A Weaver’s Tale
By Lynn Gray Ross
My life changed completely on November 4, 2014 when I was helicoptered to the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh for a liver transplant. I’d been ill and on the waiting list for almost four years for a suitable donor.
It’s been a gradual recovery and I have to be patient about the things I can’t do and grateful for the things I can. I’m fortunate to have weekly access to keep fit, chair yoga and t’ai chi classes and the occasional swim.
I came to Arran when I was 30 and set up a weaving studio with the skills I’d learned in Sweden. I had students from all over the world and an opportunity to travel, representing Scotland on several European exchange programmes to promote crafts as a means of boosting the economy, especially in rural areas like Arran. In the meantime I’ve raised three children.
One of my best memories when my children were young is of being self-sufficient by growing fruit and vegetables and fishing for mackerel to go with our tatties and gooseberries.
In April 2014 just when I was most ill and despairing, the manuscript I’d turned into Bloomsbury UK four years earlier was published.
“Handweaving: The Basics” is a record of my experience with weaving in the studio on Arran and in the local schools, involving pupils and teachers. The book also has instructions for simple projects to introduce weaving a basic level. The book is available on Amazon under my official name Lynn Gray Ross.
During the years of working on the European projects I learned to appreciate the Internet for communicating with the other countries involved, sharing ideas and arranging meetings by email. I am still a fan of communicating by Facebook and email which keeps me in touch with my friends in the US and Sweden from previous time there. And for keeping in touch with my offspring and grandchildren as they move around in the US and Ireland and even in Lamlash.
Recently I’ve set up 2 websites, a blog and a couple of Facebook pages to share thoughts & ideas with other textile artists. I’ve tried to document patterns for weaving and knitting to keep the traditions alive. The Arran Heritage Museum has my research from Silverbirch, my studio in Whiting Bay.
You can find out more on the websites for weaving and knitting
• Scottish Weaver and Knitter www.lynngrayross.co.uk
• The Arran Knitting Company www.patterns.on-arran.com
• Silverbirch Workshop Archives https://www.facebook.com/silverbircharchives/
and the new page to bring it all up to date
• The Arran Knitting and Weaving Workshop
The story of my life and work on Arran would not be complete without a mention of Jill, Christopher and Simon my daughter and sons who give me very good reason to be grateful to the donor family who saved my life and the doctors at the Liver Unit in Edinburgh and here on Arran who have taken care of me so well.