At the beginning of this week the weather was awful!  Really awful!  We had gale force winds and torrential rain interspersed with hail.  The wind was from the north at times, making it bitterly cold.  At times working in the dye shed was a little frightening - although fortunately the shed is incredibly sturdy and I don't have any serious concerns being inside it in high winds.  But the last couple of days have been absolutely glorious!  With Lexie's paws healing nicely again we set off to Lexie's Loch yesterday in the late afternoon sunshine:

[caption id="attachment_6902" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Lexie's Loch, Assynt Lexie's Loch, Assynt[/caption]

I was incredibly busy this week with dyeing The Orkney Collection - thank you one and all for the overwhelming response to this collection.  And I mean overwhelmed.  The lounge in our house has yarn hanging from every possible rafter to try and get it dry enough for posting out to you all.  This morning I went to the Post Office in Lochinver with a huge number of parcels.  Our poor postmistress, Ann, groaned when she saw me.  She had been about to nip off and hang out her washing.  Fortunately I was well organised and had all the parcels sorted out by weight and country, so we whizzed through them and she was happy for the business, and I was happy knowing that the majority of orders placed during the week were on their way.  There are still a few orders waiting to be filled, but I hope to have these in the post to you on Monday too.  Orders are still coming in, and any orders placed now will be dyed next week.  Thank you, again.  I have really enjoyed this collection, from choosing the photographs, to experimenting with different colour combinations, and to finally putting together the collection.  If I have any left next weekend I will bring them with me to the Highland Wool and Textile Fair next Saturday in Inverness at the Bishop's Palace.  The fair is open from 10.00 to 4.00 on Saturday, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Because I'd worked so hard all week, I had the opportunity to have a "proper" weekend off.  And I certainly chose the weather!  We decided to take a drive around part of Assynt and do the holiday touristy thing of going to look at Stoer Lighthouse.


We rarely head out that way - in the summer it is a very busy place for tourists, understandably, but I prefer going once the main tourist season is over, when it is quieter and more peaceful.


Rather than taking the coastal path that leads to the Old Man of Stoer, a sea stack popular with climbers, we headed up the hill to get better views of the lighthouse and the Minch beyond.  You used to be able to rent the Lightkeeper's accommodation in the lighthouse, but I can't find any link to the accommodation.  I know it was up for sale so perhaps it is no longer available to rent.  Pity .... it suddenly struck me that it could be a lovely place for  a knitting retreat!

Our route to the lighthouse took us past our local primary school, clearly guarded over the weekend by the local cattle:


We also took a slight detour into the township of Culkein -  a typical crofting township, and one which has the added bonus of having a wonderful view of Quinag in the distance.



While driving around our corner of Assynt, I was thinking about the retreats that have been held on Tanera Mor.  Their future is uncertain at this stage, but when I set them up I had no idea the effect of visiting this part of Scotland would have on people.  And how much some of those who came would fall in love with the Highlands and not want to leave.  You can read a little of the effect it has had on one person in particular - Maggie - I feel sure that one day she'll be living here too.