Accidentally Local

I’ve gotten about as far as the living room so far today. The shutters are still closed over the windows to try to keep in the heat. Later, I’ll put on a thick jumper and open the windows to air the house. But for now I’m curling up on the sofa under a pile of blankets and thinking twisty thoughts about British yarn.

Snow on the frozen canal

Midway through last year, I started to go for walks early on a Saturday morning. The promise of pain au chocolat from the local bakery on the way home was a treat, but the change of scenery was what I was really after.

Before the pandemic, I had gotten used to being in a new place in Scotland every week. It wasn’t always the most comfortable – on a local bus somewhere rural hoping I’d recognise where I needed to go – but it made each week distinct and vivid. It wasn’t a jetsetting lifestyle across the globe but it had it’s own charm.

I’ve been lost somewhere in the Lothian region looking for a particular address rather too many times. But I’ve also gotten to explore Stirling’s steep twisty streets up to the castle on the Rock, watched the leaves turn in the Scottish Borders, and saw the Royal Deeside in the snow.

The world changed and I changed with it.

The Flodden Wall with a view to Edinburgh Castle

I decided a few years back that the time for future planning is January. I never know what the next year will bring in December. January starts me dreaming and planning anyway.

This year feels more unsettled than most. Covid-19 is an obvious part, but also my three year plan for work is about to enter into its final 6 months. The whole year feels open for change even if I can’t even leave a five mile radius from my flat at the moment.

Last year, I shared my coffee table covered in yarn and potential projects. I went big on the potential last year knowing I wouldn’t be able to complete all of it but wanting to have options at the ready.

A coffee table of plans for 2020

A lot of those actually came to fruition. The tea cosy was the first, then followed by two jumpers in quick succession before I took a break for the summer. The next two jumpers are actually still on the needles at the moment with just the sleeves to go. The fabric became project bags (as anticipated) and masks (really not anticipated).

Everything I knitted was from stash (er, at least bought before the start of 2020) which made for an interesting exercise. I had planned to knit four jumpers and I succeeded on knitting on four but finishing them proved a little too much, not least because I caught the sewing bug. I certainly wasn’t expecting to also make four new dresses, two pairs of pajamas and two tops back in January 2020.

The best part was that it was all so much fun.

I’ve still got things to keep me going as I finish off the teal cardigan and the red tweed jumper. I don’t need to start my 2021 projects yet which turns out to be a huge relief.

I still came up with some ideas of the projects I’d like to do and started buying the yarn for them. Then I ran into a whole new problem – Brexit. Just yesterday, I found that buying yarn from European suppliers is going to be more challenging for the next little bit. I hope it goes back to being feasible soon, but my plans hit a patch of black ice.

Two of the projects I was already planning involved British yarn but I find myself wondering if I want to steer into the skid. If this year (or at least the start) is about staying local perhaps my projects should be too. There’s going to be time to knit across the world, to travel and to broaden my horizons. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, there’s beauty and variety close to home if we’re lucky enough to be in the right place and mindset to enjoy it.

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