I put myself on a yarn diet of sorts this year. The goal is to knit only from the stash. That shouldn’t be too difficult considering I purged two trash bags full of yarn a couple of weeks ago. It was painful but necessary. I tried to lessen the pain by only purging yarn that left me thinking, “why did I buy that?” But I admit, I dumped about 15 skeins of yarn that was meant to be an afghan. I just didn’t know when I’d find time to make it in the next year. I was really excited about that project and I’m still debating if I was truly thinking things through when it landed in the “to go” pile.
One other thing I did was organize all of my knitting patterns (more or less). I bought a large three ring binder and a package of page protectors and started filing all of my patterns away in the binder. I haven’t organized the patterns by category yet but it’s on my list of things to do. The goal was to get the paper clutter under control. I’m still finding patterns though as I clean up, sort and purge and thankfully I have plenty of page protectors left. I wary to guess how many patterns I have so let’s just go with hundreds as a nice generic answer.
I waver between knitting patterns on paper and digital patterns. Most patterns I have are easy to download and I do that from time to time but there’s something about the hard copy that keeps me focused and from losing my place. The pattern may have been folded a dozen times and worn but I like having it available – there’s something about looking at a pattern on my screen that seems unnatural.
Being on the yarn diet hasn’t stopped me from searching and saving new knitting patterns. Unlike my yarn though, I don’t like spending a ton of money on knitting patterns (and about the only exception to that is buying a knitting magazine in the store) so many if not, 99.999 percent of my knitting pattern library comes from free patterns and if you know how to look, the internet is full of them.
The biggest place I’ve found free knitting patterns is Ravelry. (friend me! I’m knittyandpretty on the forums). It’s easy to search and find everything from a basic hat pattern to the most obscure and oddball pattern you can think of (ovaries. I swear. There’s a pattern for ovaries).
And while I’m a firm believer that all knitting patterns eventually end up on Ravelry, I also like finding patterns outside of the site. For that I use email and social media.
Email subscriptions. Yarn companies and knitting magazines have an option to subscribe to their email list for free. You get opted in to learn about sales, trends and new yarns being added but another thing you also get regularly delivered to your inbox is new patterns. A simple click over to the site to view the pattern will throw you into the site’s library of free patterns.
Don’t like a ton of emails? Facebook is a multi-faceted option to finding new knitting patterns. Follow any of your favorite yarn companies or local yarn shops to discover new patterns. They share patterns from all over the web. There are also hundreds of knitting and crafting groups on Facebook. There’s not just a wealth of knowledge in those groups but also patterns to be discovered. Many knitters and designers are happy to share their techniques and custom patterns with the group.
I also subscribe and follow many blogs – I’m discovering more and more knitting blogs as my interest in my hobby grows. There’s so much great information to be gleaned from more experienced knitters and it seems crazy to me to not only follow them but learn what I can from them.
I’d love to hear where you find your knitting patterns!