Alisha shares her bravery and love of bringing joy to others with her stuffed animals, including Gutsy the Bravery Lion.
Who Taught You to Crochet?
I didn’t know anyone who crocheted at that time so I started looking online for help. I came across The Crochet Crowd tutorial videos and watched them over and over again until I got it. I had a hard time at first, many of my practice squares looked more like blobs but the more I practiced the better I got.
How Long Have You Been Crocheting?
I started crocheting about 9 years ago. I had found out I had Crohn’s Disease and was looking for an outlet. Shortly after that, I found out I was pregnant and started making blankets and hats for my upcoming arrival. A few of my friends found out they were expecting at the same time so I made blankets for them as well. Once my son was born I started making stuffed toys and found that those were what I enjoyed most to make.
Why is Crochet More than Just a Hobby to You?
I picked up crocheting originally as a distraction, something to keep my mind and fingers busy. While I have made my share of blankets and hats, I really love to make amigurumi. I found that when I would make a little animal and show it to someone their face would light up. As much as I loved creating something, it was bringing even more joy to those I would give them to. I started calling them a.joys after my name. There is a little piece of me in every creation. I donate between 100 and 150 “joys” a year to all different causes – baby blankets for teen moms, chemo caps, hats for the homeless, and lots of stuffed animals. My latest project was making lions to raise money for Crohn’s Disease. Lions are often thought of as a symbol of bravery and having something to hold while you’re going through Crohn’s treatments/testing makes it a little easier. The lion even had a photo shoot for a calendar!
Crocheting helps me deal with Crohn’s, it brought me through a period of depression, calmed me through an anxiety attack, went with me to the Dr’s during heart tests, colonoscopies, blood tests, and therapy. It has made nurses who were having a rough day laugh and made patients who were getting treatment smile (even a few happy tears).
I was given a gift and as much joy that it brings me to make items my hope is that whatever the person is going through when they hold that little yarn creation it helps them through their day and brings them joy. It’s a reminder that you’re loved and you’re not alone.