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Published: 03 December 2014

By Andy Ross

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The year that has been

It is nearly the end of the year and it is traditional to look back over the last eleven-and-a-bit months and forward to the next twelve.

What a very interesting and exciting year it has been for us. We celebrated our eighth year in the studio in Yell (the picture is of the studio when we opened up in 2006), and GlobalYell's 12th year of existence. We have seen many visitors over the summer at the studio and on our textile tours and we have been to the Knitting and Stitching Show and the Shetland Craft Fair. On the music front, we have been working in schools with children on Pirates! The Musical, and with our very own Singing Saturdays group as well as at the Musical Memories group with Alzheimer Scotland. 

But the best thing of all this year has been the people we have met and chatted to. From all over the world people have been inspired to come to Shetland and see what the islands have to offer. Along the way they have popped into the studio or to the Shetland Gallery next door, and seen what an inspirational place these islands truly are. 

With the numbers of visitors increasing our confidence and the interest in Shetland textiles growing and growing, this year we went into small-scale production with tea towels printed with photographs of archive tweeds, and our "technology tweed pouches" for iPads and iPods, laptops and tablets. And the whole project could not have happened without the support, encouragement and advice from the directors of GlobalYell, from our business mentor, and from Shona and Alan in the Shetland Gallery and our sewing ladies who make up the pouches. 

So, what is in store for next year? Well, we will just have to wait and see everything that 2015 brings us but we do know that, amongst other things, there will be a show or two to attend, some ideas for new products are a-brewing, we will be meeting new suppliers and finding some places to sell our products to, and we will be running our textile tours in May, August and October again. 

2015 is looking like it is going to be a fun and exciting year. We hope yours is too...