My name is Leney Breeden, and I’m a full-time knitwear designer and traveling photographer based in Richmond, Virginia. I’m the one-woman show behind the knitwear shop, A Girl Named Leney.
I’ve been knitting since I was eight years old, and to me, knitting is more of a lifestyle than a hobby. I opened my shop in 2011 after years of participating in craft shows and selling knits to friends and family. In 2013 I decided to really start taking my shop seriously and designed my first official line of knits. That was the year A Girl Named Leney really started to take off, and seeing how it’s grown since then has been nothing short of amazing.
I find inspiration in many things, but I’m particularly attracted to open water, meeting people, and traveling. I’m the daughter of a sailor and a second-generation adventurer and explorer, so experiencing people and places outside of my comfort zone is what I live for; in fact, whenever I travel I add yarn to my Travel Blanket (seen below) which has become one of my most treasured creations. I’m interested in the clothes people wear, the things they’re passionate about, and the mannerisms and traits specific to them and only them.
I also find inspiration in the art of the everyday; I believe there’s beauty in the routine things that we so often take for granted, like the sound of rain falling on a busy street, the familiar voice of someone you love, or the way a stack of books aligns itself just so. The thought of someone wearing one of my sweaters on their wedding day, giving a scarf I made as a special gift, or taking one of my hats on an exciting trip inspires me to create.
My wayward soul has not only led me to discover things, but also to challenge them. I’ve always believed that if I want something, the only thing that stands between me and it is hard work. I’m so blessed to have a family who has supported and encouraged that mindset.
Etsy has allowed me to sustain myself and do what I love for a living; it’s a space that welcomes creativity and growth. I’m currently learning how to spin yarn, and I hope to incorporate hand-spun yarn into my future designs. I find it fascinating to be involved in an even more basic and elemental beginning stage of creating…which probably means I’m going to own sheep in the near future, so I can just shear the wool off myself! (Kidding. Sort of.)
All photographs by Meagan Abell.