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Taking a Stab at...Crop Tops

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

Three States Fiber Art is a new name for my work and that name has a whole story that I’ll share with you another day. Today I want to tell you about the OG title of my Etsy shop and my Instagram page…the name that starte

all…Crop Top Needle Felt.

Crop Top seems an odd name for a family friendly art shop and when folks went online to search for me, they often came up with sites that were not selling Easter eggs or pumpkins…Looking back I get it, but it was a sentimental choice for the name of this whimsical and low key business.

For the past (almost) 20 summers I have volunteered at an oncology camp in Michigan called Special Days. This camp is for kids who have had cancer and their siblings. It’s very important to me and I’m sure I will be blogging more about it in the future. Anyway, when I first began to needle felt, I offered to make a project for one of the older groups’ arts and crafts time. We made a moose. When I began, I said, “Listen, what we are about to do is dangerous.”

Eyebrows were raised. Some let themselves smile slightly.

“It’s not a matter of IF you stab yourself, it’s WHEN…” I purposely us

ed the word “stab” instead of the cuter and more accurate “poke” because in oncology treatment kids hear the phrase “just a poke” more times than they can count. No one likes “poke.” “Stab” is way cooler.

“So we need something to say that’s CAMP APPROPRIATE for when someone stabs themselves.”

A few ideas were offered, but none were hitting until one of the boys who had decided, along with all the other guys in his cabin, to tie a knot in the front of his t-shirt and roll it under, forming a (drum roll…) “Crop Top!”

A cheer went up in the group. Of course. “Crop Top.”

So on that morning, we heard various versions of “Crop Top!” as fingers were stabbed, band aids were applied and wool was formed into a moose. They were into it, some even missing their boating time to finish.

And that’s why I called the first version of this shop Crop Top Needle Felt. It was a call back to that day when the 15 year old boys decided they would make their t-shirts into crop tops and that was cool. It summed up why camp

Special Days in particular is just a better way to be.

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