Shirley Paden

When Shirley Paden first embraced the art of knitting, it was a hands-on revelation. In 1992 she left the boardroom behind to create a signature line of custom knitwear. Recovering from major surgery, and with hardly a stitch to her name, she began her own journey of creative re-discovery.

Entirely self-taught, Shirley founded her business with 16 hand-knit garment designs. Since then, she has been influencing the industry through her designs, classes, and publications. After years of teaching handknit garment design and experiencing her students’ joy for the creative process, Shirley distilled those lessons into her first book Knitwear Design Workshop (KDW). This seminal reference guide snowballed into a series of global knitting events. Knitting enthusiasts and designers from around the world came together to participate in an online adventure they called Design-Alongs (DALs). Part design boot camp part Knit-Along, these virtual challenges yielded many unique designs. 

Today, the internationally acclaimed knitwear designer has written two instructional books, created her own app, and continues to host courses worldwide. Shirley’s innovative and focused methods empower other artists to design hand-knit clothing from scratch and customize commercial knitting patterns.