Summer Market Place

Just a quick post to show and tell about ONOODLES activities in the British summer market place.

I made a decision this year, based on last years experiences and balanced with my health that I would do a limited number of fairs in the summer and again in the autumn/winter (run up to Christmas) using the time in between to work at a manageable pace on seasonal stock with the odd commission inbetween!

Three out of four fairs done and I am happy that I have made a good and sensible decision (doesn’t do to be sensible all the time but where my health is concerned most of the time is advisable!) What I have enjoyed most are the two School summer fetes I have attended. Both were organised in the best of traditions with very active Parent Teacher Associations so fantastic family fun days were put on with pony rides, musical interludes, displays of karate, recorder groups, candy floss, car boot sales etc etc!

I thoroughly enjoyed selling to excited children and their parents seeing many little mice and ladybirds and owls flying and scurrying off to new homes. Pre-adolescent girls bought the wristbands and bracelets and excitedly modelled their purchases for me! I am all for coordinating  ‘jewellery’ with  nail varnish!


One lovely older brother bought his younger sister a big owl- just because and several younger boys came back to buy hair bobbles for their little sisters!


As well as these knick knacks I was pleased that some larger items were bought- a couple of blankets went home with expectant mothers. The lemon sherbert cot blanket sold and the happy hearts afghan.






The flower brooches took a hit- so  much so that I really need to make more now!



So I finally feel that I have found my groove and know my market. By doing this I am able to spend time making for friends, family and myself and indulge my creativity without compromising my health.

I have struck a deal to do  a skill exchange with my friend the hairdresser  and recently a bag of ducks winged their way over to Stockholm and then onto Porto (Tom went to visit Joe and then Joe went on holiday to Porto) where the ducks were to be a gift and in payment I am receiving a big bag of buttons from Porto being couriered back via Stockholm to England by Joe who is home for a holiday in less than two weeks (yes I am very excited at the prospect of having both my boys home for a while very soon…not to mention a bag of buttons!)

Here are a few more shots of the stall and the developing display. One or two other odd shots for good measure!


The Black Rat of Doom!

Well hello there. I have been absent from my blog for many reasons- mainly because I have been busy and enjoying myself. I’ve made alot and done alot and don’t quite know where to start?

A couple of weeks ago ONOODLES made her first public outing for a long time. The Fabulous Finds fair was well organised, a lovely hall and great facilities but really poor footfall… Still, all was not lost as I had the company of the lovely Eggy B, (sorry Jen!) and we met Connie of Funkie Doodles Arts and Crafts. We  chatted and laughed and laughed some more and even had a dance along to the entertainment (we had to provide some light relief from the lack of  custom).  I have to say, if you need a singer you can’t go far wrong with Pete Wayre- he serenaded us with some fabulous old swing numbers, Farnk Sinatra, Dean Martin (old crooners) to Cliff Richard and songs from the shows.

At home  exhausted as I was, and mellow from a large glass of wine, I reflected on the day and my life just now… it goes without saying that I wish I didn’t have Lupus but boy oh boy has it made me appreciate  what I have. So having tearfully told husband that he and the boys are the most precious things things in my life, I waxed on about how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends and family.

Over Easter we visited Son no.1 in Stockholm and had a wonderful stay, visiting some new and revisiting some old places. The Vasamuseet was one highlight for me; the amazing tale of a w arship from 1628 (I think!) that didn’t even make it out of the harbor before it sank on it’s maiden voyage! I lay there until 1961 when it was removed from the water almost 90% preserved. The museum is built around the recreated ship. Apparently it survived as it was not in saltwater. The worms that destroy timber do not live in fresh water. The ship builders were aware of the design problems that the ship had- requested by the King and designed by a Dutchman, so the intention was to sail the ship round the corner into the Naval base to make the vessel seaworthy. It never got there! And everyone blamed the Dutchman since he was dead by then so no living person took the blame!


I took photographs but light levels are low in the museum.

Anyway if you click on the pic it will take you to the website for a better view.



I was amused by some of the items for sale in the  shop…the black rat of DOOM!



Heres a little slideshow of some of our other Swedish experiences which include-

  • a giant pizza
  • lots of food
  • sunny days
  • boat trips
  • family time
  • trolls!
  • trams
  • the grave of  Olof Palme
  • This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Since our visit Son no.2 has been out to visit his brother as well! Just wish we had all been out there together.





So what has ONOODLES been upto. Did the one fair as mentioned and am booked to do 2 school fetes. That’s enough for the summer if I am to remain in control of my health.  Another set of photos to let you see some of the things that have been coming off the needles recently…

Still lots more to update you on having been quiet for so long but that will wait for another day.

Be back soon,

Jill x


Blanket trio and one little bag!

Oh gosh, I haven’t blogged for a while because I have been super busy working up to unleashing a new store of ONOODLES creations on the world. Have had a lovely little photo book printed to show off the full range of ONOODLES quirkiness, new business cards are in the post with the Rudii rabbit logo designed by Joe. Properly sorted with HMRC re. self-employment and booking fairs for summer through to Christmas (assuming my health stays stable!)



Had a bit of a thing for blanket making of late- they are so easy to sit with and don’t seem to stretch my compromised concentration levels!  So here are a few pictures to give you a taster.

First of all is the sugary sweet pink one comprising a vintage design motif and many shades of PINK! I think I will call this one…. er… something to do with pink…’pinken rose’- thanks online thesaurus! Suitably sweet!



Next comes a ‘sherbert lemon’ granny square blanket. Perfect to throw over a buggy, on the floor for a kick around or would look divine (simply divine dahlink…) on a traditional moses basket. The yarn came from one of the local charity shops and has a bit of a bobbly texture- this and the lemon colour really reminds me of sherbert lemon sweets- the ones that are boiled on the outside with powdery sherbert on the inside. here we go-





Last in the trio of blankets is an altogether more robust character, Unlike the others that were 100% best (?)  acrylic doble knit, this one is made of Aran weight and many different yarns all with some real wool content. This along with the more rustic colour combination definitely brings thoughts of log cabins, warm fires, snuggling on a settee, hunky caber tossing Scotsmen in kilts…oh better stop, I’m getting carried away. But with that in mind, I will call this one Highland Fling- take a look and see what you think.





A nod here to Attic 24 who reminded me that granny stitch does not have to be square all the time!

Next is a little barrel bag. I just couldn’t resist this when I saw the pattern that someone had signposted on facebook around Valentine’s Day. Click on the heart to go to the pattern.


Then take a look at what I made. As usual I added my own twist with a vintage button and lining.



Buckets of love…



Cardigan finished.


First go at an in the round and top down pattern. Yes I followed it to the letter, just lengthening the body and sleeves as the pattern indicated. Yarn bought for £3 at a charity shop, buttons cost about the same!  WHAT A BARGAIN!

The pattern I used is this- Miette by Andi Sutterland- click pic to go to blog; The pattern is awesome and FREE! HIghly recommended.



If you google Miette you will see what a popular pattern this is, and deservedly so. Very easy to follow, accurate and a joy to knit. I love it! As the weather warms in spring I will be teaming it with my vintage dress in pineapple print. The perfect partner. Now there’s something to look forward to!


Stockholm Snood

The Stockholm Snood was born because Joe asked for a snood for Christmas and was quite specific about colour, size and stitch style; that comes from being a designer! Anyway, this was the result! Apologies for the ‘moody’ face only he refused to model for me  and it’s my face! I can’t help it!!!

I am not a pattern writer but I think this is quite straight forward and can’t see any problems! Do let me know if you do! And if you happen to like it enough to make it then I would love to see the results!



I used 260g of King Cole Moorland Aran, shade 374 which is a denim blue with a grey and cream  slub

From a 400g ball this represents 510m, the yarn is 75% acrylic/ 25% wool

5mm circular needle

Really you could use any yarn and gauge but would need to calculate your tension/sizing. The snood has a circumference of 75cm and I worked a length of 75cm (not including ribbed edge)


The pattern is worked in the round firstly making a tube in waffle stitch and finishing the top with the rib, after which you pick up and complete the rib at the bottom. This means that there really is no top/bottom and the garment can be worn single or double, as a snood or a cowl and was designed for a Swedish winter!

Waffle stitch

Worked over 4 stitches in the round

R1 and 2           (K1, P2 ) repeat to end

R3 and 4         Knit


To Make

Cast on 128 sts (I prefer long tail method), use marker to denote beginning/end of each round

Work in waffle stitch until of desired length- I did about 75cm ending with R4

Work one round purl

*Now work in K2,P2 rib for 5 rounds

Next round, (K2, P2together) repeat all round

Now work K2, P1 rib for 5 rounds

Bind off and sew in end so that invisible

To complete, turn work upside down, pick up and knit 128 sts then work one row purl

Now complete rib from * to match other end.


That’s it! Easy peasy!


 © Jill O’Neill, January 2014


A bit of a Knock Back

Thinking3Sometimes things happen in life that knock your confidence. Being diagnosed with Lupus was a big blow and a reality I struggle with every day. Starting ONOODLES has been part of the healing process and if others get enjoyment from what I do then that makes me happy!

Recently I was publicly accused of copying someone’s designs. I did not knowingly do this but having seen what I was accused of copying I do understand why it was felt I had. Sometimes I have an idea, make it then find out that someone else has also had the same idea. I prefer the notion that ‘great minds think alike’. This has really knocked my confidence in pursuing my love of crafting which until now has been my salvation.

It has made me question what I am doing?

Where do I go from here?

How will I ever produce something truly original?  My claim is that my creations are fun, quirky and individual- but are they?  I know in time I will let this pass but I am still smarting from the experience.

I’m throwing this out to you because I know that there is much creativity and wisdom out there with you and I value your thoughts! I guess the question is to do with originality and how on earth we ensure it in what we claim to be our own ideas?! Should we even bother? Surely all our ideas are an amalgamation of  images, ideas, thoughts and designs we see and store; these then inform what we create? Some degree of replication is bound to occur.



Hats From The Hall

How lucky am I? Yesterday I spent a fabulous day on a course to make a hat at the brilliant Hats From The Hall which is about a five minute walk from home. I was bought this experience as a gift and was so looking forward to the chance to try felting again but on this occasion to make something useful.

The day includes Danish pastries on arrival, buffet lunch and scones with  jam and cream for afternoon tea with free access to hot and cold drinks. With catering taken care of let me tell you about the venue. Mountsorrel Hall, a magnificent Georgian building, is now a domestic residence ie the beautiful home of Louise and family who also hold the millinery courses there.

From the minute you walk in the door you are given a warm welcome by both Louse and Vicky who guide you through each step of the process. On my day the choice was a cloche hat with felt flower detail or a fascinator. The felt flowers can be wet felted from scratch or cut outs to your own design from the hat felt, both of which can be embellished using fabulous beads, buttons and trims. My fingers were soon itching!

First step was to try on a range of hats to get an idea of style and fit which was duly noted by Vicky so that the hats forms could be prepared and allocated. Next we chose our colour- I can’t remember what the base felt piece was called but it resembled a large round topped cone which, if worn covered your complete head! These had to be wet and steamed so that they were pliable enough for us to fit and ease to the shape of the form which we then pinned underneath, fastened with a string around the crown and taken to the drying room ready for the next step. This is quite a strenuous process and you need asbestos hands to handle the hot ,wet felt.


Meanwhile we were able to work on our choice of decoration.

When choosing the colour for our hats we chose the materials for our decoration which included roving for the felt with additional silks and the petersham for the waist and edging (if desired) for the hat.

Splitting into two groups we set about the next step. If only I had moisturised my hands better, the fleece was sticking to my hands like velcro but as the process went on and I added the water and soap this was no longer a problem. Each stage of felt making has a therapeutic quality to it as there is much massaging and rubbing to be done. I love the way you take the raw materials and change them through manipulation into a rich and beautiful fabric. There is something very honest about the whole process, almost spiritual; but also quite comedic as we looked at the expressions on each other’s faces! With wet and soapy hands I didn’t break off to take photos during this process but the end result is this…



I chose the rich pinky/red for my base colour with some purple to tone in with the hat, then used the silk in bronze, gold and a hint of white for depth and richness. The beads were threaded onto a wire to make application easier (lazy way) and I was delighted to find the large  ‘tiger eye’ like bead for the centre and some added *bling*!



All that was left to do was to apply the petersham and add the flower. Most of us opted for the talented Louise to machine sew the petersham to the edge but managed the hand sewing needed to secure the ‘waist’ to the hat. Last job was fixing a clip to the flower with the glue gun and hey presto- what was the result- 12 women eating scones with jam and cream, sipping tea and wearing hats!!! Here are a few more pics from the day


Some of the fabulous hand created hats by Louise at Hats From The Hall


Me and my “titfer”!

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Waiting in the petersham queue


I just adore the mannequins


If you ever have the opportunity then I highly recommend a day out at Hats From The Hall. It was a brilliant experience and I am now the owner of one unique felt hat, made by me. Thank you to my dear friend Helen, the Trusty Gardener for the wonderful gift of the day.