A grey, cool, misty day and our temperatures are back into single figures. It still feels like spring, though, due to the phenomenal amount of greenery that has sprouted everywhere. In the lane, the fat beech buds have unfurled into silky green leaves and hanging fruit that will later turn to beech mast, once a sought-after fodder for pigs when they were turned out into the woods to fatten. We ate them when we were children, though shelling the tiny nuts is very fiddly, and during the war they were used as an erzatz coffee. Today’s threads are grey coton à broder no 16, brown cotton perlé no 5, green Indian rayon, golden silk perlé shawl fringing that I dyed with Leylandia leaves and beige sewing cotton no 40. The stitches are German bound buttonhole for the heart, stem stitch for the twig, back stitch for the twiglets, satin stitch for the leaves and satin stitch with straight stitch for the fruit.