You may say "Isn't the whole of this website about knots?" This is true. But there are specific names knots with heraldic or other significance.

Sometimes Celtic knots, in illuminated manuscripts or carved on stone, use multiples of these knots.

Heraldic knots

Stafford knot: Traditional symbol of Staffordshire and its county town, Stafford. The knot was the badge of the de Stafford family. One legend of its origin is that three convicted criminals who had committed a crime together were due to be executed in Stafford gaol. There was argument over who should be hanged first but the hangman solved the problem by devising this knot and hanging the three simultaneously.
The knot can be seen on a 4 foot high carved Anglo-Saxon cross in a churchyard in Stoke-upon-Trent, and also on a 7th-century Anglo-Saxon object from the Staffordshire hoard.
The design closely matches the early design of the pretzel, which was made to represent arms crossed in prayer.

Solomon's knot: the most common name for a traditional decorative motif used since ancient times, and found in many cultures.

Savoy knot: a heraldic knot used in Italian heraldry. It appears on the heraldic badge of the House of Savoy, where it is accompanied by the motto Stringe ma non costringe, "It tightens, but does not constrain".
The Cavendish knot is an identical heraldic knot.

Bourchier knot: used as a heraldic badge by the Bourchier family, whose earliest prominent ancestor in England was John de Bourchier (alias Boucher, Boussier, etc., d. c. 1330).
This form is a granny knot. There are also reef knot forms. A reef knot is not strictly speaking a Celtic knot.

Wake knot: an heraldic badge by the Wake family, lords of the manor of Bourne in Lincolnshire and also by the Butler family, Earls of Ormond. It is a Carrick bend knot.

Topological knots

There is a branch of Mathematics called Topology which studies knots. A topological knot is a single strand whose ends are joined.

Trefoil the simplest example of a nontrivial knot. The common form of the triquetra symbol is a trefoil, as are some versions of the Germanic Valknut.

Cinquefoil also known as Solomon's seal knot or the pentafoil knot. It is a pentagram made into a Celtic knot.

Borromean rings are not a knot, but links. They have the interesting property that if you break one ring and pull it away, the others will fall free. So not two rings are linked, but all three are.

The version of the Valknut on the right is a set Borromean rings.

I was challenged to make a design like the Olympics rings, but as Borromean rings. Here are my attempts:

This doesn't work.

If you remove the black ring, then the rest fall apart. But if you remove any other, then the rest are still attached to the black ring.

A slightly better attempt, but it still doesn't really work.

There are two sets of Borromean rings: blue, yellow, black, and red, green, black. So remove blue, and yellow goes free (and vice versa). Remove red and green goes free (and vice versa). But the rest are still attached. Remove black and everything goes free.

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© Jo Edkins 2016