We started touring Shetland and learning about its textile traditions, history, heritage and contemporary practice in 2007. Each year that we have run a tour we have learnt a little more, and yet there is still so much to learn that each tour is different.
My educational background is in Hotel and Catering Management and Tourism, and we believe that looking after people who are visiting us is important. It follows that food is a big part of our tours. We love to sample the local produce and cake is a part of the experience!
I also run a weave studio on the island of Yell where we work with students, graduates, artists and craftspeople to support the craft of weaving, especially where that weaving is influenced by the textiles and scenery of Shetland. It is for that reason that our tours are constantly evolving and changing.
For centuries fabrics have been made in Shetland and we visit some of the places where weaving and knitting has been done, and where people are reinventing the traditions. We also look at collections and archives, linking all of this with the beautiful scenery that the archipelago offers. Plus there is shopping to do!
We are very happy to accommodate requests for specific things to do on our tours, and we enjoy discovering something new, so we could be having lunch in a church, or taking part in a community get-together. It just depends on what is happening that particular day.
Andy - your driver and guide
My name is Andy Ross, and I come from Zimbabwe, but now Shetland is my home. I have lived for sixteen years on the island of Yell where traditional crofting is still practiced and where the local dialect is strong.
My other passion is music and I trained as a singer. I work with schools in Shetland to encourage children to sing, and there is always a chance to hear a dialect song on our tours!