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Publishing My Crochet Patterns Into E-Books - Achieving My Lifetime Dream!

Updated on November 10, 2014
SheilaSchnauzies profile image

SheilaSchnauzies is a Miniature Schnauzer rescuer, writer, crochet designer, gardener, crafter, wife, mom & friend living in Omaha, NE.

I'm Achieving My Lifetime Dream... Finally!

My favorite pastime growing up wasn't playing softball with the neighborhood kids or dressing up my Barbie dolls (although I did love my Barbies!) On some lazy summer afternoon you'd find me rummaging through my mom's pile of crochet magazines! She always had the old Workbasket monthly craft magazines around, always given to her by her friend Dorothy when she was done with them. She would have the occasional whole book of crochet patterns, and those were my favorite. I would gaze entranced at the amazing doilies done by Alice Brooks, Elizabeth Hiddleson, Laura Wheeler... the greats of the time... for hours. Many times Mom would have her chores done and would spend the afternoon crocheting on one of her many doilies while I leafed through her pattern "stash."

By the time I was 11, I was begging Mom to teach me how to crochet. She was always critical of my clumsy stitches, telling me I needed to make them tighter. Between Mom, her mom, and my other gramma's friend Mrs. Pearl, they all managed to teach me the basics. I'll never forget the day I got to shop for my first pattern and yarn. I chose purple yarn and a shorts/vest pattern (they called them "hot pants" back then!) Bad choice really, the "hot pants" never got finished, but a great love was born nonetheless.

Then came the marriage and family years, and my passion for crocheting continued to build. Friends and family received afghans and potholders as gifts by the dozen. I had completed the 1953 Workbasket Rose Doily (pictured below) for all my friends, the same one that my mom had made for so many of her friends and family. I had arrived as a fairly expert crocheter - or so I thought, until my world came unhinged.


I'm so proud to announce that I've just published "Crochet With Sheila: Volume 1, Floral Ornaments, Motifs & Mini-Doilies To Crochet" on! You can see it at the link below.

Help Me Pick My Next Theme Book! - What Should It Be?

Which theme would you like to see for my next e-book in the series?

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One Of My 1953 Workbasket Rose Doilies

One Of My 1953 Workbasket Rose Doilies
One Of My 1953 Workbasket Rose Doilies

"What In The World Is Myasthenia Gravis?" - The Diagnosis That Changed Everything

My Favorite Crocheting Tools On Amazon

I met my sister Celia (above, right) when I was about 30. This photo was taken in 2002. My natural mom had to give me up for adoption but kept Celia, born five years later. (But that's another lens!) Anyway we became very close. She had this disease called Myasthenia Gravis, a very rare neuromuscular disease (kind of similar to muscular dystrophy, if you're familiar with that). It interferes with how nerves send messages to muscles to make them work.

At that same time I was having a lot of trouble with my always-bad eyesight. I'd been to a few optometrists, even an opthalmologist, with no real explanation for what my eyes were doing. At first things started out having fuzzy edges. Eventually it evolved into double vision. Now that will get your attention! Along with my hands, arms and legs which would tire out easily, Celia was seeing the picture before I was. She encouraged me to see a neurologist. After a lot of tests, it was determined that I have Myasthenia also. Mine, like Celia's, is the Generalized type which affects muscles everywhere.

Myasthenia would change my crocheting forever. I lost the ability to focus quickly back and forth from pattern to work, which is pretty crucial to reading and working a pattern. I was done. Or so I thought for awhile...

To Dream... Perchance, To Crochet? - I Could Still Do It!

After being put on steroids to help my eyes work, my brain eventually retrained itself to be able to focus on close-up objects well enough to crochet again. This was the beginning of my design work. I realized that I had all the tools (stitches, methods) to keep crocheting - I just couldn't follow a pattern! So... I just started doing my own thing. I would imagine things, then execute them in thread or yarn. It was a lot of fun! Someone suggested along the way that I should writing these designs down. I figured out a way to do that too! If I kept my notebook right on my lap as I crocheted, I could jot down notes to write up as a pattern later.

The trouble was... the same eyesight problems make it very difficult to transcribe patterns from the notebook to typing it into a computer. I lose my place constantly and have to do things over and again. So there are all these notebooks - dozens of them -full of my crochet patterns. And here they sat in a pile on my desk... until this year!

The First Crack At My Book Failed...

I have a beautiful friend, Heidi. She's an excellent typist! One day we were chatting about my dream of doing a book of my designs, and I explained why I couldn't do it. This wonderful friend offered to volunteer to type up all my notebooks of crochet patterns for me!

For months she would pick up a notebook, type them up and bring them back. We were almost there - in fact I made an announcement that the book would be coming out soon. But then tragedy struck -someone living with her stole her laptop computer. We hadn't transferred the files over to my computer yet, and all was lost.

But being the kind of person she is, she has volunteered to type them all up again! This time she's coming over to do the work on my computer, since she still doesn't have one. That is an amazing person for you.

So again hope is reborn -once we have all the files, I can put my book together and make it available to the world! This dream may just actually come true this year!

Here's Heidi wearing a scarf I crocheted for her.

Sh-h-h!! Don't tell Heidi, but my secret hope is that I sell enough copies of the book to help buy a new computer for Heidi, since she can't buy a replacement right now.

What Do You Think? - Come On, You Can Tell Me!

Only Known Photo Of Me Crocheting!
Only Known Photo Of Me Crocheting!

Have you ever had a lifelong dream?

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Thank You, Squidoo!

This lens was awarded a Purple Star, Squidoo's highest honor, on August 8, 2012. Thanks so much, Squidoo! I am honored!

Please Crochet Your Name In My Guestbook! - Kidding, Just Signing Is Fine!

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    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      How wonderful that you not only managed to learn to crochet again, but your friend is helping you write the book! Wish you all the best.

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      @Diana Wenzel: Thanks! You made my day !!


    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      Beautiful, beautiful dream. Really touched by your story. Always believe.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Absolutely loved your page! I enjoy crochet too and I'd be thrilled to buy a book when it comes out. Good Luck with that! You are a survivor and your friend, Heidi, is the kind of person we all need in our lives! Yay YOU! :)

    • DeniseDurham2011 profile image

      DeniseDurham2011 5 years ago

      What a wonderful success story! Keep going, never give up & your book will be here before you know it! You are an inspiration.

    • Monica Ranstrom profile image

      Monica Ranstrom 5 years ago

      Lovely lens. I love your dream and your story.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Makes me want to learn crochet!

    • profile image

      Laychee 5 years ago

      Thanks for posting this one up :)

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Inspiring, well written with much appreciated personal photos. Blessed.

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 5 years ago

      Very inspiring.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Keep up the great work - best of luck with your book! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • texan203 lm profile image

      texan203 lm 5 years ago

      A great lens, I wish you the best on your book. You are an inspiration

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 5 years ago from Australia

      What a wonderful friend Heidi is! I would love to see more of your designs on this lens. Do you crochet mainly doilies and flowers or do you design clothes? Congratulations to both you and Heidi on your upcoming book.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just had to come back to share this dream inspiration on FB.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Well, first of all, God bless Heidi, what an amazing lady being willing to take this project on and so good heartedly being willing to do it all again to help you fulfill your dream! It sounds to me like you are an overcomer and Myasthenia Gravis has met its match in determination and creativity! Congratulations on that purple star that now shines on your goal!

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 5 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      Good luck with your dream book. Very nice, interesting and inspiring lens.

    • profile image

      naomiyoung 5 years ago

      This is a beautiful lens! I really enjoyed reading it.

    • scrapquilter profile image

      Myreda Johnson 5 years ago from Ohio USA

      I really enjoyed this lens. It is wonderful that you and your friend have not let anything discourage you from pursuing your dream.

    • profile image

      mouse1996 lm 5 years ago

      Loved this lens. You inspire me so much. Keep up the great work and don't stop reaching for your dreams ever. :-)

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I think it's wonderful that you and your friend are compiling your patterns into one awesome book! I look forward to hearing about when it comes into print. Blessings! :)

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Good for you! Keep up the pursuits, and the crocheting :)

    • fathomblueEG profile image

      fathomblueEG 5 years ago

      When not if your book comes out I hope I can buy a copy of it. Maybe you can

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 5 years ago from Guatemala

      Something else you might want to consider is Dragon Naturally Speaking or another similar dictation program. You could simply dictate the patterns as you work, so you don't have to shift between two things.

      I love crocheting, but my poor mom couldn't teach me and I didn't learn until I was an adult. She shakes her head now at how difficult I was at 10, when I wanted to learn. :) I would get so frustrated. But as an adult in Guatemala, I learned from an English student and went on to make bags and baby hats to sell.

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      @SteveKaye: Thank you Steve, you are so very right!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      If you want to write a book, I'll offer this tip. Write something every day - a page, a paragraph, anything. Over time it will come together into a book.

    • Andrej977 LM profile image

      Andrej977 LM 5 years ago

      My big dream at this moment is get bless from angel.

    • ZoieZoe profile image

      ZoieZoe 5 years ago

      Your BIG DREAM is very motivating! Congratulations on sticking to your dream!