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Feeling Sheepish…

How are you all out there in Blogsville? Yes I’ve been quiet. Life is all. Been busy getting on with it and I have neglected you!

Mr ONoodles retired in August and Son no.2 graduated. Two turning points of great magnitude. We have enjoyed a couple of trips out to Copenhagen to visit son no.1 which included a most interesting road trip over to Sweden in search of Wallander on account of being Scandi Noir addicts!

In Ystad we followed in his fictional footsteps to the street where he lives, the square, the bank and down to Mossbystrand where he contemplates cases. We visited the cafe and the bookshop and ate at one of the restaurants. And yes, I bought some yarn – but that’s not a Wallander thing, that’s an ONoodles thing! We also called into Malmo and saw the city by bike seeking out sites from ‘The Bridge’ and topped it all off by driving back to Copenhagen over the Oresund.

In Copenhagen we went native and hired bikes and had a wonderful time with our tour guides- Joe and Maria , being shown the sites and sharing some wonderful moments with them. I’m not sure I have mentioned before how much we love cycling around cities. We took in bistros, cafes and a continental market. Also the biggest cycling thrill ride of the Bicycle Snake- if you are ever on a bike in Copenhagen go and ride it! Click the pic to take you to info about the Cycle Snake…

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Copenhagen

So here are one or two pics

 We also went to Amsterdam over Christmas

I have also been crafting and this was at Winter Woolies back in November of which I will tell you more another timeFB_IMG_1448218493601

See you again soon!

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ONOODLES MARKET BAG

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Materials
4 mm crochet hook
Stitch marker
200 m cotton double knitting

To make
Make 21 chain
Work 1 dc into 2 and chain from hook then 1 dc into each chain to the end, chain 1 and turn.
Work 1dc into each dc, 1ch and turn (20sts)
Repeat this row until you have worked 15 rows in all

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Work 15 rows double crochet

Now you have completed the base of the bag and will be working the scallop chain stitch that makes the body of the bag.
Next row, make 5ch and turn. Miss 2dc and dc into next stitch

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When you get to the end of the row you will need to ‘fudge’ the spacing which is fine. Work the last dc into the last dc. Do not turn your work to go back along the row, instead make a quarter turn anti clockwise so that the work is now in ‘portrait’ format. Continue to make 5ch and this time will miss two spaces that indicate a row between each set of chains and dc.

Again when you reach the corner turn as before and continue to make the 5ch scallops. As you work along the bottom you will need to work between the dc of first row.

Work around the last side and when you reach the beginning DO NOT join to complete the round. You need to place a stitch. Marker in the base of the first stitch

 You need to place a stitch marker in the base of the first stitch

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Now you will continue working in a spiral manner making 5 chain and joining into a 5 chain space by working a dc. Each time you reach the stitch marker, work 5 chain over it and secure with a dc then stop and move the marker around the loop. The marker will move around the work. When each round is complete make a note so that you know when you have completed 25 rounds. If you get confused using the marker you can leave it where it is but count the scallops as you work up

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Next row- Work 3 dc into each 5 chain space and 1 dc into the linking dc at the end of each scallop, at the end of this round work a slip stitch into the 1st dc you worked. Place a marker here. Make 1ch, then dc into each dc round starting with the one at the base of the chain you have just made

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You then need to work 2 more rounds in dc. At the end of the 3rd round join with slip stitch then cut thread leaving about 6cm, thread the end through the final loop on your hook and pull to fasten off.

The next step is to create the handle for you bag.

Lay your bag down on a flat surface

Turn the base of the bag towards you so it lays flat in a portrait orientation

Hopefully the tail where you ended your top band is approximately in the centre of the bag

If it isn’t don’t worry! Just place a stitch marker there instead.

Before you go any further do a stitch count. You should have 96 stitches

If you haven’t it’s not the end of the world! This is your first project, don’t be hard on yourself! And don’t start pulling it back unless you are miles out or a perfectionist!

 

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Now you are going to make the handle

Counting either side of the thread which marks where you fastened off, place markers so that 20 stitches are between the markers.(therefore a marker in the 11th stitch to the left and to the right, you will have 2 markers)

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Join in your yarn on the stitch to the left of the right hand marker and make a dc in this and each of the next 19dc (you have worked 20dc) If you are able, work the thread into the dc so you don’t need to sew it in later. If you can’t manage that it’s ok, you can thread it through later when finishing off.

Next make 23ch then count 28 dc on the last row you worked, miss these stitches and work a dc into each of the next 20 dc.

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Make 23ch again and this time use a slip stitch to join into the first dc you made (next to the first marker)

To complete your handle work 4 rounds of dc remembering to join each round with a slip stitch and make 1ch to start each row and the first dc into the base of that chain. When you reach the 23 chain make sure you work 1dc into each of these as this forms the handle.

                                          Bag from two angles to show handle position

On the last round, join with a sl.st. then cut thread (about 6cm) and pull it through your last loop.

To finish off, use a needle to weave in your ends and secure.

I am happy for you to freely share this pattern but please quote source, thanks

Jill O’Neill Jan’2016

 

 

 


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I haven’t forgotten how to knit and crochet

I have been a lazy blogger and particularly lazy in sharing what I have been making recently so this post will change that.

First to show you is a scarf based on this pattern http://www.deramores.com/media/deramores/pdf/DMC-scarf-free-pattern.pdf

available for free from Deramores. As usual I have not followed it to the letter as I used a much finer yarn by http://babylonglegs.bigcartel.com/   – a sock weight yarn. Actually I have made two of these now but only have a photograph of the first at the moment. The finished garment was gifted via my youngest son to the cousin of one of his university friends. A cheerful little scarflette .

To make it I just made a chain to the desired length then followed the pattern for the lovely sunburst stitch pattern but apart from that went completely off piste adding my own end borders.

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I love the result using this multicoloured yarn.

Next up for today is so gorgeous I can’t quite believe I made it.

Bought the yarn at the Alpaca Futurity Show back in April, a luxurious skein of alpaca, cashmere and silk mix from http://www.town-end-alpacas.co.uk/ in Cumbria.

Here are some alpacas because they are  so wonderful and smushy and soft!

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Any way having spent hours trawling Ravelry I opted for a simple and traditional feather and fan stitch to show off this wonderful yarn-  http://www.town-end-alpacas.co.uk/

And here is the finished item-

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I made this scarf for my sister, it is as soft as a feather and feels like you are wearing a whisper! If you can do buy some of this yarn. A real bit of luxury. Will be back in due course with more of my makes.


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Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

So I’ve not blogged for ages and have decided to share something completely different with  you. It’s not that I haven’t been crafting lately it’s just that having been able to get back into the kitchen I am once again enjoying making delicious homemade food.

I recently bought a carton of Covent Garden Butternut Squash and carrot soup and thoroughly enjoyed it but decided I could replicate the flavours at a fraction of the cost. I took note of the ingredients and this is what I did.

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I sauteed 2 cloves   of garlic in a pan along with a quarter teaspoon each of paprika, chili powder, 2 bay leaves and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds in about one tablespoon of rapeseed oil (you could use olive or sunflower). Just took enough time to coat  and soften the garlic.

I then added…     three chopped carrots, one chopped butternut squash, one large chopped potato, two chopped onions, a couple of chopped sticks of celery and continued to sautee for a few minutes until  beginning to soften and coated  with the spices… the smell at this point is gorgeous!

 

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At this point I want to share a picture of my spice collection, brilliantly displayed in alphabetical order but with the added interest of mixed size and shape jars. I love it.

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I have just realised that this actually only shows 3 of the 4 shelves but you get the idea. Having some order here makes selection much easier! Trust me, it beats rummaging around a basket or drawer any day of the week.

Back to the cooking.

Add 2 pints (or thereabouts) of stock- I used a vegetable stock cube but chicken would also work.

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes

Cool then blitz. Add more liquid if required at this point. Also you may want to adjust your seasoning here by adding salt and pepper- I prefer to leave this to individual taste.

Serve and enjoy

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I ate mine with a mediterranean loaf, cheese and chutney- YUM!


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Random Ramblings and a few Photographs

I confess to neglecting my blog. So here is an update .

* My ankle is almost fixed… currently I am relearning the fine art of walking and can manage on one crutch around the house and am almost fully weight bearing. Still needing plenty of rest and by bedtime it is a fine shade of beetroot but generally feeling okay! I have to say that my recovery has been made more bearable by the love and support of family and friends- you know who you are! Thank you so much x

*Volunteering at the Day Centre was naturally put on hold but I was able to attend the Christmas lunch last week thanks to one of the other volunteers who was able to give me a lift ( she is an amazing 80 year old) Tomorrow they have their Christmas Fayre so I am taking in some of my handmade decorations for fund raising

*Lastly here are a few collages of some of what I have been up to- there is more but as some are gifts for Christmas I can’t show them yet!

odd three

Dolly was crocheted for a friend, Poppies for the appeal and a so soft wool and alpaca cushion cover for home

hands and feet

twit twoo


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Constance, Charity and an Angel…

This isn’t my usual crafting post.

I have been on an unexpected holiday care of the National Health Service after I dislocated and broke my ankle (in two places) when I fell at home. I wasn’t participating in anything exciting such as ‘Extreme Crochet’ or ‘High Speed Knitting’- I was simply in a hurry to get to the phone.

The story started when mum was rushed into hospital causing her to miss going on holiday. I was on standby to go and look after her when discharged; bag packed and ready to go I was busy printing off some documents regarding her holiday cancellation when the phone rang. Next moment, crunch! That’s it! Thankfully Tom was at home. Ambulance called- busy, they sent an ambulance car: ah yes, we do need an ambulance (you really did not need to be medically trained to see this was the case).

Pumped full of morphine I passed out on gas and air whilst they put on a vacuum splint. First step. Next was to get downstairs… did I mention I was in a bedroom? This was achieved by me bottom bumping down whilst one of the paras held my leg. Our stairs have a return and they had not been able to get the chair up, let alone down with me on it!

A trip to A & E in the back of an ambulance. Chris was with me by now. Straight into resus where the real ‘fun’ began. They had to manipulate my ankle TWICE to get the dislocation corrected. First time there were many meaningful looks between the staff since there was no circulation getting to my toes which had turned a fetching shade of purple… serious stuff. I was put  under using ketamine- a most unpleasant experience- tunnel of death vision and all that- who on earth would do that as recreation?!

After x-ray the consultant reported to me that he was ‘despondent’ as it was not in a good position; it needed to be done again. Hell! I replied I too was despondent and that he had better get on with it but under no circumstances using ketamine thankyou very much! Drug of choice this time was propofol which I was told is soya based at which point I beamed as if they knew me…much more my style! Hey an alpro trip! Thanks Joe! Anyway, imagine being all wired up and ready for action with a team of 7 waiting to work on you… in goes the anasthetic… no effect…. more….no effect….more…. should I be feeling it by now? Yes Jill. More…more…. there she goes. A sea of faces disappeared .

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Apparently I was the talk of A & E for two reasons- my spectacular dislocation and two part break and for being the woman resistant to the drugs! I was later told they assumed this was something to do with my body’s reaction to the drugs because of my Lupus. I also learnt that propofol was Michael Jackson’s drug of choice.

Days later on my way to surgery I had an interesting discussion with the anesthetists about it just before I was put under for my op.

I am not going to give you a blow by blow of the rest of my 10 day sojourn ( sigh of relief) but like other significant events in life it has caused me to reflect on human nature and our amazing capacity for resilience. I spent time on three different wards in all where I encountered aptly named nurses called Charity and Constance and a hospital chaplain called Mr Angel (I kid you not) and many other amazing people who like me were there due to accidents that had resulted in broken limbs. A fall whilst taking out rubbish, a slip on the stairs, a trip whilst walking the dogs- nothing other than people getting on with their lives. What amazing women one and all. Instant camaraderie and deep empathy for the pain both emotional and physical.

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Bespoke shower wear on the NHS

On ward 7 we caused havoc one night when the end of Kate’s bed fell off (just before midnight) and I woke with a blood curdling scream, when the staff arrived (at break neck speed) three of us were crying with uncontrollable laughter. I was told at that point my surgery was cancelled for the day! Did I care?!

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Ingenious ice pack

Home now. Recuperating. Not quite stir crazy- yet. Ankle plated and pinned; staples coming out next week, plaster on for a further 4. No weight bearing at all in this time then gradual. Oh how I appreciate the love and care of friends and family.

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A nod to October which is Lupus Awareness month.

I was recently told I have osteopenia in my hips and osteoperosis in my spine after  a routine DEXA scan because of the Lupus. The orthos were clear this is why the break happened so easily and severely. Damn! I won’t be jogging again but I will be back on my bike this side of Christmas.

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Thanks mum

Good news though: I can still pick up my needles and my crutches!

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Annie and Clarabel

PS Mum out of hospital and doing well, being looked after by other members of the family. Sorry mum x

PPS Hats off to the NHS.