Crochet Saved My Life
From the official press release:
A new book is available suggesting that the age-old craft of crochet is not just a hobby but can actually be a life-saving tool with benefits for people trying to overcome the difficulties of a diverse range of physical and mental health conditions. Crochet Saved My Life uses a combination of memoir, biography and research to explore how crochet has been used both historically and in modern times to help people heal from depression, anxiety, PTSD, schizophrenia, pregnancy complications, chronic pain conditions and even early Alzheimer’s.
Kathryn Vercillo wrote Crochet Saved My Life based on her own experience of using crochet in conjunction with therapy and medication to survive lifelong, life-threatening depression. When she began to tell people that she was writing about how crochet had saved her life, she expected to be laughed at. Instead, she was inundated with story upon story from people who felt that the craft had saved their lives as well. The author went on to interview nearly two-dozen women about their experiences. The group is made up of women who are professionals in the industry, working as crochet designers, craft book editors, and crochet bloggers as well as women from other walks of life. This new book shares their stories along with her own to highlight the many facets of crochet that make it a great therapeutic tool for people of all ages.
You can read the rest on Kathryn’s blog, Crochet Concupiscence. Kathryn and I met online as she had featured TAFA on her blog a couple of times and then put out a call to crocheters who might be interested in joining as members. Her blog is a wonderful treasure trove of crochet links and features and this book promises to take a serious and interesting look at how crochet, specifically, heals the mind.
I have not read it yet, but I know it to be true. I told Kathryn that the closest experience I have had to the experience of prayer or meditation is when I am engaged in the making of something. I enter this other place where I almost feel transported and the world falls away. Or, perhaps a particular part of the world becomes zoomed in on, as if in a strange focal lens. Others have also said the same, “Sewing saved my life.” or “If I don’t create, I will go insane.” I don’t think it matters if it’s crochet or another act of creation, for some of us there simply is no choice.
I once met a nun in Chicago who worked with mentally ill people at a clay studio. The pieces these people came up with were amazing! Faces with three eyes, bodies with two heads, twisted forms…. There the work truly gave a language to what was experienced on the inside, but even the repetition of a needle and thread, of stitches on cloth, or baking and gardening………. there is something important about working with your hands to release mental stress. Kathryn’s experience and research will surely shed some light on how that happens!
It just might save yours, too!