ABOUT Kathryn Vercillo

Kathryn Vercillo
Kathryn Vercillo is a San Francisco based freelance writer, blogger and crochet lover. Her most recent book, Crochet Saved My Life, is a non-fiction account of her experience using crochet to heal through depression. Kathryn has also authored two previous books (Ghosts of San Francisco and More...


Crochet saves lives. It saved mine.

In the worst throes of depression I found myself sobbing on the bathroom floor, the tip of a kitchen knife pointed into my wrist. I was aching to break the flesh and bring the pain to an end. Through sheer force of will, I pried my own desperate hands open and replaced the knife with a crochet hook. Then I crocheted to save my life.

In this book, you will get to know me through my story of depression and healing. And you will get to know other women as well. You will meet Aurore who crochets to stay in touch with reality as she deals with ongoing psychiatric hallucinations. You will meet Laurie who made a new life with crochet after years of a life filled with abuse. You will meet Tammy whose crochet helps her with the ups and downs of living with Chronic Lyme Disease. You will meet Liza who crochets through the anxiety of having temporary bouts of blindness caused by an undiagnosed health condition. 

Here are some of the things you will hear them say:

"When I crochet I don't think about how my body is now broken; I think about how I can create something beautiful and useful with my hook and either yarn or thread." -Vicki

"When I'm anxious, I feel like a hollow hull. Crocheting helps fill up the void." - Aurore

"I couldn't pay for therapy, but a few balls of crochet thread cost less than $20 and provided me with many hours of crochet." - M.K. 

"The feeling of the yarn and the rhythmic motions produced by crocheting are very quieting and help me regroup, recharge and become reconnected to my inner self amidst turmoil and confusion." - Aimee

"Crochet helps me put my pain on the back burner for a while. It takes my focus away from how I'm feeling and puts it in a more productive place". - Shelli

The two dozen women whose stories are shared in this book are the women who hook to heal. We are not alone. Studies shows that crocheters are numerous; research and anecdotal evidence show that people of all ages, from all walks of life, with all types of health conditions may find healing through their hooks and yarn. Join us on our journey.

If I had known that crochet could help me cope with chronic depression perhaps I wouldn't have suffered for fifteen years without it!

CrochetKitten says: “Kathryn Vercillo gives many accounts in Crochet Saved My Life of how crochet has helped others, from empowering a woman who was a victim of rape, to helping a woman who suffers from hallucinations keep her grip on reality, to comforting a woman who is going blind. This book is a must-read for any crocheter who has ever felt alone or like no one else understands. If you only have time to read one book this year, make it this one.”

Thornberry says, “I encourage you to have a look at Kathryn’s website and further information about this book, and possibly even order a copy!  It’s a great way to support someone who is doing her utmost to explore and promote a popular handcraft in a way that hasn’t been investigated before, and it’s an interesting read as well.”

Moogly says, “Crochet Saved My Life discusses how crochet can be a healing tool used by individuals as well as in group settings. It outlines the specific therapeutic benefits and uses of crochet, making this an invaluable resource for occupational therapists, mental health professionals, and teachers – even those who do not crochet themselves.”

Anastacia says: "This is a fabulous book detailing not just the author's, but many others', personal struggles with mental illness and highlighting how crochet (and crafting, more generally) served as a shining light.This book weaves personal stories with scientific research in an easy-to-read style. And, let me say, her personal story is shocking and fascinating! If you (or someone you know) struggles with a mental illness, you will instantly relate to the people featured in the book. And as a crocheter myself, I completely acknowledge the healing ability of the craft. However, the author's key point is that doing concrete, hands-on work is therapeutic, and therefore would apply to a wide number of crafts/skills: gardening, cooking, sewing, painting... My only regret is the title of the book... I think having 'crochet' in the title limits the perceived audience of this book. It's much bigger than just crochet! A wonderful read. I highly recommend it."

Sara says: "Crochet Saved My Life starts out with Kathryn's history of depression and moves into the science of healing from mental illness. This book is filled with story after story of people healing from tragedies and illness all with a hook and yarn. I saw myself in each story and I applaud the women for being brave enough to share in such a public way. My preference was for the stories so I did gloss over the science of depression and other illnesses. That was a bit of a slower read for me. But I enjoyed it because it's great that science is taking notice of something crocheters have known for a long time, Crochet heals."