The World Famous Crochet Museum (‘world famous’ usually means that you’ve never heard of it) is located in a 5-by-8-foot former plastic green Fotomat kiosk. It is part of the random ‘Art Queen Gallery’ (near the northern entrance of Joshua Tree National Park) that is run by Shari Elf, an artist who escaped Los Angeles to run this little ol’ museum and the rest of the compound, which is a collection of outdoor tables, metal rockers and oddball art projects.
The crochet collection really transcends the definition of a ‘museum’ as it is actually an installation art piece. The museum provides no history, text labels or how-to lessons. Elf doesn’t crochet herself, she just displays other peoples’ creations. She once said, “I have a love of things handmade and of things lovingly made often by little old ladies.” There’s no admission fee and no set hours. If the key is in the lock, you can let yourself in and if it isn’t, then you’re shit out of luck. Boo hoo! The place is so small, only two people can be inside at the same time. So claustrophobics beware. There are random items, such as Sesame Street and Winnie the Pooh characters, alligators and unicorns with googly eyes, as well as tiny crocheted angels. Like all museums, there are special galleries – a poodle wing and a chicken wing (no, not that kind of wing!). And the best part (besides being FREE) is that visitors can add their own folksy handicrafts to the collection.