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Friday, August 26, 2011

One Really Cool Lady

I love the internet because it makes it possible to get in contact with really amazing and interesting people.  I got a Ravelry message the other day from Barbara Payne Shelton, asking if she could use my crochet bangle bracelet pattern to make jewelry to sell for charitable purposes.  She came up with a great adaptation to make a necklace as well.  After "talking" a bit by email, I was so happy to be able to help in this small way and thought that you all would enjoy hearing about Barbara's charitable endeavors on behalf of the MS Society.

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am the married mother of three adult children (all married to great people, lucky me) and two grandchildren. Although I have had a wonderful career as a teacher and college professor, being a grandmother is definitely the best job ever!

2) When did you start crocheting? My college roommate taught me as she learned it, over 40 years ago. Unfortunately, she is right handed and I am left handed, and we did not realize I was bringing around the thread the wrong way. My second project was a traditional ripple afghan and I discovered the problem when the ripples didn't ripple! I simply relearned it the correct way and the rest is history. Everyone I know has gotten crocheted gifts from me over the years. I learned to knit at age 8 and while I still do that, it isn't as rewarding for me as crocheting...
3) When did you get involved with this particular charitable project? I have several friends and two family members with MS so I do a lot of fund raising for the MS Society. I have done their 5K walks for some time, but 5 years ago I started doing an annual 31 mile walk. My husband and I have done six of those now, but since I do multiple events each year I had to find another way to raise money than just asking my friends--you can only do that so much!
4) How did you decide to combine these two interests? Last year I knitted over 150 scarves and sold those but since crocheting is my first love, I thought I would try doing something in crochet this year. Although I suspect that crocheted jewelry has a narrower market than scarves, since just about any woman can wear those. I saw Phyllis' pattern and got so excited about it that I began making them in earnest. I thought it would be neat to have a coordinating necklace, so I played around with adjusting the pattern. It needed some adjustment in order to hang right. I have a few which are long ones, but I liked the "choker" style best, so most of the necklaces are that style. The necklace is adjustable (so it fits over the wearer's head) by sliding two beads which secure the ends. The necklaces are in a variety of colors, including white, silver, gold, gold metallic, black, read, rust, brown and a few blue. I sell the sets for $15. I donate the yarn and contribute 100% of the proceeds to the National MS Society. If people pay by check I prefer that they make out their checks to the society, not to me. I want it to be clear that I am not making any money here!

5) Where can readers find out more? I don't have a blog or a website, but people can e-mail me directly at

 So, I really hope you'll consider contacting Barbara to purchase a necklace-bracelet set or contribute in some way!

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