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 .


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.


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?!


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.


Thanks mum

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


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.


From a pier to a shawl…

With all the hype about the World Cup, BT have brought out a new range of television adverts  promoting their sport channel and broadband packages. One of them features a Welsh footballer Gareth Bale who is seen honing his skills on a beautiful pier that has recently been given a facelift. I instantly recognised the pier and had to look it up on the net (yes infact I googled it) and here it is if you are interested in either football,  Gareth Bale or the scenery…(click the pic)


The day we visited it was very cold and windy and the pavillion covered in scaffolding but I was still enchanted by the railings

I had recently acquired some gorgeous 100% mulberry silk yarn from Babylonglegs  (go and drool over her lovely yarns and luscious colours- treat yourself why don’t you?!) and had talked about how it needed to be made into something that would show off the colour and drape.  Having not worked with fine silk thread before I searched for a simle pattern for the main part of the shawl. You can read my original post here https://onoodlesstitchcraft.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/crochet-lace-shawl/

Here are a few pictures to remind you of the finished item and now you can really see the link. There is also a picture of the Penarth Shawlette which was a commission made in a fine merino and I adapted the pattern but still the same basic design.


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

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Save a Spoon for April 19th: Appeal for Commitee Members!

For people with or without Lupus…delete as appropriate!


When you were diagnosed had you heard of Lupus?  I had but simply had no idea of what it really meant. Four years later I am now – ‘medically stable’- (at least on the day I saw my consultant!):  as for many this means a new kind of normal and one where my life has changed dramatically.  It has been a difficult journey, only eased by the support of wonderful family and friends, and I know I am lucky to have a brilliant GP and a Consultant who seems to have an effective and gentle touch. By nature I am nosey (a lively and inquiring mind!) and always seek to find out about things that intrigue me! Hence I joined Lupus UK and having received the regional newsletter decided to reach out to local people with Lupus.

Therefore, one afternoon I drove up the motorway to McArthur Glen outlet Village where I first met other Lupus sufferers. The welcome was friendly and it was brilliant to share our Lupus stories, to know that there were other people who really understood and who in spite of everything remained positive. I no longer felt alone and came away having promised I would make a Facebook page for the regional group, which I continue to manage now. I know some of you will have reservations about social media but I strongly feel that we need to use any means we can to reach out to those with Lupus and to spread the word in order to educate others.

Fast forward a year and at last year’s AGM for the regional group I became a committee member. During the last year I have missed one out of three meetings (because of the Lupus).  I have been to several coffee and natter sessions and enjoyed each one. The year after diagnosis I held a coffee morning and sale of the crafts I make all to raise funds for Lupus UK. None of this has been a chore. I have read much literature about Lupus and do not hide it away when I explain to people why I have had to give up my job.

It was sad to hear recently that the North East Regional group has folded. It is understandable that when suffering from a chronic illness the last thing any of us want to do is something else that will eat into our very limited energy reserves. But here’s the thing, and I apologise for stating the obvious but the more of us who give a little time, then the less effort for any one person.

It may be that you could attend only one or two meetings; that’s fine. It may be that the ONE thing you do in a year is ask your local surgery to display a poster or some information leaflets; that’s fine. Then again you might decide that instead of giving away the chutney and marmalade you make each year, you sell it to friends to raise funds for Lupus UK. You may feel that you can donate a day of your time to staffing the information stand at your local hospital on a Lupus clinic day.  You may have IT skills to help manage the Facebook page or contribute to the regional newsletter?

Your first step could be coming along to the AGM on Saturday 19th April at 2pm at Kegworth Village Hall, where you can meet the existing committee and other sufferers, have a chat, some tea or coffee and cake (we have some treats lined up) and learn a little about managing your stress and energy levels. We will have the information stand up and plenty of information for you to peruse or take away with you.

We promise not to press gang you but would love to meet as many of our members, your family and friends as possible!





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…