It was this crazy scene. We’d line up some parts that looked like they would go together, and then Judith would say something like “This is wrong. In all my years I’ve never seen that brake go there” and we’d take it all apart and put it together another way, until someone would say “Ahh… yes. Look - that’s how it goes” and assembled a whole loom that way, with no idea what sort of loom it was, or anything. It was a complete reliance on the knowledge of how it had to work, if it was going to work - and piecing it together from there.
Knitting and associated fibre arts are a hobby of mine. This quote from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, a highly respected knitter and knitting writer, is a great portrayal of my thoughts about science, teaching, and learning. The goal isn’t just to be able to use it, but to know how it works and is put together.