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October 11, 2012 By Andy Ross

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Things Woolly and Musical

Things go by quietly and then, all of a sudden, many things happen all at once! It is not only Wool Week but the Fiddle and Accordion Festival too.

I have been meaning to go to the Text-Isles show, Swap Boxes, at the Bonhoga Gallery for ages but never managed. So, yesterday I made a trip down to see it. Each of the creators in the show was presented with a box by one of the other makers which acted as a catalyst for a project, and the results are fab! I especially like Emma Blain's weaving, not only because it is weaving, but because a bird jacket is a beautiful idea well executed and displayed. The rest of the pieces are just as interesting in ideas and design; motifs on the wall pricked out in badges of knitting, tambour frames of embroidery and print, and encased knit. See the show; it is great fun and looks really good in the Bonhoga!

Yesterday was the start of SWRI Choir. For those who don't know, SWRI is the Scottish Women's Rural Institutes, and I am the proud leader of the local choir. The choir meets every fortnight, generally for rehearsals for a concert or two, and we have been all over Shetland, and to competition in Perth. We have a lot of laughter, playing singing games, learning new songs, and, it being SWRI, drinking tea and eating. Who says you can't have your cake and eat it! This session we are learning some new songs for Christmas including the Ascott Gavotte from My Fair Lady, complete with acting. SWRI will never be the same again...

It was also a good day for other music. The Fiddle and Accordion Festival has started and the Lounge, a bar in Lerwick was heaving with people gathered to listen to great music and enjoy the brilliant atmosphere. There are many festivals across Shetland, the biggest being Folk Festival held in the Spring of the year, a great occasion for meeting folk and hearing brilliant music from around the world.

In between trips, I popped into a gathering at the Textile Museum. Luminous Yarns was an open-air event, by Roxane Permar and the Shetland College students, looking at light and luminousity. Each of us was given a stick at the end of which was a length of yarn, and a small torch. When we shone the light onto the yarn and charged it up, it glowed back in the dark, looking like strings of fireflies. So simple and so much fun!