When four half-size blocks are superimposed on a full-size block, an interesting thing happens. The resulting blocks can be displayed three different ways: as a half-size pattern only; as a full-size pattern only; or as a combination of the two, with the smaller motif centered on the larger one (I omitted the smaller motif that centers where the larger ones come together).
Now add three converging lines to the interior of the triangle. The flat triangle becomes a three-sided pyramid.
Now, let’s play with the light.
This pattern of pyramids implies a light source that shines on all faces at once.
If we imagine lowering the light source, then only one face at a time is lit, casting the other two faces in shadow. When the light source hits a face full on, the other two faces are in complete shadow. When the light source hits a face toward one end or the other, the neighboring face is in partial shadow, and the third face is in complete shadow. When the light source hits two faces at once, the third face is in complete shadow.
There are twelve different shadings for this one pyramid.
I copied and enlarged it to fit a sheet of paper. There are two cords in this knot. I made five copies and cut out the outlines of the cords.
I glued the lighter outlines to the darker outlines. For one outline, I put a spot of glue at the spot where the outline is under the other one. For the other outline, I cut open the spaces where the outline is under the other one.
I used the fifth copy as a placement guide. I positioned one outline on the guide, then put the other on top of it, gluing the two outlines together.
Slide the cut ends under the other outline, and the knot is complete.