Sunday, January 24, 2016

My Review of Hook to Heal

Have you ever read a book and felt compelled to place post-it notes in it because you know you want to return to many of the pages? Hook to Heal makes me want to do just this. It's a creativity exercise book that offers suggestions for using crochet to improve all aspects of your life - exactly my kind of thing!

I read Hook To Heal over the holidays and thought I'd share a review with you. It's written by Kathryn Vercillo of Crochet Concupiscence, a specialist in the area of the health benefits of crochet.


Each chapter covers a different area such as "facing fears", "mindfulness crochet" or "giving back" and starts with Kathryn’s own experience and research as a graduate student studying Integral Counseling Psychology. Then she shares exercises for using crochet to work through some of the issues related to the area.

There are a grand total of 100 exercises to try! As I read through the book, I could put the exercises into three categories:
1 "Yes, that would be useful. Wow. I'm going to try this." <Insert post-it note.>
2 "I've done this before and there are even more suggestions for me to try here. Excellent! <Insert post it note.>
3 "Oh no, I don't want to try that. Even the thought of it makes me feel uncomfortable. Why am I feeling so uncomfortable? I must examine this further." <Insert post-it note.>"  

I particularly like the exercises under the Self-Esteem topic on turning negative crafty talk into positive affirmations. I practice yoga and have tried unsuccessfully over the years to meditate, attempting to observe and chase negative thoughts from my mind. I just can't do it and it makes me feel even more of a failure than when I started out! I find that replacing the negative with positive is so much better for my self-esteem. And reading Kathryn's crafty spin on this is just marvelous!

Affirmations are also the subject of a current craftivism project "You are So Very Beautiful" by Betsy Greer, godmother of Craftivism and Mary England. (I've written about meeting Betsy in person here. I'm a big fan.) Betsy writes that:

"Craftivism is about healing ourselves as we stitch, and then healing the world with the product, so this project is about taking a microstep to help other people, to let them know that they are so very many wonderful things. And to remind ourselves that we are so many wonderful things."

Handmade signs are being left out for free in Baltimore, Vancouver and London on February 9th. Find out more about the project on Betsy's Craftivism site.

Anyway, back to Hook to Heal before I get too sidetracked! I can see this being a really great book for people who already crochet and find it relaxing and want to get more out of their craft. I can also see this being a good book for people looking for a new relaxing hobby because the exercises are suitable for beginners to the craft. And finally the book would be a useful resource for those who practice crochet as therapy in a professional capacity.

Head on over to Createspace or Amazon (paperback or Kindle) if you want to get your own copy!

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