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By Andy Ross

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Spring in Shetland

We have just entered the first days of Spring... officially.

The dark nights of winter are quickly changing and although we still have cold, bulbs are flowering and lots of plants are in leaf, not just bud. There is a different feel in the air: fresh and lively. Soon we will have lambs, long walks over the hills, daylight which seems to go on forever, and lots of visitors, we hope. Ah yes, Spring is a great time in the islands. 

Spring also means spring-cleaning. This year we have decided to move the studio around quite dramatically. If you have visited us in the past you will have seen the display area in the production end of the building. We discovered a real problem last year with this setup. If people are in the display area we cannot weave because the loom and compressor make so much noise. This disrupts what we are doing and it takes ages to get back into the pattern again. So we have decided to move the display in to the adjoining unit and that is starting to look good, with more space and light than before. The textile collection, which was housed in that area, is now in the previous exhibition space. We have lost room for our exhibitions but we will still be able to put smaller shows on, and that means people can look at the fabrics and then browse the collection, all in the same area.

There is a lot to do still. We need to paint walls and furniture, and we need to sort lighting out. We need to get the collection boxed up (it is being photographed at the moment) and we need to pack it properly, away from light. We also need to get a sampling loom set-up in the production end of the studio so that we can start to make samples for our colourwork. We have been making folders for our samples, cutting pieces of cloth to go with patterns so that we have an archive of our own and those folders need to be stored too. Yes, there is lots to do but it is all Exciting Stuff. Here is to a few more weeks of frentic activity before the visitor season starts in earnest. Pictures will follow when we are all done.