About 5 years ago, I could still say I was a knitting beginner. Sure, I was able to make completely wearable garments using knit, purl and basic increases and decreases. But casting on was always something I'd get an "adult" to do for me and there was nobody around.
Before I turned to Internet for some help, I made this hat, for example. My husband still wears it, but it has a funny, uneven cast-on edge and it's a bit pointy, since the crown decreases were done too slowly. The idea and the color changes were very good, the end result just an average.
So, I decided to improve and here are top 5 websites that helped me. There are other, of course, but these are the ones I always go back to.
- www.TejiendoPeru.com : This is a great website for a beginner, with tons of step by step instructions in the form of YouTube videos, patterns and lists of general knitting and crochet techniques. I learned how to knit from my Grandmother and my Nanny, so seeing Esperanza Rosas explaining everything in her videos hits all the right spots. After a short while, I made this vest for Dean following the instructions for a v-neck shaping. And then I chose just the right stitch for my sweater and my top from their gallery of stitches. The videos are easy to follow, the only downside is that you have to speak at least some Spanish to navigate the site.
- www.AllFreeKnitting.com : Once I got some more confidence, I started looking for more knitting patterns to match my new skills and this was the right place. What I especially like about this site is that in a single category you can find patterns from super simple to advanced, a bit of something for all occasions. Some of my favorite garments were made after visiting the site, plus I saved some for later in my account. You can imagine my excitement when I saw my own projects on their pages! I've noticed lately that they've been adding more tutorials as well. The downside: the patterns come from all over the web, so there can't be much consistency.
Elegant Evening Sweater Gorgeous Toe Up Gingko Socks
- www.Filati.cc : This is a great website, but this refers mostly to people living in Austria and Germany. It is an online shop in its essence, but also a great place for knitting inspiration, plus they don't charge for delivery no matter how much you spend. They sell Lana Grossa yarn, needles, magazines and, my favorite, model packages. This means that if you buy the yarn for a certain project, you get a pattern for free and there's plenty to chose from. They sell basic yarns all the time and certain novelties every year. So there is always good quality yarn for small prices, because the last year's novelty yarn goes on sale. The downside is, of course, if you really like that discontinued yarn. Many times I wished I could get that same yarn from 6 months ago or I needed that extra ball of yarn to finish a project. One should be careful about this.
On my needles right now - Lana Grossa Colorato One of the packages I ordered
- www.Ravelry.com : For some people this would definitely be number 1 and it's easy to understand why. This is the social media site for knitting and crochet crowd, all of it is included, yarns, patterns, people, their projects, a huge database. When it comes to online crafting aesthetics it doesn't get much better than this. We all hold our finished work in our hands, it has it's unique softness, stretchiness, warmth, it drapes in a certain way when worn, moves or stays still. Once we take a photo most of this information is gone. Except on Ravelry there are people who try very hard to make it look as if it was still there and they are doing a good job. Impressions can get very polished, almost alive, and this is what I like to see from time to time. Just getting a cup of coffee, enjoying the beauty of things knitted and crocheted all over the world. The reason why this is not my number 1 and why I hesitated for so long in actually joining in, is the feeling I get of this being a big marketplace. People are there to sell, buy or brag about something, which is fine I guess, we are all free to do that. But it gets unrealistic, too. And I can imagine knitting beginners paying for something that in my opinion should be free. Sometimes a basic pattern is just a basic pattern, even if it gets a special name and a price tag, or is that just me?
- www.LoveKnitting.com : This site is like a mix of 3. and 4. Although it is an online store, there is plenty of free patterns to choose from and many interesting designers and other people projects to check out. They sell yarn from all over the world, but the overall style is more European. It's not perfect for purchasing yarn if you're like me and buy smaller quantities at a time, the delivery is free only if you spend more than 50 EUR.
You may have noticed that I prefer sites that have less to offer, but more structure. I personally find it easier to find what I'm looking for if the patterns are few, but relevant. Also, if you search directly on YouTube, you might get lost or you need to know at least the name of a specific technique and that can be tricky sometimes.
What about myself? When I started thinking about why I'm even writing this blog, it was clear that I feel that my own voice should be heard. I'm a rather shy person and sometimes I really turn my head away from new technology. Getting myself active online is definitely a step forward.
And what could that bring to others? I have two goals, achieving at least one of them would make me happy, both would be a complete success.
- Besides free patterns based on what I make and I always makee something, I will start gathering my favorite links. There are great knitting and crochet tutorials out there, pages that I always go back to, scattered all over different sites and blogs. Even if I never make a tutorial myself, it would be a challenge to complete such a collection.
- I'd love to discuss anything knitting related with the people out there. Having conversations about one of my patterns or helping someone with ANY pattern or a bad line would really make my day. If you ask me, I will reply. Maybe not right away, I do have a toddler running around, but I will. I haven't tried everything in knitting or crochet, but I know what I'm doing and there is not much that I wouldn't try. I make plenty of mistakes and fix them all the time. I can follow patterns in German and Spanish, so I can help in that department, too, not to mention knitting math. Let's connect :)