|Image courtesy of International Women's Day|
To mark the day here's my round-up of British women currently leading the way. Apologies if you think I've left out someone you think is important. Please let me know in the comments box below who you would add to the list.
Here are the women in surname order:
Countess Ablaze: expert ultra-colourful yarn dyer Countess Ablaze is about to open new premises in Manchester. Her latest subscription club is The Classics Society.
Rachel Atkinson: the real life daughter of a shepherd used clip from the sheep on the estate her father shepherds to produce her undyed, limited-edition, sustainable yarn skeins. She also regularly contributes patterns to many UK knitting magazines.
Jen Arnall-Culliford: she is a knitting technical expert and editor who writes regular columns for The Knitter magazine demystifying techniques such as steeking and short-row shaping. With her equally talented husband Jim she's due to publish the book A Year of Techniques.
Debbie Bliss: now an MBE, Bliss is an internationally-known name in British knitting. She has published over 35 books, her own knitting magazine and her some of her yarn ranges are British Knitting Award winners.
Verity Britton: she founded Leeds-based yarn shop baaramewe in 2009. Since then the business has launched its own-brand British wool ranges and has championed Yorkshire wool.
Susan Crawford: vintage designer and knitting historian whose Vintage Shetland Project book is eagerly awaited this year. Crawford's honest blog posts detailing her cancer diagnosis and treatment in the past year have inspired and informed many readers.
Kate Davies: with her own yarn Buachaille yarn range, numerous pattern books and an award for UK microbusiness of the year under her belt, Scottish-based Davies is going from strength to strength.
Isla Davison: back in 2015 Davison launched Brityarn, a website with the ethos to only sell British patterns, wool and knitting accessories. It's the first port of call for knitters who want to be sure the yarn they pick is British.
Di Gilpin: her knitwear design business employs 90 home-based knitters across Scotland. She also sells her own range of 100% Scottish lambswool.
Kate Heppell: she has edited Knit Now magazine since it launched in October 2011. The magazine is an entry and intermediate-level publication, which encourages both new and established designers to submit their patterns.
Ann Kingstone: based in Yorkshire, designer Kingstone has written many a pattern book inspired by her surroundings and is an expert on stranded knits.
Kerry Lord: Lord founded and runs Toft Alpaca in Warwickshire, which produces its own sumptuous yarns, knitting and crochet patterns, and quarterly magazine. She is probably best-known for her Edward's Menagerie book range.
Louise Scollay: she is the brainchild and editor of the blog and podcast website KnitBritish. Scollay has done much to raise the profile and benefits of British wool in an entertaining fashion. Catch her at Edinburgh Yarn Festival this weekend on 10th and 11th March where she will be running the podcast lounge.
Marie Wallin: formerly Head Designer at Rowan, Wallin now runs workshops, has her own Fairisle Club Knitalong and publishes beautiful hand-knit colourwork designs.
If you enjoy reading this blog I'd be grateful if you would follow it and forward the web address to your friends. Are you a British pattern designer and/or yarn producer who would like to let me know about your products? If so please leave your email and/or web address in the comments box below. I'm working on setting up a contact email address for this blog.