gabriela crochet mandala for wink

Today’s contribution to Mandalas for Marinke comes from Gabriela (@crochetlife on Instagram) who blogs at The Vita of una Italofila. She shares, “I started crocheting in 2011 and since then it has been a therapy in difficult times. I love languages! I speak Spanish and English (full bilingual), Italian and French. Yes, I can read crochet patterns in all four languages!” She adds,

Thank you for making this special activity for Wink. I didn’t know her that much except for her story in your book. Now that she is gone, I got to know her a little bit better, and to see what a wonderful human being she was. I feel honored to participate and contribute to this mandala project.

Truly, Wink’s patterns are gorgeous and they deserve to be remembered in a special way. I’m a depression patient as well (officially diagnosed in 2013). I know how hard it is to live with it. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much I try, therapy, crochet, family, and friends aren’t enough. I hope that I never commit suicide, although I admit I think about it from time to time (old habits die hard I guess).

gabriela crochet mandala for marinke

The hook is a sanctuary for me as well. I’m really glad I found the crochet community last year when I needed it the most! I was diagnosed with Graves disease. It’s a thyroid condition and as many of us know that includes episodes of depression. I have a post on my blog where you can read my story with crochet and depression. I’m trying to be more positive so the tone in it has hope instead of grief. I want to end this letter with a message about depression in the hope it will reach someone in need of it:

“Unfortunately, depression sometimes feel as our own burden to carry. Because of that, we don’t want anyone else to carry it with us. Please remember that there is always someone willing to help, to soothe, or to do anything for you. For those days you feel extremely down, either grab your hook, talk to someone or do whatever it takes to get your mind out of anything negative. Tomorrow, somehow, always gets better if you let it happen. Cry if you need to but don’t quit!”

Note: I have used Gabriela’s photos from Instagram in this post because I’m having trouble locating my own photos of her beautiful work. As I go through the process of organizing all of the photos for the book project and art show, I assume that I will find them and will update this post accordingly. I didn’t want her wonderful words to have to wait for that time. Thank you for your contribution Gabriela!


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

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