Sunday, October 16, 2011

Internet Knitting Info - Where to Look

A while back I wrote a post called "Pattern Hunger" listing where I like to prowl for new patterns when the seasons change.  I listed some of my favorite Internet outlets, and the response was huge.  Don't get me wrong - I'm a huge fan of the LYS, and try to do most of my shopping there.  If I stop, I'm afraid my only local options will become Michael's, and JoAnn Fabrics.  At the LYS I have a community, experts, lessons, and more variety that I can possibly ever knit my way through.  But I can't prowl patterns as quickly as I can on line, and so I prowl on the Internet. 

The Internet can also be lifesaver for techniques and general information.  I assume by now everyone knows I'm a huge fan of Ravelry, so I'll leave that one alone.  Nearly every major manufacturer has a website full of info, patterns, a newsletter, an advice blog, or all of the above.  (Classic Elite, Cascade, Mountain Colors, Holiday Yarns, Kraemer, Berroco, Rowan, are all faves) - if you've heard of them, they have an Internet presence.  The sites usually have a variety of free and paid patterns, an opportunity to sign up for the newsletter (more patterns and info), detailed information about every yarn in the line, and tales of knitting seen through the eyes of the manufacturer and distributor.  This quick reading is great if you don't have a knitting community nearby, or it's 11:20 pm and if you call your friends to talk about yarn, they may stop being your friends. 

I'm also a huge fan of YouTube for knitting lessons.  I know, I never would have thought of it either, but my intrepid assistant, Colleen, filled me in years ago.  (Thanks as always, Coll!) I still peak at videos of techniques I haven't used in a while, whether it's making bobbles, Kitchener stitch, or (gasp!) brioche.  (No, I haven't finished it.  You want to make something of it?)  I also love to see the excerpts of knitting art installations, knits and knitting featured in movies, and interviews with famous designers.

There are also several good online magazines out there for knitting info.  Knitter's Review is authored by knitting expert and book author Clara Parkes, and she reviews everything to do with knitting.  With 11 years of archives, you'll likely find a review of anything you need.

Knitty is an online only magazine, with an entire community associated with it.  Beautiful patterns (free), great articles, and a helpful community are just a click away.

Twist Collective has articles about knitting history, current knitting issues, an advice column, and of course, patterns.  (These patterns are not free - you click on the title and the pricing info comes up in a separate window.)

The Daily Knitter has daily free patterns (yep, daily), articles, help articles, help videos, and a very thorough list of LYS throughout the country.  If you're travelling, it's a great resource to make sure you can get a knitting fix where ever you go!

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