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.