Chilly mornings and charming finches

The mornings are darker now, and chilly, the chickens are in much less of a hurry to leave their cosy coop when I let them out each day, and Alfie has taken up residence in front of the log burner.  He does feel the cold being small and thin-coated, so has been given a lovely knitted coat which of course he totally despises.  He used to have a lovely dog bed in front of the stove but has, over the  last few months, managed to completely destroy it. So, for the moment at least, is he managing without. (I hasten to add that he does have a nice basket (slightly chewed) of his own,  so he is not completely mistreated!)

There are masses of berries on the holly tree this year.  I’ve never seen them so plump and shiny, and I’d like to think that they’d still be around for me to use for my Christmas wreath.  This has never been the case however, and usually I have to substitute rosehips, of which there are an abundance in the hedgerows around our house….

And the reason for this shortage of holly berries is the annual visit in November, of a charm (such a lovely collective noun) of goldfinches.  I don’t begrudge them their feasting, after all their need is greater than mine, and they are such beautiful birds.  Anyone who thinks that our English garden birds are brown and boring should definitely reconsider as goldfinches are the bright and showy parrots of our gardens…

And I love this water colour of a goldfinch feasting on thistle seeds from The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden.  Sadly I was unable to fit a goldfinch into the autumn months of my Country Year wheel of the year project (I always associate them with this time of year as this is when they are most visible in our garden)…..

After all there’s only so much you can fit into a small segment of a circle!  But I have been wanting to stitch a goldfinch for quite some time now, so decided to include a pattern in the November edition of the Bustle & Sew Magazine that will be published on Thursday 26th October …

And I hope you like it.  I enjoyed using a variety of stitches, especially the basket weave effect and turkey knot stitch on the thistle (there will be full instructions in the pattern).  I stitched it on a lovely blue pure linen fabric from a new UK-based company Wild Linens who were kind enough to send me some samples to try.  The actual colour is called Petrol Blue which I don’t think does it justice!

Wild Linens were also kind enough to send me a discount code to share with readers, so if you should visit their store, then don’t forget to enter code BUSTLE10 for a 10% discount at checkout.



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