For 70 years, Ada Setser, of Dolores, has been crocheting afghans, baby blankets, bed spreads, decorated hangers, curtains, and tablecloths that she donates to needy families.
From her comfortable home of 65 years, Setser has become a skilled artist of the thread, blending every color of the rainbow into stylish patterns of wide variety.
“There are no two alike,” she says. “I started when I was 19. I’m 90 now, and I’ve probably made a thousand over the years.”
Countless boxes of her baby blankets have been donated to families with newborns at Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez, and Mercy Hospital in Durango.
More boxes of her colorful creations have warmed the hearts of critically ill or traumatized children in the The Linus Club, named after the famous Charles Schultz character who always had his blanket.
“I really love to crochet, it keeps me focused and is a form of meditation. It’s a creative hobby I taught myself when I was young, and I’ve never stopped since.”
The Salvation Army, thrift stores, nursing homes, Hospice, local friends and family also benefit from Setser’s generosity.
“I’d say there is one of my afghans or blankets in every state, including Alaska,” she says with a wink. “I’ve sold a few, too, for folks looking for a last-minute gift. They stop by and pick one out.”
True to the creative arts, Setser moves through life never quite arriving at the finish line, understanding the inspirational journey is continuous, but with some minor adjustments.
“I can’t do the fine work anymore,” she says. “And I still make an occasional mistake. I’m still learning different ways to put it together.”
Setser does not seem to be slowing down much. She’s quick to get up and fetch a favorite art piece, rises at 6 a.m. every day, keeps busy with house-work, crochets and meets her son Don for lunch most days. Her sharp mind easily recalls the early shops and people of Dolores during its railroad heyday.
“I can still remember the 9 a.m. whistle of the locomotives, the boarding houses, the hardware stores and car dealerships. Dolores has changed a lot. But I’ve always felt I had the best spot in town.”
One of 15 siblings, 11 girls and four boys, she grew up in the Depression era, which she attributes to her appreciation of simple pleasures of crochet, family, and her beloved Dolores community.
“I love Dolores and the people. I’d be willing to teach a young person how to crochet, but they seem too caught up in computers these days.”
It is a great activity for older folks as well, she says.
“I’m willing to share what I know. It gives seniors something to do. There is no reason to be bored,” she says.
Her friend Ruby Gonzales drops by, reminding her of the senior lunch the next day and the cribbage game.
“She made one for me that is on the back of my chair,” Gonzales says. “Her designs are just fantastic.”
If your interested in one of Setser’s homemade crochet creations, stop by the Dolores Community Center during the senior lunch on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.