About the Contributers

Kimberly and Abby:
I was born premature, and have been at least legally blind due to ROP (retinopathy of prematurity) my whole life. Now I live somewhere in the middle of blind no-man's-land, not sighted, but not total either. I can read print, but it has to be almost touching my nose. Large print is the most comfortable for me. I can see things clearly, if I can get them close to my face. I can read grade 1 (uncontracted) Braille, but it isn't easy for me.

I learned to crochet in December 2006. A close friend invited me to attend her crochet club that met at the library. She promised that if she couldn't teach me to crochet, someone in the group could. We started out with multicolored yarn, so that  she could say things like "pull the orange loop through the green and red loops. That's a single crochet." Crochet keeps our friendship alive, even though we live across the country from each other now. I made my husband wait about a month before I let the group teach him to crochet too. He picks things up so quickly, and I struggled to learn, so I made him wait until I was semi-confident in my skills.

I started out with a scarf and progressed to baby blankets and then afghans. Most ladies in the club weren't adventurous, and stuck with afghans, often the same pattern, over and over. Hubby and I progressed to clothing. I've done a sweater, socks, a market bag, and have a tank top in progress.I  made Christmas stockings as a gift last year. I've been working off-and-on on a queen-sized afghan in-between other projects. Yarn has slowly taken over an area in our living room. We have more yarn then we could possibly use, but yarn-envy hits, and we buy more.

I prefer to crochet in bright light, and I use LED crochet hooks. I hold the work close to my face as I crochet. There are some projects that I can feel the stitches and don't have to strain my eyes as much, but I'm not as advanced as Laura. Most of the time I need to utilize my eyes.
FUN FACT: I'm a leftie but crochet like a rightie. Trying to figure out what was happening in the mirror was harder then just switching hands!

Among other things, I am extremely near sighted and have been legally blind all my life.  Nonetheless, I learned how to crochet at a very young age from my older Sister who had learned this craft in 4-H.  I followed in her footsteps, completing numerous crochet projects (usually afghans), each year throughout my long-time involvement in the 4-H program.  And as an adult, crochet is an activity that I continue to enjoy very much.  
Since the person who taught me to crochet was sighted, I was always encouraged to just try to look at whatever I was working on (even though it's not terribly comfortable to hold the project extremely close to my eyes as I need it to be in order to  attempt to see it). So, when I crochet I generally prefer to use the largest hook size I can possibly get away with using for a pattern. This makes it a little bit easier to see what I’m working on. I also try to choose yarn colors that are easy to see. Unfortunately I tend to like dark colors, which offer less contrast when trying to identify stitches and also for some items I just have to use the tiny hook size that the pattern calls for, otherwise the project would not turn out correctly. So, over the years I have taught myself to feel my stitches, instead of relying on my eyes to identify them. Crochet is a much more enjoyable hobby since I learned to do this, as there is less eye strain.
FUN FACT: I am one of those fairly rare left-handed crocheters.  Unfortunately, this can sometimes be an additional challenge. 

Personal Blog: L-Squared.Org
Twitter: L_Squared
Ravelry: BrownDogPhotog