LA CROSSE, Wis. — During this time of “stay at home” we are reconnecting each week with an old friend from Boyd Huppert’s Land of 10,000 Stories.
This week we are “checking in” with Jonah Larson.
The La Crosse, Wisconsin crocheting prodigy was first featured in Land of 10,000 Stories in January of 2019 when he had just turned 11. Since then, Jonah has gone on to do some pretty incredible things.
Boyd spoke this week via video chat with Jonah and his mother Jenn Larson.
BOYD: Jonah! How are you?
JONAH: I am wonderful, how are you?
BOYD: Super. I see your hands are still busy. (Jonah is knitting as he chats with Boyd)
JONAH: Yes, I’m always crocheting or knitting, always keeping my hands busy with yarn.
BOYD: What do you have going today?
JONAH: Today I’m actually working on a pair of baby booties and I’m also going to be crocheting some masks. I actually have one here. (Jonah holds up a crocheted face mask.) It has two different layers of cotton so it’s very washable and then it has a pocket for a surgical mask, so it has three layers of filtration.
BOYD: I saw something else you made, on your Facebook page.
JONAH: Right now, it’s just a really important time that everyone stays at home and social distances. So, I decided to help spread that message. (Jonah holds up a hand tied white blanket, adorned with bold blue letters that read, “STAY HOME.”)
BOYD: During stay at home, he’s been doing some tutorials.
JENN: Yes, and mom’s the one that tapes them. He does several tutorials a week to teach other people how to do projects.
JONAH: I’ve also been working on my second book. I have a cover right here. (Jonah holds up an oversized cover for his forthcoming book, "Giving Back Crochet.") It’s all patterns that have to do with giving back. There’s hats for homeless people, or for people that are going through chemotherapy, or soap sacks for veterans and blankets for people with Alzheimer’s and it’s all color coded for those awareness months.
BOYD: Tell me about your first book.
JONAH: It’s called, "Hello Crochet Friends."
BOYD: And you’ve been holding signings.
JONAH: I have been going on book tours. I was at the Textile Center in Minneapolis; I was also at the Wild Rumpus Bookstore in Minneapolis. And I just think it’s a really great way to go around and spread crochet and the messages that are the foundation of who I am and what I do.
BOYD: Were we your first TV appearance?
JONAH: You were the first TV story that I had ever done. Since then, I’ve been on the new NBC Little Big Shots with Melissa McCarthy, I’ve gone on the Kelly Clarkson show, The Drew Barrymore show, The Today Show, Pickler & Ben and a new craft show called Craftopia.
BOYD: You have a project that’s very near and dear to your heart.
JONAH: It’s always been my dream, because I love to read, to build a library for the kids in Ethiopia where I was adopted from. And I'm working with my mom, with Ethiopia, and through donations with very kind people around the world, not even nine months later there’s a library in Ethiopia with my name on it for those kids. On Little Big Shots Melissa McCarthy surprised me with a video of the kids in Ethiopia with their finished library. I just started weeping, my mom was weeping, the whole audience was weeping.
BOYD: How does he find time for everything?
JENN: Well, Jonah’s a multitasker. He always says he has a busy mind and by doing things productive, it really helps calm his mind.
BOYD: He still seems like the same Jonah, humble and kind.
JENN: He is the same Jonah.
JONAH: I’m just really happy that I can spread positivity in a time that’s really needed.
BOYD: Can you do me one favor, can you give us your signoff?
JONAH: Here we go: Crochet away friends!