Hearts stitch journal, 25 March 2018

A very dark and rain-soaked day today. I walked up the lane in a light drizzle, with the distant landscape obscured by mist. It’s much warmer – getting on for double figures now – and all the birds were singing. In the petit bois rented by the chasse, a new coop has been set up and in it were what I thought at first were turkeys. They proved to be pheasants – a cock and two hens. It seems strange that they’re once again raising pheasants but come to think of it, I haven’t seen many around lately, so perhaps they’ve all wandered off into the countryside: the garden and lane used to be full of them each morning. Today’s threads are grey coton à broder, teal-coloured modern rayon six-strand, used in a single strand, and 1920s rayons in shades of brown and rust. The stitches are double whipped detached chain for the heart, backstitch for the outline of the bird, with speckling and fly stitch for the feathers, fern stitch for the feet, straight stitch for the tail and a French knot for the eye.

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