Between The Sheets

Things We Love

Interview with luxury knitwear brand CHICKPEA

Designer-maker Harriett Grist launched her luxury knitwear brand CHICKPEA in 2017 from her garden studio in Winchester, Hampshire. Using pure lambswool yarn and a domestic knitting machine, Harriett designs practical and stylish homewares that act as a wonderful accessory in any living space. We spoke to Harriet to better understand her creative design process.



How did you get started in textile design, and what led you to pursue it as a career?

Ever since I was little, my mum always had us engaging with art and crafts and having a go on her sewing machine (she is a wonderful seamstress). Then throughout school I think it became apparent quite early on that I was far more in tune with the more creative subjects - it was certainly where I’d dedicate most of my energy and time. Once it was time to choose a direction for further education, I opted to study textiles at college, having gained a fascination with fabrics, textures and materials during my formative years. It was then the easiest decision for me to pursue the subject further and carry on the textiles journey at Bath School of Art and Design. It was here where I was really able to start expressing myself and finding my (initial) style. When you find something you love to do, I think it just makes perfect sense to try and give it your all; and if you can, turn it into something you can do everyday and build a career around.


How did CHICKPEA come to life? 

After I graduated in 2016, I felt a bit lost and didn’t quite know what to do next or how to turn my passion into a business. Luckily, I bumped into my now partner, Will, at a Christmas temp job we’d both taken to get some income. He had studied business at university, so when I expressed my desire to turn my ideas into a business, he was more than happy to guide me on how to get started. Shortly after, I set up CHICKPEA in January 2017 out of my garden studio in Winchester. The brand name is made up from a mixture of family nicknames between me and my two sisters - chicken and pea. The first collection was based around a textiles sample I designed at university, inspired by stationery compositions I had created. That’s when CHICKPEA really came to life!


What led you to use the materials you do for CHICKPEA products, i.e. Lambswool and duck feather ? 

I experimented with lambswool yarn at university and instantly felt a connection and affinity towards the material. I adored how the material could be manipulated through knitting and washing, to create something that felt so soft and luxurious. Once I discovered lambswool and its characteristics, I never looked back and focused all my time on it. Then the reason I use duck feather for the cushion pads simply comes down to wanting to add further luxury and pair the lambswool with a contemporary that complements it. There is nothing quite like a plump duck feather cushion to sink into at the end of a long day!


You create a wide range of new patterns and colourways, where do you find the inspiration for your designs?

At first, all the designs for my first collection were inspired by stationery patterns. I would spend days experimenting on the floor, trialling different items with each other, seeing what patterns and textures would emerge and work together. Ultimately, the collection centred around graph paper and pen lids; the paper providing grids and the pen lids offering a contrast in colour and a definitive end to the pattern. More recently, the designs for the newer collections have been adaptations of the original collection and exploring stripes. I love stripes. There was a time where you would only ever see me wearing stripes. Whilst I don’t wear them as much now, I am so in love with them in my designs and how they add boldness to products and spaces.



Styling my products with Tielle linen was a match made in heaven. You can’t beat luxury crisp white bedding that gives you a sense of a night away at a luxury hotel, but to enjoy every night! The softness of the Oatmeal Linen Quilt compliments my lambswool cushions perfectly and creates sumptuous cosy textures you just wanted to jump into. Having a crisp white luxurious cotton as a blank canvas was so refreshing to work with. It really made the stripes and colours from my knitted accessories pop, whilst obtaining a cohesive homely and natural scheme.


What do you think the next big trends will be in interior design?

I believe spaces will become more personalised, with people starting to leave minimalism behind, instead opting for eclectic and rich colour palettes. Items in the home, such as bedding, that used to offer the splash of colour, will instead offer the neutrality and freshness that the rest of the room/home will be built upon, effectively inverting how many people tend to build in colour currently. I also think now that society is becoming far more focussed on sustainability, nic nacs, art and other flea market finds will be what adds personality to spaces inside our homes. Antique and mid-century pieces either found out and about or handed down through the generations will be what become the focal points in curated spaces.


When designing your own home and bedroom, what were the most important things to you?

Creating a fresh and comforting space to relax. My mum always says, you can never have too many cushions and I definitely live by that motto! I therefore start with a lovely, neutral colour palette for bedding and throws and build up from there. Using the crisp white or linen as a backdrop, I then build on that with bold colours in my cushion covers. For the rest of the room, I love handmade pieces to add interest and texture and artwork for additional colour. Most importantly, it’s all about creating a space you love and will enjoy whilst not limiting yourself to current trends.



What are some easy ways to add design flourishes to your home?

Walls: It’s easy to default to white or a neutral tone when painting a room but adding colour or pattern to the walls can transform a space into something that’s expressing an element of design or a personal take on a trend. You can then break up the colour with neutral base layers, like white bedding and linen throws, before building it up again with accessories.

Layering textiles: in the bedroom especially, using bedding as a blank canvas allows you to add personality through cushions and throws etc. Layering and mixing colours and textures creates a unique space that enables you to express your personality. Also, these pieces are never a permanent fixture; I love the idea that you can change cushion covers and blankets and you can create a whole new vibe.

Lighting: this plays a huge part in creating a space. It’s often left until last and hidden in the background but there are so many cool statement lamps or lampshades which can add a quick and simple element of design to your home.

Nature: bringing the outdoors in adds another element of interest to a space. Fresh flowers or green plants brighten a space. It also gives you an easy extra item to work with when styling and acts as a wonderful contrast against neutral colour items you may use for bedding or furniture. 


Discover Harriett’s amazing products at and use code TiellexCHICKPEA for 10% off. 

Be sure to also follow Harriett over on Instagram for more incredible styling updates -