Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Knitting for Gretel

The Hoola household has a new family member, whom is already the proud wearer of many a Mama knitted sweater.


This is Gretel, an 8 week old Chihuahua X Jack Russell terrier, finally a new friendly for Mr Pip (he has been lonely since we lost Nala this summer).


Mr Pip does love her so. Gretel spends most of her day trying to chew off his face and he really is so gentle with her.


Weighing just 465g (thats less than a bag of sugar!), the vet said she is the smallest puppy she has ever seen. This is wonderful news, because a sweater for a puppy this size takes just a couple of hours to slide off the needles.




Needless to say, Little Gretel is not short of cuddles. Bear is somewhat wary of her puppy sharp teeth, and enters a room with great trepidation, all the while growling in his gruff little Bear voice "Don't bite me Gwetel!", otherwise, she has been very well received. No less by myself, I tuck her into my own sweater and carry her around with me all day like a mama kangaroo, much to the amusement of passing strangers (of which thankfully there are not many in these parts).

I feel like I have barely paused to breath since leaving France, so I am taking leave from work for an indefinite amount of time, need to recharge the batteries a little. It has been almost 4 years since I had a decent break, and in that time I have had 2 babies!

Although I am not sure break is the right word. I am not good at being idle, and already have a list as long as my arm of things (mostly crafty!) I must do, Christmas making, yes! Also decor, quite a lot of that!

I will be catching up with comments, emails and your own sweet wee bloglings soon, and of course the thread swap foolery, temporarily delayed but soon will be on track, so do sign up if you have not already! (link is on the right).

A merry day to you all <3

Monday, 8 October 2012

Roll Up, Roll Up

I am going to be partnering swappers after the weekend, so get yourselves signed up for some thread swap foolery already!

Hit the button on the right, the one about odd swappery, and leave a comment on that post. Come on, do it now, go on, go on!

To use the button on your own blog, you will need to copy and paste the code below on to your post or sidebar.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Autumn Broth

As the weather turns, I get a hankering for soup. I love making soup, the delicate warmth and simplicity of an autumn broth makes my heart sing. A splendid way to warm the cockles on a blustery day.

My favourite is chicken broth, I prepare my chicken stock over two days, simmering the carcass of a leftover roast chicken and chicken thighs, with nothing more than a whole bulb of garlic, celeriac and an onion. The longer you simmer it, the deeper the colour and the richer the taste.

I then strain it all in a collander, return the stock to the heat, chop some celery and onion, add more garlic (we love garlic) and continue to heat gently, whilst I pick all the chicken from the collander, it falls off the bones, and melts into the broth.


A sprinkling of chopped parsley, a splash of cream, and some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and I am all aglow with the wonder of it all. The children, thankfully, are as enamoured with broth as I am, sometimes we add pearl barley, or lentils, or yellow split peas. However it is made, it is always served with hunks of wholewheat bread, fresh from the oven, and made by my very own Amber's hands (for she is the chief maker of bread in this house).

There is lots of knitting and stitching going on over here, I will be posting more of that soon, in the meantime, I am supping on my Autumn Broth, picking apples, planting Bluebell bulbs, making jam, and enjoying the low autumn sun, whilst it lasts.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

A Cardigan for Bear

I have been working on this a while, it is the first garment I have knit and I am so stupidly proud of myself!


My little Bear man loves it, and the yarn is gorgeous, 100% merino by Amy Butler. My Ravelry notes are here. I am totally loving Ravelry, and knitting! Have you joined in the thread swap foolery yet? The link is at the top of my side bar, hurry hurry!

Monday, 24 September 2012


I have been gathering my naturally dyed cloth all summer. Old sheeting and pillowcase's have languished in jars with leaves, berries, petals and what not. Some have been boiled, soaked, tied or bundled.

As summer draws to a close and the autumn chill seeps into my bones, I decided it was time. I gathered my fragments of cloth, and finally, they became one.


It isn't square, it doesn't matter. I will stitch it at night, whilst the babe's sleep, it is large, maybe queen size. Draped over my lap as I stitch it, it will keep me warm. I am a little overwhelmed by it's size. It will take many months and I do not yet know how it will look when it is completed, I think this is, in part, the point.

It has a hole, this excite's me, I wish I had made more holes. I will start with the hole.


After much consideration, I decided to name it Trance, being as this is what stitching is all about for me.

Trance [trans, trahns] noun, verb

1. a half-conscious state, seemingly between sleeping and waking, in which ability to function voluntarily may be suspended.

2. a dazed or bewildered condition.

3. a state of complete mental absorption or deep musing.

4. an unconscious, cataleptic, or hypnotic condition.

5. Spiritualism . a temporary state in which a medium, with suspension of personal consciousness, is controlled by an intelligence from without and used as a means of communication, as from the dead.

I hope that the pale tones of mother nature, will give way to a rhapsody of colour in stitch, it will need careful balance I think, to keep it all in synch. I am ready to be lost in cloth. Skitchbook at the ready.


What are you stitching lately? Have you joined in the thread swap yet? Please do!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Thread Swap, who's in?

I am sorting through my embroidery threads, in preparation for a project - more about that tomorrow... Anyways, I am a big fan of hand dyed threads, I buy most of mine from here.

I thought it would be a splendid idea to do a little hand dyed thread swapping. They are super lightweight, so cheap enough to post, and you can raid your own stash, rather than having to buy in. The only must, is that they are hand dyed, by you or someone else.

Hopefully, it will be a nice way to boost your stash with some hand dyed goodness from all over the world... who's in?

I am thinking maybe sending 4 skeins each, to two swap partners. This ensures you will get a good selection of threads from two different locations, and I will try and pair everyone with partners from opposite ends of the globe where possible. Though if you would prefer to post locally to keep costs down, let me know, and I will try and accomodate that too.

I am already a little weak at the knee's in anticipation, my mother said this makes me quite odd, and that I really ought to get a life. I replied, rather indignantly I must add, that I am quite happy with my odd one, thank you muchly.

So, if you are a splendidly odd, thread loving (and proud) lass (or gent), then leave a wee comment, being sure you pass through your email address, and I will get a list going, with a view to selecting swap partners in a couple of weeks, to give everyone time to spread the word, you can use the wee button below on your own blog, so you can tell all your bloggy friends, the more the merrier, three cheers for thread swappery!

To use the button on your own blog, you will need to copy and paste the code below on to your post or sidebar.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

And the winner is....

Comment number 11 -
Little Dotty Bird10 September 2012 20:30
"oh beautiful sketchy skitchiness! Just found you through Chloe at under a gibbous moon blog. I'll pin ya and give ya a mention over at my Dotty blog. A very generous and lovely giveaway indeedio.
Dotty x"

Congrats Dotty Bird! Drop me an email with your address, and your skitchbook will arrive soon :) TallulahMaggs at hotmail dot co dot uk

Thank you to everyone that took part :)