An avid knitter for over 10 years, Donna enjoys sharing her free patterns and knitting experience with other fiber fans and yarn lovers.
The internet has become the first source that many people go to for information, and knitters and crocheters have embrace it eagerly. There are thousands of websites and blogs devoted to discussing knitting and crocheting, patterns, techniques, and tips.
I've put together a list of some of the best FREE online resources for knitters and crocheters. I'll admit, this list might focus more on knitting, but there are some great sites here for both crafts.
Ravelry.com (www.ravelry.com) is probably the largest and most popular website devoted to knitting and crocheting. It is a free membership site where you can record your projects, search new patterns, find yarn stores and products, see other people's projects, and connect with other fiber enthusiasts through the Ravelry groups and discussion boards. Simply put: if you're not on Ravelry, you should be.
I go on daily to see the new patterns that have been added to their database and to check in with the online groups I've joined. I also use it to research yarn before making a purchase and I even found a local knitting group there :)
KnittersReview (www.knittersreview.com) is another well-known resource for knitter's and crocheters. The site offers great reviews of yarns and new books as they are released.
I particularly like the collection of "how to" links, where you can find information on everything from caring for and washing your projects, to felting an item, to adding beads to a projects, and making yarn substitutions. This site is easy to understand and navigate, and definitely one to bookmark.
Knitmap (www.knitmap.com) is a database of yarn shops around the world. You can type in a city and find a list of the local yarn stores there, along with directions, store hours, links to their website, and customer reviews. (Or you can just type in a store's name and get this information.) You can also view the store's location on a map and create a yarn crawl, or road trip, of stores to visit on a map.
One note: the information in the Knitmap database is usually entered and updated by the stores themselves. It is not always current. I would suggest you call or look at the store's website to make sure that their hours and location have not changed before visiting.
Everyone knows that YouTube (www.youtube.com) is a great place to watch music videos, clips from your favorite tv shows and movies, and the funny antics of cats. But YouTube is also a great resource for tutorials on just about any and every knitting or crochet technique. This is a very handy place to go if you have any questions while working on a project. Although the videos can be of varying quality, it doesn't take long to find a video that will help you. And you can always stop the video and replay it as you work along with the tutorial.
I love using YouTube videos for doing the Kitchener Stitch. Although I've done this stitch many times, I always like to watch a video tutorial before starting to remind me of the steps.
Yarndex.com (www.yarndex.com) is a very comprehensive online database of yarn from most major manufacturers. If you are looking for information about a certain type of yarn, you can find it in the Yarndex, along with photos of the yarn on color cards. You can also search for yarn by weight, fiber content, and by color.
I can be very picky about the color and texture of the yarn I use, and I buy a lot of my yarn online. Computer monitors can display colors differently and often it's hard to tell the true color of the yarn when pictured on websites. I use Yarndex to double check the color and texture of yarn against another photo and confirm what the yarn really looks like before purchasing. (I will often check on Ravelry too to see more photos and look at other people's projects so I know what the yarn will look like when it's knitted up.)
Knitty and Twist Collective
Knitty (www.knitty.com) is a quarterly online magazine which features free knitting patterns, feature articles, and reviews of new books and products. This fun site offers beautiful photographs and great information in every issue. They also have a wonderful blog with news items from the knitting world, regular features on spinning and dyeing, and free giveaways!!
Twist Collective (www.twistcollective.com) is another great online knitting magazine. Also quarterly, Twist Collective has lots of articles on new products and informative tips on getting the best results with your knitting (they also have a very funny, yet informative, advice column). This magazine offers really beautiful photos of new patterns in each issue, but they are not free. Even though you have to pay to purchase the patterns, I feel Twist Collective is worthy of being included here because of their free articles and advice.
KnittingHelp (www.knittinghelp.com) is a great resource, particularly for beginning knitters. This site has some wonderful, easy-to-follow video tutorials of beginning and intermediate knitting stitches and techniques. There is also a complete list of knitting abbreviations commonly used in most knitting patterns and links to free patterns.
I have this site bookmarked and often visit it for refreshers on stitches and techniques that I don't often use or abbreviations that I don't understand.
About.com Knitting & About.com Crochet
About.com also has great information on knitting and crocheting. On these sites, you can find tutorials on getting started, links to patterns, and reviews of new products and books.
I found a really helpful tutorial on how to bind off my knitting with a picot edge, which I always refer back to when I need it.
Grandmother's Pattern Book
I just recently found Grandmothers Pattern Book (www.grandmotherspatternbook.com). I'm still working my way around the site, but it appears to be an online database of free knitting and crochet patterns, along with illustrations on how to do fancy stitches.
You can navigate through the site using the buttons or links at the top of the page. The free patterns seem to be grouped by the month that they were added to the site. This makes it difficult to browse through them. I found the easiest thing to do is click the "free pattern links" button at the top of the page, then use the search bar in the upper right corner. You can search for things like "jewelry" or "baby blanket". This will bring up each heading that has patterns that meet your search criteria. Then, if you click on one of these headings, it will show the photos and links to various free patterns.
This site is not easy to manage, but it does seem to have A LOT of links to free patterns.
Not to be forgotten, there are some wonderful knitters and crocheters sharing great information on their personal blogs. There are SO many out there, but two of my favorites are Mason Dixon Knitting and Very Shannon.
Knitwear Designers and Writers Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner blog on Mason Dixon Knitting. This site gives you a look into the lives, thoughts, and knowledge of knitting experts. I love it! I particularly enjoyed the post on How to Audition a Yarn.
On Very Shannon, blogger Shannon offers regular posts about knitting and sewing. She often has posts on things like getting gauge, picking up stitches, getting the best fit from your knit garment, and free giveaways. I particularly enjoy her guest posts from knit designers and experts.
Jennifer at Fiber Flux always has interesting projects, patterns, and ideas to share. Her blog is equally devoted to crocheting, knitting, embroidery and sewing.
And I'll add a shameless plug for my own page, purl3agony on Hubpages, where you can find my free knitting patterns, tutorials, and other articles!
This is, by no means, a complete list of the online resources available. I hope I've shared some important sites and some that you might not have found yet. If you know of any great free knitting or crocheting websites that should be added, please share them with me!
While you're here:
Check out my collection of FREE knitting patterns.
Visit my FREE knitting articles and tutorials page.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on March 08, 2017:
I think your best bet would be Ravelry. Under their search criteria, you can search patterns by language. Otherwise, search google by "knitting patterns in Spanish" or whatever language you are looking for. I hope this helps.
Renee on March 07, 2017:
Other than knitmap how can I find patterns in other languages? Not just books-but also from magazine articles. Is there a good way to translate? I'm mostly looking for doll/toy patterns. Something like amigurumi. Curious about designs other countries have that the U.S. does not.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on March 25, 2015:
Wonderful! I hope you find it useful. I often visit that site before making any yarn buying decisions. They have so much information on a lot of popular yarns. Thanks for adding your comments and sharing your experience :)
Kimberly Schimmel from North Carolina, USA on March 25, 2015:
I just joined the yarndex site--looks like a great resource for designers.
Marian Cates from Columbia River Gorge, WA on December 10, 2014:
You're very welcome!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on December 08, 2014:
Hi Marian - I love Ravelry too :) I hope you find some of these other sites helpful. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!!
Marian Cates from Columbia River Gorge, WA on December 07, 2014:
Another great article! I joined Ravelry. I spent about half an hour looking for a pattern for the kind of poncho I want to make. There's so much available online that it can become almost overwhelming. I'm going to look at the other sites you mention.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on September 01, 2014:
Hi Marie! So glad to meet another yarn fanatic :) and I'm happy that you found some websites here that are useful for you! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it!!
C_MarieWeber from Wichita on August 31, 2014:
This is a great resource to share. Thank you. I enjoy crocheting. It's a big time stress reliever for me.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on August 17, 2014:
Thanks, Jill! Always great to hear from you. I'm glad you found some sites that are helpful to you. Thanks for your pin and share!!
Jill Spencer from United States on August 16, 2014:
I'd only heard of one of these before. Thanks so much! Pinning this & sharing it. (: --Jill
Donna Herron (author) from USA on November 08, 2013:
Hi kschimmel! Yes, Ravelry is really an amazing resource. The best thing is that the site is very flexible. Some people use all the functions to record their projects, organize their yarn collection, and connect with friends. Others just use it to find patterns and ideas. There's so much free information there, it really is a wonderful website :)
Kimberly Schimmel from North Carolina, USA on November 08, 2013:
I love Ravelry, especially when I'm looking for a pattern for something odd. I don't update my stuff or post pictures as often as others, but I still consider it a great resource.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on September 06, 2013:
Hi Rose - Thanks for mentioning Fiber Flux. It's a great blog about crocheting and knitting. I will add it to my list :)
Purl Soho has a beautiful website, and as many yarn stores and manufacturers do, has a great blog full of wonderful information. I've left these yarn business sites off my list, but they do often share great tips and free patterns.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!
Rose clark on September 06, 2013:
pearl soho and fiber flux are my favorites
Donna Herron (author) from USA on September 05, 2013:
Knitting Paradise is a great resource, though not as user-friendly as some of the other member sites/forums (like Ravelry). Thanks Pat for stopping by and sharing some other sites :)
Pat Dunn on September 05, 2013:
I like Knitting Paradise, a sharing forum
Donna Herron (author) from USA on September 02, 2013:
Thanks Prasetio and anurmkumar - Happy to share this information with you! Thanks for stopping by and commenting :) I appreciate it!!
anuramkumar from Chennai, India on September 01, 2013:
I loved this info. Got what I was looking for. Voted up.
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on September 01, 2013:
Great information, my friend. I'll show this hub to my mom. Thanks for sharing with us. VOTED UP :-)
Donna Herron (author) from USA on September 01, 2013:
Hi Moonlake - I'm glad you find this list useful :) The amount of great knitting information and resources on the web is really amazing! Thanks for your comments, vote up, and share! I hope you have a great time knitting with your friend. You might want to check out my hub about starting a knitting group in your area :)
Donna Herron (author) from USA on September 01, 2013:
Hi Dolores - I like making washcloths too! I think they make great gifts when packaged with special soaps, etc. I have a washcloth pattern that I will be posting soon. But I don't think a sweater is out of your reach - I thought the same thing until I made my first sweater. Now, I probably make 5 or 6 sweaters a year (though I don't really need any more!)
I think if you start with an easy to understand pattern, you would have no problem with a sweater. Then you can work up to more complicated things.
Always great to meet another knitter! Thanks for your comments and your share!! Keep those needles going :)
moonlake from America on September 01, 2013:
Great I need it. Just starting to knit. I want to make the scrubbies. My friend is going to teach me. I will show her this site. Thanks for information. Voted up and shared.
Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on September 01, 2013:
I am just learning to knit, working on washcloths. I tired it once in the past and just made scarves. I'd like to fancy up the washcloths though. I can't see ever making a sweater!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on August 27, 2013:
Thanks, Rosie! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting :)
Audrey Surma from Virginia on August 26, 2013:
This is a great resource.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on August 22, 2013:
Hi FlourishAnyway - Thank you for your comments and sharing this list with your friends. I appreciate your support and I'm glad you find this list of resources helpful. I will be thinking of Monet's beautiful gardens as I sit and knit :)
FlourishAnyway from USA on August 22, 2013:
What an incredible list -- a true treasure trove of crochet and knit resources. I am sending this right now to a friend. Thank you for writing it! Voted up and more!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on August 15, 2013:
Hi Trudy! Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed this list of resources :)
TrudyVan Curre from South Africa on August 15, 2013:
Cool going to use the information. I really knitting a lot.
Donna Herron (author) from USA on August 14, 2013:
Thanks, Shannon! I love your luvinthemommyhood blog and I am enjoying the SSKAL!!
Shannon on August 14, 2013:
Thanks for including me in your post! What a great resource!!!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on August 12, 2013:
Hi Heidi - Thanks so much for your vote up and comments! Maybe you'll get the itch to knit again when the weather turns cold :) Thanks again!!
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on August 12, 2013:
It's been a while since my last knitting binge. Great resources for when the bug hits me again. Thanks for sharing! Voted up, useful & interesting!
Donna Herron (author) from USA on August 09, 2013:
Hi sallybea - Glad you find some of these sites useful. And thanks for sharing and commenting! I appreciate it :) I hope you have a great weekend, too!
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on August 09, 2013:
Lots of useful stuff here. I am not a great knitter but I have been known to complete a project a few times and I know exactly who I am going to share this one with. I love youTube for teaching myself new skills. Thank you purl3agony. Have a great week-end