Lisa Richardson Portrait

Knitting is such a tactile process

and every step should be a joy. As senior designer at Rowan Lisa wears many hats, but her eclectic design style is always inspired by nature, and she’s never happier than when out on the Yorkshire moors.

my collection

yarn, fabric, buttons, bits and pieces

that may or may not come in handy one day

I am a typical crafter, always thinking that I could make something rather than buying it and looking for a way to customise or adapt my clothes, or items of furniture for the home or garden. I don’t like to throw anything away and I love a bit of DIY!

Lisa Richardson Designer My Collection
on my needles
Lisa Richardson Designer On My Needles

is a Beloved headband

for my mum, in Pure Cashmere

which is such a joy to knit with. I don’t often get the time to knit just for fun, but I love the Scallop Sweater in Felted Tweed with its wide asymmetric shape, so I couldn’t resist making one for myself.

I would describe my design style as eclectic but understated

I have a background in tailoring so always begin a design by thinking about the construction and how it will work on the body. I like shape, texture and colourwork and a variety of different weights and types of yarns. I am usually working to a brief and coming up with a design solution that fits, so I think it helps to be quite adaptable.

Lisa Richardson Designer Recent Designer Centre

My favourite Rowan yarn is Felted Tweed

Because of its versatility and colour palette. It’s also gorgeous worked together with Kidsilk Haze.


My favourite stitch is slip-stitch colourwork

A surprisingly easy technique to master, but one that looks really impressive when knitted up.

inspired by


I would say that it is the one constant in my design process

and provides all the inspiration I could ever need. I am fortunate to live in a pretty wonderful place in Rowan’s home county, Yorkshire, and can look out at the landscape from my home studio. When I’m not working, I love to be out in the countryside, exploring, walking and gathering ideas; I never really switch off.

Lisa Richardson Designer Inspired By
design icon

Not really a design icon

but I’m going with British actor Helena Bonham Carter

Her individual, quirky style really appeals to me and I love that she doesn’t follow trends but knows her own mind and is strong and independent.

when not knitting

I can usually be found

With my sleeves rolled up

and either renovating my house, or pottering in my garden, planting fruit trees in the orchard, checking in on the bee hive, tending to the vegetable patch or trying to keep the chickens from eating all the greens!

Lisa Richardson Designer When Not Knitting
happiest when
Lisa Richardson Designer Happiest When

I am out on the Moors

either walking or running in the fresh air

with big skies and nothing but hills as far as the eye can see. I love travelling and visiting different locations when art directing the Rowan photoshoots or teaching workshops, but I am always happiest when I return home to the Yorkshire landscape.

If I wasn’t a knitwear designer I would have liked to have been an art therapist

For me, being creative and making things by hand is such a necessary form of expression and it’s so rewarding to see how much craft can help people. When I was studying, I thought about going into costume design for theatre and I still like to bring a lot of storytelling and dressing up to my collections. Creating a design story for the magazine is a lot like putting on a play.

I am very bad at not getting distracted

I’m always thinking about a million different projects and find it hard to focus all of my attention on one thing at a time.

The best advice I’ve ever been given is to BREATHE

Simple and effective, but something that I often need to remind myself to do. It works in all situations from being stressed out by a deadline or tricky situation at work, to trying to stand on one leg in a yoga class!