Cover photography by Julie Michelle

For today’s post in my 10 Day Series of crochet health articles I thought I’d give you a sneak peak of my new book, Crochet Saved My Life, by sharing an excerpt from the book’s introduction. I hope you enjoy it! You can buy the book online here or get it on Kindle.



Crochet saved my life.

I realize that this sounds completely absurd … or at the very least like a great exaggeration. I assure you, however, that it is the truest way I can possibly describe the role that crochet played in assisting me in moving through the deepest period of depression I had ever experienced. Without it, I may not have lived.

Prior to this terrible period, I had suffered with undiagnosed, sometimes debilitating, always untreated depression for nearly fifteen years. I didn’t know that depression was the problem and I certainly didn’t know how to deal with it. The delay in diagnosis was due in large part to stubbornness. I was very anti-medication, mostly anti-psychologists and believed that whatever was wrong was something I could solve on my own. The delay also had to do with my youth (I was a young teen when the problem started), a lack of self-awareness and an abundance of intelligence and creativity that made me generally keep going in some form despite many tough battles with deep sadness. In later years, I did try to reach out for help but the professionals I worked with didn’t properly diagnose me or help me in any way.

All of this is to say that by the time that I reached the desperate stage of readiness where I would accept any help of any kind (despite feeling certain that nothing could ever help) the problem was nearly out of control. I was barely functioning. I cried most of the day every day. I could hardly move. I could hardly breathe. The idea of trying to make doctors’ appointments or hold down “real” jobs was so far-fetched it may as well have filtered into my mind in another language. I couldn’t do almost anything and yet the one thing that I could do was to move a crochet hook back and forth through yarn, repeatedly pulling one loop through the next to create fabric out of air so thin I could barely breathe in it. Since it was one of the only things that I could do, it became imperative to my mental health that I go ahead and do it. When I first started to crochet, that feeling of temporary relief from the muted chaos of depression was the only reason I was crocheting.

Of course, crochet alone could never have taken me out of that desperate place. It is a craft, not a cure-all for serious illness. And yet I am also fairly certain that I could never have loosened myself from the grip of that depression without crochet. I was stuck in between that proverbial rock and a hard place and my crochet hook served as a crowbar to begin prying me out of that difficult space. I hardly knew that it was happening and yet that hook dug deep down into the core of my being and lifted me into a space where I could once again begin to breathe. In the most basic and obvious way possible I was creating a life for myself simply through the act of creating.

A year later, breathing and healing, I was not only crocheting but also beginning to live my life again. I was beginning to meet other people who also enjoyed literally crafting a life for themselves. I had been a professional blogger/ freelance writer for approximately ten years and found the medium comfortable so I decided to start a crochet blog where I found an expansive community of like-minded crafty people. As I began to share my thoughts and feelings with this community, I began to see that I was not the only one who felt that crochet had been critical to saving one’s mental health. In fact, it became obvious to me that it is more often than not the case that crocheters feel that they experience some personal health benefits from the craft although that may not be their main motivation for crocheting.

Crochet heals. Crochet saves lives.


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


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  5. I also am saved by the gift from the Lord God to be able to crochet. I had Polio as a very young child but seemed to come through it alright. By the time I was 11, I found out that my spine had been damaged from the virus afterall. I had been crocheting for seven years by then. Each time by back “threw” me down, I crocheted for weeks at a time until now, at 65, I crochet everyday, almost all day because I’m recliner bound. My mind however is actively desigining and my hands actively caring out those designs. I’m able to make things for various charities and for Christmas and other gifts as well as cloths and jewelry for myself. Even in my recliner, I like to wear my brightly colored crocheted clothes. The girls at the doctors offices are always so gleeful when I come in and everyone wants to see what I’ve made to wear for this visit. I also make projects for missionary work in our church. If it wasn’t for crochet, I don’t know what I could do with my life that would be helpful or to others. Crochet keeps me going and it makes me happy and fulfilled even though I am mostly house bound. The colors, textures and developmentt of a project is engaging. It feels wonderful to be able to do it. I also enter crochet in our County Fair, even though I can’t go to the fair and for the last thirty entries, I have won first place or better! The Lord knew what I would need at this point in my life so since I was four years old, I have been developing more and more crochet experience. Thank you for sharing your life with us and how crochet brought you out into the light too. God bless,

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