Today I’m participating in a group blogging experience! WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about finding love in unimaginable places. Learn more about why this theme was chosen at the bottom of this post!

richele crochet mandala with heart

Finding Love in Crochet and The Craft Community

It won’t actually be unimaginable to those of you who follow my work that I found love through the craft of crochet and within the craft community, particularly the global online craft community. But I do think it’s a surprising place for many people, people who aren’t as tuned in to the power of craft, so that’s why I wanted to share today about my experience of finding love here.

Catarina's Crochet MandalasForMarinke heart

Finding Self-Love in Crochet

The most important love that I found that the craft of crochet is self-love. Crochet helped bring me out of depression, minimizing the negative messages my constantly ruminating myself was sending, and it helped to boost my self-esteem. Stitch by stitch, project by project, I learned to dislike myself less and finally to begin liking myself more. There is really no true love for others if you don’t feel love for yourself; and while others can love you when you feel unlovable, you aren’t able to feel that love coming through them. So, crochet brings me back to myself, again and again, to my center, to a place where I am safe and where I am strong, and this place allows me to experience self-love, the foundation of all other forms of love.

heart crochet scarf

Finding Love in the Craft Community

Anyone who is a part of this community knows it to be a generous, wonderful place where most of us feel we can be our authentic selves and allow those selves to be accepted and loved. (Of course, there are exceptions, but these are not the norm.) I have experienced the love of others in the craft community in so, so many ways, just a few of which are:

  • This community welcomed me and my crochet blog in years ago when I was new to the scene. I always felt welcome.
  • Crochet bloggers, designers, artists and makers of all kinds have been open to sharing their knowledge and information and inspiration with me (and the world), creating a sphere that feels abundant … and abundance is where love can thrive.
  • When I began releasing the first posts that would turn into my book, Crochet Saved My Life, so many people expressed love and kindness. They shared their own stories about living with depression and crafting through it and they reminded me again to love myself.
  • The writing and publishing and promoting of both Crochet Saved My Life and Hook to Heal is an ongoing act of love. It was love for the craft and the community that inspired me to write these books, kept me going when the writing got hard and motivated me to spread the word. I am endlessly humbled that people shared their stories with me, and continue to do so. The ongoing dialogue with people who read my words is a sharing of love – for the craft, for creativity, for working through using art.
  • The Mandalas for Marinke project has also been a true act of love. I was devastated when I heard that this member of our craft community had died by suicide. I was almost paralyzed by the news. All I could do was make, and encourage others to make, and the project was born. I have produced a year of posts from people who crocheted mandalas in honor of their love for Marinke, their love for craft, their love for others lost, their love of self and community. It’s a powerful thing that reminds me every day how craft IS love.

I believe wholeheartedly that we must do what we love to do. In doing so, we become generous with our hearts and able to love others. In doing so, we become open and vulnerable to experiencing love in return.

linda crochet hearts mandala

About this post

“Today I’m participating in a group blogging! WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about finding love in unimaginable places. Why this topic? We’re celebrating the release of Michael French’s twenty-fourth novel. Once Upon a Lie (Terra Nova Books) is an exploration of the secrets families keep, and the ways those secrets can tear a family apart. Visit The Muffin ( to read what Michael has to say on finding love in unexpected places and and view the list of all my blogging buddies. Visit Michael’s website ( to find out more about the author.”

Fun Fact: WOW! Women on Writing interviewed me about a decade ago when I was briefly running a writing company.

Front Cover

About Once Upon a Lie

Twelve-year-old Jaleel Robeson is on the run after the police in his tiny Texas town try to frame him for the death of his father. A world away, Alexandra “Alex” Baten is growing up amid all the material comforts a wealthy Los Angeles lawyer can provide. One day, a simple cup of lemonade unites their lives, leading to a maze of adultery and murder that shatters Alex’s youthful innocence and Jaleel’s struggle to reshape his life.

While the forces of the law try to unravel the mysterious death―or at least find a scapegoat―the two youths see the trajectories of their lives entwine, unravel, and come together again. Justice, Alex learns, can be a strange and nebulous thing, easily enmeshed in webs of loyalty and betrayal. Justice, Jaleel finds, can be a powerful―but dangerous―rock on which to build a life of honor and courage. As their stories play out over the years in cities far apart, best-selling author Michael French fills the world of Alex and Jaleel with a cast of vivid characters both supporting and threatening their efforts to build a life that “works” amid the expectancies of others and their own conflicting drives.

Buy Once Upon a Lie


About the Author

A graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English and of Northwestern University with a master’s in journalism, Michael French is the author of twenty-four books: adult and young adult fiction, art criticism, biographies, adaptations, and gender studies. A native of Los Angeles, he also is a successful businessman, an avid high-altitude mountain trekker, a world traveler to developing countries, an activist, and, with his wife, Patricia, a philanthropist raising money for programs aiding teachers in Santa Fe, N.M., public schools, which are some of the most challenged in the country.

Connect with the Author:







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


  1. Sheila Good Reply

    A lovely and important message. You are spot on when you say, we must love ourselves first. Excellent post and the photos of your craft are beautiful. Well done.

  2. I love your blog! Great story and gorgeous crochet work. I’ve battled with depression all my life and feel the same way about writing and painting. It’s helped more than therapy. I just checked out #MandalasForMarinke and it’s a beautiful project. My mother committed suicide and it’s something that many people don’t talk about, so it’s important to raise awareness. It makes me want to learn how to crochet!

  3. Linda Rosen Reply

    Beautiful story and crochet work. You grabbed my heart with this tale of love in unimaginable places.

  4. Lyn Jensen Reply

    Thanks for the refreshing theme of how love can be found in a crafting community.

  5. Linda Peters Reply

    Wow! You made me look at crochet and crafting in a whole new way, and your pictures are beautiful!

  6. Renee Roberson Reply


    Thank you you for participating in this event and for sharing such a heartfelt story. I can’t crochet a stitch and your work is so beautiful! The Mandalas for Marinke project sounds amazing.

  7. michael french Reply

    Just finished attending the annual summer Santa Fe folk art and crafts festival with over 100 countries represented. Some remarkable art comes out of Africa (made of indigenous materials(sticks, strings, bottle caps and plastic) but also weaving and wonderful crocheting like yours.

  8. Pingback: 2016 in Review: Crochet Health and Benefits |

Write A Comment