Knitter’s Spotlight: Yarn Bombed Upcycled Chair by Lorna Watt
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.