A Girl Named Leney

THE JOURNAL

Posts tagged Etsy
On Hiatus

going through an alpaca fleece // photo by Meagan Abell

on hiatus. ⁣
that’s the current state i feel some parts of my creativity are in. not for a lack of passion, but simply because i cannot do everything at once. ⁣
depending on how long you’ve followed me, you might not even know that i’m a fiber artist and knitwear designer. ⁣

i started an Etsy shop in 2011 which was part of my full time work until about 2015. it grew into a very successful side of my business. i designed seasonal collections of knitwear centered around themes of inspiration (examples: On The Road, Gypsy Soul and OOAK pieces inspired by my travels), i was on the front page frequently, became a featured shop, interviewed in a book, had pop ups with the likes of Madewell and Quirk Gallery, was featured in various publications and by all appearances had “made it” in the Etsy scene of success. ⁣

but it didn’t feel like success. i was overworked, staying up until 4am knitting to fulfill holiday orders, warring with the desire to remain small so as to have my hand in all of aspects of my business and wanting to create each piece myself but unable to keep up with the demands alone. not to mention still running my photography business which entailed primarily shooting weddings at the time. and then Etsy went public and i quickly grew frustrated and disenchanted with a platform that used to be exclusively for handmade and vintage wares and was now blurring lines by allowing factories in China to open up shops and claim their mass produced goods as “handmade”. (this is a simplified rant of the many complicated changes that have happened at Etsy over the past few years but it was definitely an element in my frustration and stress of maintaining my own shop)⁣

and then of course too there was the realization of not knowing how my yarn was made that led to my pursuing sustainable knitwear. learning how to process wool on my own, spin it into yarn, dye with natural dyes and plants and create pieces that felt like true representations of me as an artist and embodied my ethics and beliefs. ⁣
(which is what these woven pieces are—all yarn i hand spun from a wide array of fibers and some i even processed from raw fleece!)⁣
⁣but other than a few custom orders, i never fully went all in with that venture. perhaps because i was hesitant to grow it to the size of my previous endeavor, or because it was too different of a market for my current customer base, or because it simply became an art form that was just for me-and not something i had to monetize and sell. ⁣
or perhaps because it just wasn’t the season for this dream. who knows?⁣

my Etsy shop is technically still open, i’ve slowly been letting the listings expire and i plan to close it fully after selling all of my extra inventory this fall. ⁣
but this type of creating is still such a huge part of me. ⁣
until recent years i knit almost every day from the time that i was 8 years old. ⁣
i still want to work on a sheep farm to learn a more in depth way to incorporate the whole “from sheep to sweater” idea in my fiber art. ⁣
i still am so turned on by textiles and meticulously study sweater construction.⁣

but as a person with endless interests and passions, i am learning that each have their season. just because i am not full-time pursuing one doesn’t mean that it’s any less a part of me or less valid because it isn’t recognized by others and in the public eye. ⁣

i’m a little all-or-nothing with most things in my life, so this isn’t always easy for me. but it’s a lesson that’s good for my hands to learn how to hold.

A New Venture
Photo by Gray Breeden

Photo by Gray Breeden

I shared over the weekend that I will be having a trunk show at Quirk Gallery on October 1st.
I wanted to share a little more about what this trunk show represents for me.

I've been working intentionally over the past year or so on my education in regards to my knitwear designing and being more involved in the process and construction of a garment.
I've been going on various visits and tours of farms (which you can read more about in Farm Days posts More coming soon!) and learning about shearing, processing, and spinning wool into the end product (yarn) that I'm used to working with.  
It's been such en enlightening and gratifying experience. 
To know that I'm able to take a natural and God given resource and within my own abilities and resources, turn it into something that's able to be enjoyed and used by others for (hopefully) generations to come is really satisfying. 

The idea for this new venture into this kind of knitwear came from my pursuits and interest in recent years into the art of slow, mindful and intentional living

What was I consuming? What was I allowing into my life? What was I saying, unknowingly or otherwise, with the things that I used and wore and bought on a daily basis?
I not only wanted to practice more mindfulness in these areas in my every day life, but also find a way to embody that in my art. 

I’ve been knitting for about 17 years, and designing collections for a living for four of those years. However it wasn’t until I started pursuing a more ethical and sustainable lifestyle as well as educating myself on fast fashion, that I thought about how my knitwear played into that. I realized I had no idea how the yarn I used for my collections was made, where it came from, what effect it had on the environment or even whose pocket my dollar was going into when I bought it. 
That, along with attending a local fiber festival and learning how to spin yarn, set into motion my pursuit of being involved in every phase possible of the construction of a piece of my knitwear.
If I don’t personally source the wool from a farm I’ve visited during my travels or built a relationship with, take it to the mill to be processed, process it in my own home or spin it into yarn myself, I take great lengths to make sure the yarn is sourced and made by a similar minded fiber artist.

While it’s my dream to one day learn how to shear sheep myself and maybe even own a few, I am content with being as much involved in the process of the “sheep to shawl” idea of my knitwear as I can be in this current season of my life as I live in the city. 

I’ve also been experimenting and learning about the incredible art of natural dying and will occasionally add that as an element to a special piece. Collecting flowers, lichen, moss, plants, and other found materials to form dyes that only add to the beauty that can be created when using natural resources.

As a result of this process, each piece is one-of-a-kind and a work of art in and of itself. 
Each carries with it a story that has many chapters, each of which is very much apart of me and my journey as not only a knitwear designer but a traveler, photographer, and an artist.

I'm excited to share this next phase with you guys. So many of you, my dear family and friends, have been such a huge part of this becoming and evolution in these pursuits and passions of mine.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I couldn't do it without you.

xo

P.s. I've been working on a video to showcase the story of processing a fleece start to finish at the fiber mill so keep an eye out for that coming soon!

OOAK Knits | The Motor City Vest

The Motor City Vest

Detroit Michigan in February is a very cold place.
Very cold.
I'm actually fairly certain I've never been as cold in my life as I was in Detroit in February.
And I've been to Chicago in December.
And Iceland.
Despite being miserably cold for the majority of this trip, I loved Detroit in a way that I can't quite explain.
Maybe it was the fact that, like Richmond, they also have a Belle Isle.
Maybe it was because I was Urbexing some of the coolest places I've ever seen with my best friend.
Or maybe it was simply because I was somewhere I'd never been, having some of the most unbelievable (read: borderline reckless) adventures. Because that's often all it takes for me to fall in love with a place.
(Ask me about driving 10 hours home in one of the worst ever snow storms sometime...)

Regardless, Detroit will always have a special place in my heart.

The grey shades of that snow covered, windswept city, inspired this textured patchwork vest.
It will definitely help keep you warm anytime, anywhere. 
Even Detroit in February.

Yarn origin:  Reykjavík Iceland, Richmond VA, Boston MA.... and a lot of other unknown places

A photo posted by Leney (@agirlnamedleney) on


You can also see other OOAK Knits and there stories here.

Why one-of-a-kind?

These pieces are inspired by...
the places i’ve been,
the people i’ve met,
the words i’ve read,
the images i’ve created.

All of which are unique, to themselves, their own, one-of-a-kind. 
Much like you are.

I believe that your clothing, what you wear, says a lot about you.
It adds to your story, your make-up, who you are as an individual.

And so, shouldn’t those pieces in and of themselves hold a story all their own?
I think so.
That’s why my knitwear is one-of-a-kind. 
Each design is a piece of art.
Each piece tells a story. 
Of a person. A place. An experience. An idea.
When you own one of these pieces you are the only one to own it.
Aside from me, the creator, you hold it’s story. 
You are now the caretaker of it’s story. 
And it, in turn, becomes a part of yours.
The Stories The Things We Own Tell.
I think they're terribly important, though often overlooked. 
I find that the things we invest in are the things we cherish and value most. Which in turn speaks to what kind of individual we are. What we put stock in. Who we want to be.

You can also read more about why here.

// Photos by Meagan Abell //

Black Friday + Small Business Saturday + Cyber Monday Sale!
www.agirlnamedleney.com

Offering 30% off all orders now through 12am Monday in honor of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday!
I decided to just go ahead and cover all of the bases... ;)
Just use the code: ALLOFTHEHOLIDAYS at checkout in the shop.

This is my last sale of the year and I won't be having another for quite some time so treat yourself, get some Christmas gifts, invest in a piece from The Classics Collection or maybe even a One-Of-A-Kind knit!

Also this is the last weekend you can place an order and have your knits guaranteed under the tree in time for Christmas! So, what are you waiting for? Get shopping!
 

OOAK Knits | The Montmartre Sweater 

The Montmartre Sweater

Inspired by the fashion forward city of Paris. A study in color brought forth this muted hazelnut tone that reminds me of a weekend spent walking underneath the eiffel tower, drinking wine at street side cafes, eating tasty pastries, shooting film, people watching on the train and lazing around a tiny apartment with balcony windows flung wide open to let out the sounds of Tracy Chapman and Billie Holiday cd's...

Yarn origin: Richmond, Va

A photo posted by Leney (@agirlnamedleney) on

If you'd like to invest in this piece and be the owner of it's unique story you can do so by heading to the shop listing for it below


You can also see other OOAK Knits and there stories here.

Why one-of-a-kind?

These pieces are inspired by...
the places i’ve been,
the people i’ve met,
the words i’ve read,
the images i’ve created.

All of which are unique, to themselves, their own, one-of-a-kind. 
Much like you are.

I believe that your clothing, what you wear, says a lot about you.
It adds to your story, your make-up, who you are as an individual.

And so, shouldn’t those pieces in and of themselves hold a story all their own?
I think so.
That’s why my knitwear is one-of-a-kind. 
Each design is a piece of art.
Each piece tells a story. 
Of a person. A place. An experience. An idea.
When you own one of these pieces you are the only one to own it.
Aside from me, the creator, you hold it’s story. 
You are now the caretaker of it’s story. 
And it, in turn, becomes a part of yours.
The Stories The Things We Own Tell.
I think they're terribly important, though often overlooked. 
I find that the things we invest in are the things we cherish and value most. Which in turn speaks to what kind of individual we are. What we put stock in. Who we want to be.

You can also read more about why here.

// Photos by Meagan Abell //

OOAK Knits | The Bowery Tank

The Bowery Tank
 

Inspired by the lines and symmetry of the concrete jungle. 

New York City. 

A place that holds the dreams and ambitions of so many. 

It's certainly no stranger to housing some of my own. 

Yarn origin: New York, NY  
A lovely silk and extra soft merino blend makes up the body of the tank and the side panels are knit of a beautiful cotton yarn.

A photo posted by Leney (@agirlnamedleney) on

If you'd like to invest in this piece and be the owner of it's unique story you can do so by heading to the shop listing for it below


You can also see other OOAK Knits and there stories here.

Why one-of-a-kind?

These pieces are inspired by...
the places i’ve been,
the people i’ve met,
the words i’ve read,
the images i’ve created.

All of which are unique, to themselves, their own, one-of-a-kind. 
Much like you are.

I believe that your clothing, what you wear, says a lot about you.
It adds to your story, your make-up, who you are as an individual.

And so, shouldn’t those pieces in and of themselves hold a story all their own?
I think so.
That’s why my knitwear is one-of-a-kind. 
Each design is a piece of art.
Each piece tells a story. 
Of a person. A place. An experience. An idea.
When you own one of these pieces you are the only one to own it.
Aside from me, the creator, you hold it’s story. 
You are now the caretaker of it’s story. 
And it, in turn, becomes a part of yours.
The Stories The Things We Own Tell.
I think they're terribly important, though often overlooked. 
I find that the things we invest in are the things we cherish and value most. Which in turn speaks to what kind of individual we are. What we put stock in. Who we want to be.

You can also read more about why here.

// Photos by Meagan Abell //

 

OOAK Knits | The Waterfront Crop Top

The Waterfront Crop Top
 

Waterfront: the land or the part of a town next to the water of an ocean, lake, etc.

This piece is inspired by the varying tones and colors found on the coast of many water bound places. 

The places I find myself most often.

Because anywhere on the water is a place I call home...

Yarn origin: New York City, Maine, Richmond Va, Reykjavík Iceland, Hampton Va, and somewhere on the coast of Maine

A photo posted by Leney (@agirlnamedleney) on

If you'd like to invest in this piece and be the owner of it's unique story you can do so by heading to the shop listing for it below


You can also see other OOAK Knits and there stories here.

Why one-of-a-kind?

These pieces are inspired by...
the places i’ve been,
the people i’ve met,
the words i’ve read,
the images i’ve created.

All of which are unique, to themselves, their own, one-of-a-kind. 
Much like you are.

I believe that your clothing, what you wear, says a lot about you.
It adds to your story, your make-up, who you are as an individual.

And so, shouldn’t those pieces in and of themselves hold a story all their own?
I think so.
That’s why my knitwear is one-of-a-kind. 
Each design is a piece of art.
Each piece tells a story. 
Of a person. A place. An experience. An idea.
When you own one of these pieces you are the only one to own it.
Aside from me, the creator, you hold it’s story. 
You are now the caretaker of it’s story. 
And it, in turn, becomes a part of yours.
The Stories The Things We Own Tell.
I think they're terribly important, though often overlooked. 
I find that the things we invest in are the things we cherish and value most. Which in turn speaks to what kind of individual we are. What we put stock in. Who we want to be.

You can also read more about why here.

// Photos by Meagan Abell //

OOAK Knits | The Mandalay Vest

The Mandalay Vest
 

Inspired by a beautiful house somewhere on the coast in Maine. 

A place of peace and comfort. 

A place that feels like home. 

Yarn origin: Richmond, VA

A photo posted by Leney (@agirlnamedleney) on

This vest is one of my absolute favorite pieces from the first run of one-of-a-kind knits.
I'm having a hard time parting with it to be honest. I love it's geometric design, inspired by the layered siding of that lovely little house in Maine. It's a statement piece that would go with pretty much anything you wanted to pair it with.

While the majority of my knitting is done at home, occasionally a project will wander out with me on various adventures, to and from different places here and there.
One of the noteworthy places this vest went was to the movie theatre to watch Arcade Fire's documentary: The Reflektor Tapes.
Arcade Fire is one of my favorite bands. In fact their song, Keep The Car Running, is pretty much my anthem and mirrors one of the ideas and sentiments behind my OOAK knitwear being inspired by my travels.
Pieces made on the road.
Telling of the things I see and experience. 
Always being ready for anything.
Wherever adventure awaits.
Keep the car running.

If you'd like to invest in this piece and be the owner of it's unique story you can do so by heading to the shop listing for it below


I'm going to be releasing new one-of-a-kind knits on a regular basis so this is only the start!
I just have to say again for the hundredth time how excited I am about this new aspect of my business and I can't wait to grow more as an artist and a story teller through this process.
Thank you all for your kind words and support on the unveiling thus far. It means the world to me.
xo


Why one-of-a-kind?

These pieces are inspired by...
the places i’ve been,
the people i’ve met,
the words i’ve read,
the images i’ve created.

All of which are unique, to themselves, their own, one-of-a-kind. 
Much like you are.

I believe that your clothing, what you wear, says a lot about you.
It adds to your story, your make-up, who you are as an individual.

And so, shouldn’t those pieces in and of themselves hold a story all their own?
I think so.
That’s why my knitwear is one-of-a-kind. 
Each design is a piece of art.
Each piece tells a story. 
Of a person. A place. An experience. An idea.
When you own one of these pieces you are the only one to own it.
Aside from me, the creator, you hold it’s story. 
You are now the caretaker of it’s story. 
And it, in turn, becomes a part of yours.
The Stories The Things We Own Tell.
I think they're terribly important, though often overlooked. 
I find that the things we invest in are the things we cherish and value most. Which in turn speaks to what kind of individual we are. What we put stock in. Who we want to be.

You can also read more about why here.

// Photos by Meagan Abell //

 

One-Of-A-Kind
OOAK Knitwear By A Girl Named Leney / www.agirlnamedleney.com

So last week I released The Classics Collection, which was part 1 of 2 in regards to the new direction I'm going with my knitwear. Many of you might have been thinking, "part one? What does that mean...?" Well today I get to tell you.

This part, part two, is an aspect of my business that's been in the works for some time now. One that I've had in the back of my mind as a dream and a possibility for so long I don't really remember how or when it started.
I would mention it off handedly to those closest to me, trying to curb my over enthusiasm for this idea I had that I just couldn't shake, wanting to give it my full attention but needing to let it marinate for just a little bit longer.
To say I've been over-the-moon excited about sharing this is an understatement. 

It starts with the phrase: One-of-a-kind.
AKA: OOAK.

OOAK Knitwear By A Girl Named Leney / www.agirlnamedleney.com

These pieces are inspired by...
the places i’ve been,
the people i’ve met,
the words i’ve read,
the images i’ve created.

All of which are unique, to themselves, their own, one-of-a-kind. 
Much like you are.

OOAK Knitwear By A Girl Named Leney / www.agirlnamedleney.com

I believe that your clothing, what you wear, says a lot about you.
It adds to your story, your make-up, who you are as an individual.

And so, shouldn’t those pieces in and of themselves hold a story all their own?
I think so.
That’s why my knitwear is one-of-a-kind. 
Each design is a piece of art.
Each piece tells a story. 
Of a person. A place. An experience. An idea.
When you own one of these pieces you are the only one to own it.
Aside from me, the creator, you hold it’s story. 
You are now the caretaker of it’s story. 
And it, in turn, becomes a part of yours.
The Stories The Things We Own Tell.
I think they're terribly important, though often overlooked. 
I find that the things we invest in are the things we cherish and value most. Which in turn speaks to what kind of individual we are. What we put stock in. Who we want to be.
At least so is the case for me. 

OOAK Knitwear By A Girl Named Leney / www.agirlnamedleney.com

This is not a new concept for me. 
At least not in the story telling aspect. My designs and the pieces I create often come with their own story. 
"I was knitting this when..."
"I got the idea for this piece from this photo I shot here in..."
"I picked up this yarn there during my travels and I made a..."
"I was on the road and day dreaming out the window and all of a sudden..."

My travels bring together, for me, my two biggest passions: Knitting and photography.
I'm rarely anywhere without knitting in my bag, or a camera (even if it's just my iPhone), everywhere I go I find some yarn to add to The Travel Blanket and the places I see, stories I hear and people I meet always seep into my work in one way or another. 

OOAK Knitwear By A Girl Named Leney / www.agirlnamedleney.com

There's value in scarcity. Individuality. Uniqueness. 

OOAK Knitwear By A Girl Named Leney / www.agirlnamedleney.com

So in addition to The Classics Collection, there will be a rotating selection of OOAK knitwear.
As inspiration strikes, as my suitcase become filled with yarn from far and away and as I find new stories to tell.

Stay tuned for the first piece hitting the the shop soon.

Photos by Meagan Abell

The Classics Collection | A Knit Lookbook

Excited to announce part 1 of 2 in regards to the new direction I'm going with my knitwear! 

In the past I've made seasonal lines or collections of knitwear.
My most recent ones for example were: Gypsy Soul and On The Road.
While I contemplated making new lines for this year, something just wasn't clicking for me every time I set to working on it. 
I realized that every time I phased out a line of knitwear, there were always key pieces that were popular and still frequently asked for even after taking them down from the shop
I realized too that I had my own favorite designs that I myself loved most and chose first when heading out the door, even though I was continually making new knits for myself. 
And so it dawned on me that what I needed to do was just give the people (and myself for that matter) what they wanted.
The cozy accessories that go with everything.
The designs you invest in.
The pieces that become your favorite, well loved, and worn over and over.
The knits you always reach for over all the others time and time again.
The Classics.

And so I present to you, eight timeless pieces carefully selected from my past knitwear collections.
Each simple and minimal in their design, yet versatile in that they're able to be knit in one of 5 neutral colors so as to readily go with anything you own.

If this concept and collection had a sound, as my visual work so often does for me, it would be the hesitant stop-start bubbling of coffee brewing on a Monday morning, chilly waves lapping at a driftwood strewn shore, shrouds shifting against a tall mast on a docked boat, a momentary torrential rainstorm in the middle of a summer-almost-fall day, the low rumbling familiarity of a voice belonging to someone you love, and if it had a mix tape it would sound something like this.

The Classics Collection | A Knit Lookbook