Special series of crochet patterns coming up

Wilma Westenberg working on new series of crochet patterns with a story

Hi all,

Last week I shared a personal update on my blog and Instagram with a picture of myself. I want to thank you all from the deepest of my heart. After posting that picture, I received a thousand messages filled with love – and none of them was negative.

Not only did your words have a big impact on me, also my extended family (people with the same condition) read your comments. Many of them have younger kids who look like me and are worried about the acceptance of their kids when they get older. Reading your words encouraged them too and restored a little faith in humanity.

Crochet patterns with a story

Looking back, getting diagnosed and finding people with the same condition is what I needed to become who I am. My new ‘extended family’ is located all over the world and I can’t wait to meet them all. So far I was able to meet 19 of them in the last 3 years.

I want to use this positive change in my life as a source of inspiration for my crochet designs. Many of my upcoming patterns will be special designs inspired by my extended family who all have made a huge impact on me.

Some patterns of this series are ready to be published (expect them soon!), some are still in progress and some are only concepts/ideas which I still have to work on coming months. I’m excited to share our unique stories with you through crochet and can’t wait to show the designs we (mom and I) have worked on!



Pattern collection so far

• Just me hookin’ at the Red Rock State Park ⛰•

Yep, that’s right, that’s me! I actually never really share pictures of myself here on Instagram. Mainly to avoid rude comments or questions. I have learnt that the internet can be a mean place when you have a different appearance. And the more followers I got on Instagram, the scarier it became. • I was born with an unknown malignant tumor in my face. Doctors never knew what I had exactly and said I was the only one so far they knew of. One year ago (2017) I did a second opinion and got diagnosed with an ultra rare condition. I started searching on Google and found a few other people with the same condition who look just like me. I see them as my new ‘extended family’. I wrote a blog post with more info, you can find the link in my bio.

• It took me three years to find the courage to post a picture and talk about my tumor here on Insta. I want to thank you all for helping me getting here. Thank you for following me and always leaving such nice comments. Thank you dear (crochet) friends who I’ve met the last 12 months for encouraging me. Thank you amazing crochet community for always being so kind and supportive. Words cannot describe how much you mean to me! <3

Een bericht gedeeld door 🔹Wilma Westenberg (@wilmawestenberg) op


  • Reply
    Del Allwood-Soden
    18 January 2023 at 1:45 am

    Well done!
    You are a most remarkable woman. I admire and respect your ingenuity and courage.
    Love the stories. Great personal touch to the patterns.
    Keep up the good work.


  • Reply
    21 September 2022 at 9:11 am

    Your work is really an inspiration!
    I want to do them all at once.

  • Reply
    24 July 2022 at 7:15 pm

    Hola, que bella historia y muy inspiradora. Te mando una abrazo cariñoso desde Chile.


  • Reply
    Charlene Busman
    24 July 2022 at 6:58 pm

    What a beautiful soul you are, Wilma! Your story is so inspirational, too. And your patterns!!! WOW! I can’t wait to finish my current projects and try the Ana Lucia shawl!

  • Reply
    Cassandra Kettenhofen
    26 June 2022 at 9:36 am

    Hi Wilma!

    I look at the picture of you and I read your story and while you are affected by this, instead, what I see is a young woman with an absolutely beautiful smile and amazing eyes! I was in a very bad car accident, when I was just 2 years old and I wasn’t supposed to survive… but 43 years later and I’m still here…. You are lovely, my dear. Simply. Lovely.

    Cassandra Kettenhofen

  • Reply
    Yvonne Smith
    11 June 2022 at 3:26 am

    Thank you Wilma! I just made Durable Friendship for my sister’s birthday in Pima cotton I bought from a Ukraine fundraiser through Lion Brand. I purchased several of their kits that have patterns designed by you. Do you receive anything for their use of your patterns? If not, I want to buy them through Ravelry. I appreciate the beauty you share and love to see pictures of you and your Mom!!!

  • Reply
    1 April 2022 at 1:19 am

    Hi Wilma. I stumbled upon your website whilst looking for crochet patterns suitable for a beginner. And I am so glad I did! I would like to tell you, from my own experience of illness, that there are more good people in the world than bad and you will find kindness and love in the crafting community. As hard as it is, never shy away from showing yourself for fear of being ridiculed. You are a beautiful, vibrant woman with a generous heart. That’s what I see. If someone stares at you – ask them why. I’ve lost my hair to chemo and alopecia and people will always stare, comment and give unwarranted advice. Rise above it lovely Wilma. Never let them tear you down.
    Very happy to have found your website and to know about you and your life. Take care ❤️
    With love from Scotland,

  • Reply
    Kathy B
    21 February 2022 at 7:35 pm

    I found your website searching for a poncho pattern and so happy I did! I have made over 20 “Such Simple Ponchos” in various colors and love reading your posts. Your tutorials are so well done and have given me confidence to try some other patterns. So far, I’ve made the Red Beanie hats and next going to attempt the Tulip Square Purse! Love your designs and look forward to reading your updates.

  • Reply
    Kathy Shroyer
    5 December 2020 at 4:58 am

    Hi Wilma,
    I have to say I’m touched by your story. You have such a beautiful heart. It all shows through your words. I used to work with persons with disabilities, physical, mental, emotional, there are no bounds. I now am the recipient of to numerous to mention disabilities and most are non-curable auto-immune diseases. I’ve seen a lot of what you shared in your story in my lifetime through others eyes and spent a good portion of my time standing up for others. I say to you, “Stand tall and hold your head high and be proud, you are beautiful!”

  • Reply
    17 November 2020 at 2:13 am

    I’m making flower friend 2 and I don’t understand the flower/puff stitch. Can you give me the directions for the puff stitch?

  • Reply
    Kathleen Smith
    12 September 2020 at 6:59 pm

    Dear Wilma, you are a beautiful woman, don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise! I have a malignant meningioma in my brain. I look a bit different and when I was working with kids, I am a credentialed psychiatric and mental health nurse, I worried that I might frighten my little people…until one day, a little girl asked if she could touch my face. I gave permission and she gently lay her fingers on my cheek and softly patted it. It was so sweet, I couldn’t help but smile! She smiled and said I had beautiful eyes when I smile. I try to remember that always, and now that I’m blind, I try to always smile. You have a beautiful smile! And I can’t wait to start the Vela shawl for my grown daughter. I refuse to quit my life just because I went blind because of my tumor about 10 yrs ago. You didn’t quit either, and you are so talented! All of us are blessed by your talent and your willingness to share it with us! Thank you! Blessed Be, sweet girl!

  • Reply
    21 August 2020 at 10:26 am

    Your story really touched me. While the condition I acquired as a tiny baby wasn’t rare, I only found out about it when I was 22 and pregnant. At the time it was deemed incurable and my husband didn’t really understand or try to understand how I felt about it and how desperate it all seemed. I was incredibly lucky that a few drugs were being developed and less than a decade on, I am cured, but I totally understand how important it must be to you to have your “extended family” and their understanding and support. Also, I love the patterns, thank you so much for sharing your story and your beautiful crochet!

  • Reply
    7 May 2020 at 2:32 pm

    You are beautiful! Inside & out. Thank you for sharing your patterns!

  • Reply
    Lydia Delport
    12 February 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Hi I am also looking for the Free Pattern for Squares no #1 and #2. They are so beautiful. I am desperate for the patterns.


  • Reply
    Mary Kehayas
    4 February 2020 at 12:38 pm

    I have found the free pattern for Square #3. Where can I find the free patterns for Squares No. #1 and #2

    • Reply
      30 April 2020 at 5:56 am

      I found patterns 1&2 on Pinterest.

    • Reply
      Christa Thiebaut
      11 February 2021 at 7:42 am

      Hi Mary. My name is Christa from Pretoria in South Africa.
      I’ve now searched everwhere possible and cannot find patter 3.
      Can you please help by emailing it to me?

      Many thanks.

  • Reply
    Kathleen Snow
    3 February 2020 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you for the beautiful Tulips from Holland square. My best friend is Dutch and here in Nova Scotia, we have a lot of Dutch immigrants. Your talent is incredible and thank you for being a shining example to everyone who has something, which is most of us, that makes us unique or different. God bless you, Wilma❤

  • Reply
    Ria Robertson
    3 February 2020 at 7:46 am

    I had found free pattern no3 im looking for no.2 and no. 1 please… can you help please this is for the traveling afgan.. i thank you regards [email protected]

    • Reply
      17 June 2020 at 8:46 pm

      You can find #1 & #2 on Pinterest.

  • Reply
    Cindy Pye
    3 February 2020 at 7:11 am

    Hi Wilma! I’m so glad to meet you. You are so pretty and seem so full of life. I’m so glad you’ve found some answers and some new family that have the same condition. I have Scoliosis, and I have plenty of family and friends, but there is a special uniqueness to a relationship with people of like challenge. I love your design for the 3rd block of the Traveling Afghan! What a beautiful idea to incorporate tulips into your design. I look forward to making it.

  • Reply
    16 January 2020 at 4:31 pm

    You are a very pretty lady who makes wonderful crochet patterns

  • Reply
    Debra Webber
    30 December 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Dear, Dear Wilma,
    I fell in love with your shawl pattern. It’s perfect. Delicate and feminine but not too over the top and heavy. Especially for people who have recently had breast cancer surgery. As I was reading your story my heart just went out to you. You are such a beautiful, talented young lady; when I think of you hiding yourself away from the public it makes me so sad. Yet I understand. People are so horrible. I have a lot of physical limitations so I’m mostly house bound but I’m old – I’ll have to read more about your condition but sweetheart you’re such a beautiful soul with much to offer, please don’t let others control how you live your life. You have amazing talent. I had a dear friend who I admired a great deal. She had to have stints put in her brain every 6 months so she would try to grow her hair out but her head was quite scarred and people would stare at her often. She would look at them with her beautiful smile and say, “I have to have brain surgery every 6 months and I hate it but I’d be happy to tell you all about it”. It was wonderful because everyone within 6 feet of us didn’t know what to do and then she would tell the people that had been gawking at her that she would appreciate being treated normal. They would apologize and we were golden. That was usually in a restaurant or cafe. You’re beautiful and strong and God blessed you because he knew you would make a difference. I’m sending you my love and strength as well. My prayers for you from my lips to God’s ears. Thank you so much for the beautiful shawl pattern, can’t wait for the holidays to be over so I can get started on one. ❤ Stay strong!

  • Reply
    Magdalene van Greunen
    12 December 2019 at 12:46 pm

    Dear Wilma, dont you ever feel bad about your condition. God love’s you just the way you are. Thank you for all the lovely free paterns. They are just as beautiful as you are. I am busy to crochet your flower puff shawl and I enjoy every moment of it. I live in dear old South Africa. Greetings and much love. Keep up the good work you are doing.

    • Reply
      Fiona Clarke
      1 August 2020 at 10:14 pm

      Hi fellow South African I really admire this young lady’s talent she is beautiful and has much to offer the world.

  • Reply
    Aidalina C Mihalek
    7 December 2019 at 5:16 am

    HI ,
    I SEE YOUR shawls are very pretty thank you for sharing with me i’m in a prayer shawl ministry with a circle of ladies we share out patterns and such your are very pretty thank . You have a beautiful talent God Bless in all you do

  • Reply
    Joann Downs
    14 August 2019 at 12:11 am

    Hello Wilma, I sooooo enjoy crocheing your shawls with the 4 ply yarns, however, I now would like to make one for my dear little great granddaughter. She is just 7 years old now and I know would enjoy a shawl for her birthday. I am late to give her a gift because I waited too long to contact you for my request which is some directions with the Pom Pom shawl to make it her size. Could you help me with some ideas how to go about decreasing the size of this beautiful shawl. Again it is the Pom Pom shawl. Thank you so much, Joann Downs, [email protected] is my email address.

  • Reply
    Shelly Calvert
    27 May 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Hello Wilma!! I absolutely love ALL of your GORGEOUS Shawls!! You are a very TALENTED and BEAUTIFUL Young Woman❣ And may I add another adjective to the many that keep flooding my mind as I write this to you, and that’s COURAGEOUS! Courage must be running through your blood veins Wilma, for you did not developed your Love of others, that you obviously have, which you have demonstrated for some time now by posting your free patterns and by immediately wanting to find and contact all the other people that share the same medical mystery as yourself!! Just think what you have likely done for the medical profession by doing just that! You may have put in motion the first steps toward finding a treatment and I pray, a cure for your type of tumor. Wilma, you are what I like to refer to as “Some Kind Of AWESOMENESS ❣❣” GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU IN HIS GRACES IN EVERY WAY ❤ WITH MY WARMEST RESPECT AND CHRISTIAN LOVE, Shelly Calvert, Tennessee, USA

  • Reply
    Judy Hyland
    6 May 2019 at 11:53 pm

    Thank u for sharing.I had a far tumor in my adrenal gland.God bless u friend.

  • Reply
    31 March 2019 at 5:21 am

    Your a beautiful and strong girl! I’m so happy to have found you today thrum 2 of my instagram friends! I cant wait to make this for my mom! I have a picture of me at 15 on that exact same rock wall:) my favorite state for sure! Stay you sweetish 🙂 hugs! @Kariskozies

  • Reply
    Tatiana Cross
    27 March 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and your patterns. You are beautiful and it shows in the work you do. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply
    Mona Lisa Holbrook
    17 March 2019 at 2:24 am

    Hi from North Carolina. Thanks for your bravery. I think you would make a great model. Thanks too for sharing your beautiful designs. Many blessings to you and your new friends.

  • Reply
    19 January 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Hola, mi nombre es Fe. Te felicito y recuerda que somos únicos y exclusivos no hay nadie en el mundo igual a mi o igual a ti! Eres bella y eres La Niña de los ojos de Dios. El té creóel té hizo té puso nombre y solo El sabe su propósito con crearte así. Ámate, valórate y sigue adelante con tus planes proyectos y visión! Gracias por demostrarme que puedo! Soy amante del Crochet y estoy incursinando en este mundo maravilloso de la aguja y el hilo para crear con mis manos cosas preciosas! Sigue subiendo videos que nosotras te seguimos. Un beso y un abrazo. Y recuerda eres bella. Nadie como eres Única Dios te bendiga!!

  • Reply
    Linda H Mclaughlin
    23 November 2018 at 3:18 pm

    You are very beautiful young lady. I love your patterns. In the eyes of God you are perfect. Take care.Enjoy the United States!

  • Reply
    Flor Hernandez
    7 November 2018 at 12:21 am

    Hola soy madre y abuela de dos personas que segun son especiales porque? padecen sidrome treacher collins mi hija y mi nieta pierre Robin en ambos casos la malformacion facial esta presente tienen rostro pequeño orejas deformes, madibula con mordida abierta su lenguaje no es claro pero me han enseñado que nada ni nadie los detiene recien vimos la pelicula de extraordinario lo cual ayudo a mucha gente a comprender por que no todos son perfectos y hoy lo compruebo una vez mas Dios nos pone en el camino seres maravillosos el simple hecho de dar con tu espacio me hace valorar mas lo que dios me ha dado te felicito eres un ser maravilloso tejere el shawl Ana Lucia y asi conservare tu cariño te envio un mega afectuoso saludo desde Mexico
    flor hernandez

  • Reply
    Donna Houle
    14 September 2018 at 5:08 pm

    You are so beautiful and it shows in your patterns too. Love them all. Thank God for you. Take care

  • Reply
    Audra Granath
    10 September 2018 at 7:25 pm

    What a talented & beautiful girl you are! Thank you for sharing your life with us & thank you for all of the wonderful patterns. Sending a big hug to you from me in Chicago!

  • Reply
    Paula Mersing
    29 July 2018 at 3:27 am

    Luisa, I pray the day comes, when God gives the doctors a cure for this illness. In the meantime, keep crocheting and sharing your beauty and the beauty of your creations with us all. With love, Paula Mersing.

    • Reply
      Paula Mersing
      29 July 2018 at 3:28 am

      Wilma, I am sorry I typed your name wrong.

  • Reply
    27 July 2018 at 1:34 pm

    He Wilma, super gaaf wat je doet! Het is nooit makkelijk om te leven met een chronische aandoening of het nou zichtbaar is of niet, invaliderend is of niet, zeldzaam of niet. Het vereist een hoop veerkracht, moed en optimisme om het dan zo’n leuke en positieve draai aan te geven zoals jij dit doet. Chapeau!

  • Reply
    Donna Buonomo
    17 July 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Hi Wilma. I never do this. I usually admire people’s work and pay for the download if I want to give the project a try. Of course, tell them how talented I think they are. Your story has touched me as no other has in a long time.

    I’ve been crocheting for it seems forever. My mom taught me, and it took a long time because she was right handed and I’m a lefty and at 12 that’s hard to adapt to. I was determined and I did learn. That was about 50 years ago. I am the Aunt who always made sure that every baby received their own blanket in the colors that the mom wanted. It gave me pleasure because I give bigger blankets and they last FOREVER.

    I want you to know that everyone has SOMETHING. Sometimes it shows, sometimes not. Crochet saved my life, I believe. I was hospitalized for depression a few years ago. I seriously couldn’t cope. I had been a caretaker first for my dying father and soon after for my mom. After mom passed I was spent, life seemed not worth living. It took a very long time for me to feel better. I think it stays with you and it’s an ongoing battle, but again; it could be worse. So God and Crochet became my coping skills. It’s a calming craft that gives an end result that is usually pleasant, occasionally beautiful.

    I love what you are doing with/for others with the same condition you have. The joy that you bring them is wonderful. I hope this hasn’t been too wordy. I just had to comment on the lovely work you do and your beautiful outlook on life.

    Now it you’ll excuse me I’m going to download “Lovely Luisa” and give her a whirl. Luisa was my grandma’s name, so maybe she join me in spirit while I work on my project.

    • Reply
      18 July 2018 at 4:52 pm

      Dear Donna, thank you so much for taking the time to write me this beautiful, personal comment. I really appreciate it. Amazing how you’ve always made blankets for babies in the family – indeed something they will cherish forever! So sorry you had to go through such hard time, but I’m also very happy to hear that you feel better and that crochet helped you. And how nice that your grandma’s name was Luisa! Your grandma will always be with you, as she is in your heart and love never dies Sending hugs from Holland!

    • Reply
      19 January 2019 at 2:57 am

      Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your personal life. You never know when you are helping someone else! Blessings to you and Wilma.

  • Reply
    Mary Rhudy
    26 June 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Hello, Wilma! I have an au t named Wilma. Is there an awareness colour for your condition? I, for one, would very much like to make some shawls in that colour. My condition is being homeless and diabetic and autistic whilst having PTSD. Thank you for sharing of yourself.

  • Reply
    10 June 2018 at 1:43 am

    Would love a downloadable version of your pattern.

  • Reply
    25 May 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Thank you!!!!! I just love each design your talents abound with selection of fiber and colors truly a gift . Keep being a voice for those who have your medical condition.

    • Reply
      26 May 2018 at 10:22 pm

      Thank you so much Sandra! <3

  • Reply
    9 May 2018 at 8:22 pm

    You are a delight and congratulations on your engagement keep up the beautiful patterns looking forward to updates

    • Reply
      11 May 2018 at 11:14 pm

      Thank you so much Bonnie! <3

  • Reply
    Clara Vazquez
    5 May 2018 at 5:54 pm

    I am interested in making you Joyful Josie shawl.
    What yarn cake did you use???

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