A woman from the Claydon area who found her big passion in crocheting is raffling a 7ft blanket she made while recovering from breast cancer.

Amanda Langan discovered that crocheting helped with her mental health when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2019.

At that point, the treasurer at Claydon & Barham Mothers' Union had finished her first project by the same designer, Helen Shrimpton, as her 7ft blanket which is called the star of wonder.

Ms Langan, who was taught how to crochet by her grandmother, said: “I got to know my breast care nurse, Julie Calcluth, during my diagnosis, and subsequent mastectomy and reconstruction surgery, and it turned out that she did crochet too, so we would chat about our various projects during my appointments.

“I decided to donate my first blanket to The Blossom Appeal for the new breast cancer unit at Ipswich Hospital to contribute to the fundraising.

“Once I recovered from my surgery, I found it really therapeutic to carry on crocheting, and it has also really helped me with the depression and anxiety that I've suffered with all my life.

"It was a much nicer way to spend my recovery time than just vegging out in front of rubbish telly and doing nothing else.”

Ms Langan has made many blankets for her family and friends.

She said: “Sometimes I have a particular recipient in mind when I start a blanket, but often, I just make the blanket for my own enjoyment and then find someone to give it to afterwards.”

Ms Langan’s latest project, the 7ft long star of wonder, attracted her while she was searching for a new pattern on the Crystal and Crochet website.

It took Ms Langan less than two months to crochet the blanket.

As Helen Shrimpton, the designer of the pattern, said that the star of wonder “can symbolise bringing order to chaos, it is also known as the symbol of creation, often depicted as a sun, the giver of life”.

Ms Langan added: “It is such an amazing, bright, colour scheme, it made me smile, and I wanted to pass that smile on to someone else. I also wanted the challenge of crocheting a blanket that is quite different in shape to normal.

“I 'hooked' this blanket during my second episode of breast cancer. In May 2020, just 12 months after my mastectomy, I found a lump in my right armpit and knew straight away that it was something serious.

“Just five days after the biopsy, I had all my results and had set up the course of treatment.”

In November 2020 Ms Langan had further surgery and received radiotherapy.

She said: “About three-quarters of the way through my treatment, a new formula of combined injectable treatment caused the skin on the tips of my fingers and toes to break down. I ended up having to wear finger bandages and cotton gloves, and I couldn't crochet for a couple of months because my fingers were so sore.

“I eventually got the skin healed, and I picked up my hooks again.”

Ms Langan donated the 7ft blanket to St Edmunds & Ipswich Mothers' Union, and it is now waiting to be raffled in aid of St Mary's & St Peter's Church in Barham funds.

Ms Langan said that she has already started her next project – a blanket that she plans to send to the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee.