>> I'm trying to trace around an image to create a line drawing.  The
>> object I'm tracing has a lot of curves in it so using the Pencil Tool.
>> Also, I've used the Paths Tool and then clicked "stroke path".  That's
>> all fine and well but it's taking FOREVER to trace the picture.
>> Since the image has a lot of curves is there a tool or gadget in Gimp
>> that can provide a smooth curve, say, around a circle?

>Use the "Intelligent scissors" if the image is suitable, then the
>quick mask to adjust the selection, then stroke.

>There is a foreground select tool which may do a similar job.

>Also there are filters which may assist, for example, the "Photocopy"
>filter may render a simpler image to trace.

> --

gerard82 (via gimpusers.com)
You might also try Filters > Edge Detect and the pick the one that's best 
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