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Publishing My Crochet Patterns Into E-Books - Achieving My Lifetime Dream!
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 FINALLY DID IT!!!!
I'm so proud to announce that I've just published "Crochet With Sheila: Volume 1, Floral Ornaments, Motifs & Mini-Doilies To Crochet" on amazon.com! 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?
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!
Have you ever had a lifelong dream?
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!