Sunday, February 10, 2013

Meet Kathryn from "Crochet Concupiscence"

Hey good-lookin', I'm glad you've come over to visit me on this Sunday afternoon! 
I'm delighted to have Kathryn from Crochet Concupiscence as a guest today - if you know her blog (and most of you do, I guess), you know that Kathryn's blog is different from most other crochet blogs out there. Like all of us, she shares her own crochet adventures, but apart from that, she also tries to give her readers every piece of info about crochet she can find: history, fashion, artists, crochet quotes, crochet for charity, and more: If you can't find it on Crochet Concupiscence, it probably doesn't exist :) 
Furthermore, many of Kathryn's posts also focus on the benefits of Crochet for your health and well-being. Her insight in this fascinating topic is so interesting, that I just had to ask her to come over and tell us some more:

"How Crochet Helps Me Every Day"

"This is a guest post by Kathryn Vercillo, the blogger at Crochet Concupiscence and the author of Crochet Saved My Life.

Although I learned to crochet as a child, I didn’t really do anything with the craft until my mid-twenties. At that time, I’d hit a low in my life and the re-discovery of the craft helped to bring me out of that awful space. In the few short years since that time, crochet has helped me to heal in so many ways it’s hard to count. Blogging about crochet has allowed me to connect with the most amazingly supportive craft community I ever could have imagined. And every single day I learn more about how crochet can improve my total well-being. Let me tell you more about my story.

Hi, I’m Kathryn – Writer, Crafter, Dreamer

My name is Kathryn Vercillo. I am a full-time professional writer and blogger who lives in San Francisco, a city that I absolutely love because it is a beautiful space where creative people are accepted just the way that they are. I am a generally optimistic person but I’ve struggled with bouts of depression in my life and it has only been in the past few years that I’ve gotten to a solid and stable and emotionally healthy place. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Crochet helped me get there.

Learning to Crochet, Learning to Love Myself

You can actually read my whole mini-memoir of depression and how crochet helped with it in my book, Crochet Saved My Life, so I’ll spare you the details here and just say this … During my lowest low period of depression there were times when I could not get out of bed, when I could not stop crying, when I could not find a shred of self-esteem anywhere in my whirling, reeling mind. I kept grasping at activities that would take my mind off of itself and eventually remembered that I once knew how to crochet. I re-taught myself, mostly using kids’ crochet books, and I fell in love.

I fell in love with the craft. I fell in love with life again. I learned to love myself.   

The rhythmic act of crocheting helped me to calm down, reduce my anxiety, and quell the constant crying that came with depression. (Full disclosure – I also started seeing a therapist at this time and engaging in other self-care so it wasn’t crochet alone that changed my life but it did play a huge part). The process of visualizing and completing a project helped me to see that I could achieve things again in my life, aiding in rebuilding my self-esteem. The tactile sensations of working with soft, colorful yarn helped bring beauty back into my life. I hooked myself to healing.

Connecting with a Crochet Community

Once I started to climb back into a more emotionally stable place, I was ready to share my story. In January 2011 I launched Crochet Concupiscence, my blog about all things crochet. On this blog I share news, information, links and more about all aspects of crochet including art, fashion, design, history and health. Through this blog I began to connect with an amazing world of crochet designers, artists, makers and lovers. I found this to be a generous, supportive, awesome community and one that I am so thrilled to get a chance to be a part of. One of my main goals now that my blog is popular is to let it serve as a hub for others in a way that strengthens and supports this amazing community.

In July 2012 I published Crochet Saved My Life. In addition to sharing my own story about crocheting through depression, I had interviewed two dozen women about their stories crafting to heal from various conditions including chronic pain, schizophrenia, grief, anxiety and more. These women shared touching true details of their lives with me and inspired me with their stories, stories they entrusted me to share with others. This experienced broadened my connection with the amazing crochet community even more. Once the book came out, more people started reaching out to share their stories with me, and my world continued to broaden. The support I feel just being someone who connects with other crocheters online is amazing.

Giving Back with Crochet

I am healthy and well and somewhat established in the crochet community and this gives me an opportunity to share what I’ve learned with others. I did this in part through the publication of Crochet Saved My Life but now I’m working on taking it to the next level with my new project, which is called Hook to Heal.

Hook to Heal is a comprehensive multi-media program for people who want to use crafting to better their lives. It begins with a book of creativity exercises for crocheters that will show how crochet can be used to achieve mindfulness, release artistic fear, push to the next level of creativity, celebrate life and more. Many topics of creativity will be explored in this book that challenge you to find new ways to craft yourself to wellness. The book will be ready in the fall. At that time I will also be launching online creativity classes and a one-on-one email support system for people who want to connect more intimately to help discover the ways in which crochet can be healing and take creativity to a new place in their lives.

Throughout February I am using an Indiegogo campaign to help raise money and awareness about the Hook to Heal project. People who contribute can get perks that range from having their name acknowledged in the book to getting early release copies and more. Even in these early stages, I can tell that my giving to others through this project is actually going to be something that is lucky, wonderful, educational and creative for me as I continue to immerse myself in the crochet community. Every day I crochet and every day the world gets a little warmer and fuzzier for me!"

Thank you so much Kathryn for this outstanding contribution to my blog! I think your message to the crochet world is so important, and I hope that I can help spreading the word by publishing your post today!

Hope you all have a lovely Sunday with lots of time for a little hookin' ;)



  1. A really great post! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Such an inspiring story!!! Thanks Barbara and Kathryn :-)
    ♥ Ana BC

  3. HI, Barbara and Kathryn!
    Thanks for sharing with us your experience. I heard of your book, Kathryn, however didn't read it yet. But definitely I can understand what you went through and HOW crochet helped you. As even I started this hobby because I was feeling depressed and low.
    Wishing your all the best with your second book and more crochet projects!

    1. Thanks so much Anna! I really appreciate your comment!

  4. Just recently found this blog and I'm loving it! Barbara, I will be trying your very cool looking squares as part of a blanket for my grandbaby who will be arriving in July.

    Thank you Kathryn for sharing your story. I learned to crochet in my pre-teens, but really picked it up again in my 20s. It was my escape from depression for many many years. If I was counting stitches I didn't have to deal with anything else.

    1. Thanks for sharing Melanie .... I always love hearing people's stories about how crochet has helped them!

  5. Great interview. I have been wanting to read this book. I have had a somewhat similar experience since becoming more serious about crochet. Thanks to both of you for the interview.

  6. Thanks for letting me be one of your guest bloggers. Love what you do here and am so happy to be a part of it in this way!

  7. A very thought provoking post Kathryn, thank you for sharing Barbara. I must get myself a copy of the book! It resonates with me x


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