Senior Brooke Ferrell sparks a campus crochet contagion

Senior+Brooke+Ferrell%2C+founder+of+CVHS+yarn+club%2C+crochets+while+wearing+her+handmade+scarf.

Brooke Bushong

Senior Brooke Ferrell, founder of CVHS yarn club, crochets while wearing her handmade scarf.

Brooke Ferrell was on the set of “Pyro and Klepto,” a short film about a kleptomaniac boy who helps a young girl go to Alaska, when she first learned how to crochet. TV sets are filled to the brim with moms ready to compare their children and tear them down. Ferrell’s mom, who was over that, learned that if she crocheted on set, the mob of angry mothers would leave her alone.

“So she learned that if she crocheted, everyone would ignore her because they seem to think it takes a lot of mental energy to crochet,” said Ferrell.

Ferrell had already learned how to sew and knit from their mother. This was different because it provided an opportunity for Brooke to do something with her. Ferrell soon realized they were a natural at it, and they sewed a costume for their stuffed monkey.

“I was really obsessed with Beanie Boos. And I made a small rock climbing outfit for my monkey Beanie Boo because I thought it was great, so it’s like a little helmet and harness and shoes,” said Ferrell.

Ferrell spent their childhood as a homeschooled actress in LA. They first went out to Los Angeles when they were seven and have done various independent films, commercials, and even guest-starred on a couple of projects. It was unconventional, but Ferrell loved it. Everything was going fine until they entered a traditional high school- CVHS. Ferrell started getting some attention from their peers because of the tremendous amount of time they spent crocheting. Despite this, no one seemed interested in crocheting itself. They just thought it was funny that Ferrell did it all the time, while a celebrity even making a similar comment when Ferrell still acted.

“They’d be like, ‘Oh my grandma does that.'”

Ferrell had received attention like that throughout their first two years of high school, and they decided to make a yarn club with their friend, Shir. Unfortunately, their and everyone else’s life took a turn when COVID hit. School transitioned to online learning for about a year, and Brooke had no contact with anyone besides their close friends. When they came back this year, they noticed something. At first, they thought they were just imagining it, but it was true. Everyone was suddenly crocheting. Ferrell used to be the only one in any class crocheting, but now at least one person in all their classes is doing it.

“I thought it was just in my head I was like, oh, I’m just seeing things like I know I’m happening to connect to more people like this, and then Shir, the co-president of yarn club was like ‘there are more people crocheting now right?’ and I’m like ‘yeah I think so,'” says Ferrell.

Brooke’s yarn club also expanded exponentially. The club used to have maybe eight members, possibly even less, but now it has about 40 people coming weekly. She even had to start clearing out the library to fit the entire club for a meeting.

Ferrell doesn’t precisely know what sparked this interest in crochet, but they have some theories.

“I think the entire movement of ecological sustainability is pushing people towards making their own clothing because it kind of started with drifting and altering clothing, as opposed to fast fashion, and now people kind of want to go a step further and make it themselves,” said Ferrell.

Multiple people have told Brooke that it is because of the app Tik Tok, but Brooke is not on it. However, Brooke thinks that concerns for the environment might have something to do with it. It’s no secret that global warming is affecting our climate rapidly, and fast fashion is a large part of that. That’s brought people to start sewing their own clothes and making their grocery bags instead of plastic.

“Obviously a lot of people have been thrifting more to move away from fast fashion because fast fashion has been under this giant societal critique of, it’s not good for the environment,” Ferrell states, “And so people are, you know, pushing towards making their own clothing.”

Ferrell is so thrilled that crocheting is taking off here at Carnegie and hopes it will continue to get even more popular.

“I did not expect really anyone to start crocheting, at least in the volume and like the popularity that it’s at right now,” Ferrell said.