This question kept me awake in the wee hours one morning:
What would it look like if I carved a knot in a piece of wood?
I lay in bed trying to visualize it, and figure out how best to attempt it… Start by finding a fairly thick piece of rope, tie a knot, use it to layout the carving, rough-out the carving with a saw, then finish carving with a knife and/or gouges.
Tracing the imaginary path of the rope with my index finger while laying on my back, I rehearsed the carving over and over, over and over.
At the first semi-reasonable hour, I got out of bed and went down to the shop to find an appropriate piece of wood to carve. I found a clear piece of Austrian pine, salvaged from a piece of 6×8 dunnage in a container of Felder machines.
I tied a knot in a short length of 3/8” rope and used a pen to roughly indicate the path of the rope on each of the four faces of the blank.
Using a jigsaw and long blade, I cut to my layout lines. Then I completed the shaping with my folding carving knife.
And that is how you turn a clear piece of pine into a piece of knotty pine.