AMADOR COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Crochet is a term that comes from the Middle French word “to hook,” and that’s just what it did to Dorise Hunt decades ago.
“I got my first set of crocheting needles when I was 5 years old, and my mom taught me how to do it,” Dorise Hunt shared with FOX40. “There’s something about it. Something about holding on to one needle and one thread and making something always just amazes me.”
As amazed as Hunt is by the work her hands almost seem to do by themselves, there are hundreds of others amazed by work she’s done anonymously until now.
“I have one project in my bed — by my bed. I have one by the sofa, one where I read. I just work on three or four different blankets at one time. That way, I’m never bored,” Hunt explained.
Cancer patients, dialysis patients, sick newborns, mothers in medical crises after delivery, and those in hospice have received blankets secretly made by Hunt, and delivered by the Azalea Star volunteer chapter in Amador County.
“The softer the yarn the better,” Hunt said. “I figure, I mean if a patient can reach down and feel the softness of a blanket, it just takes them out of maybe a bad place for one second.”
Hundreds of blankets meant to be a balm for someone else’s condition stitched together with the threads of her own.
“It’s always helped me throughout my whole life. I’m incredibly dyslexic. I can’t read a thing, a pattern or a recipe,” Hunt shared.
At times, Hunt has been able to muster the positivity of a clown, making hospital visits with a troupe, but facing days as the one in need of such visits, crocheting has become vital medicine for her.
“It started out as a lumpectomy in my breast and had a very scary time with cancer,” Hunt said. “And, that got resolved, but it opened up a hornet’s nest in my body, and I developed an adhesion-related disorder that kept strangulating my internal organs. And I had nine full abdominal surgeries in a two-year-period time, and I became disabled because of it.”
“So, crocheting became a lifeline to me,” Hunt shared.
Hunt told FOX40 her creative process.
“So, I don’t follow any patterns. I just make them up as I go,” she said. “I just pick a yarn and decide. I kind of see in my mind’s eye what I want it to look like, and then somehow I emulate it. I still don’t know how I do it. I make around one blanket every five days. It takes me about 20 to 22 hours to make one personal-sized blanket.”
They’re made for one person to cover up, but these blankets reveal Hunt’s heart.
Hunt spends all of her own money buying yarn to make her blankets. If you’d like to help, contact the Azalea Star volunteer chapter of Amador County.