Book Review: Crochet Saved My Life by Kathryn Vercillo

 Because it IS personal


Kathryn Vercillo did something very courageous and extremely significant in writing this book.

She gave voice to the many thousands (if not more) women (and men) who turn to crochet to make it through one more moment, one more hour and yes just one more day.   At the same time she bore witness to the stories of some two dozen women who have used crochet to cope, heal and stay present as they deal with mental health issues, chronic disease, and mind bending grief.

The bravest thing Kathryn did was to share her own journey with severe depression and then shower each page with the hope that each of us who has ever turned to crochet to keep our minds off the pain, the anguish, the fear of looking inside our own heads one more moment; she offers research and evidence that crochet can and does serve as a life saver.

I know it is, after all I shared with Kathryn how crochet helped me heal from PTSD with severe anxiety and depression. The CLF is part of that journey of healing and you all played a part.

As I read this book, the tears flowed. No, it’s not what you think, they didn’t flow from compassion for the pain of others (well maybe a little bit), but actually what caused me to sob on my couch in a quiet house was that at last I felt the lid was off.

So many of us willing to speak out, not to share our pain story with the world, but our victories both large and small in coping with what many see as the barriers to living. Each one of the stories is a witness and a testament to why we pick up our hooks and create.

Almost every story included the phrase, “Crochet helps me focus on the present moment.”   People pay big money to do that in workshops, hah and we know the answer, one stitch at a time, one loop at a time we carry on in a world that has or does hurt, and then something wonderful happens, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is glorious.

I know many of the women who share their stories in Crochet Saved My Life, some of their history I was aware of, some not so much, but I can say this after reading the book; Proud doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about knowing each of you. Thank you for sharing your stories, thank you for spreading hope.

For years I’ve loudly argued that crochet IS personal for so many of us. We’re not just “making stuff” we’re keeping our hands busy and our runaway minds still and this book, THIS BOOK describes the raw experience tenderly, factually, and in a way that addresses our humanity with courtesy.

Best of all, it offers the story of hope.  Hope in the personal life stories and hope in the exercises to help people learn to be mindful, find a peaceful center and hopefully find some kind of peace in their lives.

This book is not depressing, it is empowering.

Thank you Kathryn for penning one of the most poignant, powerful and intrepid tomes on the subject crochet that I have ever had the pleasure to read.

Even though I intellectually knew I wasn’t alone in my using crochet as a tool for healing, to read the other journeys in crochet let my heart know that I wasn’t the only one who crocheted through the darkest days of my life just to make it one more moment.

Kathryn, I feel vindicated.  Your book marked valid every blog post I’ve written where I emphasised that crochet IS personal, that it’s not just a craft or something we “just do.” Crochet is part of our lives and that we are PEOPLE, PEOPLE who crochet.

Thank you Kathryn, words fail to express what this book means to me, but you did one hell of a great job in the telling of the tales.

You can purchase Crochet Saved My Life as a paperback book or on Kindle and if you’re going to the 2012 Fall Knit and Crochet Show I’ll have a few copies at the CLF Booth, because Kathryn also happens to be a CLF Pro Plus member! Am I proud? Yes oh my Fuzz Gawds, yes I am so proud to have this talented and intrepid woman as a member of the CLF.

You need this book.

About Laurie A. Wheeler

Laurie A. Wheeler is a blogger, crochet addict, yarn designer and champion for independant artisans and crafters. She is also known as Fearless Leader of the Crochet Liberation Front.

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