Five best…places to find free knitting patterns

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PP-knitting-pattern-300sqUntil recently allaboutyou.com was a great place to find free knitting patterns. I should know; I worked there, and part of my job (possibly my favourite part) was the management of the Craft channel, commissioning and publishing free knitting (and sewing and crochet) patterns, often designed especially for our readers.

As you’d imagine, the free knitting patterns were consistently the most popular section of the site. And then Allaboutyou’s publishing company decided to ‘merge’ Allaboutyou.com with Prima magazine’s website. (The inverted commas are there because it wasn’t a real merger; basically some content from allaboutyou.com was placed on the Prima website. However, this included only a few of the free knitting patterns, even though Prima has a free knitting pattern in every issue.) So most of those free knitting patterns are no longer available, and allaboutyou.com no longer exists. It’s all such a shame.

As a knitter myself, I’m always on the lookout for free knitting patterns, so here’s a few of my favourite places to find them…

A word of caution re ‘linklist’ sites such as Knittingpatterncentral . These can be a bit hit and miss because although they appear to offer an almost limitless number of patterns, they’re not monitored, so you run the risk of clicking on a broken link. (Knittingpatterncentral still has links to patterns that used to be on allaboutyou.com.) And lots of the patterns are from the US, which is fine if you’re bilingual in knitting terms.

  • Your local library. With public spending budgets being slashed, they need our support. Have a browse on the shelves (746.43 if you’re familiar with the Dewey Decimal System), and you’re sure to find fab knitting books. Borrow them, find the patterns you want, then make a photocopy – or take a photo – of the relevant pages.
  • KnitRowan, the website of Rowan Yarns. You need to register (it’s free), then go to the Patterns section and select ‘Patterns by project type’ as ‘Knitting’. At the time of writing there were 460 free knitting patterns for baby knits, blankets, hats, jumpers, ponchos, dresses, ornaments, created by top designers such as Kaffe Fassett, Marie Wallin, Martin Storey and more. Rowan is pretty diligent in issuing corrections to patterns if necessary.
  • Victoria & Albert Museum  Perfect for vintage-lovers, the museum’s collection of 20+ free knitting patterns is fascinating to flick through even if you’re not a knitter. Although you may want to give the knitted vest and knickers a miss, there are timelessly classic patterns for sweaters, gloves and hats, with a couple of funky jumpers. And if you like vintage knits, you might like ‘Patterns from the past’.
  • loveknitting.com Easy to navigate, with reasonably sized photos and good-looking, inventive, fun creations.
  • Your imagination. I’m serious. You probably don’t think of yourself as a knitting designer, but you don’t need to be. If you can knit a rectangle (garter stitch, stocking stitch, moss stitch, stripes… whatever you want) it can be a… ring, mug cosy, cowl, wrist warmers, gadget cover (that’s smartphone or tablet, not food processor – although…), place mat, jumper, shawl, bag, dishcloth, sofa throw, blanket, draught excluder, or, of course, a scarf!
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