On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast, we’re talking about yarn bombing with my guest London Kaye.
Born in Los Angeles, California, London received her BFA in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. After graduating London realized that her love for crochet, and unexpected joy, came together harmoniously when she began using crochet to interact with the environment and surrounding community. She began installing art daily on the streets of Brooklyn and New York City.
Through her time leading workshops and teaching crochet, London came to realize the best qualities of her favorite crochet hooks and combined them together using 3D printing technology to create a unique new style “Crochet Hook with a Twist.” She received a patent for the design. London’s career has expanded to collaborating with brands like Starbucks, The Gap, Disney, and The Kelly Clarkson Show. Her book is out now, Crochet with London Kaye.
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We begin this conversation with London talking about growing up with a mom who owned a dance studio and becoming an accomplished and competitive dancer in her own right. London was also entrepreneurial at a fairly young age. She learned to crochet with a friend and then began selling crocheted scarves at school, using the earnings to buy her first car.
Next, we talk about London’s year at NYU where she had a dance scholarship and her time after graduation working at the Apple Store in New York City. London talks about what she learned there that she still carries forward in her work today. It was at the Apple Store that she encountered a crochet artist, Olek, and became inspired to use crochet to do some yarn bombing. After her first experience, London was hooked.
She went on to create larger and more complex pieces and eventually her work caught the notice of brands and retailers in the city who began to commission her to create crochet art installations. She’s since done hundreds of them and had some incredible experiences along the way.
We talk about how she prepares a design brief when working with one of the corporate clients. We also talk about how she involved a much larger crochet community for some installations.
We talk about the origin of London’s blue eye logo. We talk about her name and her sister, Chase Elaine O’Donnell’s comedy career. We talk about the development of London’s unique crochet hook and what sets it apart from other large hooks on the market. Finally, we talk about London’s experience as a contestant on the television show The Amazing Race.
And, of course, I ask London to recommend great stuff she’s enjoying right now. London recommends:
- Neumorphic Knot
- 2020 Beyond Words
- arranging flowers