LLX > Neil Parker > String Figures > Jayne

Mullet Skimming Along the Water

On a previous version of this page, I questioned the reliability of Roth's drawing - it shows exactly the string configuration of Turtle: The Scutum or [Jayne 1906]'s "Ten Men," after dropping the index loops, but if that figure is formed in the usual manner and the index loops dropped, the result is unstable, and nearly impossible to maintain in a shape resembling the drawing.

Then I found [Stanley 1926], which reveals that the secret is to make the figure backwards - this provides the fingerholds necessary to hold the figure stably.

1. Pick up the loop with thumbs and indexes, so that a short straight string passes between the hands, and a long loop hangs down. Make a small loop hanging down in the short straight string, by bringing right hand toward you and to the left. Grab the point where the strings cross with teeth, and release strings held by hands. You now have two loops, a small one and a large one, hanging from your teeth.

2. Insert hands from below into the large loop, as in Position 1, and make Opening A.

3. Release little finger loops.

4. Insert little fingers from below into small loop held by teeth. Release strings held by teeth.

5. Transfer little finger loops to indexes.

6. Pass little fingers forward under index loops, and insert into thumb loops from below. Return under index loops with far thumb strings.

7. Insert little fingers into upper index loops from below, and return with upper far index strings.

8. Remove lower little finger loops from little fingers, past upper loops.

9. Release upper index loops.

10. Repeat steps 5 through 8.

11. Release thumb loops.

12. Transfer index loops to thumbs.

13. Insert indexes from below into thumb loops, and return with far thumb strings (not the palmar strings).

14. Caroline extension.

Stanley reports that the figure after step 9 is called "Mouth of a Fish" (the diamond in the middle represting the mouth).

Of course step 5 (the first time through) is redundant...the small mouth loop can easily be picked up directly by the indexes instead of the little fingers in step 4.

LLX > Neil Parker > String Figures > Jayne