books · crochet

book alert – Crochet Saved My Life

Last week I received my copy of Crochet Saved My Life.

Image of Cover for Crochet Saved My Life

This book has been self-published by Kathryn Vercillo, of the blog Crochet Concupiscence.  I’ve been reading Kathryn’s blog for a while now, and she constantly impresses me with her depth of knowledge, proficient research skills, and her commitment to promoting various aspects of crochet.  It doesn’t hurt that she’s featured a few of my crochet projects from time to time either!  I ordered this book as soon as it became available, and although I’ve only had the opportunity to flick through it so far, I’m already impressed by the quality of the writing and I’m intrigued by the stories within it.  As someone who often replies to the question “why do you sew/craft/crochet” with the response “to keep me sane” or “it’s cheaper than therapy”, I really appreciate the sentiments of the book.  To give you some more information about it, I’ll reproduce some of the press release below.

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 first 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.

Crochet is a popular craft. In fact, a 2010 study by the Craft and Hobby Association found that crocheting is the seventh most popular craft by sales (with estimated annual industry sales exceeding one billion dollars) and the third most popular craft by household participation (with more than 17 million participants). It is more popular than knitting, jewelry making and woodworking and more profitable in sales than card making and wedding crafts. Each of these people may be able to benefit from the craft’s therapeutic value and this book tells them how.

Crochet Saved My Life discusses how crochet can be a healing tool used by individuals as well as in group settings including nursing homes, substance abuse programs and hospitals. The book is designed to be approachable by people who don’t crochet but who may find that the craft benefits them individually or benefits the patients that they work with. That group includes counselors, OT industry professionals, therapists, residential treatment center staff and even teachers.

Crochet Saved My Life (ISBN: 1478190450) is a self-published work. It is available in print through CreateSpace, Amazon US and Amazon UK. This book is also available as a Kindle download. It is part of the Kindle Lending Library and so is free to Amazon prime members who use that service. It is possible for retail stores to purchase the book at wholesale rates using Amazon’s CreateSpace Direct Reseller program. Information on ordering can be found at

Kathryn Vercillo has been a freelance writer for more than ten years. She is the author of two previous books published through Schiffer and has been a contributing author on other book projects. Her work has been published in magazines including Latina Magazine and Skope. 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. More information about the author is available at

I encourage you to have a look at Kathryn’s website and further information about this book, and possibly even order a copy!  It’s a great way to support someone who is doing her utmost to explore and promote a popular handcraft in a way that hasn’t been investigated before, and it’s an interesting read as well.  I look forward to really getting into it and meditating upon the stories of the women within it.


16 thoughts on “book alert – Crochet Saved My Life

  1. A few years ago I was at a large party at a friend’s house in a really bad part of town in a town known (in all of the USA no less) for being almost all the bad part of town. I brought some crocheting with me, another friend’s scarf I think, and my friend invited her neighbors over. When they saw me crocheting they came over and asked if I had spare hooks and yarn which I did and they sat down and started to yarn around with me. Turns out, they had learned in prison from some of the older women in the jail and they said it kept them busy and out of trouble and they actually had happy memories from prison because of crochet.

    I really think crochet, and any other creative endeavor, can save lives.

    1. So glad you shared this comment! There are quite a few prisons that have crochet programs (I did a guest post about this over on Crochet Liberation Front and have done a few smaller posts on my own blog). This provides a terrific way for inmates to do something productive, learn a skill, build their self-esteem and usually give something back to the community in the form of charity crafting. So great to know they also retain positive memories of the experience!

  2. Crochet actually saved me. I was in a job that was made really stressful because of the manager. I was constantly on edge/stressed because of her, so I decided to learn to crochet again (my Nan taught me as a child). It soothed my stressed out brain and body. Then I decided to quit my job and work in a wool store (alas, I am no longer there, either). I owe crochet, so I try to promote and always ‘worship’ it. Sounds kind of sappy, but it’s true.
    Lee x

  3. I ordered my copy of this book on Kindle last night. I am about quarter of the way through and I am very impressed . I especially like the real life stories. When one is going through mental health issues it is very lonely and one can think that nobody can relate to what you are going through. I know first hand that sewing and learning to crochet helped to give my depleted self esteem a much needed boost. My mind and my hands were busy with creating something of worth. I underwent an intense period of renewed creativity. Out of the darkness emerged a rainbow of colours and wellness.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks Kathryn for your response to my comment. I can’t put your book down and am going to recommend it to my Psychologist. The concepts of colour therapy and mindfullness are practices that have worked for me. I was automatically drawn to calm colours of browns and pinks when I started to crochet in winter. As my healing progressed I used natures spring colours of pinks, mauves and yellow. Now 3 months later I am using yummy summer colours of hot pink, purple, orange, lime green and yellow. This has been an automatic process that has occurred as I have healed and become happier.Powerful stuff. Thanks for writing this book as you have taught me so much.

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