Now that you know a lot of stitches and techniques, you will want to figure out how to find a pattern. There are many many places to purchase patterns. My number one recommendation to new knitters is always Ravelry. This is a knitting community that has forums with groups you can join and chat with other knitters. But, you don’t have to use that at all if you don’t want to. The great thing about Ravelry is its search feature. You can search for anything and everything. You can choose to look at knitting or crochet patterns. You can choose to search for only free patterns. You can search by item type like a sweater or scarf. You can search by yarn weight or amount. And you can combine any number of things to really refine your search. There are so many amazing pattern there and it’s a great resource.
Buying individual patterns usually means that you will be downloading a PDF file. You will need something that will allow you to see and print that pattern. If you prefer to have it on a handheld device of some sort, you can consider a program like Knit Companion, which is an app that allows you to save, see and mark your downloaded patterns. It also has counters to help you track where you are. Downloading patterns means you always want to make sure that your source is reputable. Just doing a search for some kind of pattern doesn’t always work out well. It’s tough to find what you want, and you don’t want to download something that isn’t what it says it is.
Another location for patterns is LoveCrafts. They have lots of patterns, but also sell yarn, which can be handy if you can buy what the pattern tells you to all in one place. Knit Picks is another place the sells yarn and supplies, but also has patterns on their website that is usually made with yarn they stock. I recently bought a pattern from them for a lovely sweater, and was able to choose which size I was planning to make and built my own kit. It was super helpful. Now, of course you don’t have to buy the yarn from them, and can absolutely just buy the pattern and be done.
You will notice that I usually say ‘buy’ the pattern. This is because the majority of patterns are not free. And you might be asking why not. Well, when a design gets to the point of publishing a pattern they have spent weeks if not months on developing this pattern. It’s not fair to expect them to give their work to you for free, regardless of how simple you might think it is. For example, I just finished a cowl pattern that I’m about to send to an editor. First off, the editor charges me for their time, which can run me anywhere from $30 to $300 or more depending on the complexity of the pattern. At this point though I have about 80 hours invested into this pattern. If I was lucky to make $15 an hour, that’s $1,200 already. I would need to sell about 72 copies of this pattern just to break even on my time, and I’m not done yet. I don’t just write up a pattern and go. I also knit the item to make sure the pattern works and that I get the look I envisioned. I also have to spend a month or two supervising a test knit. That is where others knit the pattern to make sure it works. Most patterns are in development for a good 6 months for even simple projects. One of the sweaters I am working on has been on the go for 2 years now. So, as you can see it really is a steal to get a pattern for even $15, but most are somewhere around the $5-10 range. Now that being said, places like Ravelry and LoveCrafts do have a lot of free patterns available.
Now that you have some resources on where to find patterns, feel free to go and browse. Oh, and you do need to sign up for Ravelry, but it’s absolutely free to do so. Happy searching!!