I’ve described knot-tying techniques before and today’s invention is a new one. Imagine trying to tie a complex knot for the first time.
Take a long rope of snap-together beads and roll around it a sheet of moist cardboard -or pastry.
Have the complex knot tied by an expert so that the coating is included in the body of the knot (have the expert make many of these). Allow the coating to dry and stiffen, forming a knot-shaped shell. Pull on the free ends of the beaded rope so that it can be extracted.
You now have a shell which can be used to pass rope through, from one end -automatically forming a complex knot. The coating can now be stripped off, reconstituted and reused, leaving the finished knot behind.