countryside · in the woods

Magical May


















Trees in my coffee






Here in the south of England May is the most magical month. Throughout April there are always days that feel like they've been reclaimed by winter, with sharp frosts, cold winds and even late snow flurries. But when May arrives it brings a dramatic change and suddenly the countryside, which seemed so bare, brown and twiggy just a week ago, is clothed in a bright green growth. 

If you visited these woods during winter you would think them rather dull, but they are at their breath-takingly beautiful best right now and to come and sit here with a coffee and a rather delicious slab of salted caramel brownie is such a privilege and delight. Sitting quietly on this log, surrounded by such beauty, smelling the delicate scent drifting up from the bluebells and listening to the bird song filtering down through the new leaves in the canopy is a joy and I'll be back out in the woods again next week, making the very most of this fleeting natural wonder.

"I enjoy the spring more than the autumn now. One does, I think, as one gets older."

Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room



PS: Thanks for all of the kind comments on the horses pattern, it's almost done, will post again when all the final checks are finished, J x


countryside · foxes in my garden · in the woods · wildlife

Early April, mostly in pictures


















Sweetchestnut bud




Catkins4 -



























Words have been eluding me a little lately. Toby has been going through a bad patch behaviourally and I'm feeling a little tired and depleted. Happily Spring is now in full swing and the progression of colour throughout the countryside is providing many small delights. Being out with my camera always lifts my spirits and I hope these photos are a pleasure for you to see too. And Kit visiting again is such a joy. She's been here once or twice a week and is no longer pregnant so hopefully there are some healthy growing cubs hidden somewhere safe nearby. You can see in the second picture of her that part of her belly fur has gone, I've been trying to read up on whether it's related to her recently giving birth – maybe kind of a 'brood patch' as the cubs can't temperature regulate for the first 3 weeks of life. If anyone knows the answer please do let me know.

Progress is being made with the horse pattern but it's slow going at the moment as we're now in the Easter break from college so I'm not getting much time to work on it. Hopefully I'll have something ready to show you in a few weeks time.

Hope that you're finding some small delights in your days too, J x


countryside · crafts & knitting · garden stuff · in the woods

More spring signals




Bare branches overhead


Silhouetted trees




Old oak


Plum tree








Plum blossom




Packing up


Although the trees are currently still skeletal and bare-branched, there are a few more signs that spring is just around the corner. Last summer the old plum tree in our garden had to have a heavy pruning because some of the branches were creaking badly and cracking under the weight of the plum harvest, but even so it is currently delighting both me and the bumble bees that are emerging from hibernation with it's blossom. It is such a beautiful herald of the change in seasons. There are catkins everywhere and daffodils too and I'm looking forward to going out with my camera next week in search of those, and hopefully the first of the blackthorn blossom.

Thanks for all of the comments on my winter mice giveaway post. I've notified the winners and the mice are both packaged up and currently travelling to their new homes, one in the North of England and the other a little further away in Tasmania! I will be having more giveaways later in the year so I better get on with making some more animals and also finishing off my horse pattern, can't wait to share that with you in the spring 🙂

Hope you have a good weekend coming up. See you soon, J x


countryside · crafts & knitting · in the woods

The first signs of spring












Carpet snowdrops






Snowdrop carpet




Icy branch




Jupiter and venus


Mice pair


Firstly, thank you so much for all the kindness in your messages from my previous post, the words you have gifted to me have been like a big warm hug.

In my journal of happy things Kit is still featuring, not daily, but every 2 or 3 days she's arrived for snacks and without a doubt she is pregnant. Twice her mate has accompanied her but he's very shy and has bolted for the bushes as soon as he's seen us. I've also jotted about the early evening sky, made beautiful by the planets Venus and Jupiter being so very bright and visible low in the sky to the west just after sunset.  I am hoping that we get clear skies on March 1st when they come close together, I love a bit of star and planet gazing – search 'Venus Jupiter conjunction' if you're interested in seeing the spectacle in your part of the world.

Out on my own in the woods I've been paying attention and noticing the tiniest details that show the shift in the seasons from winter to spring. Despite the recent sharp frosts there are tree buds swelling on the branches and the first emergence of catkins, but a carpet of snowdrops in a local wood is the most emphatic sign of change. These hardy little plants are such a hopeful sight, pushing their blunt tipped leaves through frosted soil throughout January to produce such delicate bell-like flowers each February. They're beautiful en masse and when they tremble in the cold wind on a breezy day it looks like the whole woodland floor is shimmering. And drifting down from the bare branches overhead come symphonies sung by small birds – being in a snowdrop carpeted wood is one of my favourite natural pleasures.

It's been a cold winter this year, so spring will be a while yet but it's been nice to embrace the last weeks of winter by curling up in the warm to work on new patterns. The horse pattern is coming along nicely and I'm now working on a cow pattern too. I will show you some pictures when I've ironed out some of the wrinkles. I'm also putting the finishing touches to a couple of mice that I'll be giving away. I've been holding off on this because of the disarray of the international post (Royal mail has suspended international deliveries throughout January) but now it looks like the situation is resolved I'll post about the giveaway soon. See you again when they're ready.



countryside · crafts & knitting · in the woods

seasons greetings xxx


In progress2b


Snowy track2




Snowy track


Toby snow2


Snowy woods 3


Snowy woods


Snowy tree2


Snowy tree


Snowy woods2


Toby snow




Snow crystals


Gate to the field


Snowy landscape


Snowy land 2


Although it's now melted away, the snow stayed for exactly a week – far longer than I can remember in previous years when it has started to melt within a day or two. Out in the woods it was magical, laying thickly underfoot and on the branches, bestowing a very Narnia-esque beauty to the trees. Toby adored stomping across the fields, squealing and laughing and running through the snow with obvious delight. I was so happy to be able to drive on the main roads (as the back roads were impassable) and to be able to park locally, because to have shared these snowy walks with him was joyful and they'll stay in my memory for a long time.

Back at home I'm in the final knit through of my new patterns (mice and bears ands cabled sweaters, all in the small sizes) so those will all be released in January. I'll keep you posted with further details as soon as they are ready. I'm just about to tidy all these bits and pieces away into the cupboard now, as I'm planning to have some gentle and quiet relaxation time over the Christmas weekend and not tax my brain too much. Not that I'm feeling very relaxed right now. How is it that the hours seem to run faster at this time of year? At the start of December I usually feel quite organised but by the middle of the month panic has started to settle in. Please tell me I'm not the only one who has written things I've already done on a to-do list just so that I can tick something off. Still, I know it will all get done and, if it doesn't, that my family will understand and forgive me. I hope you're doing well with any preparations you are making for festivities.

I'm going to have a few internet free days for this Christmas weekend, which will be a nice novelty, so I'm signing off for now but will be back to answering messages and emails from Tuesday.

I wish you all the very best for the holiday season and hope that you find a little peace and joy over the coming days, with love and many thanks for visiting me here, J xx



countryside · general stuff · in the woods

And Winter has arrived




Frosty seedheads


Frosty fields2


Path frosty




Frosty oak3


Toby winterwalk2




Frosty fields


Barbed wire2


Frosted lake




Frosted lake2


Frosty stems


Frosty seedheads2


Toby wwalk


Frosty leaves


Frosty view


Spiky seedheads


Spindle berries




Snow day


Snow day2








Winter is decidedly here. We've had a few days of sub-zero temperatures and the early morning frosts have been beautifully sharp and sparkly. Yesterday Toby and I bundled up and went for a long walk at Panshanger. The ice crystals adorning every blade of grass, twig and seedhead made for a very beautiful landscape and even the barbed wire fences were prettified by the decoration of frost.

And then this morning we've woken to around 15cms of snow!

I'm glad to have lots of cosy woolly jumpers, scarves and mittens and will be wearing my wrist-warmers constantly now until the weather warms. It looks like the rest of this week is continuing to be freezing, so there will be a little more knitting by the fire going on here. I'm now in the final stages of laying out the three new patterns and am lucky to have some lovely people helping me to error check them. Though it will still be a few weeks before they've been thoroughly checked, so I'm aiming to be able to share them in the new year.

Hope you have a good week doing a little of what you love, J x