YOP10 Week 25/52 – A hijacked YOP post

This is usually my weekly YOP post but it’s been hijacked somewhat by some news on our latest holiday to the west coast and some changes I have made on my blog, reading blogs and Instagram. I am trying to put things in place now to help 2021 be a better year for my relationship with social media and avoid ‘beating-myself-up-itis’.


This week I have only worked on my 2nd Turtle Dove jumper. I am almost ready to start the bottom ribbing and then need to do the arms, so I feel pretty confident this will be ready for wearing at Christmas. It looks soooooo weird at this stage. I think my first one I didn’t go down a needle size on the neck…that or I just have stretched it a lot throwing it on almost every day.

Other News – West Coast holiday

We have been away this week, staying in a cabin called Down House. We stayed there in March for our Wedding Anniversary and decided to return for a week. It is on the West Coast of Scotland and sits on the cliffs above Lower Diabaig. Each room has a view of Upper Loch Torridon (a sea Loch). With no light pollution we could see thousands of stars, so many stars that identifying any of the constellations, we usually see clearly, became tricky. We slept with the curtains open and saw a meteor shower on one of the nights.

The cabin doesn’t have a great WiFi signal, no data or mobile signal and no TV signal so we took along some Christmas DVDs (Elf, Serendipity, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Grinch (Jim Carey version) and The Santa Clause 1 and 2) and we also watched a couple that were available including Loch Ness and A Walk in the Woods.

Lower Diabaig village (I say village but it’s just a few houses and no shop or pub) was used in the Loch Ness movie starring Ted Danson from the mid-90s. Anyone who watched that movie and then visited Loch Ness would be surprised to find that most of that movie is filmed elsewhere in the Highlands and mostly in the area we’ve been visiting.

It’s a steep walk down to the village from the cabin but we did it a couple of days. On one day we were followed back up the road by an otter! It was a big otter and going at a fast pace and my husband got worried it was coming for us 😂. Our dog Ylva was too busy smelling some animal tracks in the bracken to even notice it!!! But once it had squeezed through a gate and disappeared under a derelict static caravan she suddenly got a whiff of it and wanted to investigate but we managed to keep her moving up the hill, with us all looking back to see if it had re-emerged. It got within 6’ of us so that’s definitely our closest encounter!

We also saw a seal near the pier and lots of birds on the bird feeder. One evening a huge owl perched outside the window and watched us for a minute and then disappeared. We also saw a family of deer in a parking bay.

It rained everyday, but it’s the west coast and that’s normal all year, we have waterproofs so were fine. We went to Gairloch and Red Point beaches which were both ones we’d not been to before. From there you can see the Isles of Skye, Harris and some of the smaller Isles too.

Just to bring it back to knitting for a minute…I wore my Void (Ravelry link) shawl as a scarf everyday and it was without doubt the best at keeping out the cold winds around my neck. I also wore my Such a Winter’s Day jumper most days and it was perfect on milder days with just a rain coat and on colder days under a padded jacket and raincoat…always a raincoat over! I only took one hat with me! I highly recommend Jamieson &. Smith Chunky Shetland for a warm hat that keeps the wind out. It isn’t as warm as my bulky alpaca hat but it is warmer than most of my others.

Other News – Game and Social Media changes

I have finally deleted Homescapes game from my iPad, 7 days without using it gave me the nudge I needed. Not playing it gave me time to read a book this week. The first book I think I’ve finished since March! It was called The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards. I’ve read most of his; they are easy to read, quite gripping thrillers and included on Kindle Unlimited and many have free audio versions.

I have removed the Like button from future posts (if I’ve done it right). I was listening to one of Dax’s podcasts and they were talking about how unhealthy it is to become obsessed with how many ‘likes’ things get on social media and in my attempts to have a healthier relationship with social media I have made some changes. I don’t think you have the options to switch them off on Instagram or Facebook, but I have already switched off notifications.

I have also changed how I’m using Instagram. I have revived an old account that I am going to use to record 2021 as a pictorial diary for myself, rather than of interest to anyone else. I won’t be hashtagging the posts and won’t be publicising it. My highland_heffalump account I will still use for publishing creative projects. My use of Facebook will predominantly be on my Highland Heffalump page, rather than my home page.

I have also thinned down the number of blogs that I am following. Although I have been enjoying reading everyone’s posts there is a mental battle that I have with myself about how much time I spend reading posts and then I start getting behind and they are backing up in my inbox and become a stressor. I’m sure this makes no sense to anyone else. I’m still going to be following all the YOP group blogs that are shared in our group and another ~8 other bloggers (including the ladies who join the Blogville knit group calls on Sundays). I think that’s a more manageable number. I still worry I may offend people I have unfollowed but I do need a healthier balance of time spent on my tablet/phone and hope people understand. I will continue to do my weekly YOP posts, as I love this group and the connections I have made from it. I get such inspiration from the projects the others work on.

Some other planned changes

One of the YOP ladies has been using an App called MyMission to virtually walk famous routes and I am going to sign up to walk the Iceland ring road in the new year. You set yourself a timescale of when you want to finish it and my Fitbit should sync my steps each day and show me where I am…that should hopefully get me moving more.

I am also going to start a new round of decluttering in the new year. I need to decide about all the clothes that are too small and set myself a timescale for getting back into them or they’ll be donated!

The next change on my list is reviewing my YOP list for the 2nd half of our YOP year. So next week’s post which will be the half way marker will show what’s been culled from my list and what has remained. I need to appreciate that knitting is a slow craft and I have eyes bigger than my belly. If I want to make a larger Havana in 2021 then my list needs some items bumping to the Future Creative Plans list. I also want to find more time to work on the Personal Projects I had set as well, plus decluttering and walking more.

Sorry this was a long one, it probably should have been 3 separate posts, but with such poor WiFi it was easier to combine them. 😃 We re-enter total lockdown on Boxing Day (the day after a Christmas) for 3 weeks so the shop I sell my goods in will have to shut, but that gives me an opportunity to spend those weeks experimenting with some new ideas and doing some weaving. We are lucky that the lockdown won’t affect us really on a day to day basis and feel blessed to have been able to have such a lovely relaxing week away.

For those who celebrate Christmas I wish you a happy one and hope you stay safe.

This is a Year of Projects post. Officially the Group is in its 10th year, but this is my 3rd year participating. If you would like to find more about the Year of Projects Group on Ravelry.


  1. Your trip looks lovely and is something the hubs and I want to do one day in the campervan. I understand your feelings about social media. It can get in the way of doing things. I hope what you decide helps you. Take care and have a great Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As always, I envy your getaway, which you richly deserved. We hope to be in Sutherland at the end of April ourselves, but aren’t counting on anything. 2020 has been good for reining in expectations, if nothing else. Don’t feel guilty about cutting down your online presence — you must do what’s best for you and yours. And if that also means there are more of your beautiful creations in the world, that can only be a win.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your holiday pictures are great. What a beautiful place to visit. I loved the story about the otter. Your sweater will be beautiful and perfect for Christmas. I’ve unfollowed a lot of people on Instagram, but I like what you are saying about unfollowing blogs. I travelled this week and now I’m stressed out trying to catch up with them. I need to let that go and never catch up or stop trying to read so many.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I totally understand about your desire to cut back on social media consumption. I no longer use Facebook, unless a family member asks me to look at a post. May your new resolutions lead you to more time for your creative artwork/crafts and a better balance in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your getaway looks and sounds amazing! I understand the need to cut down on social media although right now I’m hardly using it at all – 1 happy side effect of being so busy. So much so now I have a bit of time, I don’t think I will miss it. I may however, make some of that time to catch up with some blogs I haven’t looked at for months. Have a great Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great post!! Certainly didn’t mind that it was long. Full of great suggestions. WOW. What a great getaway!! So jealous – but then I’m heading to warm weather for the winter so guess I shouldn’t complain. 🙂 Congratulations on all your steps to cut back on social media!! I too unfollow frequently. I don’t do well with multiple posts per day so they get dropped rather quickly. Thus my Facebook and Instragram feeds are pretty small. THANKS so much for sharing about My Mission. I can’t say how great you are for walking in the rain!! I’m a wimp but with moving to Florida next week, I’ll be taking daily walks. Perfect timing for using My Mission!! I too love this group too as I’ve learned about so much more than knitting! The Monthly declutter challenge is another great example that I’ll be putting into effect when we return north in April. And as I’ve shared before, my annual knitting plan is more of a “what was I thinking???” than a commitment. For me it’s a de-stresser because just having skeins of yarn staring at me going “pick me, pick me” is more stressful than having a rough plan of “I’ll get to you in 2022”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, I’m not sure why but your reply had gone into my Spam box so I’ve only just spotted that and approved it and read it. I can send you a link for 10% off if you are interested in signing up to MyMission. Mary-Ann (knitwisegamgee), Alissa (Headknits), Sarah (mildlygranola) and Marilee (Quite a Yarn) are all doing the walk around the Iceland ring road, but there are lots to choose from.


  7. What a lovely get away you had. The photo of the big antlered creature is amazing! Are otters viciois? They are so fun to watch in the water. Probably my favorite exhibition at the aquarium.

    Good luck in your walking the Iceland ring. It sounds like a fun app. I may look into that one too. And decluttering is in my plate starting next month. I am joining a 91 day decluttering group. I was with them a few years ago but had to stop due to family life.

    Social media is a real time sucker. IG is my favorite at the moment as is my YOP family. FB is ok but there is too much complaining on there and political crap. I use it for my groups I belong to….most cooking and crafting groups.

    Have a happy holiday season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a red deer stag with the antlers. The number of points on his antlers indicate how old he is. I don’t think an otter would attack, but we were amazed he just kept approaching and could clearly see us. He is obviously used to people whereas most otters disappear if they smell, hear or see you so you only get distant looks through the binoculars usually. Exciting though.


  8. That sounds like just a wonderful trip! Thank you for sharing the photos and your stories. How neat to be so close to the otter and owl and the deer 🙂 Your sweater is looking wonderful – very festive and cozy! You have some good plans for the upcoming year. I have been struggling with my level of involvement with social media as well. The My Mission app sounds amazing – I will have to look for that!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely photos, I’m happy you had the opportunity to get away, and in such lovely country too! I applaud your changes on social media, it can get overwhelming. I, too struggle when I get backed up reading blogs, so I have a fairly small list too. The people I visit, I want to get to know, and that is impossible if you are trying to keep up with 30 blogs! Wishing you many blessings this Christmas and in the New Year.


  10. Your trip looks like balm for the soul. Ya for walking in the rain – I am loving it with my new waterproofs! I too have stop notifications from all my apps – I do love Dax Shepherd’s podcasts, and I agree that I can’t follow all the blogs I used to and still feel okay about commenting or not. It sounds like you have given all of your changes a good deal of thought and I love your idea of a pictoral instagram for 2021. I might borrow that idea too. Merry Christmas to you, and here’s to 2021 being a lot easier on all of us. I am excited to follow your progress on the Ring Road. I know it has really stepped up my walking and I aim now for 3 miles a day rain or shine!


  11. I would be more afraid of that elk than an otter! Those antlers can do serious damage! What a beautiful setting! What kind of Fitbit do you have? I am thinking of getting one along with some trekking poles since I fell on a little stone! Old age is not for the weak! I love your sweater and that color is gorgeous! I love your “lists” and need to revisit goals and plans for 2021 too. My birthday is 1/4 so it has always been a great time with New Years to make, revise, and re-evaluate the pla ns from 2020. What a great post and Merry Christmas to you too!


  12. I feel the same way about blogs sometimes. It does stress me out when I’ve been less active, not commenting on posts etc. I’m glad you’re actively taking steps to make things more manageable for yourself!


    • Today I unsubscribed from a dozen YouTube channels as well today only leaving 4 left and that is manageable I think. Amy Florence’s two channels, Grocery Girls and now I can’t remember the 4th! I am hopeless at feeling guilty about things.


  13. I totally understand about unfollowing some blogs. Since lockdown first started my unread emails regularly get up to 100+ with blog posts I haven’t read yet. I’m not quite ready to drop any of them yet.


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