It’s a dull, rainy day and I walked the dog round the garden in my wellies and mac, as so often lately. But the brambles have come into flower and that means Gatekeeper butterflies, though this year they are not in their usual abundance. No-one’s quite sure how they got their name but it may be because they favour the brambles that grow so often near field gates. We have a lot of these butterflies, along with Meadow Browns and Fritillaries, feeding on the brambles. Today’s threads are grey coton à broder no 20 and six-strand cottons in brown, variegated warm brown, orange, black and light grey, sewn in one or two strands. The stitches are reverse chain for the heart, satin stitch for the body of the insect, straight stitch for the feelers, and long-and-short for the wings.