Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Labyrinth Redux

This is your word for the day: "redux."  I thought I knew what it meant but wasn't sure so I looked it up.  And it means revisited or revived.  That's a good word for what I've done.

I painted a labyrinth years ago.  In fact, I was so proud of myself that I did just what I'm about to do now:  I published it on the internet via this blog.  When I got frustrated with the current one I thought to myself, "I'm sure I'm not the only one having trouble with this.  I'll check the internet and find instructions from someone else who has so much wisdom that there are wisdom "left-overs" I can glean.  So I went to the internet and the first How To that came up was my own posting here on this blog telling others how to do this.

For the last three weeks I've measured and sketched and calculated.  I bought a case of marking paint. And I did it.  I have a new and much easier method for making your own personal labyrinth.  Try this method:

Find about 50 square feet of space.  Mow the grass in such a way that you're blowing grass towards the outside of the circle.

In the center of this pristine plat of grass drive a strong stake into the ground.

You can do this next step inside where it is cool and comfortable:   Get four lengths of good rope that measure about 25-30 feet in length.  Tie a knot at one end that will let you slip the knot over the center stake.  From this point at the stake measure 48 inches and draw a line on the rope with a bold black marker..  At the line wrap some duct tape to make a little "flag" a couple of inches square.  Leave that flag unmarked.  Measure out 24 inches (or whatever you want your path to be) and make a flag.  Mark this flag with a "!" on both sides of the flag.  Then measure another 24 inches and tape flags for "2" through "12". Make three more ropes just like this one.

You'll need a fifth rope the same length but you don't have to mark it.

Line the four ropes at the center stake going straight out.  Call the ropes North, South, East and West.  The entrance to your lab will always be South no matter what the real direction is.

Mark the North quadrant first.  Standing at the center stake and looking to the outside of the lab lay two of the marked ropes 24" to the left and right of the center rope.I call these lines Larry and Ralph You can stake the rope with a tent stake to keep it into position. 

Take the fourth rope that you're not using to mark lines and use it like you do a compass to mark circles like you did in geometry class.  Except and this is VERY IMPORTANT don't hold the rope and make sweeping lines because you can stretch the rope doing this and everything will be all gummed up.  Instead lightly place the rope and make a little hash mark with just a spritz of paint.  When you get to the turns and have a good feel for line which going around line whatever to meet another line to make your turns you can free hand these lines. Like the green lines below. Now you will start to see a pattern emerge.

Do all three:  North West and East alike.

Don't worry about filling in the lines just yet.  Just get a big picture of the turns   Later you can use the flags on rope to fill in the path markers.  Your back probably hurts by now, anyway and you still have the hardest part ahead.

Mark the Entrance at the 'south' position.

Take an unmarked rope and lay it from the center stake straight down past the entrance to the lab. This rope doesn't have a name. It's only purpose is to help position the other.  Lay ropes on either side of the unmarked rope BUT instead of your normal 24' distance lay these ropes half of the path size (in this case, 12 inches)  Call these lines Larry and Carlos.  Carlos will end up as the center of the south entrance ropes. Mark two feet on either side and call them Lucy and Ralph. Finally one more rope 24" to the west of the ropes and call it Rita.

If you are paying attention you will notice that you're a rope short.  You can mark Carlos first because it is an unbroken line.  Once you have Carlos marked you can use that rope for Rita.

Mark the path lines and turns using this diagram.  And that should finish the hardest part.

All you have to do now is finish the path by fluffing a marked rope and making hash marks then filling in the hash marks.

Pack it all up in a box for the next time.


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