We caught up with London Kaye, the emerging street artist whom you may have seen get some recent press around her Miller Lite commissioned ugly sweater campaign. We worked with London during our Commonthread Valentine Day Campaign and were thrilled with her spunky upbeat personality and the reaction we received from our fans. London grew up in Santa Monica, CA. As a dancer, she spent many years dancing and received a scholarship to NYU. This was the perfect and fun opportunity to move to NY. She s taken yarn bombing to the next level while bringing love to the community. This is her story.
How did you start crocheting?
I started when I was 13. One afternoon my friends mom taught me how to crochet. I loved it immediately. I would crochet scarves for my dance class. Later on I crocheted bags, hats and scarves in college.
When did you discover yarn bombing? How did it change you?
I met an artist Olek a few years ago. I had been working at the Apple store at the time. She fascinated me so much that I immediately googled her and discovered yarn bombing. At the same time, I was at a point in my life where I believed there was more to life than a 9-5. I set up a crochet challenge for myself. I believed if crocheting was something I loved then I would do it for 30 days in a row. I also set a goal to crochet pieces and leave them outdoors. I ended up doing the challenge for 50 days. It was the perfect outlet for me and I loved making people happy. I never knew this was something that could turn into a career. I would leave my card with the pieces and people began contacting me for commission projects.
What is it about Street Art that stands out to you?
I always loved Brooklyn street art because it changed all the time. What makes it so amazing is that it makes you stop and take that extra moment out of your day. It makes you present. What makes yarn bombing stand out in the street art scene is that it isn t something you see everyday.
What drove you to yarn bomb the L train?
It was a combination of the perfect storm. When riding the train there s usually a moment where you re stuck on the train for several minutes and the announcement comes on about train traffic ahead. For me I thought it would be great if I could crochet the subway during these delays. This was something that never left me. Valentine s Day was coming up and I believe it is a day where people are happy or they need something to make them happy. I started crocheting the mini hearts and then got on the train on Valentine s Day and yarn bombed the car. It took about 2 hours to complete but people were so happy to see it.
How do you know about DMC?
Well I knew about their embroidery thread because I used them all through high school when I crocheted and embroidered bags. I still have my hoops hanging around. There s no other brand like them. Later on I was on a site and saw that DMC carried yarn. When I was contacted by them to crochet the giant heart I got to work with the yarn. The quality is so great.
Do you use your crocheting to give back?
Yes. I work with a charity in California call Knots of Love. They give crochet or knit caps to children with terminal illnesses. Aside from crocheting the caps, last year I crocheted 1000 hearts and sold them. All of the proceeds went to the charity. One thing I love to do is to give back. I love to make people, especially children happy.
Do you have any advice about someone wanting to learn crocheting or yarn bombing?
I do have a lot of people reach out to me asking how do I yarn bomb? People come to me and tell me that they are inspired by my works and what I do. One recommendation I have is not to be your own worst critic. Work with what you can. The materials in front of you are enough. We are so happy to have gotten a chance to work with you London Kaye. Your work and inspiration is admirable. Love and Threads, The Commonthread by DMC Team