I "met" Carol George through Share-A-Square, a charity for which we both crocheted. When the founder, Shelly Tucker, decided to move on to other ventures, many of us decided to make her an afghan in order to thank her for many years of hard work. I had not assembled an afghan in over 30 years. Carol was one of the people who encouraged me and reminded me to "Breathe in. Breathe out." One day, we will met in person. It doesn't matter. I definitely count her as one of my friends. Her story is an interesting one. Please join me in thanking her for sharing it with us, and in wishing her a very Happy Birthday!!!!!.
My name is Carol, I am also known as Mimi, and I am a (HOOKOPOTAMUS). July 15, 2013 is a milestone for me. I turn 65 years old.
I have had an interesting life. At eleven months old, I was adopted by the only people I ever knew as Mom and Dad. I was very fortunate. Mom was my crafting mentor. I remember being sick and, to keep me occupied, she would hand me her button box and a shoe lace and tell me to make a necklace or count all the white ones – a great pastime for young child. (To this day, I have a button box.) Then I graduated to the potholder loom. Sewing was next then knitting. I also attended school during a time when we were able to take home economics – sewing, cooking, graphic arts.
My craft interest also expanded into needle point and a lot of cross stitch. My eyes don’t allow me to continue with that any long. Every Thanksgiving one of Mom’s sisters provided a craft project for us to do. I remember one year we made clothes pin “dolls” for the Twelve Days Christmas.
Mom and I spent many hours crocheting. We made many prayer shawls, especially after my dad passed away. Mom also made a lot of crochet and knit blankets for charities through the church. She taught me well. My dad’s older sister was an avid crochet whiz; I loved her work. There were a lot of granny squares in her work. She made all her nieces and nephews afghans and sweaters. So, I guess even without the genetic connection, I was surrounded by people who help instill my love of crafting.
The most important part of my craft which these days is basically crochet (perhaps some knitting and beading thrown in), is that it has opened my new life in California.
I have told that I was married and have three sons (now grown) from that relationship. To make a long story short (1982), we divorced and he passed away in 2000. I spent years not knowing anything but raising kids and being a dollar short. That is when Mom and I started our crochet revival.
Around Valentine’s 2004, I met this guy online playing bingo. We started chatting and in May he flew from Sacramento to Massachusetts to meet me and my family. At that time he bought me a plane ticket to come to Sacramento in July, to meet his family. Ironically, I had lived in Sacramento from September 2001 until April 2003, but returned to Massachusetts to take care of my mom. In September 2004, we rented a U-Haul and moved me and my “stuff”, back out to Sacramento… stopping in Reno to get married. We had a wonderful three years, working, taking cruises, enjoying our new life, including visiting a parrot habitat in Puerta Villarta, MX (think cruise).
In July 2007, Rich was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma – a cancer of the bone marrow. From July 2007 until March 2008, we spent 3 days a week preparing his system for a stem cell transplant. Most of my family got sweaters (knitted) for Christmas that year. In April 2008, we spent every day going to the infusion center to ready him for the harvesting of his stem cells [I am now knitting and crocheting]. On May 8, 2008, he was admitted to the hospital for the final steps: two heavy doses of chemo and finally the stem cell transplant. He was there for 21 days while he built up his immune system.
All the while, I was making squares for an afghan. Then it was chemo hats… baby blankets… and crochet took hold of my heart. Small projects and they were completed so much faster than my knitting projects. After 21 days, Rich came home, but could not do too much. I am delighted to say that, although it's still a day-to-day thing, Rich has now been in remission for 5 years. Still, I felt I had to hold on the homestead to make sure everything was okay.
I participated in many online charity projects. Share-a-Square got me really involved in making six inch squares for charity. Then I joined Handmade Especially for You which provides comfort scarves and baby blankets to several California women’s shelters.
Next was Charity Crochet Exchange – making six and twelve inch squares for charity projects (a new one every month).
Finally, I participate in Project Linus. I had been crocheting so many small and medium blankets I just didn’t know what to do with them.
This charity thing is all very good and I have made a some wonderful “online” friends in the process. But until recently I have still felt tied to the homestead. My break-out moment began with a phone call I made to a gal I had known through the YMCA water arthritis therapy. We were chatting and I asked what she was doing for adventure these days. She mentioned a group of knitters and crocheters who meet at the neighborhood library Friday mornings at 10. I asked if I could join and that was that. I love this group.
Not only am I learning more, I am making friends in the process. I now am the group photographer and write weekly notes on Ravelry for the group. We also do projects for charity. The most recent is making comfort dolls for children in Africa. The dolls are shipped with their medications and are so appreciated!
These are some of my favorite creations: