This 12-Year-Old Crochet Prodigy Went Viral—And Now He's Raising Money for Charity
Jonah Larson is an 12-year-old boy from Wisconsin whose unusual talent made waves on the Internet earlier this year. Jonah taught himself to crochet when he was just 5 years old and has since gained more than 229,000 followers on Instagram. Now, Jonah is using his social media fame to make a difference: He’s selling a crochet kit to raise money for charity.
Six years ago, Jonah found a crochet hook in a bag of his aunt’s unused craft supplies and turned to YouTube to learn the basic crochet technique. Now, he's in seventh grade and spends about five hours per day crocheting. His Instagram account, @jonahhands, is full of items he’s crocheted, including intricate full-size blankets, toys, mermaid-tail blankets, and his own signature cowl scarf.
Jonah’s crochet skills aren’t just child's play—he’s seriously talented. “Many of these people that have crocheted their entire lives can’t come close to where he is now,” Jennifer Larson, Jonah’s mom, told KARE 11 in January. “People will comment, ‘I’ve been crocheting for 40 years, I can’t do that.’”
After a local paper mentioned his hobby, his social media following began to grow and strangers from all over the world started placing orders for crochet items. As the number of orders reached 1,500, Jonah’s mom let the public know Jonah wouldn’t be able to take them all.
The team at We Are Knitters (a popular source for yarn, knitting kits, and crochet patterns) began to take notice, and approached Jonah and his family about a partnership. “We found him a year ago on Instagram and we loved the fact that he was a 10-year-old boy who loved crochet as much as we did; going through his Instagram was so inspiring,” says Alberto Bravo, creative director and co-founder of We Are Knitters.
The result of the partnership is Jonah's Charity Beanie kit, which launched this week and comes with a pattern designed exclusively by Jonah himself. The kit contains two skeins of wool (you can choose from 29 color options), a 7 mm crochet hook, a small knitter’s sewing needle, and an embroidered label. It's labeled for intermediate crocheters, but if you need to brush up on your crochet skills before the kit arrives, we’ve got you covered. The best part: 20% of each sale will be donated to Roots Ethiopia, an organization that supports the village Jonah is from.
Now, Jonah has big goals for his future. He practices crochet to help prepare him for a career in medicine. “I'm planning to attend West Point, the academy, and then becoming a surgeon. This is kind of helping me prep for that,” Jonah told KARE 11. We’ll be keeping up with Jonah’s progress through Instagram and cheering him on every step of the way.