Kathryn Vercillo is a San Francisco based freelance writer, blogger and crochet lover. She is the author of two previous books (Ghosts of San Francisco and Ghosts of Alcatraz) and has been a contributing author on other book projects. Her work has been published in magazines including Latina Magazine and Skope Music Magazine. Kathryn has worked as a professional blogger for numerous websites including PC World, Dial-a-phone, SF Travel, and Houzz. Her online articles about crochet have been published around the web on sites that include Crochetvolution, Crochet Liberation Front, SF Indie Fashion and Handmadeology. Her Crochet Concupiscence blog was voted one of the top 5 2012 craft blogs in Inside Crochet Magazine and was a 2011 runner-up for a Flamie award from the CLF. You can visit her crochet blog at www.crochetconcupiscence.com or learn more about the author at www.kathrynvercillo.com.
Crochet Saved My Life: The Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Crochetby Kathryn Vercillo
Crochet saves lives. It saved mine.
In the worst throes of depression I found myself sobbing on the bathroom floor, the tip of a kitchen knife pointed into my wrist. I was aching to break the flesh and bring the pain to an end. Through sheer force of will, I pried my own desperate hands open and replaced the knife with a crochet hook. Then I crocheted to save my… See more details below
Crochet saves lives. It saved mine.
In the worst throes of depression I found myself sobbing on the bathroom floor, the tip of a kitchen knife pointed into my wrist. I was aching to break the flesh and bring the pain to an end. Through sheer force of will, I pried my own desperate hands open and replaced the knife with a crochet hook. Then I crocheted to save my life.
In this book, you will get to know me through my story of depression and healing. And you will get to know other women as well. You will meet Aurore who crochets to stay in touch with reality as she deals with ongoing psychiatric hallucinations. You will meet Laurie who made a new life with crochet after years of a life filled with abuse. You will meet Tammy whose crochet helps her with the ups and downs of living with Chronic Lyme Disease. You will meet Liza who crochets through the anxiety of having temporary bouts of blindness caused by an undiagnosed health condition.
Here are some of the things you will hear them say:
"When I crochet I don't think about how my body is now broken; I think about how I can create something beautiful and useful with my hook and either yarn or thread." -Vicki
"When I'm anxious, I feel like a hollow hull. Crocheting helps fill up the void." - Aurore
"I couldn't pay for therapy, but a few balls of crochet thread cost less than $20 and provided me with many hours of crochet." - M.K.
"The feeling of the yarn and the rhythmic motions produced by crocheting are very quieting and help me regroup, recharge and become reconnected to my inner self amidst turmoil and confusion." - Aimee
"Crochet helps me put my pain on the back burner for a while. It takes my focus away from how I'm feeling and puts it in a more productive place". - Shelli
The two dozen women whose stories are shared in this book are the women who hook to heal. We are not alone. Studies shows that crocheters are numerous; research and anecdotal evidence show that people of all ages, from all walks of life, with all types of health conditions may find healing through their hooks and yarn. Join us on our journey.
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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite Crochet Saved My Life: The Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Crochet was written by Kathryn Vercillo. Depression is an illness and yet we tend to shy away from admitting we are depressed. There is a stigma that goes along with it. Anyone who has never been depressed can never truly understand how debilitating it can be. Kathryn Vercillo suffered with depression for years. She begins Crochet Saved My Life by introducing herself and sharing her battle with depression. She knew she needed something to distract her and to bring a small amount of pleasure, and that was when she picked up her crochet hook. Her problems were not solved instantly, but it helped. Crocheting gave her an end product so that she felt productive; it restored her ability to make decisions, and it forced her to set goals. Crochet filled her mind, not allowing her to ruminate on negative thoughts. One of the most important things the author wants to accomplish by writing this book is to inform readers that crochet will help not only with depression, but certain other diseases such as arthritis. It exercises the joints. As an avid crocheter, I can attest to Vercillo’s hypothesis concerning the benefits of crocheting. Crochet Saved my Life will benefit many people. Kathryn Vercillo has included a wide range of disorders that can be helped with a skein of yarn and a crochet hook. I wasn’t surprised by the mental health and hand problems that were mentioned, but when I read about Restless Leg Syndrome I was not only surprised but very interested. Crochet Saved My Life is a fascinating look at an unusual form of therapy. Vercillo writes in an easy to understand manner and yet she writes in depth and with references to back up her statements. The crafter in me would have enjoyed photos and patterns. However, this is a serious book and if they had been included it would have distracted from the book's purpose. The next time you are overcome with depression, pain or anxiety, pull out your hook and yarn - it just might save your life.