When is a crochet book not exactly a crochet book? When it focuses on process and personal growth rather than patterns and projects. That’s the objective of Kathryn Vercillo’s new volume, Hook to Heal: 100 Crochet Exercises for Healthy, Growth, Connection, Inspiration, and Honoring Your Inner Artist. It’s a 254-page creativity exercise book that offers ways to use crochet to improve your life and develop your inner artist. Chapter topics include things like “facing fears” and “creating abundance.” Along the way, Kathryn shares her life and her research as a graduate student studying Integral Counseling Psychology, then she shares relevant exercises. For example, learning a new skill is a symbolic way to face one’s fear of change. Trading projects with a friend can be a way to cement connections. Each chapter ends with “Yarn for Thought” questions for readers to ponder or journal about. The focus of the book is to help you learn more about yourself and make strides in personal growth.
The exercises are derived from Kathryn’s experience into using crochet to heal. In a previous book, Crochet Saved My Life, Kathryn wrote about how learning to crochet helped her through a debilitating battle with depression. Since then, she has done extensive research into the ways that crochet helps people through myriad issues and life circumstances.
If you’re looking for patterns, photos, and instructions, this is not the book for you. However, if you are open to a bit of introspection and to thinking about your crafting in a different way, the exercises are good starting points for ways to open your mind.
I first connected with Kathryn a couple of years ago. She honored me by crocheting a month’s worth of scarves from my Crochet Scarves book; I reviewed Crochet Saved My Life here. You can find her blog, Crochet Concupiscence, here. It's full of tutorials, photos, patterns, and so on. Since I found the blog I have enjoyed it immensely, and I’m in awe of how Kathryn keeps up with all of the social media outlets and how generous she is.
Kathryn is a staunch supporter of crochet—and, more importantly, of crocheters. Please check out her publications. (Other links are on her blog.)