‘Fabulous fibres were my first love’ , an introduction to knitwear designer maker Leah
Hi, I’m Leah, knitwear designer maker at Cosi Knits. Here’s a little about me and my story.
I spent the 70’s working in Europe with the final four years of the decade in Sicily. Once home in the UK I immersed myself in knitwear design heavily influenced by my travels.
Back then e-commerce was but a twinkle in the eye of Tim Berners-Lee so I wholesaled to selected boutiques like Whistles in Covent Garden and retailed direct at Camden Lock craft market and craft fairs such as Syon Park and Abbingdon Abbey.
A move to a more rural location in ’84 to raise my son coincided with the nation’s new love affair with polyester fleece. Knitwear had fallen out of favour. I turned my attention elsewhere for a few decades.
Today knitwear is popular again and I love love love to work with natural fibres, especially wool and wools blended with other natural fibres like silk or alpaca. There is a strong movement promoting the very real benefits of wool; #Choosewool, The Campaign For Wool, has gathered pace spearheaded by HRH The Prince of Wales bringing wool back into fashion, raising the price of fleece enough for it to be viable for sheep farmers to continue.
I am again able to follow my heart with a little help from the internet and e-commerce.
Here in my studio in Cornwall I spin more than one type of yarn!, I design original pieces, process and dye raw fleece, hand paint luxury natural yarns, knit by hand and machine and sometimes marry computer technology with craft. In the case of my illustrated cushions collection I optimise photos on a computer and print / knit the picture out on a computer hacked domestic knitting machine. Once the image has been optimised, the onboard mini computer takes over the needle selection and therefore the patterning device of the knitting machine. The possibilities are endless . . .
And so, ‘e cosi’, my work is now influenced by the traditions and colours of coastal Cornwall in the far West. Daffodils and gorse, bluebells and heather, berries and cream, boats and sparkling fish, sea and rocks, sunsets and sand, wind and rain: granite grey.
E cosi va – and so on.