Hearts stitch journal 31 January 2018

A dreadful, dark morning with teeming rain. It was darker this morning, due to the overcast, than it was during the night, which was lit by the supermoon. The sound of construction drowned out the birdsong – our neighbour is building a new hangar for chickens, quite close to our house and now that the A-frame is up, the builders are working frantically to get the roof on, even as the rain pours down. I must admit to being in a bleak mood today, partly due to an incident yesterday, so the weather, and the loss of part of our view doesn’t help – we’ll be able to see this hangar from our house (even from my desk…) and one reason we chose this house was precisely because you couldn’t see another building from it. But it can’t be helped – he has a living to make and a family to support, and I must make plans for a hedge to block the view. Today’s heart shows the grass in our lane, which is beginning to grow thickly (in January!) and is tumbling down the bank in big heaps. In our part of France, we have ‘bocage’ – a farm system of small fields bordered by banks and ditches, topped with hedges of chestnut trees, which creates a microclimate. Somewhat confusingly for the English, the French use the same word – fosse – for both ditch and bank. Today’s threads are a grey Anchor six-strand embroidery silk that I think is no longer made, dark green vintage DMC coton à broder no 6, modern cheap green cotton embroidery thread from Ebay (pretty good quality, actually) and a silver thread from a Lidl box set. It was lovely to sew with the silk, as it slips through the fabric so easily and makes such lovely knots, though it is friable and begins to spread towards the end – I stitched in two halves to obviate this issue a bit. The outline is in a favourite stitch of mine – knotted stem stitch – and the infill is half eyelet for the grass and long-and-short stitch for the rain. This heart was quite difficult to photograph, but the overexposure shows the texture a tad better.

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