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Contemplative Crochet: A Hands-On Guide for Interlocking Faith & Craft Paperback – October 1, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Review

For those who love crafts, their connection to personal faith and spirituality is a natural fit. This is a refreshing spiritual book for practitioners of the beautiful craft of crochet, which is too often overshadowed by knitting. Contemplative Crochet author Cindy Crandall-Frazier comes from a Methodist background, and is now a practicing Quaker. Her work here intersperses a narrative examining the interconnectedness of crocheting to personal expression of faith, with short questions for contemplation, and even patterns for relevant projects.

The author's stated objective is to demonstrate that work done with our hands is sacred and serves a spiritual purpose both for creator and recipient. She addresses practical topics such as meditation while crocheting and use of prayer beads, as well as broader themes, such as finding one’s spiritual and vocational path, and discovering personal creativity within one’s practice of crochet. The included patterns are designed in such a way that even beginning crocheters can partake—one only need know how to create single, double, and half-double crochet stitches from a starting chain. The designs are for a diverse group of projects, from a traditional prayer shawl and prayer beads (not a rosary; rather, beads similar to an Eastern Christian chotki), to a small tea pot cozy and motif made of crocheted morning glories.

This is a well-written book on an inspirational and timely topic. It would make a thoughtful gift for a crocheter, and a nice addition to one’s spiritual reading list.

(Tiffany R. Walsh Catholic Library World 2010-09-01)

Contemplative Crochet is a good read. I'm a "soft-sell" for any theme that puts the spotlight on crochet as an important influence on those who are seeking positivity while here on earth. My intense passion for crochet is intertwined into my daily life and I have written about how it is connected to my outlook on the world. Cindy’s book, however, amazed me and I was moved in many ways. It called to me as I read it cover-to-cover in two days!

Cindy Crandall-Frazier is a talented writer who has done a fantastic job of combining her passion for crochet and her passion for striving to live a faith based life. Passionate and seasoned crocheters will be amazed and proud at the same time by the vast number of examples that elevate their beloved craft to new heights. Newcomers to the craft will be educated and convinced that they have chosen a valuable way to spend their time.

She has divided the book into ten thoughtful chapters that guide the reader through each topic. Cindy’s consistent and logical manner makes reading this book a joy and a resource for realizing the potential that the rhythm of the crochet hook has for broadening our spiritual dimension.

Each chapter is chock-full of well-researched historic and philosophical references that illuminate Cindy’s premise. Anecdotes from her life and faith as a Quaker are thought-provoking and in no way “preachy.” A crochet project in each chapter incorporates its message or invites contemplation through the stitches. I hesitate to even mention the black and white photos because in the scheme of things they are minor, but want you to know that I noticed-they could be much sharper. Finally, a set of questions at the end of each chapter encourages “deeper thinking and listening for the Spirit.”

As founding “mother” of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) looking over a flock of highly capable crocheters, I am always thrilled when I see contributions from the talented members. Cindy has definitely tapped into the resources of CGOA and the experiences of many familiar members as she highlights Noreen Crone Findlay, Karen Klemp (Past President), Melody MacDuffee and Carol Ventura to name a few.

Contemplative Crochet is a gift from Cindy to us all. I highly recommend that you own a copy and buy this superb gift for a stitching friend! My only regret is that I didn’t read this book sooner!

(CrochetQueen.com 2010-12-22)

Skylight Paths of Woodstock, Vermont has just published a book that draws together the craft of crocheting with prayer and spirituality. The book is titled Contemplative Crochet: A Hands-On Guide for Interlocking Faith and Craft, by Cindy Crandall-Frazier. It is a large size paperback that includes in each chapter a project for crocheting with pictures and instructions. The list price for the book is $16.99.

Two chapters are of special interest to Catholics. Chapter 4, called "Meditation Meets Prayer," connects to the Prayer Shawl which several parishes in the diocese have as a ministry. The chapter teaches ways of crocheting the prayer shawl while learning new forms of prayer. Forms of meditation and silence are stressed as the artist creates the shawl that will be used by someone else as an aid for prayer and refection.

Chapter 6 is called “Prayers on a String.” It speaks of the use of beads for prayer in many different religions. There is a section on Christian traditions that includes the rosary. The author speaks of the connection of the rosary to rose gardens and to the 150 Psalms. She speaks of one tradition where the beads are made of rose petal paste, shaped into beads, and dried, while retaining the scent of roses for many years.

Contemplative Crochet looks like a wonderful source book for an individual or a group who enjoy crocheting. The prayer aspect may already to a part of their lives, but this book would seem to be a helpful addition to growing in prayer with the art of crocheting.

(Inland Register 2010-07-01)

"Crochet is hands-on meditation," writes Cindy Crandall-Frazier in this alluring craft book. "It is intimate, and with it we can create beauty or we can compassionately warm another person. Meditation and intimacy with God, compassion for others — aren't these the concepts that are taught around the globe as responses to the Divine? Through crochet, we can also discover more of who we are and align ourselves with the Mystery of Creation. We can feel our roots and enjoy our flight. Between the threads of our daily rhythms and realities, our spirits can soar."

The author is an educator and member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). She begins with a chapter on the creative delights of crochet and ends with an inspiring meditation on other spiritual practices involving the hands. In between, she muses on plenty and limitation, crochet as a centering vehicle and a path to connection with God, the use of prayer beads, the importance of pathfinding, and ways to listen to your hands. From the author's perspective, everything we do is spiritual as long as it is done mindfully, inviting the Sacred into it.

(Spirituality & Practice 2012-05-03)

"An extraordinary gift to the crochet community…. Teaches us how to tap the deep wellsprings of creativity and love with our crochet. You won't be able to look at your yarn and hook in quite the same way after ingesting the rich contents of this book."
Dora Ohrenstein, editor, Crochet Insider

“Deepens and expands what crocheters have long known—that crochet is a meditative and soulful pursuit. Mindful, heartfelt and philosophically engaging, this book is a blessing and a gift.”
Noreen Crone-Findlay, author, Creative Crocheted Dolls: 50 Whimsical Designs

“One of the most important books ever written on evolving through handwork, the connection of the heart and our hands. Crocheting and the patterns are just the gravy on top.”
Pardis Amirshahi, editor, Living Crafts Magazine

From the Inside Flap

Take up Crochet with a Whole New State of Mind--and Spirit The rhythm of the hook, the feel of fiber, the miraculous creation of beautiful fabric from thread or yarn--you know the satisfaction to be found in the simple act of crocheting. But is there a way to develop this sense of the spiritual into a deeper, more mindful practice? This joyful and engaging craft book will take you on a path deeper into your crocheting and your spiritual awareness. Follow the history, stories, musings and discoveries of Cindy Crandall-Frazier and other crocheters as they illuminate the spiritual lessons you can learn through crocheting. Whether individually or as part of a group, explore your practice through original patterns, meditations, questions for reflection and creative exercises. You will find yourself reaching for your hook and yarn as you read, inspired to take up your projects with a whole new state of mind.

Original projects include:
* Roots and Wings Paperweight
* Horn of Plenty "Deskie"
* Morning Glory Motif
* Prayer Shawl
* Pocket Mandala
* Almost Universal Prayer Beads
* "Way Opens" Scarf
* Friends and Tea Cozy
* Scrumbled Tea Steeper
* Lovingkindness Wristers

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: SkyLight Paths; 1 edition (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594732388
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594732386
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #661,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Valerie McKay on July 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've had this book for several years now, and as I prepare to go away on vacation, I plan to take it with me and re-read it, while I spend time with family, crocheting and resting. Crocheting has been a real gift, and it does offer benefits akin to meditation. It relaxes and renews. This is not intended to be a pattern book, but a book about the spirituality of crafting that contains some patterns. Highly recommended.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Karen S D Robinson on May 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I discovered this book while doing a vanity google search on myself, and was surprised to find that my website on prayer beads ([...]) was referenced in a book on crochet. I do a little crochet myself, so I bought the book. It's a lovely book about meditation and crochet, with suggestions for little spiritual projects like a crocheted mandala, as well as making gifts for those who need them.

My only tiny quibbles were that the diagram of the Sri Yantra was incorrect, and the description of the Golden Rectangle was slightly incorrect. She started with a rectangle of two squares and built up rectangles by adding squares to the long side of each previous rectangle. This procedure is correct if you start with a golden rectangle. In this case, she approximates a Golden Rectangle using the Fibonacci sequence as the underlying principle; each time she adds a square to the long side of the previous rectangle, the new rectangle is closer to the Golden Rectangle.

Anyway, a very nice book about how repetitive, creative work can put one in a state of profound meditation.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By seeking truth on September 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
The author of this book has expressed thru her words an incredible connection of craft with the Holy. Thanks to you, dear author, for extending your creativity by hook into a deep exploration of moving forward into life with love and light. This book will always be one of those remembered!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Priscilla S. Strickland on March 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is in our United Methodist Women reading program, and is a very good book to read and keep. It has many patterns, along with excellent information on many different forms of meditation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Beata Ball on November 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After getting the Kindle version, I just had to have a hardcopy! This is a very inspiring read! I loved the fact that there were patterns too :D
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a great book, even for non crochet people. It gives many insights that benefit everyone. Great writing style and benefit of crochet patterns with a purpose. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
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