Thursday, 27 October 2011

Guest Post: Crochet for Art, Health and Community


One of the most wonderful things about crochet in the twenty first century is that it’s such a versatile craft with a great history but a lot of modern applications. Crochet can be used as a form of self-expression, a soothing method of healing yourself, and even a way to feel like a part of a larger community. Three projects that each represent one of these aspects of crochet are Swaddle, Crochet Saved My Life and Hooked Together.


Swaddle


Swaddle is a crochet art project designed to express how women’s communication styles affect their relationships with men. Swaddle uses a combination of many different types of crochet to explore the “feminine” and “masculine” in society. Crochet types used in the project include surface crochet, tapestry crochet, amigurumi, hyperbolic crochet, granny squares and basic stitches.


Swaddle also uses the repetitive nature of crochet to represent the repetition of communication. We often say the same things in different ways, sometimes getting different results and sometimes getting the same results. The same thing is true in crochet where the same stitches used again and again can produce similar products or different products depending on the choices you make in yarn, hook and approach.


One neat thing about Swaddle is that it’s a crowdsourced project funded through Kickstarter. This means that you can donate to support this crochet art and your voice will be represented in the project. Donations start as small as one dollar but if you donate at least $20 then you can choose stitch types, colors and amounts, which will be represented in a large scale piece in the project when it is exhibited at a gallery in 2012. Learn more and donate here.


Crochet Saved My Life


Moving on to the next project, we can look at the many personal benefits of enjoying crochet that go beyond mere self-expression and art. Crochet Saved My Life is an upcoming book about the mental and physical health benefits of crochet. Crochet has been used to heal people through depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, pain management, heart conditions and more. Crochet Saved My Life shares the stories of the many people who have been healed in part through crochet.


I am currently seeking to interview more people as I wrap up the draft of this non-fiction book. I am interviewing medical professionals and art therapists who believe that crochet can help with healing. I am also interviewing individuals who feel that crochet has helped them in any healing way. If you are interested in answering a few questions via email to have your story included in the book then feel free to drop a line at createmefree (at) yahoo (dot) com.


Hooked Together


Finally, let’s take a look at a project that is designed to bring the crochet community together through online connections. Hooked Together is an ongoing crochet blog project in which I explore what my favorite crochet bloggers are reading online. Basically, I go to a crochet blog I love and look at their blogroll to see all of the sites that they read. Then on Fridays I report back on my blog with information on what they read, showing what other crochet and craft blogs they like. In the end, this will present a whole picture of the many crochet blogs that are out there and how they are connected to one another. In the meantime it provides a way for people who enjoy reading about crochet online to find new blogs that they didn’t know yet. Yay for the power of crochet!


This is a guest post by Kathryn Vercillo, a San Francisco based crochet lover who blogs about crochet art, crochet fashion, crochet news and more at Crochet Concupiscence. Reach her on Twitter or Ravelry as CrochetBlogger.

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