A Conversation with Knit Artist Olga O’Shea

Tell me about your art.
I love knitting, I love being creative with yarn. I knit with yarn that is donated to me and I cover various objects with fiber. Objects that I use are recycled and saved from the landfill. It all started with a mishap of my daughter’s bike. Thinking that bike was in the car, it was actually behind the car, I accidentally drove over it. It was a good kid’s bike, but not fixable. What could I do with it? The idea came to cover it with yarn. That is how the journey begun.

How does the act of giving away art build community?
The idea of giving is really important to me so I connect with community through passing on my work for people to enjoy. I  donated a couple of bicycles at Christianne’s Lyceum in Vancouver. I also feel that it is important to contribute to charity. I don’t really have very much time to physically volunteer at any place so I will knit practical things like hats and donate them to different organizations.
You’re a yarnbomber too! Can you tell me about some of your yarn bombs?
I love yarnbombing, but there is a fine line between art and littering. I believe yarn bombers should take responsibility of maintaining their artwork. With lots of rain in Vancouver area, there are many knitting pieces just fraying away, they should be removed.
I took part in few international projects, like the Yarn Bomb Yukon Plane. The plane was covered with yarn, exhibited and all the knitted pieces were put together and donated to charity as blankets.
Some other projects that I have been a  part of: http://www.woolagainstweapons.co.uk/  in UK
and http://cafamgrannysquared.weebly.com/  in LA. This is my “local” yarn bomb at Place Des Arts! http://www.placedesarts.ca/about-us/overview.aspx. Some of my work will be exhibited at  http://birdonawirecreations.com/. Come and visit!


  1. Anita June 4, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Love the story about a mishap was life changing and new craft created. The bike looks fantastic! Here is to wishing all mishaps create beautiful things …. 🙂

  2. Katy June 4, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Beautiful art! I think Art Gallery should consider having some Olga’s pieces..

  3. hijennybrown June 6, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Thanks for sharing Olga’s story. Interesting point on responsible yarn bombing, although I’m jealous. I’ve never had anything last long enough to need maintenance!