Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pattern Hunger

Every time the season changes, I find myself hungry for a new crop of patterns to play with.  I dig through my magazine back issues, hit the bookstore for this season's new book offerings, design a bit of my own, and sketch what I see out in the world that strikes me as new and interesting. 

The thing that always sucks me in, though, is an internet search for new patterns.  I don't know where you look, so I've listed a few of my favorites here. is cool for a thousand reasons, including that you can search free or paid patterns, yarn weight, size, gender, specific yarn brand and type, and more.  By far the largest pattern collection available, it lists patterns from books, magazines, blogs, websites, flyers, and more.  You can scan photos of the completed projects made by Ravelry members in a variety of yarns in a variety of colors.  Pattern notes from real knitters can guide you around the occassional pattern typo or confusing directions.

Knitting Pattern Central is a site filled with free knitting patterns.  They are primarily new, original patterns sourced from blogs, but there are also patterns from yarn manufacturers' web sites.

Patternfish is a webstore with knitting and crochet patterns available starting at $3 US, and more.  The cool thing about it is that there is a distinct number of patterns that are exclusive to this site.  Always good if you're on the hunt for something you've never seen before.

Etsy is a webstore which contains a wide variety of hand-crafted items.  Some are tools for crafters, like buttons, patterns and knitting needles.  Other items include jewelry, home decor, clothing, and furnishings.  This site works for me because it's a quick way to survey trends in hand-crafting across many disciplines at once.  There are loads of exclusives, and the selection grows and evolves every day.  Prices vary widely, as does content. 

eBay.  Really.  It's a great resource for out-of-print and international knitting books.  It's also great for vintage tools, patterns, and new-never-used kits from days gone by.  I scored a Christmas Stocking kit from the early 60's with pattern and yarn for $18 last year, and I still treasure it.  Vintage patterns are great for inspirations for color, construction and silhouette. In fashion everything old comes back in some new form, and working a vintage pattern in a modern yarn in a modern color is often just the thing to satisfy my pattern hunger. 

Knitpicks has a large selection of patterns and kits, and the pattern pages clearly indicate which ones are new.  If you're trolling for the very latest, that's a big help!  Featuring garments, home decor, whimsies and toys, there's plenty of variety. 

Jimmybeanswool has a nice variety, good photos, and offers the ability to shop by best selling and/or new. 

I hope you find a bunch of great patterns this season.  Where do you hunt for them?  Let me know.  I'll be happy to share.  (Unless you want to keep your best sources to yourself!)

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