June 2021 marks the 51st annual celebration of Pride, which began in 1970 as a march to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprisings; a pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history. With modern day parties and parades it’s easy to forget to true meaning of pride – a celebration of the revolutionary events of The Stonewall Inn, a protest and an important fight for equality which is still ongoing. To celebrate Pride this year, we wanted to put the spotlight on some of our favourite LGBTQ+ designers, who are not only creating stunning designs but are doing so whilst be unapologetically proud.
Yu Ra, known as KnitBoop online, is a knitter, crocheter, spinner and knitwear designer who first began designing in 2019. Her designs often reference her Korean heritage, with a gorgeous use of textured techniques and careful consideration of colours. She is also the host of Quiet Queers Craftalong, a virtual craft-along created in response to the corporate rainbow-washing of Pride and the inaccessibility of some Pride events.
The QQC gives queer crafters and their allies a place to come together, encouraging makers to create art using patterns and/or materials from queers makers and designers highlighting the amazing queer talent in the LGBTQ+ community.
Sarah from Swanky Emu Knits designs size inclusive patterns – in an truly incredible way. Inspired by her struggle of having to modify every garment she’s ever knitted. Sarah came up with the sizing with spreadsheets method, meaning her patterns work for absolutely every body size and shape! With no upper or lower body size limits, each pattern comes with an accompanying spreadsheet that automatically creates a custom-sized pattern based on a few of your unique body measurements. Amazing!!
Em, AKA Stitch.Gremlin is a fledgling knitwear designer of gender-free, size-inclusive, and budget-friendly patterns. They take inspiration from the world around them to create beautiful textured pieces such as the Moria Scarf picture here – inspired by the angular architectural shapes within the beautiful art of Alan Lee and The Lord of The Rings movies. We think they’ve done an amazing job with this design! You can find their designs either on Ravelry or on Payhip.
Solène Le Roux from KnitPause is a knitwear designer and host of creative knitting retreats. She has a very considerate and reflective approach to knitwear design, with great attention to detail within her designs. They often have beautiful textured details created from wonderful stitch patterns. She also runs knitting retreats located in gorgeous natural surroundings where you can be inspired to be your most creative self.
Tommy from Tommy Plays With Fibre is a lover of all fibre arts with a focus on knitting, having learnt to knit when they were ten years old. Their patterns have such a unique attention to colourwork detail, creating bold, geometric knits that are fabulously eye-catching. Tommy is pictured here in the Threeequency Pullover, their newest pattern which you can find here on their blog!
Duke from Duke of Nikko began knitting in his mid 30’s, learning to crochet several years after. Many of his designs are inspired by Japan – where he was born and raised – or by the LGBTQ+ community, showcased through bright and brilliant colourwork. Pictured is his Cha (Tea) Reversible Coaster pattern, which like many of his designs, uses the double knitting technique to create a delightful reversible piece.
Corin from i.knit.u.knot is a knitter and crocheter, who primarily creates stunning crochet accessory patterns, including shawls, cowls and wall hangings! For their newest pattern The Skylines Shawl, pictured here, they take inspiration from the beautiful building facades in cities big and small. Most of their patterns are available for free to enable accessibility for all and you can download them here!
Dan Lee from EdwinJohnKnits has been knitting since around 2009 and creates spectacular colourwork accessories. These knitted works of art are bold, bright and beautiful – the perfect thing to make you stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons! The designer turned indie dyer also sells hand dyed yarns as striking and unique as their patterns. You can find both their yarns and patterns on their Etsy.
Elizabeth from Elizabeth Margaret Designs has been knitting since she was 18 years old, but only began creating her own designs in 2020 whilst sheltering in place during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Since then, she has created a handful of stunning designs that are feminine, elegant and timeless, whilst also being easily customisable for those who want to add their own mark onto the pieces. She is seen here wearing her Renard Silk Dress – due to be released in August 2021. We can’t wait to see what else she comes up with!
Caroline from CDickDesigns is a knitwear designer who mainly focuses on accessories such as shawls and socks. They take inspiration from the surrounding world, including their love of reading fantasy novels. They also create designs inspired by ancient symbols as well as their Indigenous heritage, incorporating traditional motifs without offering appropriative designs, such as in the Raven Pullover. Pictured here are the Pern Socks, inspired by Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books, a delightful design with delicate cabled detailing.
Liam from Transmutation Knits designs for the witch inside all of us, combining his passion for creating patterns that tell stories, with his desire to make a difference in the industry through accessible patterns, teaching resources, and writing about trans and gender non-conforming perspectives. Designing since 2019, he creates ethereal, refined knits with an air of delicate beauty, often combining colourwork and textured stitch patterns.
Cynthia from High Contrast Knits is a colourwork enthusiast, creating superb patterned socks. Pictured here is the Summer Sweetness pattern, with an adorable, all over strawberry motif! These delightful and intricate patterns may look difficult, but they have been written for the sock knitter who is familiar with sock construction and is ready to attempt colour work. You can find her designs on both Ravelry and Payhip.
Ellie from Skeinanigans is the designer of size-inclusive and adaptable knitting patterns. Since learning to knit in 2016, and releasing her first pattern in 2018 – the popular Northeasterly blanket – Ellie has created wide range of beautiful patterns. Pictured here is the Rock Candy Mountain Shawl, a simple yet stunning shawl inspired by prism and light refraction. For any knitting DnD fans out there, Ellie also runs the DnD/Knitting stream Dungeons and Dropped Stitches.
We’ve chosen to use our platform to highlight smaller designers, hence why some of the more well known names in LGBTQ+ knitwear design have been left out of this article. We hope this blog post will inspire you and your future knitting projects. Until Next Time… Happy Knitting!