If you are looking for free crochet patterns (or knitting) , one of the best searchable places is Ravelry.com – I do not receive anything for promoting them, but I will give you a bit more detail. I used Ravelry more than anything else to find patterns for customers. It is also not just for free patterns, but is also Social networking for Knitters and Crocheters, there are groups you can join, forums you can chat on, and problems that can be solved, patterns to be favourited and queued! However don’t blame me if you lose many hours looking around, because it is inspirational too!
A small detail, the majority of users are in the US, but there are loads from the UK too as of today there are 5,270,650 users! and at least 50,000 in the UK!
So to start you need to type in Ravelry.com and click on the join now button. You will be asked for your email address, where you will be sent a link, when you click this you will need to choose a username and a password. I have never received any further emails from Ravelry, so I would trust them.
If you watched the video great, you now know what to do if not… Click on the tab along the top that says – my notebook
And you will come to your project page, this picture is of my page which has lots of projects, but if you are new, you will have nothing here. I would encourage you to post projects, because when you search there are lots of things you can find that are really only there because others have put their projects out there. I will post later about how to do this. However you came here to find free crochet (or knit) patterns…
You need to first click on the patterns tab, next to my notebook. You will come to this page. Not too exciting, but the obsession starts here!
1 – click on which craft – Knit & Crochet, Crochet or Knit – you can change this later, but clicking here makes it your default.
2 – Type in what you would like to search for – I typed shawls, general is fine as on the next page you get to choose loads of things to filter.
3 – click on search!
So you will now find yourself on this page, there are several things to note, here the filters are on the left,
1 – is Gender / Age / Size / Fit – useful for searching for the man in your life, or baby patterns, or something for yourself!
2 – Availability, click here to filter so you only see free patterns. Later when you have added your books and magazines to the library (which I really do recommend) you can search patterns that you have already! Notice that without any filter there are 147 pages 7.049 patterns before we add the filter.
3 – This dropdown menu helps with the sorting, You have the choices of Best Match, Hot right now, Name, Most Popular, Most projects, most favourites, most queued, Recently published, recently added to Ravelry, Rating, Difficulty, and Yarn required. By default Best match is given, but I like to try Most projects, and Hot right now!
Here you can see that I have changed the filter to Free and dropdown to Most Popular. It completely changes what you see, and can reduce the choices so that it is not so overwhelming. here we are down to a mere 2,289!If you explore this a bit further you come to my favourite filters, for when you have a special skein of yarn, or you only have 5 balls of some wool… You can do an open search, but specify the weight/thickness of yarn, and how much meterage/yardage you have!
For instance here I have a beautiful skein…look at it just sitting there really pretty (and it’s really soft and squidgy too…)So to search for inspiration on Ravelry, I would just click on the pattern search button with nothing in the search bar. Then I use the filters – gender /age / size / fit, meterage and weight, you can use 1 – Jump to a filter, to go there or 2 – scroll down the page to find the filter. 3 – Tells you which filters you have applied.
You can then click further through on a project to find the pattern. This might be a Ravelry download, (it will be if it is a design you pay for) or there might be a link to a website where the pattern is available.
Bear in mind that all the patterns posted are from very different people, and so the quality of the patterns varies. However most of the patterns I have used (especially if you find the most popular ones) have had no problems!
So go and enjoy, any questions below in the comments, explore, have fun, click all over the place (you can always use the back button!) and don’t blame me if you lose a couple of hours!