My name is Beth Wood and I have been a Mathematics instructor here at Clinton Community College for the past 20 – something years. In my free time, I like to spin, weave, and knit. I have a weaving studio in the basement of my condo. My mother started weaving in 1980 and I would now and then weave something on one of her looms. What I really wanted to do is to learn how to spin yarn. So, when my mother and I went to a weaving/spinning market in 1994, I spent my time trying out all of the different spinning wheels. I finally decided I would learn on a drop spindle and if I liked it, then I would learn how to spin on a wheel. Three months later I had a wheel and was spinning away like a madwoman. So what does one do with an abundance of handspun wool? What you do is learn how to weave. After borrowing one of my mother’s looms and asking a lot of questions, I started weaving neck scarves.
So what inspires me to weave? Sometimes it is the challenge of trying out a new threading or type of weaving such as using a binomial expansion to design a strip for towels **. Other times it is finding a yarn that is neat and wanting to see how it works up when woven. I like the mathematical challenge of figuring how long of a warp I will need for a project and whether or not I have enough yarn for it. Yes, weaving requires some knowledge of mathematics, but it also requires attention to detail. So when I weave, I use a combination of mathematics and creativity.
Look up **Ada Dietz for an example. Read More