Weaving the street: Crochet umbrellas creates city

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Weaving Street is open to participation project. A production process is performed during the year complete with an installation of elements produced in the public space of Valverde de La Vera. We started the activity in 2013, this year was held the second edition.

It is the production of umbrellas by crochet technique XXL to be installed in the village streets.

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Valverde is a town of around 600 people located under the Sierra de Gredos in the region of La Vera, Cáceres, Extremadura. It has been declared a Historic Artistic, with traditional architecture in stone, adobe and wood houses with courtyards and narrow streets with balconies facing. One goal of the project is to improve the environmental conditions during the summer on the streets of Valverde, collaborating in generating shaded areas during the month of August. The umbrellas also serve as elements of festive expression. Participants welcome in this way to family, friends and visitors who return to the village at that time.

For their production, we use reusing plastic shopping bags that transform into long strips that are then woven, so they are lightweight, waterproof and allowed to be stored in a space from year to year.

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The organization of the activity conducted by the Youth Cultural Association and La Chorrera, through production workshops: meetings in the town square where we share experiences and knowledge for several months prior to the installation.

This is another objective of the project enabled the chances of meeting people and the possibility of building a common project.

We work about 40 people of all ages, women, a man for the time, and this time we have also had the participation of children in the village. The call is open to all who wish to participate, regardless of their prior knowledge. More experienced teach gilts. The technique we use is the traditional crocheting adapted to a larger scale. We try to follow an order of proportion so that there is an overall coherence. Patterns or shapes are typical of the work done in the area, it is already in the drawings collective imagination of the place. Likewise, the weavers make their own new personal designs.

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It is important to recognize the value of traditional tasks historically performed by women for self-management of their own homes. In “Weaving The Street” these self-produced household items become a collective work for the whole community.

The activity has been integrated into the Municipal Children’s Camp, and has also begun to take place in nursing homes. This year we have had support from the City Council to carry out the installation and lighting.

We have introduced a new system from last year: Hula-Hoop racks that allow toddlers to easily weave gameplay. These racks joined together, make up a greater part of sun protection incorporates lighting at night, like the other pieces, pointing the way to the square, celebrations center around the holidays.

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The umbrellas are hung from the balconies of the streets with ropes clothesline. The most interesting time to visit is during the morning because the sun gives full, shine plastic work done by women, and they cast shadows on the ground.

Also, at night we discovered new qualities of space, as the makeshift dance floor under the racks Hula-Hoops.

We hope to continue to evolve, improve, and activating new options.

“The act of weaving becomes a metaphor for daily life, and also a tool for building space, build groups and communities, activities and ideals that would otherwise remain hidden, forgotten or lost”.
Jessica Hemmings, In The loop, Knitting Now.

Marina Fernandez Ramos

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