#175 London Kaye: Yarn Bomber and Street Artist

#175 London Kaye: Yarn Bomber and Street Artist

Artist London Kaye is an LA-based yarn bomber. In her form of street art, she creates crocheted art pieces that she leaves in a public place for others to enjoy. She gets commissions to do large crocheted pieces, and has made a name for herself in both New York and Los Angeles. She’s also written a book about the art of crochet and she has patented her own style of crochet hook.

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London Kaye

Justice for George Floyd: London created this and flew to Washington, D.C. to place it at the fencing in front of The White House. It is now a part of the Smithsonian's records of the Black Lives Matter protests.
Crocheted billboard in Times Square.

London’s website is londonkaye.com.

She can be found on Instagram at @madebylondon.

Here are some great takeaways from our conversation:

  1. London is doing street art, meaning she is putting her art out in public places. She installs her creations during the day so she is clear in what she’s doing, and people can engage with her as she is setting it up. She will try to get permission if she can, or she will move something if she is asked.
  2. She also leaves a tag with her name so people can contact her if they want. More than once, that has given her additional future work.
  3. When she does very large crocheted pieces, she will get other crocheters to help her make some of the panels. Always remember that you can ask for help if you have a big project and a tight deadline.
  4. Now that we are doing so many events virtually, think about doing art get togethers through Zoom or other platforms. Everyone can be home working on their own projects, but socializing with other artists virtually.
  5. London talks about a challenge she heard about on a Ted Talk. It suggested doing something new for 30 days. If you still like doing it after 30 days, then that’s probably something you should stick with. That’s a great way to find out what your true passions are.
  6. When accepting commissions, you need to make sure you have a clear budget and timeline from the client, and they have accepted your sketched proposal.
  7. When creating pieces for an installation, it’s best to make extra pieces and also bring extra materials in case you need to alter it at the installation stage.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I really enjoyed your visit and interview with London Kaye. I started hearing about yarn bombing about 10 years ago when I ran across a book on the subject while browsing the books on crocheting at my local public library. I checked out the book and then started looking on line to see if there were any places near me with yarnbombing installations. There wasnt much in my area but I kept following yarn bombing and other forms of street art because I hoped to give it a try some day. Eventually I started seeing examples made by London Kaye and was drawn to her work. I’m twice her age, but like her, learned to crochet in junior high from a classmate’s mom, started out making scarves and granny squares and just fell in love with crochet and have been doing it ever since. It took me 8 years from the time I first heard about yarn bombing to get up the nerve to make a yarn bomb and install it in public. When I retired from my full time career I started doing a lot more crocheting. I eventually took a job as a school crossing guard in my neighborhood. My crossing post is at a corner next to the school playground with a chain link fence around it that beckoned me to create some public art. The first yarn bomb I ever did was a version of London’s hearts patterns, which I had seen her demonstrate in a video on the Lion Brand yarn website. I made several large and small hearts and letters to spell “All you need is love”. I arrived at my post extra early on Valentines Day 2018 and attached my yarn bomb to the fence with pipe cleaners. It was so fun to see the reactions of kids and parents. People came by to have their pictures taken by it. One little boy ran up to it with his arms outstretched and hugged the fence. Seeing the reactions inspired me to keep making yarn bombs. I’ve done a couple more at the school for the last 3 school years and have done several in front of my house during the Covid 19 stay at home period. The local Artists Association sponsored a weekly Front Yard Art Exhibit from March through June to inspire people to create and display art at home so that people would enjoy it when they went out for walks. During quarantine I made some mini yarn bombs to surprise people on their birthdays. I still use some of London’s patterns in my yarn bombs and as inspiration for making up some of my own. I use her large hooks in my work too. I recently purchased London’s book as a birthday gift to myself and I plan to yarn bomb some of my old tennis shoes for fun. Some day I hope to visit one of her creations in person. Thanks for sharing this interview with London and for inspiring people to create and let their art out. Everyone has art inside them.

    1. Avatar

      Maureen, thank you for sharing! I’m so glad London inspired you to try yarn bombing. I’m sure your creations are brightening many people’s days, especially during quarantine. Keep it up! You are probably inspiring others as well.

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