Guess what? Another grey and rainy morning…. I must admit to being pretty tired of this by now, as we have only had about five sunrises this month. A bit colder too, at 6 degrees and I could see the dog’s breath as we walked down the lane into the mist. With the gloom, there isn’t much to see in the garden at the moment – the spring flowers have closed up due to lack of light and even the periwinkles were asleep this morning. But the violet willow is full of pussy willows at least. Calling it violet is a bit fanciful, really, as the stems are greenish-brown and the pussies are grey. I planted a walk of this stuff in our orchard about 12 years ago, from a bundle of pencil-thin sticks a friend gave me and our trees are now a good 15ft high and make a shady walk bordered by roses. Today’s threads, in a near-monochrome study, are dark grey coton à broder no 16, hand-dyed variegated grey coton à broder (about no 2, I think) and a greenish Anchor embroidery thread used in four strands. The stitches are knotted reverse chain for the outline, stem stitch for the twigs and detached eyelet for the pussy willows.