About SheilaSchnauzies, Indie Crochet Designer & Miniature Schnauzer Rescuer
Crochet Designer & Miniature Schnauzer Rescuer... A Weird Combination, But I Love It!
I can't really talk about being a crochet designer without talking about being a Miniature Schnauzer rescuer. I've been operating Sheila's Schnauzies Miniature Schnauzer Rescue & Sanctuary since 1998 in Omaha, Nebraska. Four years of that were spent in southeast Missouri while my husband was transferred there. We returned to Omaha in 2010. Throughout those years we've rescued, rehabilitated, and placed somewhere around 50 Miniature Schnauzers and a few other kinds of dogs for adoption. (Eight of them were a starving pregnant Bassett Hound and her subsequent seven puppies)! All these years we have operated entirely on our own funds and the kind donation we receive here and there from friends of our rescue.
We are very fortunate to have all of our food donated to us but veterinary expenses are a big cost, currently $134 a month on the "doggie HMO" plan at Banfield. So I sell my crochet pattern designs to help offset those expenses. It's that simple. If you would like to know more about my work as a dog rescuer, I suggest you check out Sheila's Schnauzies Miniature Schnauzer Rescue at this link – it pretty much explains it all!
I started designing crochet patterns back in the 90's when my eyesight started to go nuts, due to one of the Muscular Dystrophies called Myasthenia Gravis. I have difficulty refocusing my eyes when I look from one thing to another â like from a piece of crocheting to the pattern and back. I was constantly losing my place, and it was very frustrating. So... I just started winging it on my own! I was very glad I did, and I've never looked back. I do have a huge collection of crochet patterns that I love to browse through and long to make, I call them my "eye candy." I'll probably keep collecting crochet patterns til the day I die, just because I love to look at them!
Probably my favorite thing to design is floral things in thread crochet, embellished with gemstones and crystals, sometimes handcoiled wire or other jewelry elements. Jewelry-making is one of my other passions. While I would love to make big projects like afghans and lace curtains, my arthritic hands simply can't handle it anymore. So I treasure the big pieces I have already made and focus on the smaller things I can still do.
I consider being able to crochet a huge gift, since I had a stroke in 2009 in my retina that caused me to become half blind in my right eye. I am hugely fortunate not to have lost all my sight. I've managed to retrain my eyes to see to crochet despite the double vision and missing half of sight in my right eye and am so grateful for what I still have!
Here is an index to most of my free crochet patterns. You can also search HubPages.com for "sheilaschnauzies" and you will find all of my free crochet patterns. You can find all of my for-sale crochet patterns at the link provided below to my craftsy.com pattern store under the name, "SheilaSparkles."
My e-book series, "Crochet With Sheila - A Lifetime Of Crochet" will be published in the near future! It will contain hundreds of my designs from my whole lifetime - many of them previously unpublished! The first e-book, "Floral Ornaments To Crochet," is sold now through my craftsy.com pattern store and on Amazon.com.
All the proceeds of sales from my patterns and the e-book directly support the furkids in Sheila's Schnauzies Miniature Schnauzer Rescue & Sanctuary, as explained above.
My Contest Winning Rosebud Doily
The Design Of Which I Am Most Proud! - My Backward Rose
I wanted to totally rethink how we usually crochet roses, and I believe I've accomplished that with this design.
Sally's "Dancing Angels" Doily - A gift for my dear friend.
I wanted to design a little doily for my BFF Sally, she's been in and out of the hospital a lot lately. She loves angels, and I thought this would be a cheerful sight for her. I'm doing it as a crochet-along. Here, my granddog Winnie models the doily for me!
"Girl's Got Skills!!" - How Do You Rate Yourself As A Crocheter?
Crochet Skill Level?
My Favorite Things To Crochet
Some Of My Recent Projects
My "huge project" of Fall/Winter 2010/11 was a series of pocket pullover scarves crocheted in the most yummy yarns I could find, in themes of colors.
I have completed several "lifetime dream" projects over the past few years! One was a pink thread filet shawl that took two months, doggie theme filet curtain valances for several windows took up one summer... then I worked on some really fun designs in thread for Christmas in a poinsettia theme. One winter I spent working on a new set of luxury yarn doggie sweaters.
Crochet Is The Thread of Remembrance
A winning essay I wrote for a crochet group contest long ago...
Crocheting, to me, is the thread of remembrance. It is the means of joining me to my late mother, who taught me so much. I hold her old doilies and remember watching her make endless, perfect tiny stitches.
I leaf through her pattern books and remember her many gifts of love to family and friends - intricately edged pillowcases and starched doilies made. It makes me proud that I do the same as an adult. It is the primary way in which I can hope to emulate her.
It is "my thing," a talent that others in my family do not share nor have patience for but admire. It is so exciting to see them open gifts knowing they will be thrilled with whatever little treasure they have come up with. It is that excitement, the joy of sharing with others, that inspires me to keep creating.
But the biggest thing crocheting means to me in this part of my life is the ability to accomplish tangible creations, despite disabilities that have taken away my career and many things I formerly enjoyed in life. Somehow, miraculously, I can still crochet and I have taken an unbelievable measure of comfort in it! It relaxes me no matter how tense I am and gives me an unlimited source of things to continue accomplishing in the future!
Crochet thread is the ink with which I will sign my life with my hook as the pen.
What Do You LIke To Crochet?
What Is Your Favorite Thing To Crochet?
Me & My Adopted Mom Isabell, Who Taught Me To Crochet
Whenever I smell someone ironing, it instantly takes me back to lazy summer vacations from school and my mother, Isabell, "doing up" her doilies. (And hand embroidered pillowcases, tablecloths, and more...) while I watched TV. It was somewhere around my 11th birthday that I asked to learn how to crochet. Mom dutifully took me to the Benjamin Franklin to pick out a pattern to learn from and a LOT of bright purple yarn!. I actually have the tiniest scrap ball of that yarn in my stash as a memento. Can't seem to part with it. I don't know if I still have the pattern, but it was for a crocheted hot pants outfit!! (Hey, it was the early 70's...) Mom taught me the chaining and somehow the other stitches I'd need. One of my grandmother's best friends, Mrs. Pearl, was someone I hung out with a lot back then and she had a hand in my instruction. So did my Mom's mom, grandma Ethel. Between these three ladies I was turned into a crocheter. I don't know if any of them can read my website from Heaven, but if you can, a big thanks to you ladies for a lifetime of enjoyment! OH - and I never did finish the hotpants outfit. We had to go back for another pattern, for a crocheted vest! (And the pattern acquisition syndrome is born...)
Tips For Disabled Crocheters!
This topic grew so much that it deserved its own lens! For tools and tips on crocheting with disabilities, please check out "Tools To Help You Crochet Despite Disabilities" here on HubPages.
And be sure to check out the Clover Soft Touch hooks I feature here! They are the "magic" tool that allows me to keep crocheting despite severe arthritis in my hands!
My Crochet Supports My Schnauzer Rescue!
These kids like to eat...
I have been rescuing miniature schnauzers since 2000. The picture shown is at our former farm in southeast Missouri, in 2009. At that point we had SIXTEEN little mouths to feed:) My Scrappy Jack and SueSu (a former rescue) plus rescue kids Bailey, Koby, Whizzer, Monty, Harry and Sammy. Then there was Sissy the Basset Hound who showed up one night at our door in late September nearly starved to death, dehydrated, raw with flea dermatitis... and pregnant! We nursed her back to health and she presented us with SEVEN little basset hound babies! Oh my goodness.
With some kids going to Rainbow Bridge over the last few years and others finding forever homes, now we have only three rescues living here – Whizzer, SueSue and Ladybug.
Sales of my patterns and finished objects help support the ongoing expenses of food, veterinary care, and the occasional new toy.
Crocheters, Clean Those Drawers And Help Rescue Dogs!
Did you know that the thousands of dog and cat rescues across the U.S. would LOVE to have your old crocheted afghans that have been loved to death? In many rescues doggies have to be in outdoor unheated buildings. Older dogs especially tend to appreciate soft, warm blankies. If you just do a quick Google search, you can locate your nearest dog rescue. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for my help to locate one. The rescue doggies say thank you!!