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Handmade: D & D Craft Corner keeps mother, daughter in stitches

Jocelynn Brown
The Detroit News
Dahnia Taylor, right,  and her mother Denise Taylor work together to create beautiful crocheted and knitted designs at their home studio.

Dahnia (Dani) Taylor and her mother Denise Taylor have enjoyed hours of knitting and crocheting together "pretty much everyday" for the past 15 years, so it was just a matter of time before they teamed up to start a business -- D & D Craft Corner.

After a year of planning, the crafting duo started the business about three months ago, and for now, they sell their beautifully hand-knitted and crocheted goods out of their home in Ferndale. However, the plan is to have a booth inside the Rust Belt Market, a warehouse marketplace" in downtown Ferndale, sometime this summer when a space becomes available. Dahnia said, "Until then, we will be doing festivals." 

Dahnia learned to knit and crochet from her mom when she was just eight. "I've always been doing it. It was like therapy for me, even when I was growing up," she said. "We love knitting and crocheting. We do it all day, (well), I do it when I get off work. My mother is retired and that's pretty much all she does. My mom taught herself to read crochet patterns at 11, and when she turned 12, she taught herself how to knit."

Dahnia Taylor of Ferndale displays (from left) a 3-piece outfit which includes a crochet dress, sweater and flower hat and a crochet baby owl cocoon with hat at her home studio.

The idea for D & D Craft Corner came about because of Denise's generosity. "She makes a lot of things for her missionary society members at church (St. Matthew A.M.E. in Detroit)," said Dahnia. "She gives them Christmas gifts. She does scarves, and hat and glove sets at Christmas. It's her Christmas gift to them, and they in turn started asking her to make things for their relatives, so it just made sense to start a business."

The two purchase yarn every week, and have a "craft room" inside their home that's filled with yarn from "floor to ceiling," but that doesn't stop them from keeping an eye out for new yarns on the market. 

Dahnia Taylor of Ferndale created this knitted halter top at her home studio.

"There's always some new yarn coming out, and we always try to get some to make something out of it," enthused Dahnia. "We always go to Michaels, Joann's (Fabric and Craft Stores), and sometimes Meijer and City Knits (in Harrison Township)." They also shop online with Willow Yarns. "We use all kinds of fibers, but we love cotton because it breathes."

As needleartists, they each have their specialty. For Denise, it's filling custom orders, especially for the many garments she makes -- dresses, skirts, pants, shorts, shawls, ponchos, hoodies, etc. -- and the dainty items for christenings, and baby and bridal showers. But, she also knits and crochets curtains and lampshades, and is skilled at designing some of her own patterns, in addition to creating graphs for her tapestry crochet pieces.

Dahnia leans toward clothes, as well, but more along the line of unique flirty tops. "My specialty is halter tops and tops with accessories to go with them." She also makes much smaller pieces that can be fastened to a clip and worn as a hair adornment.

Dahnia Taylor of Ferndale crochets a multicolored  skirt at her home studio.

But it's their infant wear and baby blankets that top the list of items they sell -- "big time!" Dahnia said, "I'm a massage therapist, and I do pre-natal massage, and that's how we get a lot of business for the baby clothes."

Overall, prices for their work range from $5 for a small crocheted box to $75 for a custom-made adult size dress.

When they're not busy knitting, crocheting, or adding more yarn to their growing stash, the mother/daughter business partners are out promoting their crafts. Earlier this month, they were special guests for the Art Club at Ferndale High School, where they introduced students to knitting and crocheting as more options for self-expression through creativity.

Look for D & D Craft Corner at upcoming events around town, including Ferndale Pride 2019 (June 1), a street fair in Ferndale; Royal Oak Family Pride (June 12) in Royal Oak; Funky Ferndale Art Fair (Sept. 20-22) in Ferndale; and some weekends in July and August at the Eastern Market in Detroit.

Dahnia Taylor of Ferndale holds her latest crochet skirt at her home studio.

Detroit News columnist Jocelynn Brown is a longtime Metro Detroit crafter. You can reach her at (313) 222-2150, or 

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