Hook to Heal Read-a-Long

My lovely, supremely talented friend Di, of Story Skeins, is running a read-a-long of Hook to Heal by Kathryn Vercillo who writes the blog Crochet Concupiscence. The title of the book got me interested at once. I have my own ongoing issues with anxiety and panic, which whilst not directly connected to my work, can have a huge effect on my creativity (especially that audience of haters in my head!), so I am very much committed to exploring ways to support my mental health. I always find crochet to be the most relaxing of all the stitching I do, and so was very attracted and intrigued by the idea the connection that Vercillo has made between crochet, creativity, mindfulness and spiritual exploration, so thought I would try and read along with the group on Facebook.

Hook to Heal 1

It’s a big commitment to follow the journey as outlined in the book, and it feels a little daunting.  Vercillo suggests an hour a day, although there is flexibility in that, which I will no doubt take advantage of. On the other hand, I have learned the hard way that devoting time to my spiritual wellbeing is essential and has to be a daily discipline, so maybe an hour isn’t too much to ask.

In preparation for the beginning of the read-a-long on Monday, I got started with the introduction to the book today. It chimes so well with what I believe about creativity – I loved this bit in the introduction:

I believe that when we fail to become our fullest creative selves, the world loses out.  And I believe that when we denigrate or dismiss our creative abilities,  when we are too scared to call ourselves artists and too timid to carve out time to intentionally create, that we are doing damage to the world around us because we are not giving it our maximum potential … I believe that the only way to be our best selves is to take the time to understand our own inner experience and then to express that through creativity.

Kathryn Vercillo, Hook to Heal

So much wisdom there! And it feels especially pertinent to me just now having just made a financial commitment to myself as an artist. So I’m really looking forward to the journey. As part of the process, I have promised myself that I will try and blog about the experience once a week, so here’s a public promise too… I’d love to chat more with you readers out there about your thoughts on creativity, healing, mental health, spiritual stuff – I hope you find my updates interesting.

From the spiritual to the material…. It’s a busy weekend for my sponsors so I wanted to share a couple of things.

Support the work of very berry

Over at Dragonfly Fabrics there’s free postage until the end of Monday – maybe grab yourself one of their new patterns from Sew Me Something. I love this dress pattern, called Helena:

At Black Sheep Wools there is 10% off all Riley Blake fabrics with the code RB10. Personally I love all the prints in the Fancy and Fabulous collection (possibly because those are two of my favourite words!), especially this cool vintage pattern print (how I love text fabrics!) and the lovely midcentury colours on the print called Confetti:

At My Fabric House there is a Bank Holiday sale with 15% off everything with the code May2016. Dala horses? Foxes in bow ties? Yes please!

Farm - blue navy & red scarlet scandi horse & folkloric floral natural hessian linen fabric Zoo - blue aqua & red smart foxes cotton fabric

Cloud Craft have some lovely goodies in their sale. There’s lovely bobble trim at just £2 per metre:Jumbo bobble trim

There’s also some spectacularly cool What Delilah Did cross stitch kits at spectacularly fab prices (nearly half price!) – this is my favourite:

What Delilah Did - Spectacular Stags Cross Stitch Cushion Kit - Jet Black

And it is still definitely the weather for curling up on a cosy sofa with some cross stitch, isn’t it!

Have a great bank holiday weekend if you are a UK reader… let’s keep our fingers crossed that the snow/hail/torrential rain/tornadoes (yes, we had one just round the corner!) let up!


12 thoughts on “Hook to Heal Read-a-Long

  1. Oh Ali, thanks for highlighting this book. The very idea of it strikes a cord with me. I teach crochet and have had quite a few people coming back to tell me how this craft has had small but wonderful effects in their lives – from finding calmness to finding a sense of accomplishment. I once taught a lady who was going through chemo and crochet was on her bucket list. She quickly picked it up and crocheted her way through all of her sessions and is now cancer-free. I will definitely be reading along with the group, lets hope I keep up with the schedule.

    1. Glad you found it interesting – 🙂 I find crochet to be the most fabulously rewarding activity. Thank you for sharing your experience – it’s good to read something so hopeful.

  2. Hi Ali,
    I’m also participating and am looking forward to hearing about your experience along side my own and everyone else’s. Having just read the introductory chapters I also felt drawn towards that part.

  3. Hi Ali, just thought I’d share with you how much I enjoy reading your blog and what you’re up to. Love the way you weave together all the creative sewing projects and the mental health issues. I work promoting wellbeing locally and have a personal interest in all things textile related so hearing from you really gives me a boost and a push to keep on doing what I’m doing. Thank you for this! Would be lovely to call in and see you sometime for a chat. xx

    1. Hi Linda – what a lovely comment – thanks so much. I just had a quick shufty at Facebook and noticed you work with Belinda Latimer, who I have heard so many good things about in terms of crafts/textiles. You wellbeing day later in the month sounds really interesting… I am wondering if I can free up the time to come along. I will put through a friend request on FB, and hopefully we can stay in touch. 🙂

  4. The Read-a-long sounds an excellent idea. Well done for making that commitment for yourself – I don’t think I’d be brave enough just at the moment.

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