Looking for free patterns? Just surf!

Posted Jan. 17, 2011, at 6:17 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:54 p.m.

So many free knitting, crocheting, sewing and embroidery patterns exist in cyberspace that it’s like plucking needlework gold from thin air. Even if you don’t have a computer, you can go to the nearest public library where helpful staff soon will have you downloading patterns with abandon — yes, abandon — because there is so much out there it’s difficult to draw that line.

To save you a bit of time, and to steer you toward some of the sites I frequent, I’ve compiled this short list:

By Hand, Knitting, Crochet, Crafts – Ardeana Hamlin Knitting Daily, www.knittingdaily.com, offers lots of free knitting patterns, including downloadable e-books, which feature hats, accessories and sweaters, to name a few. Patterns on the website that caught my eye were the Cabled Raglan Baby Sweater, the Classic Camel Vest for the man in your life, Knitted Cuddlies animal dolls and the Better Than Booties footgear for babies.

Knitting Daily also offers some free crochet patterns.

• Lion Brand, www.lionbrand.com. At this website you will find crochet and knitting patterns for preemies, babies, infants, toddlers and children; teens and young adults; adults, pets and the home. Free craft patterns also are available. My quick run through the hundreds and hundreds of free patterns available yielded the crocheted Sea Breeze top, made of cotton yarn, in a simple design with simple stitches; the easy Classic Top with elbow-length sleeves; and the Matinee Swing Coat, a short jacket with three-quarter-length sleeves, one-button closing and a narrow collar.

Knitting patterns that spoke to me were the Tilly Coat (also listed as the Zen Coat) in a kimono-style design; the Deconstruction Jacket with back and fronts knit all in one rectangular piece with bound-off cast-on holes knit in for the placement of the sleeves; the Sideways Cardigan for children; and the Deer Isle Hat and Scarf.

• At Classic Elite, www.classiceliteyarns.com, I found the Summer Stringbag to crochet, the Baby Ballroom cardigan, and American Girl and Doll matching cardigans.

I advise subscribing to the e-newsletters offered by these websites. That way, free patterns, knitting and crocheting advice, videos, blogs and product information will arrive in your in box frequently. Subscribing requires passwords and a bit of time to set up, but it’s worth it to have access to so many patterns.

The websites offer search functions, so if sweaters are your game you can limit your search to that category, etc.

Many of the patterns at these websites come in plus sizes, and some are designed specifically for a generous figure.

So go, it’s worth the trip, and if you stumble onto some really good websites, let me know.

Snippets

Centre Gallery at the Unity College Centre for the Performing Arts, 42 Depot St. in Unity has on display the “Brr! It’s Cold Outside” exhibit of work by local knitters, weavers, spinners, rug hookers, quilters and fiber producers who make things that keep us warm and comfortable during the cold part of the year. The display will be in the gallery from Jan. 14 through the end of February.

A reception will be held 6-7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28, in the gallery. Meet the artists and enjoy refreshments.

The public is invited to the gallery 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, to learn a skill from the exhibitors or to get together with others to work on a current project. There will be food, warmth, light and camaraderie.

Call 568-3147 or e-mail pallen@uninets.net for more information or directions to the Performing Arts Centre.

During January and February there will be a collection box in the lobby to receive new or gently used sweaters, hats, mittens, socks, jackets and blankets in all sizes to be distributed through local food pantries.

The gallery is open when there are performances or other functions in the building or by appointment anytime.

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