The Loopholes Blog was established by Cary Karp in 2017 as a platform for material gathered during a study of the early history of crochet intended for publication but extending beyond the envisioned scope of the final article. This was followed by a number of publications in the area of textile studies, each paralleled by supplementary essays appearing as blog posts. The journal articles are presented below beginning with the most recent. The one currently heading the list marks a return to the author’s initial field of research — the history of musical instruments and performance practice — which has also been the primary focus of recent essays on the blog. An extensive list of his earlier publications is provided here and selected ones are occasionally added to this page.

Northern European Contributions to the Development of the AutoharpThe Galpin Society Journal, Volume 76, 2023, pp. 178–197 & 218–219.
This article presents details about the development of the autoharp taken from patents and trade publications. The extent of such material that appeared in European venues is greater than generally has been recognized and enhances the understanding of the instrument’s emergence.

  • The issue where the article appears is available to the members of the Galpin Society.
  • An abstract of the article and details about obtaining an offprint are provided in a separate blog post.

Three objects catalogued as vantsöm in the collections of the Museum der Kulturen in Basel, Switzerland Archaeological Textiles Review, No. 64, 2022, pp. 55–63.
This article was coauthored with Anne Marie Decker and reports and the authors’ findings during a joint visit to the museum. Objects there with stitch structures normally associated with crochet had previously been described as nalbinding of “Coptic Egyptian” origin. This study discusses their structural detail and candidate production techniques in a broader historiographic context. Pending the scientific dating of two of those objects, slip stitch crochet may prove to be older than can otherwise be attested.

Knotting and TattingJournal of Dress History, Volume 5, Issue 2, Early Summer 2021, pp. 8–47.
This article is based on a draft research report about early tatting instructions that was previously in limited circulation. A completely revised and expanded successor text was published in the Summer 2021 issue of The Journal of Dress History with the full title “Knotting and Tatting: The Dual Role of the Shuttle as a Fashion Accessory and Instrument of Decoration.”

  • The article begins on p. 8 of the Early Summer 2021 issue of the Journal of Dress History.
  • The document repository on this blog includes an offprint of the article.

Evolution in Early CrochetPieceWork, Winter 2020, pp. 47–51.
This is a second study that addresses a facet of the history of crochet from the perspective of the tool used for it. The article has the full title “Evolution in Early Crochet: From Flat-Hook Knitting to Slip-Stitch Crochet.” It supplants several posts on this blog that dealt with focused aspects of the topic and were taken offline when the article was being prepared for submission. Details in those posts that are not covered in the article have been merged and extended in a subsequent post.

  • The issue where the article appears can be obtained digitally and in print from the publisher of PieceWork.
  • The document repository on this blog includes the final author’s version of the article, which is substantively identical to the published version.

The Princess Frederick William Stitch Journal of Dress History, Volume 4, Issue 2, Summer 2020, pp. 75–113.
An article about Tunisian crochet (corresponding to the one presented immediately above) appears in the Summer 2020 issue of The Journal of Dress History, with the full title “The Princess Frederick William Stitch: The Parallel Emergence of Long–Hook Crochet in Prussia and England in 1858.” It is based on an unpublished presentation made at the Knitting History Forum conference in London in November 2018.

Defining CrochetTextile History, Volume 29, Issue 2, 2018, pp. 209–223.
This article has its roots in a seminar held at the Antonio Ratti Textile Center of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in May 2016. Its topic was the differentiation of crocheted fabric structures from other forms of looping, as a facet of the documentation of museum collections. The author presented a background paper at this seminar, titled “Defining Crochet,” which was then expanded and submitted to the journal Textile History, where it was published online on 11 December 2018, and in print in late March 2019.

Book review: Mark Lindley, Lutes, Viols and TemperamentsThe Galpin Society Journal, Volume 46, 1993, pp. 178–180.
When the reviewer was a first year undergraduate in 1964, he was taught the history, theory, and technique of keyboard instrument tuning and temperament by the author of this book, Mark Lindley, who was then a graduate fellow at the same school. Their paths have crossed personally and professionally many times since. Each contributed a chapter — Lindley on Tuning and Intonation, Karp on Pitch — to the Norton Grove Handbooks in Music: Performance Practice after 1600, published in 1989 (reviewed here).

  • The document repository on this blog includes an offprint of the review.

The Inharmonicity of Strung Keyboard InstrumentsAcustica, Volume 60, Number 4, 1986, pp. 295–299.
This is a research report detailing measurements made on instruments in the collections of the Music Museum in Stockholm (now the Swedish Museum of Performing Arts). They show that the inelastic behavior of strings is not the sole determinant of inharmonicity in the sound produced by a stringed instrument. The movement of the bridge on a flexible support contributes significantly to the spacing of the partial frequencies of vibration and effectively offsets the stiffness of the strings. The influence this has on tuning decisions is modulated further by the perceived identity of instrument.

  • The document repository on this blog includes an offprint of the article.

A Matrix Technique for Analyzing Musical Tuning SystemsAcustica, Volume 54, Number 2, 1984, pp. 209–216.
This article is the upshot of a conversation between the author and his friend, the late Bob Marvin, who had conceived a novel approach to the analysis of musical tuning systems. He regarded it as a curiosity rather than having practical application but welcomed its further development. (In a coincidence resembling the one noted in the book review two titles above, Marvin and Karp both published articles in the volume of The Galpin Society Journal from 1972.)

  • The document repository on this blog includes an offprint of the article with an added errata sheet.
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M Leigh Martin
22 May 2021 11:03

[This comment refers to the article on Knotting and Tatting]

I’m so excited that this has finally found print! It’s an amazing piece of research, and I’m very happy it will finally get the airing it deserves. Congratulations, Cary! You ROCK!

Last edited 7 months ago by stringbed