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Michigan artist crochet potholes named after notoriously bad roads

A crocheted pothole sits inside of a pothole on Ottawa St. in Lansing, Michigan.
Megan Schellong
/
WKAR-MSU
A crocheted pothole sits inside of a pothole on Ottawa St. in Lansing, Michigan.

When you think of crocheting, what comes to mind? Maybe it’s blankets, scarves or sweaters.

But for one Michigan artist, it’s potholes.

Amelia Herron poses with her crocheted potholes outside of the Michigan Capitol building on June 6, 2023.
Megan Schellong
/
WKAR-MSU
Amelia Herron poses with her crocheted potholes outside of the Michigan Capitol building on June 6, 2023.

Amelia Herron was a high schooler when she picked up her first pair of crochet needles.

After being cooped up during the pandemic, she revisited the craft and quickly became hooked, making everything from jellyfish to creatures of urban legend like Bigfoot and Moth Man.

As Herron explains, "an obsession was born."

In May, the 24-year-old branched out into crocheting something that is quintessentially Michigan: potholes.

The idea came about when her sister, Ivy, suggested she make something for Lansing’s 517 day, an annual event celebrating the city.

They tossed a couple of concepts around.

"Like the [Eckert Power Plant] Stacks and like maybe the Capitol building. And I was like, 'Those are really cool, but it's a week away. And if we're gonna make a lot of them, they need to be somewhat simple,'" Herron said.

That’s when they figured it out.

"And she was like, 'Oh my gosh, you should make potholes.' I was like, 'Ah, that's perfect,'" she said.

But Herron said finding a pattern was tricky.

"Of course, potholes were the one thing that there's no crochet pattern for the entire Internet. And I was like, okay, well, I guess I have to make this up," Herron said.

Herron's crocheted potholes almost look like little gray bowls with a center made of black yarn. Some have smiley faces and others are frowning to give them some personality. They also have names.

"So, we have Frandor. We have Barnes. They can be named anything. We have little name tags," she said.

Herron says the best part of making the potholes is seeing the joy it brings to others.

"Sure, I can make 1000 little crochet potholes. But what am I going to do with 1000 crochet little potholes? If it can make somebody else's day, that makes me really happy and that makes it all worth it," she said.

You can find Herron’s work on Instagram at Amelia the Yarn Hooker.

Megan Schellong hosted and produced Morning Edition on WKAR from 2021 to 2024.
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