Email subscribers: Please accept my apologies; you’ll be receiving loads of posts over the next few minutes as I finish up my knitting series and get it published. I know I’ve slopped over in November on my “31 Days of Writing” challenge, but I really do want to complete my series. Thanks for understanding!
This is such a personal thing, so there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. I’ll just go over a few short tips on how to find something you’ll love to knit!
Before you dive into admiring and choosing patterns, there are a few questions you have to answer.
What do you want to knit? A sweater? Wash cloth? Mittens? Scarf or hat? The possibilities are nearly endless, but you have to decide before you can find a pattern.
Who will you knit it for? There are some patterns out there that are good for a wide variety of sizes, but most are not. Most patterns will have options for babies, children, or adults. You’ll need to know who you’re knitting for before you can start narrowing down patterns to one of these categories.
What kind of yarn do you want to use? Will you find something from your stash or buy new yarn? If you’re using up your stash, you’ll need to know what weight of yarn you plan to use and find a pattern for that yarn. If you’re buying new, you’re a bit freer in this department.
Do you want to use a free pattern or are you okay paying for one? There are thousands of patterns out there. Some are free, others are not. I’ve used both types, and neither is better than the other. It’s all about your budget and desire to pay for a pattern.
Now that these questions are all answered, you can go to Google and type in the criteria you came up with (“free knit pattern baby sweater,” for example). But better than Google is Ravelry. Ravelry is a website for knitters and crocheters to come and share their projects, patterns, and more. Let me walk you through my preferred way of searching Ravelry for patterns.
The first thing you have to do is sign up for an account. It’s absolutely free, and there are only benefits as near as I can tell (unlike other social media outlets). If you already have one, just log in. Once you’re logged in, click on “patterns” in the upper left of the menu bar. If you know the exact name of the pattern you want, you can type it in to the search bar on this page. If not, let’s explore the pattern browser.
When you click on “pattern browser & advanced search,” your screen will look something like this.
All those boxes on the left are where you’ll narrow down your criteria using the questions you answered earlier. Simply apply the answers to the appropriate boxes (availability: free or paid; category: clothing, toys, etc; and so forth), and the patterns will continue to narrow down until you’re left with patterns that meet all of your specifications. At that point, it’s just a matter or browsing through them until something speaks to you.
Next time, I’ll walk you through reading that pattern you chose.