“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race”

 Human on a bicycle protest banner

Today I needed a short break from jigsaw pieces. I’d made this mini banner a few months ago and decided to release it in to the big wide world.

Now I’m a little biased, but I think cycling gets an unnecessarily negative press. We are repeatedly told that cycling is dangerous, there is a danger of theft, that professional cyclists are cheats… People often overlook that cycling (in its many many forms) can be invigorating, beneficial for the cyclist and their surrounding environment, empowering and, most importantly, fun.

This mini-banner, displayed at Reading Station as a sign of respect for all the cyclists still traveling by bicycle in this cold weather, says ‘Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer  despair for the future of the human race’. The quote is credited to HG Wells, though there is some dispute about whether he actually ever said it. Either way, the sentiment remains.

Cyclists of Reading and the big wide world beyond, here at Little Stitch, you inspire us. We salute you and your pedal powered endeavours. More power to your pedals.

HG Wells Bicycle banner at Reading station

My mini banner kit came from the Craftivist Collective, you can buy your own one here.

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Belatedly Christmas

The peculiar thing about keep a crafty blog is the difficultly sharing many of your crafty endeavours, with the risk that people will see what you are making for their present. So here, in late January, I am proud to present a Christmas post. Via some instagram photos, here’s what I was making in December…

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Stacks of christmas loot: Jams, chutneys, felt decorations and rosemary bags. The rosemary was harvested (with permission) from a nature reserve where I often run a project for work but I’m kicking myself for not also foraging some lavender. Next year, next year… The rather appropriate fabric is by Alexander Henry

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Everyone got their Christmas loot in these hand embroidered gift bags. The small hessian bags came from eBay and the crossstitch font and the idea for the bags came from Perri Lewis’s Material World book. I was also inspired by the famous Bloomingdales ‘Little Brown Bags’. Hessian is brilliant for cross stitch, I’ll definitely be using it again. The balsa wood decorations, which finished off the bags, were from Tescos.

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In the jars are Squash Chutney, made from homegrown squash (I swear by this chutney recipe from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall). The beetroots were local and pickled at home and I also made delicious (trust me!) Tomato Jam, using this recipe from the Craftivist Collective.

And what did I learn about ‘making christmas’? Firstly, that next year I will start earlier. A lot earlier. I completely underestimated how long it would take me to embroider 9 bags and I was pulling late nights right up to Christmas eve. Secondly, that I will (if I can hide them from the Aussie) start putting jams and chutneys aside from summer onwards. As this will give me more variety to fill up people’s little gift bags with.

So over to you – What did you make at Christmas? Got any ideas I can steal for this year? I will start early, I will…

The Aussie’s Birthday: The Kennet & Avon Canal (Reading to Newbury)

Special occasions deserve special days out, and despite recent flooding, on the Aussie birthday we decided to explore the canal path to Newbury – me on the mountain bike, the Aussie on his cross-ready Karate Monkey. Despite the mud under wheel, we were rewarded with beautiful bright blue autumn skies. Though what the good people in the pub thought of the state of my long suffering saddle bag, I’ll never know…

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