Home » My special ‘Story Shawls’ collection

My special ‘Story Shawls’ collection

This post has been updated over the years and was first published in 2018.

After posting my personal update, which included a picture of myself, I received a thousand messages filled with love — and none of them were negative.

Your words not only had a big impact on me but also resonated with my extended family (people with the same condition) who read your comments. Many of them have younger kids who resemble me, and they worry about the acceptance of their children as they grow older. Reading your words encouraged them.

Designs with a story

Looking back, getting diagnosed and finding people with the same condition, who look just like me, is what I needed to become who I am. My new ‘extended family’ is located all over the world, and it has become my life goal to meet them. So far, I have been able to meet 33 of them in the last 6 years.

Many of my upcoming designs will be inspired by my extended family, all of whom have made a huge impact on me.

Some patterns 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. I’m excited to share unique stories with you through crochet and can’t wait to show you the designs.



Story Shawl Collection so far (…more coming soon!)


  1. 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.


  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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,

  6. Wilma
    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.

  7. 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!”

  8. 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?

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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.


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

    1. 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.

  13. 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❤

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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!!

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

  25. 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

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

    1. 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!

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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

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