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Q & A with the Lovely (and Crafty!) Vanna White

Mar 25, 2008

by missbatch

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

You may think you know Vanna White from her role as America’s favorite letter turner on Wheel of Fortune, but did you know she’s also an avid crocheter with her own line of yarn? That’s right, her “Vanna’s Choice” collection from Lion Brand Yarn was launched just last June and has already become a top seller, helping to raise money and awareness for St. Jude’s Hospital in the process. We took a spin with this crochet connoisseur to learn more:

Listen to the Lion Brand’s Yarncraft podcast to hear their interview with admin from their visit to Etsy Labs!

Q: When and how did you learn to crochet?
A: I learned from my grandmother when I was 5 but I came back to it 25 years ago when my hair dresser encouraged me to crochet on the set of Wheel of Fortune. Whenever I have downtime on the set, I crochet. I find it very relaxing and I have something to show for the time I’ve spent doing it. I connected with Lion Brand Yarn when I spoke about my love of crochet on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson 14 years ago. They contacted me and it’s been a great friendship ever since.

Q: What is your favorite thing to make with yarn?
A: I love to crochet afghans. I have made countless afghans over the years as gifts for friends and family. I put a tag in each one that says “Handmade for you by Vanna White.”

[Fashion images courtesy of Lion Brand Yarns]

Q: Do you have any other crafty hobbies, or any that you’d like to learn?
A: Recently I’ve taken up cooking. I get recipes from the internet and my favorites are desserts.

Q: Have any handmade heirlooms been passed down in your family?
A: I treasure the doilies by grandmother made for the tables and I still have them.

Q: Have any of your Wheel of Fortune fans ever sent you crocheted or crafty items?
A: Yes, when I was pregnant, I received all kinds of baby items!

Q: What three things inspire you most?
A: I have two children and they are my greatest inspiration. I’m also very involved with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The amazingly talented doctors who work at this hospital inspire me by their dedication to such a worthy cause. Half of my proceeds from Vanna’s Choice are going to support St. Jude.

Q: I first learned of your crochet skills when you were emceeing a Lion Brand fashion show and now you have a line of yarn with Lion Brand named after you! Can you tell us a little bit about what the process of developing the line was like?
A: I worked closely with Lion Brand to develop a yarn that has an incredibly soft feel, yet would be practical in that it can be machine washed and dried. Once we found the right fiber and texture, we developed a color palette that has beautiful colors that are in the same range tonally so whatever colors you put together will match. Since I love crocheting afghans, we made certain that this yarn would be ideal for knitting and crocheting afghans. We’re adding colors since the line has been so successful and a new yarn called Vanna’s Baby Yarn with contemporary colors for babies and kids.

[Fashion images courtesy of Lion Brand Yarns]

Q: Any crochet trends you can forecast for spring?
A: People have been experimenting with crocheted stuffed animals of all different types and I just see them getting more and more creative. You can make almost anything with yarn!

Q: Any trends you wish would go away?
A: Not really. When it comes to something that has been lovingly made by hand, it’s all good.

Q: What’s one thing people don’t know about you that you wish they did?
A: That I am a normal person and lead a normal life. I cook for my kids, take them to school, do homework with them, tuck them in at night. Exercise is important for me, too (so I can fit into those Wheel of Fortune gowns!). I’m not an extravagant or glamorous person at all.

Q: Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
A: I think that handmade gifts are so meaningful and more valuable to people than the most expensive store bought product. I love the look on people’s faces when I give them a blanket for a new baby or an afghan for their home. I have this one friend who has a 13 year old and I made a blanket for him when he was a baby. After 13 years she tells me that he still loves loves it. That means everything to me.

Dear Etsians: for this week only (3/25-4/1/08), Etsy users can get 20% off catalog orders at Lion Brand Yarn. Just enter “etsy0308” at check out. Special treat!

Check out Vanna’s top Etsy finds below:

Hearts Passion Red Crochet Head Band
Hearts Passion Red Crochet Head Band
Sold
Custom made Owl
Custom made Owl
Sold
Crochet Stars
Crochet Stars
Sold
mof bag -- winter sky (long handle)
mof bag -- winter sky (long handle)
Sold
Oscar the Lion
Oscar the Lion
Sold
Vivacity ... Freeform Crochet Neckwarmer\/ Necklace
Vivacity ... Freeform Crochet Neckwarmer\/ Necklace
Sold
SALE SALE SALE Bag Crochet Freeform ARANCIA BAG
SALE SALE SALE Bag Crochet Freeform ARANCIA BAG
Sold
Autumn Highlands Handmade Flowers Hair Clips
Autumn Highlands Handmade Flowers Hair Clips
Sold
Pajama bear and his teddy - Crochet Pattern
Pajama bear and his teddy - Crochet Pattern
Sold
Handmade Pale yellow silk crochet  hoops 1 3\/4 inches (45mm) earrings New Spring\/Summer
Handmade Pale yellow silk crochet hoops 1 3\/4 inches (45mm) earrings New Spring\/Summer
Sold

33 comments

  • melissakate

    melissakate said 8 years ago

    Yay! I love Vanna! (and Pat!)

  • HeyMichelle

    HeyMichelle said 8 years ago

    Gorgeous knits! Love that huge yellow scarf! Ah, and I, too, love Vanna. Brings me back to being 5 years old and watching Wheel of Fortune, which was one of my mom's "shows". "Banana" White was the most beautiful woman in the world, and I wanted to look just like her. And I loved her name, "Banana", and didn't believe my mom when she tried to tell me it was Vanna. And she's still as gorgeous as she was over 20 years ago... Craft on, Vanna, craft on!

  • NestaHome

    NestaHome said 8 years ago

    Very cool! Go Vanna :)

  • littlepurls

    littlepurls said 8 years ago

    Great interview! Thanks Vanna! You rock!

  • contrary

    contrary said 8 years ago

    Gotta say I love the yellow too!! Great interview!

  • sagittariusgallery

    sagittariusgallery said 8 years ago

    Very cool :)

  • qwynwyn

    qwynwyn said 8 years ago

    Wow! I had no idea that Vanna is so crafty! This was a great interview!

  • stellaloella Admin

    stellaloella said 8 years ago

    I would so love to own an afghan with a tag that says "Handmade for you by Vanna White."

  • jmillenLovesToKnit

    jmillenLovesToKnit said 8 years ago

    I would loved to have been picked as Vanna's Etsy finds... She has great taste!

  • AuntChilada

    AuntChilada said 8 years ago

    I saw a biography of Vanna on Lifetime many years ago, she is awesome!

  • lupin

    lupin said 8 years ago

    I really am in love with the giant yellow scarf. Seriously awesome stuff :D

  • TeenAngster Admin

    TeenAngster said 8 years ago

    Vanna is amazing. And the yellow scarf = seriously covet.

  • AuntChilada

    AuntChilada said 8 years ago

    I kindly request the question "What's your favorite junk food/candy?" be included in furture spotlight and etsy sucess story interviews :-)

  • gemmafactrix

    gemmafactrix said 8 years ago

    I *need* that scarf.

  • Ekioart

    Ekioart said 8 years ago

    Yay Vanna! I do so love that yellow scarf.

  • daniellexo

    daniellexo said 8 years ago

    Great Etsy finds, Vanna!

  • hellome

    hellome said 8 years ago

    Who knew Vanna was such a crafty girl! I love too that she finds recipes on the internet lol. Such a sweet article, made me smile. ☺

  • sweetestpea

    sweetestpea said 8 years ago

    What a nice interview! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on handmade items.

  • LazyTcrochet

    LazyTcrochet said 8 years ago

    Yay! One of my favorite hats is made with Vanna's Choice. Wonderful yarn. I love it. Thanks Vanna and Etsy!

  • phoebec

    phoebec said 8 years ago

    Great article, this is wonderful, what a pleasant side to see of celebrities instead of gossip:) yay etsy!

  • StacyRaeT

    StacyRaeT said 8 years ago

    its great that you're interviewing celebs. Great article.

  • backwoodsophisticate

    backwoodsophisticate said 8 years ago

    This is a great article and Vanna is a great person! How exciting that etsy is interviewing stars!!

  • SteppingStones

    SteppingStones said 8 years ago

    Great article!! Who Knew!!

  • saraaires

    saraaires said 8 years ago

    Thank you for the wonderful article MissBatch, and WOW!To Vanna! I'm very flattered to be a part of such a nice selection! Crochet Rocks!

  • mydesertstudio

    mydesertstudio said 8 years ago

    I went to Lion Brand's website. They are only giving 15% off. I was going to get 2 skeins of a microfiber yarn for $8. I put in the code for the 20% discount. They only gave me $1.19 off, which is 15%. So I didn't order it. That's kind of embarrassing.

  • mykonos

    mykonos said 8 years ago

    all items are so great!!

  • Vanessa Admin

    Vanessa said 8 years ago

    Hmm, we'll look into that discount problem. Thanks for the heads up mydesertstudio. Sorry about that.

  • scrapsnthings

    scrapsnthings said 8 years ago

    Hi! Thanks for featuring Vanna and crocheting! I'm kind of wondering if one of my items was featured before it was purchased today...my raspberry sherbet dishcloths had over 1000 hits total! I've been trying to find out what made them so popular today! Thanks, Vanna, if they were featured!!! I loved the article. I, too, learned at a young age. My great-grandma taught me to crochet when I was 8. She'd be so excited about etsy if she were alive today! Shannon

  • LionBrand

    LionBrand said 8 years ago

    mydesertstudio: We're very sorry about the problem with the discount coupon code. We have fixed the error, and now all discounts will show up as 20%. Sorry for the trouble!

  • birdsofafeather

    birdsofafeather said 8 years ago

    i'm new to crochet, but have knit forever. i'm going to have to check out vanna's new line! thanks for the fabulous crochet etsy items ~ the talent here is amazing!

  • mydesertstudio

    mydesertstudio said 8 years ago

    Thanks for fixing the discount problem so quickly! I'll have to go back and buy now.

  • delli3

    delli3 said 8 years ago

    Thank you Vanna, I have over 600 hits on that Tea Cosy. I love the colors of your yarn, most of the time you see those colors in wool yarn, and now it's nice to have them in acrylic. Gorgeous Yarn! Thanks Cathy BTW one of my cosies sold after your mentioning of one of your Etsy finds. :)

  • 11 Inspiring Stories About People Who Crochet | said 1 year ago

    […] Vanna White explains in a video interview that she learned to crochet at age five from her grandma then re-learned when she started on Wheel of Fortune, beginning by crocheting baby blankets for friends. Photo is from an old Etsy crochet interview with Vanna. […]

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