Amanda Weaver

Sophomore year of college changed my life.  I took weaving to fulfill a credit for my art major.  When I signed up, I had no idea what weaving even meant.  I couldn’t even think of one thing we might do in the class.  Luckily, my friend Dave took the class with me, which alleviated some of my fears of entering into this unknown subject.  Several wonderful things happened over the course of the semester:

  1. We visited a sheep farm as a field trip for one of our first classes.  (Two years later, I led a group at Luther College in burying a time capsule on this farm.  Can’t wait until 2013!)
  2. Dave and I dressed like skaters one day just to get a reaction.  I wore a fake nose ring, which lots of people complimented.  This inspired me to pierce my nose 4 years later.
  3. I discovered that my last name – Weber – means “weaver” in German.  My family trade would have been as weavers!

This last discovery was enlightening!  Weaving suddenly felt like my thing, something I could really get into.  And the fact my last name meant weaver somehow made it all make sense.  So, I enjoyed a semester of learning how to spin yarn, weave rag rugs, tapestries, baskets, make felt, etc.  I’ve continued to weave since college, mostly baskets (because it’s a cheap and easy art form).  But when I moved to New Haven, I suddenly had a new idea.  My new room had a teal carpet which did NOT match my light blue furniture.  I decided the solution was a rug, and when I couldn’t find one I liked, I figured I could probably just weave one.  I also figured it would only take me a couple weeks.

Aaaand thus began my semester-long project.  I don’t own a loom, so I had to create a makeshift one.  I did this by buying a large canvas, cutting the canvas out (I’ll use it later to paint something) and nailing in literally hundreds of brads on two parallel sides.  Then I warped it, bought some fabric, cut it into rags, and started weaving!  My weaving teacher Kate will be thrilled to know that I used my notebook from weaving class to remember how to do many of these things.  (In retrospect, I’m glad she made us stay so organized!)  I decided to use a weaving technique called Rya, which involves creating loops (the bigger the loops, the higher pile rug).  You can choose to cut the loops or leave them be… I cut them once the rug was complete.

Anna, trying out the rug!

So my two-week long project turned into a semester-long thing.  I finished just before Thanksgiving!  Cutting the rug off the loom was such an accomplishment!  It represented fall semester in many ways.  It was a much-needed therapy throughout the busy semester.  Sometimes, when you’re stressed about all the music stuff you have to do, you just need to weave.

In the end, the rug helps tie together all of the colors in my room!  But my housemates like to keep it in common spaces, which I don’t mind.  Ironically, I DO mind when people walk on it… Oh well…

To see more photos of the process and and the cutting of the rug, click here.

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