Nadia Fuad Uses Crochet to Fight Disease and Make High Fashion

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017

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Nadia Fuad didn’t start crocheting as a hobby to pass the time or make a present. It was therapy from the start. After battling Crohn’s disease for several years, including numerous surgeries and hospital stays, Fuad's mother gave her daughter a crochet hook and ball of yarn. Crafting immediately provided an outlet that improved her circumstances. 

“The quality of life I had at the time I began was particularly challenged by my illness, yet crochet provided an outlet that improved my current circumstances considerably,” Fuad recalls. Her progression as a crocheter has been impressive. Not only did she start the site Yarnutopia to document her health alongside her work, she also teaches stitches and projects on a popular YouTube channel. 

For The Craftys, she nominated a high-fashion shawl as well as costumes inspired by “Beauty and the Beast.” Both entries are impressive. Fuad discusses the vital role crochet plays in her life.  

How did crochet help you cope with Crohn’s disease? 
Despite being challenged by illness, I was able to create and that helped me cope. Those crochet creations gave me purpose and helped breathe new life into me. It gave me a bit of control in a very uncontrollable situation. It helped me feel accomplished at times when I felt that illness kept throwing obstacles in my way to move forward in life. It was therapy, it was peace, and it was a way to pour all the negative of my health situation into something productive and positive. 

I can’t begin to count the hours of clinic appointments and hospital stays that were passed by with the help of yarn and a hook. Through the entire journey I was encouraged to build this passion into something more than a hobby. Little by little, I’ve been able to grow my love of crochet into something pretty remarkable. Fortunately, my dad is a professional videographer and photographer. We partnered to provide online teaching tutorials for others who want to learn or share a similar passion for crochet.

 What designer inspired the piece you nominated for The Craftys, G.G. Cardigan? 

My G.G. or Gorgeous Gal Cardigan was inspired by a paparazzi photo taken of model Gigi Hadid wearing a Rosetta Getty designer cardigan. I’ve always had a love of fashion. Her piece inspired me. The voice inside my head that tells me “You can make something like that” came through loud and clear. 

After researching the high cost of the original design, I adapted a way to design a cardigan that would make a strong fashion statement on a budget. My G.G. Cardigan became not only my first handmade fashion challenge, it quickly became one of my favorite pieces. I love the idea of using the retro look of the granny square cardigan and creating a modern and stylish piece that anyone would feel great about creating and wearing. It’s been one of my most popular designs.

beauty and the beast crochet costume cosplay
How long did it take you to make the cardigan and your other entry, the Beauty and the Beast costumes?
It actually took less time for the G.G. Cardigan than it did for the costume ensemble. I believe the entire creation and assembly of the cardigan took just under a month although it was not something that I worked on steadily. The costume took me a few months as I made it in pieces. The costume was a much greater challenge. 

Your projects range from cute pieces for kids, to high fashion and complete costumes, how do you decide what you want to make?
My love of fashion is a huge factor for ideas. Other times I can be inspired by need — a unique gift idea that I decide to make for a friend. Holidays or mainstream highlights can also offer inspiration, and of course, I listen to my followers’ suggestions. Inspiration can be found in the most unique places! 

What do you like about crochet?
I love so much about this craft! The therapeutic aspect of crocheting and the feeling of accomplishment I get when I complete a brand new piece. I love the number game and mathematics of figuring out the stitch counts on a new project! It sounds silly, but I find joy in the smallest things. Even though math was never my strongest subject, I find using calculations every day is fun and I’m good at it. It brings me unending joy. I love being part of a movement where DIY and creating handmade items is the coolest thing to do. I love that anybody at any age can enjoy it. I enjoy working with new fibers and discovering new things every day. That’s exciting. In the simplest terms, it never gets old!

The Crochet category of The Craftys is proudly sponsored by Red Heart Yarns.

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