Meet the Fellows: Leesa Gehman

I’m Leesa (pronounced Lisa, just spelled funny!) of Lucky Rose Knits. I live in Northeastern Pennsylvania with my partner, my son, and a menagerie of animals. I primarily knit, though I dabble in crochet, and recently started designing my own knitwear. My background is in art/art therapy and I work in human services, supporting individuals with developmental disabilities.

How did you get into knitting & designing knitwear?
I honestly don’t recall how I really got into knitting, but I know that I learned through watching YouTube videos. I didn’t know anyone who knit and I didn’t know where to even begin to find someone to teach me… and then I realized there was a place on the internet for that, as there usually is!

As for designing – well, at least one good thing came out of COVID! I’ve knit for well over a decade at this point, but I haven’t really thought about designing my own things until we were in lockdown. I learned how to double knit and everything just sort of clicked. I’ve found that I really love designing. It appeals to my deep-rooted love of puzzles and trying to figure out how to get what’s in my head to paper and then to into an actual feasible pattern.

What does your design process look like?
I usually start with a general idea and jot it down on the notes section of my phone. Sometimes I look at the ideas I have there, but generally they will spur my imagination. It might not be exactly in the realm of what I originally intended, but that’s the fun part of designing.

What are you best known for as a designer?
As a fairly new designer, I think I’m mostly just figuring it out myself! I think I just want to be known has have creative or different designs. Something that makes you pause and go – “well, now that’s different!” (in a good way!).

What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most?
I design a lot of cowls and I’m working my way into scarves, which is mainly what I enjoy knitting. I also enjoy working on baby blankets and hats.

What designers do you admire & why?
I love cables & creative structural designs. For cables, Susanne Daum, Alice Starmore, and Lucy Hague come to mind. Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Ambah O’Brien, and Melanie Berg are other designers I gravitate towards. My queue in Ravelry is massive – much like my musical tastes, my design taste tends to be very eclectic.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
Outside of the fiber community, I am a pretty social person, so spending time with my family and friends is very important to me. I have a 19 year old son and for my 40th birthday and his high school graduation, two years ago we did the most fun thing ever and went to Germany during the Christmas season.I can’t wait to be able to travel again. I also love to go to concerts – live music is one of my favorite things in the world.

Is there anything else you’d like our knitters to know about you?
You might think I really love roses, but that’s not how I came up with the name (to be honest, my favorite flower is a Daisy). My dogs are Lucky and Rosie – two Bassett Hound mixes. Lucky is my cranky old man and is a Bassett Weimeraner mix, while Rosie is the newest member of our household and is a Bassett Lab mix.

Also, my very lovely model for all my designs is my son’s girlfriend, Sam. She is kind enough to model all of my handknits for my patterns and put up with me telling her (in the words of Tyra Banks’ and America’s Next Top Model) to “Smize!”

Find Leesa on Instagram as @LuckyRoseKnits and see more of her designs on her designer page on Ravelry.

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