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Smart Monkey

Leah Anderson creates natural knitwear

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With a name as cute as Smart Monkey, I knew I would like owner and creator Leah Andersson’s designs. She’s earth-friendly, eco-conscious, and a natural recycler right down to what she uses to make her knit sweaters, shawls and scarves.

Andersson, who learned to knit while spending summers with her grandparents as a child, explained the process very simply, “I gather sweaters and other knit items from thrift stores, unravel them, wind the yarn onto racks, wash, let dry, wind them up and then use the salvaged yarn to make fantastic items.”

She’s also creating hot, new stuff out of old material in the South Sound with the aid of stay-at-home moms.

Smart Monkey knitwear is made only from natural fabrics: wool, ramie, silk and cotton. The patterns in her designs resemble flowing water with blues, greens, and purples.

“I’m inspired mostly by color,” says Andersson. “I enjoy trying to recreate classic color combinations and come up with new ones.”

Andersson excitedly shares that she’s finally using the degree she received in San Francisco from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise. Andersson recognizes that many people have allergies or aversion to wool due to its itchy tendencies and so uses cotton in its place for the upcoming winter hats and scarves.

Originally from Ventura, Calif., Andersson couldn’t imagine knitting in that sunny climate, but here in the Northwest, the cold weather acts as inspiration.

For more information on Smart Monkey clothing, contact Andersson at 253.229.2841 or

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