Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Peer Review

Somebody said that any work I do on the revival of old knitting techniques needs to be peer reviewed.like an academic work, a science publication, or an engineering design.

Naw!  Its knitting.  If it is better, then it is better. If it is not better, then it is just more knitting.  The proof is in the knitting.

I went to some of the local textile judges, and asked if I could enter my fabrics in competitions that they judge (e.g., county fairs, fiber festivals .  Their response was that it was likely within the rules as written, but that the rules did NOT contemplate "gansey knitting" (or swaving), and such work belonged in a different class from hand knitting.  Entered in a "knitting" competition, my objects would be "ringers". I like and respect these judges and they know my work, so I was not about to go against their wishes.

Now, they know such objects are being produced, and they have had a couple of years to rewrite the rules. I can start entering the competitions.  And, now there are other knitters around using gansey knitting tools (long needles & knitting sheaths) so there should be some competition.

We have some very good knitters in the local spinning guild, and every "show and tell" produces a stream of "nice" and "very nice" objects.  If I do not get a reaction of  at least,"OMG, how did you do that?!" then, I know I need to go back to the drawing board and design something better.  If I get, "That is not possible! Nobody can knit like that!", then I know I am on the right track.


Anonymous said...

My god, you're an idiot.

=Tamar said...

Peer review has to be done by peers, and the only way to be a peer is to do the same kind of work; if they are doing sheath knitting at the same textures you are, only then maybe they might be qualified to comment on the techniques.

Aaron said...

Oh, my Tamar, you do speak the truth. Sometimes you remind me of Alden Amos.

Years ago, I gave one of the folks who keep calling for peer review, a nice knitting sheath and set of long needles.

She never bothered to learn how to use them.

I took samples up to two of the best and most experienced textile judges in the world. They told me they had never seen anything like I was doing.

I likely made a mistake in focusing on seaman's sweaters. It is way off modern main stream knitting. I should do some lace.

Anonymous said...

You make claims about historical use. Your peers are therefore not knitters, but historical researchers. Without evidence you are no more than a good knitter.

Stasia said...

No, your first commenter is right: You're an idiot. I'll grant you that that's a statement of opinion, but unlike you, I can actually back up my opinion with a convincing argument that harkens back to some facts: On Ravelry, you have stated (repeatedly, I believe, but for the sake of brevity, I'll include just the one link - http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/guernseys-ganseys-knit-frocks---fishermens-sweaters/2454926/51-75#56) that ONE combination of yarn and needles (typically an outdated and no longer produced size) consistently produces the "best" fabric. You say, "One combination is better. It is like science, it always works." Even setting aside the ridiculousness of the notion that there is such a thing as the "best" fabric, your claim of a single perfect combination rests on the patently absurd assumption that every knitter works to the same gauge wen given identical yarn and needles. The fact that this is not so is Knitting 101. Your outdated needle sizes may be the "best" for you, but if I'm a slightly tighter or slightly looser knitter, then I'll get your same gauge with a different needle size (perhaps even a modern needle size - I'll give you a moment to gasp in horror at the thought that modern tools could ever be adequate, but I suggest you start coming around to the idea).

It seems to me that the people who persist in asking you to back up the historical "facts" that you assert have a damn good reason to do so; if you ignore the basic truth that gauge varies with the knitter, what other truths might you be ignorant of? If you spent half as much time thinking - and I mean *really* thinking, with real logic and everything - as you do cultivating your wildly inflated ego, you might find that the world is not as black and white as you make it out to be. And if you were to acknowledge that shades of grey exist, you might find yourself having genuine conversations and exchanges of ideas with other knitters instead of having to bully your way through every thread, endlessly tooting your own horn because you can't stand up to being intellectually challenged by your peers.