Before I get on to the leisurely walk we had today, I'd like to discuss the new postage rates that are in force.  Through discussions with our post mistress, Anne, in our local Post Office, and through acquiring new bags for posting, I have managed to package yarn in a way that keeps the increase to a minimum.  I still think the increase in postage rates is unacceptable as for post within the UK they reflect an 11% increase over prices last week if you manage to stay within the "small parcel" bracket, and a whopping 109% increase if you move into the medium parcel bracket because of the depth of the parcel exceeding 8cm.  So what I've done is drawn up the table (pdf link below) so you can see how much it will cost you based on the weight of your parcel.  I am still calculating parcels according to weight, as I know how much I can get into a bag before it drops into the next parcel size category, and I think that this keeps it simple for everyone.

Postage rates April 2013

Postage will be calculated automatically for you when ordering on the website - the above pdf is simply for your information and for transparency and clarity.  UK customers will still have the choice of 1st or 2nd class post, where as for everyone outwith the UK Royal Mail Air Mail remains, in my view, the best way of getting your parcels to you.

Now that spring is very definitely here, we're trying to expand the area that we include in our walks.  Stevan is part of a group called the Assynt Interpretation Group, and part of their remit is to study various areas of Assynt very closely, both on the ground and from aerial photographs,  and examine the landscape from various specialist points of view.  Members of the group include generalists, such as Stevan, but also an archaeologist, a botanist, a poet, a geologist and a wildlife ranger, to name but a few.  As a result of their remit they explore parts of Assynt unknown to many who come to this part of the world, and even to some who have lived here for most of their lives.

Today took us to an area called Cnoc nan Each (Hill of the Horse) which is close to Glencanisp Lodge where we hope to hold a knitting retreat later this year.


For those coming on the retreat, if you fancy taking a walk in this area we can certainly arrange that.  While the walk starts on a lovely path, which takes you through a lovely lane of beech and hazlenut trees, before too long it becomes a steep track which takes you up Cnoc nan Each.


You climb quickly, and before long you are looking back across Loch Druim Suardalain and towards Glencanisp Lodge itself which is hidden in the trees on the far side of the loch:


The view of some of the iconic peaks in Assynt was enhanced by the very tips still being covered in snow.


We found the remains of a home which was occupied possibly as recently as the 1980's or 1990's, and with a building date clearly marking it as having been built in 1870.  Coincidentally we ate out at the Lochinver Mission this evening where we met the last person who lived in this house.


We don't have a similar date stone on our house, but the style of house is so similar to ours it gives us a good indication as to when our house was built.  The setting of this house is stunning:


Heading back to the car along the beech lane the tree trunks provided some lovely colour inspiration for future colourways:


It was such a peaceful walk and I feel sure we'll revisit the area soon.

For those of you who don't know about the knitting retreat at Glencanisp or who would like further information about it, you can read my blog entry about it here, and the link to Glencanisp Lodge where you can find further details is here.  There are still rooms available for this retreat, and although it has been called a Knitting Retreat I should stress that it is by no means restricted to knitting.  A more accurate description would have been a "Yarny Retreat" as there are people coming with a whole host of yarn skills, not just knitting.  Do come - it would be lovely to have you along.