Every Friday we feature a crochet friend here and on the Hello, Crochet Friends! FB page: @hellocrochetfriends. We are beginning with the friends featured in the book, and then we will continue to feature new crochet friends that we meet as the book makes its way out into the world and into the hands of young readers. If you, your class, your school, or you community have a connection to the book and would like us to consider featuring you, please e-mail info@kwilpublishing.com. Thanks!

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Justine Correira, Alaska #crochetfriendfriday #1

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My name is Justine Correira. I am 12 years old. I discovered Jonah through my mom, who showed me a video of him crocheting. My first impression of him was that he was an AMAZING crocheter! And so, after I watched his video, I sent him a video of me crocheting some of my projects. A little while later he replied back with a video for me with some good advice, compliments on my projects, and him saying that he was pleased with my amazement. And from then on Jonah and I have been sending videos back and forth to each other.

My aunt-in law was the person who taught me how to crochet in the year 2016-2017. I mostly like to crochet necklaces, scarves, bracelets, small blankets, etc. I usually only crochet for either my friends, or my family (sometimes myself).

My hobbies are playing video games, reading books, watching TV shows with my family, doing archery (either at school or at Screaming Eagle Archery), and I saved the best for last, crocheting.

I have many family members who crochet in my family. My aunt-in law does, my great grandma, great aunt, great cousin, and my aunt all crochet. I have over 4 blankets from my family, and more scarves than I think I know.

The last thing I would like to say is thank you Jonah, for putting me in this book and for inspiring me to continue crocheting, and for inspiring others to do the same thing, and for bringing your art into the world. I hope it lasts forever, letting people know that you can do anything. Like how you can crochet over 100 mph. Thank you Jonah.

Elaine Ashby, United Kingom #crochetfriendfriday #2

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My name is Elaine Ashby I live in the UK. I love to make things from almost anything—crochet and crafts especially in the last few years. My story I wish to share is about how I met Jonah through Henryetta’s Hooks.

Having spotted Jonah on a crochet Facebook group, I was so inspired by his talent. I watched some of his videos and noticed people were sending him gifts. I read all about his story and how he had been taken to an orphanage as a baby and when then adopted by the Larson family. This touched my heart so much.

I decided that I wanted to send him something as a thank you, and to give him something back to help him make more beautiful things to sell and to raise awareness with others.

I contacted my friend and boss Noel Bryson, who since 2017 has been making beautiful crochet hooks. (I also met Noel through a crochet page!) I asked him if he would make Jonah a special hook! “Of course, I’d love to,” he said.

I then went on to find Jonah’s mum, and I sent her a message saying how we would like to make Jonah a special hook .

We talked about the colour and size he would most like. So with this, and Jonah’s favourite sunset afghan in mind, Noel set to making a 5.5 toxic orange hook with our exotic wood, snakewood.

Julie, Noel's partner, then packed it and posted it to him. When it arrived, he posted a video showing him opening it. WOW! His face was a picture! He looked so thrilled, and it matched his orange top completely. 

I make and sell my own crochet items as a hobby. I’ve been married to Dave for 30 years, and we have one son, Benjamin. 

I feel very privileged to have been asked to be one of Jonah’s friends, and I thank him and his mum for giving me this opportunity to share my story and love for crochet. I wish Jonah all the very best for his future! Keep spreading the word! You are an inspiration and very talented young boy!  I am so proud to call you my crochet friend! From us all at Henryetta’s hooks, we thank you again and will remain wonderful crochet friends I hope to meet you one day.

xxx, Elaine 

Grace Bower, New Zealand #crochetfriendfriday #3

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Jonah is correct! Crochet and fibre arts DO join people around the world. An invisible strand of wool connects us from 9,000 miles away. From the USA to New Zealand, Aotearoa in the South Pacific. 

Just like Jonah, I am passionate about creating beautiful pieces of art through weaving wool together to special designs...putting love in every stitch! I have crocheted and knitted for seventy years now—and still can’t put down my crochet hook or needles.

I love to make connections! I look for people in need, people making a difference, or people who need some extra care. I am a story collector, and so I talk with that person. Then I create a bespoke prayer shawl for them...to wrap themselves with love. I find out about what person, place, colour, item, or memory soothes somebody. Then I knit their answer stitch by stitch into a great big hug. I am letting them know someone cares—from the far side of the sea! I am recording their story in yarn. Bringing beauty, giving honour, or soothing the soul. 

I have made around 700 shawls of love, and I send my shawls of love and care around the world. The local post office man is always interested in the story and destinations of each one. England, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, the USA...

This is how I met Jonah! I sent a family-set of shawls to a lady in the USA, who then posted on Facebook about how I reminded her of Jonah and his crochet hands and crochet friends. Of course, I then looked him up and found his story! I was so inspired I even phoned him up and talked to others in his family. We also found that we all like story collecting too, so now I regularly phone and read a story over the internet to Jonah and his younger sister, all the way from around the world! They can go to their local library and even find the same book sometimes.

The word for love in New Zealand’s Maori language is aroha. Arohanui means “my love to you-in your direction.” Arohanui to all.