Who the hell does she think she is? Well?
Lauren O’Farrell, a.k.a Deadly Knitshade: Author, artist, graffiti knitting pioneer, traveller, photographer and giant squid wrestler.
Beginning her plans for world domination through a weaving of words and wool during a rather nasty three-year battle with cancer (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma to be exact, an evil cancer of the lymph system), Lauren emerged from treatment victorious, slightly radioactive and unsettlingly ambitious. Read all about it here if you dare.
She is the founder of the UK’s largest craft community, a pioneer in the world of graffiti knitting, and a published author. She also wrestles squid and makes quite a nice cup of tea.
Giant craft community wrangler: In December 2005 Lauren co-founded the UK’s woolly Godzilla of a stitching group, Stitch London, which she turned into a full-time job and still runs today as Head Woolly Godzilla Wrangler (official title).
Sneaky grafffiti knitter: In early 2007 part of Lauren became sneaky stitching graffiti knitter Deadly Knitshade after a mysterious life-changing incident on the London Underground. She managed to keep this sneaky stitching life separate from her Lauren side until fairly recently when becoming an author messed up her Banksy-style mystique.
Graffiti knitting collective founder: The Deadly Knitshade side gathered London’s first graffiti yarnstorming collective Knit The City in February 2009. The sneaky stitching crew is now infamous for their Parliament Square Phonebox Cosy and various crazed graffiti knits. They have appeared in a scary number of publications worldwide.
New word maker: Lauren coined the term ‘yarnstorming’ to describe graffiti knitting. A softer and squishier term created as an alternative to the more violent and destructive-sounding ‘yarnbombing’).
Graffti knitting innovator of stitched street art with stories: Lauren master-minded the trend to use amigurumi characters and items in graffiti knitting to tell ‘stitched stories’ and show themes. Check out the ‘Graffiti Knitting Explained’ page for more info.
Odd stuff knitter: Lauren’s personal knitting accomplishments include a corset for a week-old piglet, a single sock knit at both the Taj Mahal and 3500-metres up the Himalayas, and Plarchie, an 8-metre giant squid for London’s Natural History Museum made from 160 plastic carrier bags.
Craftstormer and Vandaleyes Menace: Lauren can make street art with anything from a handful of googly eyes, to rubber bands to a simple ball of blu tac. She is suspected of using googly eyes to ‘vandaleyes’ random objects where ever she goes. There really isn’t anything she won’t attempt to make street art with. It’s all a bit odd.
Little Hobo wannabe: When Lauren isn’t here she’s off travelling as Purl Interrupted.
Artist with arty chums: Lauren makes her mischief at The Fleece Station, a woolly studio in Deptford’s Old Police Station, which she shares with fabulous comic book creators Gary Northfield, Sarah McIntyre and Ellen Lindner.
Some who can say “Talk to my agent” (even though she rarely says it): Lauren has an agent. Her agent rocks. Find her at Carol McArthur at United Agents
International author of mystery: Lauren writes books. Something she has dreamed of doing since she was old enough to brandish a pen. *Snoopy dances*
Enjoyer of writing about herself in the third person: Lauren enjoys writing about herself in the third person. She feels it makes her talking about herself and her achievements seem a bit less ‘me me me’. It probably doesn’t work.
(Pics by my fabulous pen-wielding pal Sarah McIntyre)