Jen Nipps

Jen Nipps

“The doctor told me I need more fiber in my life, so I went to the yarn store.” Or, in our case, Hobby Lobby.

Do you think knitting and crochet are dying arts? Do you think they are things only “old ladies” do? If you answered yes to either one of these, let me tell you about the fiber arts community in and around Ada. First, I’ll tell you a little about me.

I’m Jen Nipps. You might not know me, but you might know my parents (Mike and Joyce Nipps), my grandma (Ruby Rust, aka Burger King Ruby), or my grandparents (the late Toots and Edna Nipps). I learned how to crochet in college in the early to mid-’90s. My first project was a scarf that would not bend. I had no concept of tension. My next project was ambitious: a queen-size afghan. I didn’t know what I was doing. It went on forever until I gave up on it. For all I know, it might still be shoved in the back of a closet somewhere. More likely, it got thrown away. And rightfully so.

Fast forward a ... few years. I had been writing and working and generally doing other things, but I still really wanted to knit or crochet or both. Then I saw a crochet class being offered through the ECU Continuing Education Program. I signed up for it and never looked back. This was almost eleven years ago.

Immediately, I started going to “Fiber Friday,” which is a group of fiber artists from around the area, on the third Friday of the month. Just as immediately, I started making prayer shawls. I had a death in the family during the crochet class, so my first two prayer shawls were for family members. It grew from there.

My favorite things to make are shawls, scarves, fingerless gloves, and hats. I’m currently working on a cardigan for myself. Next up is a summer poncho. I’ve made things for gifts and for sale, for friends and relatives. I’ve made a few things for strangers who became friends.

One thing I got involved with recently is called Operation Monster Drop. There are patterns for both knit and crocheted monsters. Although I can knit, my monsters have all been crocheted. The mission of the monsters is to spread joy wherever they may go. Think about the rock hunts with #AdaRocks and things like that. It’s the same kind of concept. Drop a monster, leave a hashtag with it, and see who finds it (if they decide to post it). The monsters come with a note explaining their mission.

That’s a little bit about me. It might be a little more than you wanted to know, but there it is. I’ll be sharing news about what’s going on in the fiber arts community, doing profiles about different movers and shakers within that community, and maybe bringing a little more interest to what many believe to be a dying art. If there’s anything you would like to read about, send me an email to or find me on Facebook ( or Instagram ( I’d love to hear from you.

Reach Jen Nipps at

Recommended for you