He’s even gotten sponsorship from a yarn company
Most 11-year-olds spend their days playing outside, watching movies, on electronics, or hanging out with their friends. Of course, many have hobbies, perhaps not quite as seriously as one Wisconsin boy takes his. He started crocheting at a very young age, mastered it shortly after, and never looked back.
Jonah Larson from LaCrosse, Wisconsin took up crocheting when he was just five years old after going through a bag of his aunt’s old craft items. In it, he found a crochet hook and went on YouTube, watched a basic crocheting video, and the rest is history. Now, he has his own Instagram page, Jonah’s Hands, with thousands of followers who refer to him as a crocheting prodigy; his house is busting at the seams with handmade afghans, throws, scarves, and pillows. Some he makes for family and friends, and some he’s begun to sell online.
His mom, Jennifer Larson, told Kare 11 News, “He’s a crochet celebrity.” He receives so much fan mail, Larson has started responding with a form letter because they receive too many to personally answer. “His shop is temporarily closed for business because he’s received so many orders, he can’t keep up,” Larson tells Scary Mommy. “Over 2000, in fact.
View this post on Instagram
The Glacier Cowl made with Lion Brand Mandala Cakes in Spirit. http://shrapnel.com/1ew1y #jonahlovestocrochet #thecrochetcrowd #yarnspirations #crochetersofinstagram #crochet #crocheters #ilovetocrochet #makeitwithmichaels #crochetcowl #makersgonnamake #lionbrandyarn #lionbrandmandala
When he first started posting his work online, naysayers didn’t believe it was actually him that was making the gorgeous items. “They didn’t think it was possible that a 7 or 8-year-old could be doing this,” Larson said. “Many of these people that have crocheted their entire lives can’t come close to where he is now.” For those who thought Larson herself was doing the work for him, she says she’s never crocheted. “The only crocheting hooks I pick up are the ones Jonah leaves around the house,” she said in the video below.
Now in the sixth grade, Jonah says he crochets around five hours a day. “Sometimes he gets up early before I even get up. He’s at the table crocheting at like six in the morning,” his mom said. And when he goes to sleep, “…underneath that cover there’s crochet hooks and a flashlight.”
After being featured in a local newspaper, Jonah got a whole new legion of fans wanting their own creations by the prodigy himself. Not only that, a yarn company has offered him sponsorship and he receives boxes full of yarn, pattern books, and other mail a few times a week from his supporters. Of all the newfound fame, Larson tells us he really isn’t phased by it. “He enjoys giving interviews and talking to reporters but as soon as we’re done he just goes about his crocheting. It definitely hasn’t gone to his head in any way.”
Jonah’s life didn’t start out as charmed as it is now. He was born in Ethiopia, abandoned by his birth mother in a wooded area. A passerby heard his cries and brought him to an orphanage where he stayed until he was adopted by the Larsons. He was sick and malnourished — his mom was told at the hospital back in La Crosse that he may have some cognitive delays. When asked about his adoption, Johah said, “Yeah, lucked out,” his fingers never stopping his crochet work.
When his older brother told him not to mention his hobby at school for fear of being made fun of, his response was as poised and perfect as he is: “He’s like, ‘Mom, I’m black and I have white parents and I live in a white community,’ so the crocheting – couldn’t care less,” Larson said. “He really doesn’t care what other people think of him, he never has.”
Now in sixth grade, he’s taking advanced ninth grade algebra and is already looking towards the future. “I’m planning to attend West Point, the academy, and then becoming a surgeon,” he said. “This is kind of helping me prep for that.”