Blog: Leonie BarrieMartha’s Midas touch

Leonie Barrie | 22 March 2005

It would seem that Martha Stuart really has the Midas touch – and that her recent spell in prison could be one of the best career moves she’s ever made. In the two weeks since she left prison wearing a poncho crocheted for her by a fellow inmate, 250,000 people have downloaded a similar pattern from Lion Brand Yarn, which Stewart identified on her Web site as the source of the raw materials. Other designers have jumped on the bandwagon too: Maggie Weldon of Maggie's Crochet, for instance, a “Martha Coming Home Poncho pattern closely matching the poncho Martha wore.”

Why the fuss over one poncho? Over the past few years the public's enthusiasm for crocheting and knitting has risen drastically, and what used to be a small market niche has exploded into a huge phenomenon. According to a 2004 study by the Craft Yarn Council of America, one in three US women knows how to crochet or knit - a 51% increase in the last 10 years. Martha's announcement that her poncho was made by a fellow inmate added fuel to the flame – crochet is hot!


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