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June 9, 2018 By Andy Ross

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A trip to Fair Isle

This week we have been on tour in Fair Isle. 

Fair Isle is mystical. It has a romantic and magical draw for anyone who loves textiles, and for another group, birders, it is a Mecca, drawing people from all over the world to marvel at the rarities that fly in and out of the island on their migrations. It is a difficult island to get to because it is such a small dot of land right in the middle of the sea; 'planes landing on the strip seem almost about to fall into the sea as the curve of the land falls away, and the approach takes in cliffs and peat moorland before the small aircraft suddenly dives down steeply and touches down. It is because of the difficulties of getting there (fog stops flights for days sometimes) that a trip is always an adventure and we were lucky to get in and out with no delays. 

Our stay was spread out over three days; arrival and walks, a day of visits and workshop with Shona Skinner from The Shetland Gallery, and departure day. Not nearly long enough but inspiring enough to make us want to come back. 

Fair Isle is a place to dream in. The pace of life is different; more laid back and casual. There are plenty of good walks and lots to see. We visited a knitwear designer, the local museum and the shop in amongst out workshop. We drew, painted, made a textile inspiration book, photographed and had an evening walk to see puffins returning home from their fishing grounds. 

Here are some pictures of the things we saw and did on the island. If you ever get a chance to go, take it. you are sure to have An Amazing Adventure!