My name is Alex Carroll. I am crafter, author, mother, partner, and griever. I live in Vermont with my family.
About the crochet…
I learned to crochet and knit over twenty years ago. I crocheted gifts for family and friends, and personal items for myself. I have always found the act of crocheting to be meditative. I lost my mother suddenly in 2015 and turned to crochet for comfort, for something to do, and for meditation. I began to examine the healing aspects of needle arts and, after years of making to make, I finally had a purpose behind my crochet.
My work has become about giving comfort and solace to those who grieve. I crochet prayer shawls, prayer squares, comfort blankets, and lovies (stuffed animals). This site and my Etsy shop of the same name are devoted to providing comfort to those who suffer.
I design some of the items, and many others are based on already existing patterns from other designers. A good pattern is a good pattern. I care more about sharing comfort than I do about receiving credit for a brilliant design. Those items I do design, I have poured myself into with the hopes that the thoughts, lovingkindness, and prayers I hold in my heart as I work translate to the item’s benefactor.
My crochet items are gifts of comfort for grief supporters to present friends and family who are navigating through difficult times. Sometimes it is hard to know what to say. A prayer shawl may be convey everything you wish to communicate but can’t in words.
My pieces are also meant as personal gifts of self-care. We can give ourselves the gift of comfort as a self-care measure when we need more than we receive from outside sources. We must remember to take care of ourselves as well.
About memorial crafts…
I am working on crafts that also operate as memorial gifts, and will write about those once I have had further chance to develop those projects. Among those items are memorial blanket, suncatchers, book page poetry, and ornaments.
From time to time, I will post instructional items outlining how to prepare a memorial piece. The items will be as simple as possible and will rely on using items that once belonged to a lost loved one.
I hope that in completing these personal memorial projects, grievers will find moments of solace and healing .
More about me…
I learned to crochet and knit over twenty years ago. I crochet almost daily as a means of relaxation. I have lived in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Washington D.C., and now Vermont.
I hold a Ph.D. in Theology and Religious Studies, with a special focus on the role the arts play in suffering and healing. I taught courses in theology, religious studies, and peace studies in the Washington D.C. area for several years. When I moved to Vermont in 2017, I taught a few classes at a local Vermont college, but largely began to focus on writing about grief and expanding my grief work into the area of crafting.
I lost my mother in 2015 and found great solace in my crafting work, to which I turned regularly as a coping mechanism. In crafting, I found a meditative activity that helped me find clarity amidst extraordinary pain. I continue to rely on crochet for the calming effect it has on my psyche and my spirit.
About affiliate links…
I am a registered affiliate with Bookshop.org, an online bookstore that financially supports independent bookshops. Buyers can direct the profits of their purchases to specific bookstores in their area or leave profits to a collective pool that Bookshop.org then donates among independent bookstores. All book reviews on ContemplativeCraft.com will link to the ANCarroll shop (the companion website to this one) on Bookshop.org. I receive a small commission from each purchase. The commission does not increase the product cost.
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A word about my words…
© Alexandra N. Carroll and Contemplative Craft, 2015-2021, all rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission Alexandra N. Carroll is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alexandra N. Carroll and Contemplative Craft with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.