Nancy Young lives in both Maine and Pennsylvania and has been braiding rugs for over sixty years. She and her husband ran Waters Edge Braiding Camp in Winthrop for many years where Nancy has taught hundreds of people to braid. She started braiding as a young housewife after learning from “Good Housekeeping Magazine” that braided rugs were warm, economical, and easy to make! She has been braiding ever since, and a brief visit to her home and studio on Lake Maranacook showed us a braided feast! Braided stairwell covers, pillows, chair seat covers, quilts, rugs—even a pair of slippers. There are ovals, rectangles, squares, circles, concentric shapes, octagons and nine-patch rugs. She still has a good supply of wool and supplies and continues to braid, inventing new designs and using up scraps. Her room is filled with windows that overlook the lake and yet her rugs do not fade. One that was over thirty years old looked—to us—brand new. She even has developed a technique to break a large rug down so that it can be washed in a local laundromat.
Nancy does not teach formal classes at this point, but if you ask her nicely, she is bound to help. Her knowledge and skills make her a master with this craft. She is often found encouraging her friends to learn a new technique (of all kinds) or visiting art exhibits to gain new ideas. An amazing woman! Three of her braided rugs are included in Maine Fiberarts’ current exhibition “Fiber Collective: Work by 24 Maine Artists.” We invite you to come see.
—Photography by Christine Macchi