Finding free patterns

Written on September 13, 2009 at 6:18 pm
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There are a lot of patterns that you will find online (or in a magazine or a book) that will require you to pay for it. Patterns are generally inexpensive (ranging from a dollar to, at most, usually about $10) and the people who put them up on their websites or Etsy accounts are (usually) the person who designed, tested and is selling the pattern. Now, I say usually because some people are not honest and will commit theft and try to sell someone else’s pattern as their own. But, that is not the basis for this article, it is the idea of being able to find free patterns.

You have a lot of different sources to go to for free patterns and learning tutorials for knitting and crocheting. If you go to your local public library, I’m sure you can find a lot of books that teach people how to start a project, how to do various stitches and even give a few beginner patterns for you to do in the book. This is a great source because if you have a library card, and return your materials on time, you will have the materials to learn for free (minus your hooks, needles and yarn). I’ve found that learning from books geared towards teaching children how to crochet and knit are generally the best illustrated, especially if you’re more of a visual learner. They have simple and clear instructions, as well as illustrated directions to show you how to maneuver the yarn around your knitting needles or crochet hook.

Knitting patterns and tutorials are a lot easier to find online and offline, than crochet patterns and tutorials. Knitting is considerably older than crochet is, knitting has been around for centuries and crochet is the new kid on the block when it comes to fibre arts.

Beyond just inputting “free crochet pattern” or “free knit pattern” into your favourite search engine of choice (even though this is a completely valid way to go), other methods of finding free patterns that you may wish to consider include:

  • Joining a free crafting community with a crochet or knit section, such as Members are frequently posting up their brand new projects and will sometimes include the pattern that they designed for the item, free of charge.
  • Joining a crafting community that is focused on fibre arts (spinning, weaving, crocheting, knitting). is a knit and crochet community that has a very wonderful patterns section. You can select options of free or paid, crochet or knit, yarn weight and type of project (hats, sweaters, gloves, toys, blankets, etc.)
  • Your local yarn store and/or an arts and crafts chain store. I will frequently find that there are free pattern pads set up right by the yarn that the pattern calls for. These are generally free (do check before ripping it off the pad) will tell you straight off the bat if it’s for crochet or knit (or has versions for both) and the difficulty level.
  • Websites of yarn companies. I’m not kidding, some of those big-name companies that make all that yarn that you use have free patterns (for both knit and crochet) available on their websites. Some will require you to sign up for an account (generally you don’t need to include very much personal information beyond your name, birth date, country and email) and then you have full access to their free patterns. Some companies that do this include Bernat, Lion Brand, Red Heart and Patons. Do you have a favourite yarn company? Check their website to see if they have free patterns!

It is really easy to end up with a rather decent collection of patterns just by collecting the free ones, but remember that just because a pattern is free does not mean that you can use it to make things to sell. Some patterns will state that they are for personal use only and that you may not use them to make items for sale. Some yarn companies will allow you to use their patterns for sales, but only if you use their brand of yarn (which is a fair condition). If the pattern does not state that you are not allowed or are allowed to use it to make items for sale, it is generally good practice to assume that it is not allowed if you cannot track down a way of contacting the designer to ask for permission.

And now that you have all those free patterns, have fun working on all those projects!

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