I’m Gemma Dudley, founder of The Little Grey Girl and - as you’d expect - an avid knitter and maker. Owning an indie yarn-dying and project-bag-making business means I get to be creative every day, but it wasn’t always so. 

My Story

I started my career in banking in my twenties rather by accident, getting a foot on the corporate ladder to pay the London bills but then finding myself still there more than a decade later. I’d climbed up a rung or two and was paying the bills and then some, but I felt out of place and pretty miserable. My creative self - the one with 2 Art A Levels - longed to leave but was a bit trapped. 

I dabbled with one or two creative pursuits but nothing stuck - until I found knitting. When a relative came home from the haberdashery department in which she worked with a kit, I decided to give it a try. I bought some cheap wool, taught myself different stitches using YouTube videos and before long knitting became an obsession. An escape from the 9-5 world. It turned out there was a shop a short bus ride from me that sold yarn (little did I know my ‘local’ was one of the most well-known in London - Loop) - I soon became a regular! I signed up to classes and connected with fellow knitters via social media, becoming part of a knitting community and discovering my people. Knitters don’t all fit the ‘little old lady’ stereotype!

And I guess it was this realisation that helped plant The Little Grey Girl seed. You see, I began looking for a project bag to take my knitting projects on the daily commute, but couldn’t find one in a fabric that wasn’t, well, flowery. Nothing wrong with flowers - just not my style. So I made one myself, putting my sewing skills to good use. My friends were also keen on having a project bag made in a funky fabric, and soon my sewing machine began to whirr every evening and provide the creative outlet I longed for. 

In 2015 I attended a week-long retreat with fellow crafters, who encouraged me to sell my bags as a business, and so The Little Grey Girl was born with a vision to create high-quality products for the modern maker.

From little acorns

I don’t do anything in halves. My dad would always say: “If anything’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly” and this has stuck with me. So I began by pitching for a stall at one of the biggest yarn shows and, incredibly, got a place. I frantically handmade 120 bags (with a little help from mum) in a range of fabulous fabrics in between the day job, and went to the show with a mix of trepidation and excitement. What if they didn’t sell? But they did! 

This success gave me the confidence to continue. I took 250 bags (thank you, mum) in a variety of shapes and sizes to the next show - and my business has continued to grow, thanks to you, my lovely customers. My first-ever customer remains a customer today.

From bags to yarns

During Covid, I branched out from making project bags to hand dyeing yarns. I’d left banking by this point so was able to focus entirely on growing The Little Grey Girl and the time was right to get creative with a new product range. I sought advice from fellow small-business crafters, did plenty of research and gave dyeing a try. 

Now I’m proud to say hand-dyed yarns are a core part of the business. I’ve created a signature style in brilliant, bold tones and highly saturated shades. If you’re looking to create something eye-catching, you’ll love my yarn. 

Quality assured

My product range may be expanding, but my attention to detail hasn’t wavered. Every bag and skein in my collection is handmade in small batches to assure premium quality and reduce waste. I pride myself on the care and precision you’d expect of an artisan maker.

What’s in a name?

You might be wondering why I called a crafting business selling bags and yarns ‘The Little Grey Girl’ (TLGG). After all, my hand-dyed yarns and fun fabrics are anything but grey! Well, I only ever wear grey or black (and I’m only 5’2”) - BUTI love to accessorise with a pop of colour, and so there it is. I like to think of it as dressing to accessorise - and there’s no better way than with beautifully bright fabrics & yarns.

Our community

TLGG was born to reflect my personality and your personality. To share my passion and to play a supporting role in yours. You can join our crafting community by:

  • Signing up to our newsletter to become a TLGG VIP. Enjoy exclusive offers, sneak peeks at new products, news updates, project inspiration and enabling.
  • Following us on Instagram @thelittlegreygirluk
  • Popping by to say hello if you see me at a show
  • Getting in touch to share your projects, ask any questions or seek advice. I’m on hand to help and love to hear from you.