Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Five Favorite Sites for Free Patterns

All you have to do is google the words “free crochet patterns” and about 4,290,000 results show up (not an exageration). This can be very overwhelming; especially since many of these websites are just trying to get you to buy things. Maybe you like being bombarded by constant commercials, but I don’t need these websites trying to sell me craft products. I live several blocks away from two different craft stores, and a yarn store. I have plenty of other crafty temptation within walking distance to my home. Rather than having an internet search engine give you millions of results when all you want is a perfect pattern for your cousins birthday, here are some suggestions to simplify the process.
In no particular order, here is a list of my five favorite sites for free patterns.
  • Lion Brand Yarn is a great website for patterns. Once you sign up for a free membership, you can search their database based on yarn, knit vs crochet, weight, project, size, difficulty level and key words. Though they suggest that you use their yarn for the projects, you don’t have to. As long as you match the weight and gauge of the yarn, your project they should be fine. Also, those in the New York City area have the benefit of the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Here you can find yarn, crochet/knitting help, books, supplies, classes, free group meetings and a crochet/knit doctor to help you when you get stuck. They also have computers and printers available so you can print your pattern, buy your yarn, and get it started right in the yarn studio. I have been there for a class, and the women there are lovely. I highly recommend those living in or visiting NYC to check it out.

  • Red Heart Yarn has a database very similar to the one at the Lion Brand Website. Though I find the the Lion Brand database a little more extensive, Red Heart has the benefit of Debbie Stoller and The Double Stitch Twins.  Debbie Stoller is the author of the Stitch and Bitch series; books on knitting and crochet. She also has her own line of yarn, and writes for Bust Magazine (one of my favorite craft magazines). The Double Stitch Twins  are sisters, who have written several pattern books. By collaborating with these three talented women, Red Heart Yarn is able to supply patterns that are a bit more edgy than those found on the Lion Brand website.

  • Nerdigurumi is a crochet/amigurumi blog that I adore. The author of this blog has patterns, videos and tutorials for all sorts of characters. She has video game characters, cartoons, and a lot of random fun projects. She even has a no-sew cheese burger. I love this blog, and strongly suggest it as a resource for those looking to crochet neat little amigurumi dolls or just to be entertained by random cuteness.
  • Crochet Geek is a blog where I found the patterns for some of my first projects. In addition to patterns, the author supplies video tutorials for each pattern listed. When I first started to crochet, I found patterns to be a bit confusing to read and follow. To be honest, It’s been a year since I found her videos and I still find patterns to be a bit confusing at times. The videos on the Crochet Geek site and youtube channel are easy to follow along and her projects beautifully simple to complete.
  • Ravelry is my absolute favorite site for crochet patterns. Their database includes both free patterns and paid patterns. It is more extensive than either Lion Brand or Red Heart and makes it easier to narrow down results. Not only can you find patterns, Ravelry provides a whole yarn community. There are groups, message boards, places to shop, and an events calendar. It also serves as a social networking site, allowing you to add friends and browse each others current, past, and favorite projects. Ravelry is my go-to site for anything related to crochet.
Enjoy these suggestions, and feel free to leave some of your favorite pattern resources in the comment box below.

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