Title: Crochet Saved My Life
Author: Kathryn Vercillo
Author: Kathryn Vercillo
Book Review by Marie Segares (www.undergroundcrafter.com)
If you’ve ever turned to your hooks and yarn when times were hard, you will probably see yourself in Crochet Saved My Life: The Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Crochet. Kathryn Vercillo, the blogger behind Crochet Concupiscence, has written and self-published this compelling non-fiction book which tells the stories of 24 crocheters (including herself) who attest to the healing power of crochet.
Kathryn’s personal experience using crochet as part of a comprehensive plan to manage her depression sparked her interest in researching the mental, physical, and social benefits of crochet. The book takes a journalistic approach to exploring research into the potential for using crochet as part of a treatment plan for several physical and mental health conditions (depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, addiction, post traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, bipopular disorder, Alzheimer’s and other age related memory conditions, and stress). Kathryn also explores the use of crochet as part of pain management and occupational therapy regimens.
Each chapter includes a clearly written overview of research as well as existing programs using crochet (or other needlecrafts) to treat these conditions. Kathryn’s writing style is accessible and casual, but she has clearly done her homework and documents her sources. She also peppers the anecdotal experiences of the many crocheters she interviewed for the book throughout the relevant chapters, so you can learn about how crochet helped them manage their health.
The book includes appendices with mindfulness activities, hand stretches, and other exercises for crocheters. Kathryn also shares the complete story of each crafter she interviewed in “Meet the Crafters” profiles. Crocheters who are active online will recognize many of Kathryn’s interview subjects, who include bloggers, Etsy sellers, and designers. The profiles provide a personal touch and a window into the many ways that crocheting, creativity, and a community of crafters can support healing during difficult times.
Although the book is self-published, it is well written and thoroughly edited. Other than the unconventional font (which is highly readable), there is little to distinguish it from a book produced by a major publishing house. Before picking up the book, I feared it would be depressing, but it is actually quite uplifting and inspiring. Through the profiles of these creative women, the reader gets to experience the healing powers of crochet.
Fans of Kathryn’s blog will recognize her conversational tone and enjoy the opportunity to learn more about other active members of the online crochet community. This book would also make a delightful gift for anyone in a helping profession or caregivers, since there are some great suggestions for using crochet specifically and needlecrafts in general to support healing.
Retail price: $17.95 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle edition). This book is also available to borrow via the Kindle Lending Library for Amazon Prime Members.