I have been crocheting since 1971 at the age of 5 and I have been designing my own patterns since 1982 at the age of 15.
My mother first taught me how to crochet at the tender age of 5. The day she taught me how to crochet, she was sitting outside on our front porch crocheting and I asked her what she was doing. She explained to me what it was and then I asked her if she could teach me. Well she first taught me how to make the slip knot to get started and after a little bit of time I was ready to go on. She then taught me the chain stitch which I had mastered in a short time. I do remember asking what I have to do next to be able to do what she was doing and she showed me how to do the single crochet. I then pretty much figured out how to do the double & treble crochet on my own. At that time though, I thought I was making up new stitches. Boy was I mad when I discovered they already existed. Well any way. It did not take long before I was making things in crochet for my dolls.
As the years went on, I tried many other types of crafts always to return to crochet. I learned how to sew at an early age so I was able to make some of my own clothes. During my early years I made things like doll blankets and granny squares mostly but I also made up Barbie clothes for my dolls. I also made a few table mats, mittens, hats.
At the age of 15, I was getting bored with the patterns my mother had and decided I needed to do something more. So, I found set of old napkin rings in the trash that my mother was going to throw away and I asked her if I could have them. The first pattern I designed was a wreath made with one of those napkin rings. In fact, in December 1997, while we were decorating our Christmas tree, I came across the wreath ornament. I still have it. There is an up to date version you can make for your own tree. Tape Core Wreath Ornament.
Since then I have created hundreds of patterns such as ornaments, doilies, mittens, sweaters, and motifs for afghans. I have done most of my crocheting since 1983. I have made sweaters, afghans, doilies, ornaments, snowflakes, mittens, slippers, hats, and many more items.