winter sunset

Hello everybody, I hope you have had a nice Christmas, mine has been very quiet. I have been suffering with an annoying cold/flu can’t I cant seem to shift so I’ve just been spending my week or so off knitting and watching tv (which is nice!)


Sadly just before Christmas I found out one of my good friends had passed away, Cushla was a lovely lady who I met really through working at J&S but it was her who asked me to join the texile musuem as a trustee which I did for a time. I knew she was ill and I spoke to her a few weeks before she died but it was still a big shock to me to find out she had passed away, I went to her funeral the day after boxing day and it hit me very hard while I was there that she was gone. The funeral was a lovely service and everyone who spoke summed up many of her beautiful features, Dorota, who was another trustee at the Bod with me and still is spoke at the service, you can read what she said here. Cushla was so very positive and really encouraged me in everything I did, it was her who made me do the oil/knitting exhibition at the bod a few years ago and I wouldn’t have known where to start without her. She was constantly emailing me with funny, interesting and encouraging things and my life will be much less enriching without her. I desperately wanted to tell her family how much she meant to me at the service for her but as usual, I couldn’t verbalise how I was feeling at the time.


I was sitting at home the day after the funeral and I looked out the window about 3pm to see a lovely sunset, I got into my car and drove (christmas holiday laziness) about two minutes down to the sletts to take a few pictures, I sat down and let my feelings and sadness sit with me for a while before I went and decided to go forward and try my best for Cushla, she wanted me to do whatever I could to let people in Shetland and all over the world learn and appreciate Shetland Textiles, so thats what I will do.

I’ll be back with a post about this year in the next few days, until then, happy knitting xxx



34 thoughts on “winter sunset

  1. Lovely photos, thank you! Lots of clouds so not nice sunsets in New Jersey, USA.
    Your thoughts about Cushla are so beautifully put, clearly she will be missed by many.

  2. It is wonderful that you have had such an inspiration in your life as Cushla. It sounds as if she is still inspiring you for your direction in the future. Good friends are family and my you find comfort in her memory and legacy.

  3. So sorry to hear you lost such a good friend and mentor, but isn’t it comforting to know how she will inspire you still? Hope you shake the cold and feel better soon.

  4. Beautiful photos! Sorry for your loss of such a dear friend ~ May the new year keep her inspiration near and may it be happy!

  5. You continue to amaze me, Ms. Gordon. Though we have never met and probably never will, I find you to be the kind of person the world needs now—brave and open in the face of an unexpected sadness. Much happiness to you in the year ahead.

  6. Thanks for sharing your loss and celebrating Cushia’s life. Hold her memory and her inspiration close as you move forward in her honor.

  7. Beautifully written Ella, and two amazing photos.
    Wishing you much happiness in 2017.
    Looking forward to reading more news from you in the coming months.

  8. Thank you for taking the time to give us the lovely sunset pictures, share your thoughts and the piece by Dorota on Chshla. Oh yes, she will be missed but remembered!

  9. Such a sad loss. Cushla was clearly an amazing and inspiring person and, yes, you will miss her but your life is obviously richer because she had a place in it.

  10. That sunset picture is amazing! I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. She has left you a very important legacy, that of spreading the word about Shetland textiles. I think you’ll do an awesome job carrying that forward!

  11. I’m sorry to hear that you have lost your friend Cushla. If her family don’t read your blog perhaps you could use these words in a letter to them. Even if you had found the words at the time they might not have been able to take them in.

  12. Dear Ella, I too, lost an elder friend last year and there is nothing that can take their place. Especially when they are so vibrant and interested and encouraging in your life. They have so much to offer and we are the lucky ones when they find us. I still go to pick up the phone and tell “My Marg” the days events and alas, she’s not there. But the memories linger in my heart and I love her and them. Be thankful that she found you and keep her close in your own way. I suspect she would have liked your photograph and your sentiments. Be well and thank you for sharing.

  13. Dear Ella, this is a beautiful post and a wonderful tribute to Cushla.

    I first met Cushla at Shetland Wool Week in 2013 and was blown away by her enabling and enthusiastic ways, and her love for Shetland textiles. Like you, I found her very supportive of my work, and a voice of encouragement and positivity. I was really touched during Wool Week by the way that she was getting everyone to listen to my sound map, and telling visitors all about it. In turn, she was always showing me things in both the Museum and in the Textile Museum, and was thrilled to show me your wonderful oil boom knitting exhibition when I went to see it. I wonder how many other people she helped and lifted up with her generosity of spirit? I expect the answer is lots and lots.

    Your tribute here is beautiful and heartfelt and I am sure will help others in Shetland who are grieving. I am so, so sorry for your loss. Your commitment to showing people all over the world how amazing Shetland textiles are is an amazing way to keep Cushla’s memory alive; I am certain she would be very proud. Sending a big hug xxx

  14. Kia Ora Ella, I am one of Cushla’s sons in New Zealand. It is so so lovely to read your thoughts about her and hear that she was an inspiration for you. I wasn’t able to be at her funeral but I was able to spend some time with her before Christmas which was very special.
    One of your cushions was on one of the chairs and I remember she told me all about a “Wonderful young textile maker”..
    It’s been a very sad time for our family, it really is precious to read your tribute Ella, Thankyou.

    1. Dear Wiremu, thank you so much for your comment, it really means a lot. I think I met you briefly at the Craft Fair with your Dad, he was speaking to me and my Dad, thanks again, I am thinking of you all xx

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