Jonah Larson had no way of knowing how high emotions have been over the past two weeks on “Today.” The Wisconsin whiz kid, with a ball of yarn, could not have known that baby news has been buzzing throughout the "Today" family for two weeks now. Hoda Kotb welcomed the arrival of her second cherished, adopted daughter, Hope Catherine. Meteorologist Dylan Dreyer celebrated that blessing while sharing her own heartache in the struggle with secondary infertility with her husband, Brian Fichera.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The same day, Jenna Bush Hager hosted her own gender reveal party on the air, announcing her first baby boy will join sisters Mila and Poppy in just months.

Jonah Larson and his mom, Jenn, did bring a beautiful baby gift of hand-crocheted booties for little Hope Catherine, unaware of the rapid pace of all the “Today” progeny. The story of the tiny baby born in an Ethiopian orphanage is a miracle all its own. Jonah spent his first five months in the orphanage, and when he was adopted by Jenn and Chris Larson, the new parents weren’t given the brightest prognosis for their son in 2008.

On Today, Jonah Larson explains how he puts his artistry in crocheting to a higher purpose for regions in Ethiopia. [Image source: TODAY-YouTube]
On Today, Jonah Larson explains how he puts his artistry in crocheting to a higher purpose for regions in Ethiopia. [Image source: TODAY-YouTube]

The Larson's were told to expect developmental delays for Jonah, but a loving environment with constant nurturing and support can produce miracles, day by day. “He was very ill,” Jenn Larson agrees, relating her son's condition when he came home. Little by little, however, Jonah became “this little miracle.” He was reading by the time he was three and, at age five, the crochet hook caught his attention.

The hosts of the "Today" morning show’s third hour thought they might get a mini-lesson in crocheting from Jonah Larson today, April 26, but the talented young man simply had too much to say and too much exuberance to work in a lesson for beginners. Instead, the prodigy is focused on making the future better for babies who began life much like him.

Advertisement

No grandmother necessary

Many children can recall a patient grandmother or an aunt guiding their hands in learning the first fledgling loops in crochet. Jonah Larson didn’t need that much time or guidance-- all he needed was the wonder of YouTube.

He taught himself how to create intricate patterns from featured instructional segments, and by the time Larson was 7, he was crafting full afghans. “I’ve probably made about 100 afghans,” Jonah Larson estimates.

The crafting kid probably loses track of the number, because he has given so much of the proceeds from his work to support the orphanage he came from in Ethiopia. His older brother helped him to start his own YouTube channel, and his followers are swelling.

Channeling the passion and energy

Jonah Larson never claims to be a perfect kid and admits that he used to “interrupt people, and not let them finish their work” at school. His teacher suggested that he bring his crochet projects to school and, instantly, his attention was channeled appropriately.

Advertisement

From the time he comes home from school until sleep at night, Jonah has his crochet hook, and his creations are endless. Jenn Larson insists that after school talks about values and behavior, all the while as her son keeps crocheting, are the best times of the day.

“I love your energy so much I could cry,” exclaimed co-host Sheinelle Jones to Jonah. Sheinelle was also wearing one of Jonah Larson's exclusive jackets, emblazoned with his “Jonah’s Hands” charity emblem.

Advertisement

When asked what drew him to crochet, Jonah described that he “just loved the motion of moving my hook through the yarn, and it was also quite fun!” It became blatantly evident that the youthful artisan is a speed-talker, too. Dylan Dreyer is known for being very observant, but she couldn't keep up with the 11-year-old’s speedy fingers. “I can make a hat in 46 minutes,” Jonah assured.

The crafter knows that his crocheting consoles him, saying, “I find it very calming and it’s sort of like therapy” relating that its attributes are very effective for someone “with so much energy and an active mind.”

Jenn Larson thought the hobby might last a few months for Jonah, but crocheting has become a passion, and he keeps “learning more and more difficult patterns.” As it turns out, Jonah Larson's occupational goal is to become a surgeon, so he can “go back to Ethiopia and give free surgeries.”

Sheinelle Jones and Dylan Dreyer really did want a lesson from Jonah, but the boisterous language and energy from the young lad simply wouldn't let him slow down to their speed. Dylan was blessed to have his favorite afghan draped over her lap, one that reminded him of sunsets, with its “citrus colors” of pink, red, and orange blended together. “There's not a single mistake,” brags Dreyer over the beloved creation.

Jonah is not taking new orders for his creative wares just now. There is a backlog of 4,500 items, and he does only have two hands, and still has homework to do. Anyone interested in making donations through his Roots Ethiopia or GoFundMe initiative for the orphanage and for stimulating micro industries in the region where Jonah was born is welcome to contribute and most appreciated.

Jonah Larson will be busy putting his flying fingers and colorful yarn to good use for those in his homeland.

Click to read more and watch the video