Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
CLOSE ×
Search
Leaving AARP.org Website

You are now leaving AARP.org and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

Vanna White's Tips for Handmade Gifts

'Wheel of Fortune' cohost fills her idle time with crochet

Vanna White
Amanda Friedman

My maternal grandmother was always crocheting. And she taught me when I was 5 years old. That's how we spent time together. I would do the chain stitch and little things like that, while she crocheted these beautiful, intricate doilies. To me, it was amazing that she could take yarn and make lovely things that were also useful. When I got a little older, I had other things I needed to do, but I put that experience away in the back of my mind.

Then when I started Wheel of Fortune, my hairdresser, Kim, was pregnant, and she was crocheting a blanket for her baby. I thought, Oh, my gosh, I used to do that when I was a kid! I'd love to do that again. So she refreshed my memory of crocheting. The funny thing — which I didn't realize at the time — is that she was left-handed. I'm right-handed, but I watched and copied her movements, and I've been crocheting left-handed for the past 37 years. There's always a crochet project going on for me. I keep one in my travel bag, and I keep one going in my car. That's how I stay occupied during lulls in my day.

member card

AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.

Join Now

Mainly, I make baby blankets for friends and family. I also make scarves, or I'll make a big afghan for someone who's getting married. Giving a gift that's handmade is special. It's something that never goes out of style. We all love handmade things.

My daughter, who is 22, crochets as well. I taught her how. It continues a family tradition. But for someone who's trying to learn without anyone to teach them, I would tell them to go to YouTube and follow along with an instructional video. Something like a baby blanket is very, very simple — it's just two stitches. And it's fun! You're making something and you're relaxing.

To me, it's like therapy.