Lonely Planet Writer

Los Angeles becomes the canvas for the Banksy of yarn bombing

“It’s something that no one here has seen or done yet,” says local street artist London Kaye, who is transforming her home city of LA into a living canvas for her yarn-made art.

Yarn-bombing in LA. Image by London Kaye

Visitors to the city can see some of Kaye’s colorful work on Melrose Ave, where three enormous crocheted rainbows are displayed in front of The Paperbag Princess store. Another crocheted mural sits outside Alfred Coffee in Silver Lake, plus there are pieces on Santa Monica boardwalk and Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice.

Colourful work on Melrose Ave. Image by London Kaye

“I never know how long a piece will stay up for, so I always take a photo and share it on my Instagram page as well,” said Kaye, but luckily she hasn’t run into trouble from the authorities in her home town of LA. “So far, people have been overwhelmingly supportive,” explained Kaye. While yarn bombing can be thought provoking and political, it feels less confrontational. “Yarn bombing is known as ‘soft graffiti’,” said Kaye, “I think you can get away with it more because it isn’t permanent. If someone doesn’t like it, it can easily be taken down without harming the environment.”

Kaye now makes kits so fans can create their own pieces. Image by London Kaye

Kaye’s love for knitting started after seeing an inspiring crocheted bag. A light bulb went off in her head that she could do more with this simple woolen fabric than just make scarves and hats. “I began playing around with different styles and fell in love with putting my work up outside for others to enjoy.” Depending on the size, it can take her anywhere from three hours to three months to make a piece. Since she began creating, yarn bombing has become an incentive to travel the world. Her pieces have appeared in Rome, Mexico City, London, Paris, Canada, Israel, and all over the United States. “I still pinch myself that crocheting is my job,” said the artist who runs a crochet shop online and does commercial yarn bombing installations, as well as street art.

Taking the yarn to Rome. Image by London Kaye

Kaye has also just created new line of yarn and crochet hooks with Lion Brand Yarn, which are specifically made for yarn bombing. “We’ve put together kits that come with a variety of colors and step-by-step tutorials on how to make some of my favorite yarn bomb creations,” said Kaye. The idea is to inspire others people to make their own yarn bombing creations in their cities, towns and villages around the globe. She adds: “the whole point is to get others excited to go out and beautify their community. Hopefully, soon I’m not the only yarn bomber in LA!”

Visit here to find out more about the infamous LA yarn bomber, or follow her works on Instagram @madebylondon.