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Maker Feature: Toni

Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts

Toni Lipsey is the designer, instructor and author behind TL Yarn Crafts. She has designed more than 200 patterns for modern stitchers from sweaters to shawls to blankets and more. Her skills, smile and warm and bubbly personality have made Toni a sought after expert in crochet and Tunisian Crochet, who can often be found sharing her knowledge via social media and YouTube videos. Toni has been in the fiber industry full time since 2017 and has been back home in the Detroit area since 2022.

We were lucky enough to connect with Toni and collaborate on a Tunisian crochet experience where she created an immersive online course and exclusive shawl pattern just for MFY! She was also gracious enough to answer some questions for us about her crafting. We hope you enjoy the interview shared below.

MFY: We know you’re familiar with our story, and we’ve heard you have a special bond with your mother. Would you tell us a little about her and how your yarn stories intertwine?

Toni: My mom gave me the gift of craft when I was in my early teens. She taught me to crochet one hot summer while I was home and bored. I’d seen my mother crocheting, sewing, and crafting my entire life but I never expressed much interest. When she put a granny square in my hand and told me to “keep going”, a new bond began and it’s followed us through my adulthood.

Now that TL Yarn Craft is in full swing, my mom has become my biggest fan and cheerleader. She keeps me inspired with fresh ideas and perspectives, and she helps me teach when I visit yarn stores around the country.

I’m often told how lucky I am to have such a strong and talented mom to help me through all this. She is all that and more, and I’m beyond blessed that we can make these memories together.

Toni and her mother laughing. Toni and her mother smiling brightly.


MFY: We're so happy to have you return back to Michigan! How has it impacted your ability to go on yarn adventures with your mother? 

Toni: After being away for 13 years, finally returning to Michigan has been the jumpstart we both needed to reconnect in craft and as a family. Now that we live just five minutes away from each other (as opposed to 4 hours!), we can visit yarn stores and festivals at the drop of a hat. Now, we can grab our WIPs for an impromptu coffee hang and I can gift her extra yarn from promo packages. I recently had my mom on my YouTube channel for the first time and it was a true blast.

MFY: When did you know you wanted to take the step into teaching your crafts?

Toni: TL Yarn Crafts started when I began selling my items at craft shows. I was living in Columbus, Ohio at the time and I’d set up a booth at a popular show near downtown. I was approached by a woman who owned a yarn store not far from my home who invited me to drop by. We chatted a bit and she asked if I’d ever taught crochet. At that point, I’d shared it with some friends but I’d never taught in an official capacity. My first class was a real learning experience, for the students and myself. I fumbled through it but somehow ended up with 5 new crocheters at the end. Through years of research and practice, teaching has become like second nature and I thrive on the "aha" moments that my students experience.

Toni's mother wearing the Olivia Shawl. Toni wearing the Olivia Shawl.


MFY: How do the fiber arts impact your health and wellness?

Toni: After I initially learned to crochet as a teen, I put it to the wayside for nearly 10 years. I returned to it in my early 20’s during a particularly rough mental period. Crochet was a balm to me then and it still is to this day. Even after an intense weekend of teaching in another state, I work on my comfort projects as a way to relax. I like to relax into large blanket projects as a way to let my mind relax while still feeling productive.

I’ve recently taken up knitting as a hobby and I adore it. I’m making my first sweater and I stop to admire it every few rows. I’ve found it’s important to keep some aspects of my fiber arts journey as a hobby as opposed to introducing it into my work. That way, whenever I pick up that project, I know it’s truly for pleasure.

Two samples of the Olivia Shawl designed exclusively for Michigan Fine Yarns.

You can connect with Toni on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Ravelry and YouTube.  

For more information on Toni Lipsey click over to her website!

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