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Meet Shirley Paden

GBKG Members’ Meeting December 16, 2001 submitted by Guild Secretary, Kathleen Maguire


103 members attended the December meeting.

The meeting started with Show & Tell highlighting work from published designers who are members of our guild. Our talent is amazing & thanks for sharing. Contributions from: Liz Nields, Valerie Hobbs, Jennifer Walth, Jeri Riggs, Mary Beth Kelsey and Laura Konopka.


President Cynthia Doherty opened the meeting and greeted all. Special thanks to our dedicated friends attending from the other side of the globe where their start time was 2 a.m. We are actively working on connecting to the world through social media. The Guild has a FaceBook for members-only page at GBKG Meeting Place and we will soon be launching on Instagram. During the past year, we have hosted guests from around the globe. In 2022 we plan to continue on this exciting voyage and there will be lots of volunteer opportunities. We are also exploring in-person events keeping in mind that many of our members are not located in the Greater Boston area. Thank you to all for being a part of this wonderful diverse community. All levels from beginners to designers are welcome.


Alice Gray, our membership chair, modeled the Aspen Pullover sweater that was knit and designed by our member, Liz Nields. She also reported on membership numbers: 269 individuals and 11 businesses representing 20 states and 4 countries. Don’t forget, GBKG members receive a 10 percent discount from our business members.

Cynthia introduced our guest speaker, Shirley Paden.


In 1992 after recovering from major surgery, Shirley left the boardroom behind & her marketing/sales IT career to create a signature line of custom knitwear embracing her love for lace, cables & colors …. and reinvented herself as a knitwear designer.

She developed a theory that she calls “Trend With Tradition”. She is inspired by all the traditions that preceded us & following those philosophies, she transitions the concept into current trends while pursuing excellence. She has also developed a 4-step design process: thought process; fabric selection process; planning process & sharing the knowledge process.


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 hand-knit garment design, Shirley distilled those lessons into her first book “Knitwear Design Workshop (KDW)” and a second book, “Duets & Inspirations”. These reference guides snowballed into a series of global knitting events. Knitting enthusiasts and designers from around the world come together to participate in online adventures called “Design-A-Longs (DALs)”. Part design boot camp; part knit along, these challenges yield many unique designs.

Shirley has also created her own app (Handknit Garment Design) and continues to host courses worldwide. Her innovative and focused methods empower other artists to design handknit clothing from scratch and custom commercial knitting patterns. She is currently launching a new Design-A-Long & all are invited to attend including new knitters. The DAL will kick off in January 2022 & run thru April. You can find information on her website at www.shirleypaden.com/dal6signup.com.

Shirley is the owner of Shirley Paden Custom Knits located at 414 East 52nd Street, New York City.

Shirley generously donated 5 of her books for our raffle. Lucky raffle winners: Maria Blewitt, Barbara Higgins, Beverly Linnane, Robyn Booth & Sonora Larson.


Members were welcome to stay online for a chat & knit social session. Thank you Shirley for a truly inspirational presentation.

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