Lorna Watt likes to knit fast and crochet creatively. And she uses both of these talents for good. For every item she sells, she donates a tree to The Nature Conservancy. She’s like a superhero with an Esty shop – saving the planet one design at a time.
Recently, she combined two of her passions – yarn bombing and recycling – to create the beautiful Yarn
Bombed Upcycled Chair. Lorna chose Berroco Remix for the project because it’s made from 100% recycled fibers. It took her 40 hours to crochet the 15 separate pieces used to give the reclaimed chair a new look. Lorna doesn’t use patterns for her crochet décor, instead she improvises as she goes along. She says, “Because you work one stitch at a time and can work the next stitch anywhere you want, I feel more like I’m sculpting or painting.”
How did you come up with this design?
My local Etsy street team was preparing a show for a San Francisco art gallery. Yarn bombing indoors makes a surprising design element and it lets you appreciate your art every day. You really can call it upcycling, because it “ups” a sad, old chair into a new, handcrafted one.
How did you decide on the yarn?
To make a fully upcycled piece, I needed an entirely recycled yarn. Berroco Remix is my go-to eco yarn because it comes in modern colors and has a fantastic story: European garment industry remnants are sorted by color, shredded, and spun into new yarn on French mills–ooh la la, it’s eco and chic!
Any funny knitting/crochet stories?
My last yarn bomb was a broken pay phone I covered to look like an iPhone. After about a month, it disappeared. The same day the editor of my local paper emailed me a photo someone took of a guy wearing it in a bar! I decided it had a good James Dean death.
If you could knit something for anyone in the world what would it be?
I’d take a tea cozy course with Loani Prior, then knit one for the worm in the movie The Labyrinth.
What’s your favorite thing about knitting/crochet?
It’s silly, but when knitting I love to hyperfocus on speed. After I learned to knit, I invested a few days knitting along to YouTube videos of Miriam Tegel, the world’s fastest knitter. Play, pause, rewind… play, pause, rewind. I considered it an investment to train my muscle memory well from the start. Now, I always see knitting as a game of perfecting my movements and increasing my speed.
Crochet is totally opposite. Crochet is my creative place, where I love to discover new textures and ideas.