Alexandra Halsey of CrochetingThruChronicDiseases helps raise awareness about living well with chronic illness while expressing her creativity through crochet. She herself is a stay at home mom who has been living with multiple conditions (including Chron’s diseases and fibromyalgia) for over ten years. Her Facebook page, Crocheting Thru Chronic Diseases with Alex, serves as a place of connection and inspiration for community members with invisible and ongoing health issues. She says: “I use Facebook to reach people who are like me: sick with not much to do, and too sick to do much. I want these people to know that there are things that they can do even from bed, like crochet or other crafts.” She also shares her work on Instagram, which is where I originally connected with her. I love seeing her updates there when she shares how she’s doing along with what she’s making and reminds us to give soft hugs.
Alex was the featured Instagrammer of the week here more than a year ago, at which time I wrote that I loved how joyous her work is, featuring adorable amigurumi and cute crochet dolls, as well as other items including hats for kids. And I added: “Alex takes several photos of each WIP so you can see how it’s all put together and then see how the finished item looks from different angles. A fun feed to follow and a great person to support in crochet.”
Last year she started a crochet and cooking blog. She has shared crochet tutorials, adventures in making new recipes, yarns dyeing fun and various other things including the crochet mandala she made that was inspired by Marinke and the Kayla’s Stars project that was a huge part of her beautiful work this year.
Kayla’s Stars was a collaborative yarn bomb project that Alex organized as a birthday memorial for her stepsister. People from all over the world sent in their crochet stars and they were all hung beautifully together in a tree. I kept thinking I was going to participate in this one and then I didn’t get to it but I enjoyed following along every step of the way with the Instagram updates. There was such an outpouring of beauty and love.
Alex has shared a lot of wonderful yarn with us on Instagram, especially the yarn that she’s in various stages of dyeing. I love following along with this whole yarn dyeing process. Alex actually only learned to crochet in 2013, so she’s not only developed a great collection of her crochet work but has also delved into this side aspect of the craft in just a short time. Fabulous.
Adorable Amigurumi Crochet
Alex also makes amigurumi Voodoo Dolls. She explained to me once, “I suffer from fibromyalgia and for years I have felt like I am a voodoo doll that someone is being really mean to and poking, pinning, stabbing, and hurting the doll to hurt me. So it was really easy to take that to the next step and create the Fibro Voodoo Doll”. Her voodoo doll free crochet pattern can be found on Ravelry, along with some of her other designs.
And More Crochet from Alex
Alex creates a vast array of different crochet projects so it’s never boring to check out what she’s working on. She previously shared with me an interview, “With amigurumi I like to use single crochets but with my other projects I use all kinds of crochet stitches so I love to have one of each going at all times. Some days I love to make little single crochets with a small hook, but other days I want to make different stitches with a larger hook, so what I work on depends on what kind of day I’m having.”
Crochet spoke mandala
I love citrus colors on this one.
Beautiful crochet hats!
What a fabulous winter crochet shawl. I love the colors!
“Crochet has given me a wonderful purpose in life and I want to share it with others and tell them to never give up until they find what makes them happy and helps them to feel worthwhile. Never giving up is a very important message that I feel some people need to hear, especially in the chronically/ mentally ill community.”
I also want to add that I really appreciate that Alex includes photos of herself wearing her crochet. I follow a lot of folks on Instagram and most people don’t take pictures of themselves. I’m guilty of rarely doing them myself. And that’s okay. It’s okay to just share your lovely craft work. But when you include yourself, it shows that you really love and wear your creations, and it shows that you accept yourself exactly like you are and want the world to know you. It’s welcoming and warm and I love it.