I became a knitter in the age of Ravelry, but sometimes I ponder what it was like before. My personal historical equivalent would be going to the fabric store with my mom when I was a kid, sidling up to the long tables stacked with giant binders full of sewing patterns, and beginning the often tedious task of turning every single page in as many of those books as possible to find what I was after. Then locating the actual pattern envelope in its cross-referenced file drawer — that makes me so nostalgic just typing that.
In the days before Ravelry — which created a means for self-publishing — the only way to get a pattern published was through a traditional gatekeeper: Someone publishing patterns had to likes yours and include it in a publication, which might have been a magazine, a book, or a booklet put out by a yarn company. But of curse in the days of Ravelry and other websites, all of those traditional outlets also still exist. It can be a pretty dizzying world of too many choices, and I’m sure we all have our different go-to’s when it comes to filtering through the hundreds of thousands of patterns out there.
So that’s my Q for You today: How do you find the patterns you knit? Are you high-tech or old-school? Do you keep your eyes on a certain designer or brand that puts out collections? Do you start with the vintage pattern booklets or stack of magazines you have at home? Do you go to the library and pore over books? Ask friends for recommendations? Browse hashtags on Instagram? Or do you start with the Ravelry search box and narrow your search from everything to just-the-thing? I’d love to hear about your sources and your methods — and what makes it work for you.
PREVIOUSLY in Q for You: Are you a holiday gift knitter?
I peruse Ravelry often, but my favorites – the ones I knit – are usually from Madder, Hannah Fettig, Making it PomPom.
I often start on Pinterest where I find it easier to follow a theme based on what I’m looking for than starting in Ravelry, Then I check out the pattern in Ravelry if it is there so I get to see all the great variations knitters have created.
This won’t be much help to you, as one of my main sources is checking out your favourites in your Ravelry page. So I’m pretty appreciative of your search methods. So thank you x
Nice! I often wonder if anyone looks at that. I should remember to look at other people’s more!
I also do this. Regularly.
I do this too – with all of my Rav “friends”. Every 6 months or so it’s a goldmine of new, amazing patterns (or ones I’ve just never noticed before).
Ravelry is my go to place for patterns. I have patterns from my grandmother, which she kept in a binder. Those patterns are covered with notes in her handwriting, I consider them a treasure. The one pattern she knit quite often, that I would love to find, a 3/4 length sleeve, Chanel style sweater. She must have knitted 10 for herself, the pattern, alas is not in the binder. Yes, I need to do another Ravelry search!
For Chanel- style jackets, check out Jean Frost on Ravelry. Pre-Rav I bought her “Jackets” books – lots of Chanel inspiration there, and in some of her designs for magazines.
What a treasure trove!
Sally Melville has a nice Chanel type jacket.
Check out this sweater https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chanel-blues
ROWAN! all of my pre-ravelry sweaters from 2000-2004 are Rowan sweaters. Used to live for the ridiculously large package to arrive.
(Sorry for the excitement–I was inspired by Dana of yardsofhappiness and her inventory of all the sweaters she knit to make my own inventory. it was crazy to me how many were Rowan patterns before ravelry). These days I seem to be following the instagram trends and to be honest that has me feeling a bit weird. It reminded me of how i felt in 2004 (the height of the knitting blogs) when i felt like i was just chasing trends rather than being thoughtful about what I like to make (haiii fun fur!) My inventory also made it clear that out of 11 sweaters, only 1 was a designed by a person of color. I have work to do, especially since most of the indie dyers of color that I buy from use superwash wool (and i’ve been trying to stop using that for the eco reasons).
The one exception to the rule is one of my favorite (Honeyblossom by yoko hatta). Tried it on at shop in London and knitted it while on that trip. Such fun memories). It reminded me that instagram is great and all but it really is skewing my perspective on what to make, just like Rowan used to!
I love Ravelry, and I *almost* always go to posted projects to see how the patterns turn out in the hands of ordinary folks. I am so grateful for the knitters who take the time to post photos and to write in-depth notes about their experiences with patterns. A gold mine.
I also keep an archive of notebooks of patterns I’ve used or want to use, mostly found at yard sales, eBay, or Craigslist, but truthfully, there’s not much there that I use.
About 75% of my knitting is done “on the fly”, without a pattern. I have used Ann Budd’s books with formulas for knitting different styles in all sizes, Elizabeth Zimmerman’s and Barbara Walker’s books, and of course the wonderfully liberating info right here on Fringe Association to freelance.
I have a shelf full of books I too-rarely consult. Someday maybe I’ll find the time to go through them and find the patterns I want to make on Ravelry, and favorite them there, so they’ll have a chance of being remembered!
Did you know that if you add books or magazines to your Ravelry library they then become searchable? That’s often how I start out — browsing through what I own, but digitally. I love a good book or magazine, but I also have reliable designers who I gravitate towards. There are also look books from yarn makers (BT Wool People comes to mind) that I often find exciting and inspiring.
I did NOT know that!
I do that, too. Also with the knitting magazines. You can put it in your library, and usually they list the patterns contained therein. You can click on the ones you like and favorite them. Ravelry is amazing.
I’m a pre-Ravelry gal, but I use EVERYTHING as pattern sources. I love old Rowan books from the 80s and 90s and old coffee table knitting books like “Knitting in America” and “Poetry in Stitches”, the kind that aren’t published anymore. I look at off-the-rack sweaters that I own or run across in shops for ideas. I look at online ready-to-wear catalogues such as “Egg” or “Cabbages and Roses” in the UK. Finally, I check out Ravelry, of course. Then I put it all together and make my own patterns. I’m only 5’1″ and petite in build, so I long ago gave up modifying other people’s patterns. It’s easier to do my own.
That pretty much describes me. There is no single source, and I am constantly using my environment for street style, but I also occasionally great myself to a French or British style magazine because they are usually ahead of the US. Right now there is a sketch in my wallet, drawn on my boarding pass, of an amazing sweater I saw on a fellow passenger in the airport. I will look on Ravelry, obsess on pinterest, and see if I find something similar, consider how I could adapt it, think about yarn, and go from there.
I, too, am pre-Ravelry, by almost a half a century, and I have been functioning this way since I was in college and realized that the girls from New York had style that would never be found in Ohio. Going out on a creative limb is half the fun of the making
I love this, Ellen.
In pre-Ravelry days, I used to await delivery (or purchase at the store) of magazines like Interweave and Vogue. I was always so hungry for information and soon knitting blogs filled that hunger. Now I find a lot of patterns on Instagram or sites like Mason-Dixon. But I always search for them on Ravelry, and cross check what other knitters have to say. Like Veronica, I’m so grateful for the knitters who take the time to post, especially because I don’t. Guess maybe I ought to change that.
It’s definitely always worth checking to see how regular people’s projects turn out. I’m most likely to go looking at project photos if there’s something about the official pattern photos that either leave me in the dark or make me suspicious. Like if the neckline is obscured in every photo, or the model seems hell bent on holding the front of it closed, or anything like that.
I’m also very eclectic in my pattern choices. I subscribed to Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits for a few years, and bought a number of pattern books I liked. So I have a good library to start from. Now I mostly get Laine and PomPom magazines when I like at least one pattern or two, plus the odd free or individually bought patterns that really tempted me when I bought them.
As my stash is quite big, I mostly do a detailed search in Ravelry to decide what to knit next, narrowing all the choices down to the final one with yarn weight and quantity as filters. But my queue changes all the time. Now I am also trying to knit things that I really need or that will fit in my wardrobe.
I find that my selection process is evolving as my knitting experience grows. When my stash is finally gone (someday maybe) it might become quite different (or not).
I use Ravelry in the exact same way. It can occupy me for hours!
I now almost exclusively buy patterns on Ravelry, but in my pre-ravelry days, I used to get patterns from my LYS, knitting magazines, and from my grandma’s ancient collection of pattern books and magazines in her basement, but my favorite source was probably just to pore over knitting books at the library. I’m lucky that my local library stocks a really excellent selection of knitting books. I also subscribed to Interweave for several years, but I eventually stopped when I realized that I was buying so many patterns on ravelry, and almost never knitting anything from one of my magazines. I still have them all in hopes that one day I’ll be inspired to knit from my library instead of buying every new pattern!
Oh gosh, there’s a source I didn’t even think to mention — racks of printed patterns at yarn stores. I have only bought a handful of them in my life, as I like a PDF, so I kind of forget they exist!
I also use the public library as a source and if go back and check out a book a second or third time I know I need to purchase it. Works for cookbooks too.
I came back to knitting when my son went off to college & at the time someone told me about knitty.com — it was my main source before ravelry. Now, instagram, making, pompom are the catalysts but I always end up on ravelry looking at all the patterns of any one designer.
Was there life before Ravelry? I remember it dimly, the era of blogs, Knitty, Clapotis and Rogue…
Joking aside, I do have a personal collection of over 100 knitting books that I look at from time to time. We are fortunate to have the incredible Minnesota Textile Center with its library, to which the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild contributes books and magazines every month. What a resource!
But back to Ravelry, I have no words to adequately describe my appreciation for it, and not just as a pattern source. I was very struck by the recent discussion when Making Things was launched about people migrating en masse to Instagram- Instagram is owned by Facebook but Ravelry is run by five people. You don’t have to choose between them, necessarily, but you should be mindful of the impact your participation has.
Interesting. I didn’t know that Instragram was owned by FB. Hmmm. That makes me even more of a Ravelry fan.
Yes, indeed, FB bought out Instagram and WhatsApp. These are 2 apps I use and like. I have abandoned FB. would leave IG and WhatsApp if I could find a substitute.
Yeah, I’m rabidly anti-Facebook and was deeply upset when they bought Instagram. I keep waiting for another truly viable alternative to appear.
But meanwhile, Deepa, yes to how wonderful it is to support the Ravelry crew. They’re amazing.
Mostly Ravelry, but also Knitty.com , blogs and Instagram accounts that I follow. If someone is wearing or knitting something that looks interesting, I’ll look for the pattern (usually on Ravelry) and start down the Ravelry rabbit hole
Seeing projects on Instagram has been a big influence but Ravelry helps me more than anything.
So far none of you just pretty much stick to a certain designer or designers whose stuff you know works for you?
I keep returning to Carrie Hoge/Madder’s patterns again and again (I really love her aesthetic, as well as also how she designs and writes patterns) but there are too many great designers to stick with just one!
I will say, that if I had a more standard…er…style?…I might be able to stick with one designer. But my likes (and wants and needs, hehe) are so eclectic that having choices has made me actually expand my repertoire. I’m more likely to try some new technique if I see a thing that meets what is in my head. I’m also knitting for both babies and adults so, I’m all about ideas. :)
I keep looping back to Tin Can Knits patterns. They’re super well written, they have an impressive size range, and they’re always a joy to knit. I’ve made two Flax pullovers!
Oh – I didn’t think about this until you asked! I favorite all of the designers I like and let them show up in my Ravelry highlights feed. That is probably my #1 rabbit hole for finding new patterns.
Oh my, I feel old. My knitting life spans close to 60 years. My mother gave me her copy of How to Knit when I was 6. So, I started with books. At one time, I subscribed to every knitting magazine published. I was into Knitty.com from the beginning and still credit Amy Singer for the internet revolution that became Ravelry. I wrote a blog for a couple of years.I love blogs. I have taught knitting at LYS and run a 20 year long weekly knitting group called Knitwits. I still love a beautiful book in the hand. My only magazine subscription is Taproot. But, the rabbit hole and pattern joy that is Ravelry is where you will find me almost daily!
I learned to knit by reading how to guides on knitting blogs in the days before Ravelry. My main source of patterns was Knitty.com. Occasionally a friend would give me a magazine or a photocopy or something along those lines. I also have a couple of stitch pattern books, Barbara Walker and similar, that I would make my own patterns from for smaller items like hats. I use Ravelry now. It’s so great to really narrow searches down to what I can actually make with the yarn I already have, AND to see what other people have made!
I have been knitting since long before Ravelry. My first sweater circa 1976 came from an English Vogue Knitting book, my second came from Elizabeth Zimmerman, and then I began designing my own, that was HIgh School. When Vogue Knitting was reintroduced in America I knit quite a few sweaters from it and also designed my own, that was college. Now I still design my own but get some from Ravelry. And I am on the Vogue Knitters group on Ravelry where we knit KALs – this helps me to finish my knits. So I am still knitting along with VK.
No particular designers, although I have knit maybe 4 sweaters from Elizabeth Zimmerman in my knitting career. The thought of yet another raglan doesn’t thrill me design wise, but they always get worn -if you make the necks looser, hers are tight.
Go to, number one, every morning and during the day just to relax: Ravelry. As well as anything posted here – as in, following links and finding new pattern makers and knitting ideas. That has been so much fun because I also find new blogs that way!
I used to get most of them from knitting magazines. Now…it’s kind of all over. Some from blogs (like this!), some from Ravelry, generally through a search, some from electronic ads that come to my in box.
Most of my recent sweater knits have come from Interweave or Vogue and hats, mitts from Ravelry. Ravelry is THE place to organize and ALWAYS check out that Vogue sweater before knitting! Often a magazine will point me towards a designer that I search on Ravelry, but searches on Ravelry for “cardigan, women’s” is too painful. I have a good stash of late 50s, early 60’s magazines which I love but rarely knit from. My most recent almost-off-the-needles sweater is a top down based on your formula which I really enjoyed. Thank you for that and for all the designers I’ve found here. I’m totally intrigued by Megan’s comment on adding books or magazines to my Rav Library!
I’m so glad you’ve found it useful! Always love hearing that.
It’s definitely all about Rav for me. In fact, it’s the reason I took up knitting. Seeing those pictures of people’s finished objects made me finally challenge my long held assertion that I could never be a knitter. I have no particular allegiances to any one designer although being on the small side, I do find designs by similarly proportioned people seem to work best for me.
My favourite place to find pattern inspiration is my local library. I love flipping through books, old and new, as well as magazines. I find more and more that there’s no such thing as a new idea, and I love seeing how people have approached this craft over time.
I started knitting pre-ravelry and would go to the local library to read through all of the knitting books and magazines. I would sit there for hours and I loved it. It seems tedious compared to how easily I can search and sort through Ravelry now, but I learned a LOT by looking at so many books. These days I tend to start with Ravelry when I am looking for patterns, but I let it point me to blogs, books, magazines, yarn companies and independent designers. I find I often return to Brooklyn Tweed, Quince & Co. are Berroco as pattern sources.
All of the above! I started knitting long before the internet even existed, and nowadays I find patterns I want to knit in so many ways – browsing the magazine rack and bookshelves at Barnes and Noble, in my local library, on Ravelry, or Loveknitting, or Etsy, on Instagram and Facebook, on blogs. I don’t think it’s necessary to be “either/or” about digital and analog. I happily embrace both to satisfy my curiosity.
I have used Ravelry a few times in the past, but it’s a bit too huge to be of tremendous help to me. I mostly use recommendations from bloggers (like yourself) to both specific patterns and to designers. I use the library a lot, both for specific patterns and for help with techniques and surface designs. Magazines are useful too, although I mostly go online for those. None of the LYSs in my area have much in the way of printed patterns, but they do have finished samples, which are very helpful.
ps. Your blog is very handy because you also discuss sewing patterns and suppliers, so I get info on both of my main hobbies!
Seeing samples (and trying them on if possible) is such a huge benefit of a good LYS.
Back in the day I would visit the knitting sections of bookstores and craft stores. Many books were hardcover and were a bit of an investment so to speak. I was an admirer of Alice Starmore. There was also Vogue Knitting, not really my style but sort of a base from which to customize things. Once Ravelry was launched, I started going more and more for single patterns from independent designers. I also discovered Japanese designers, whose beautifully printed softcover journals I love having on my shelves, despite not knowing a word of Japanese.
The Japanese books are incredible. My favorite things in my personal library are the few of those I have plus all the vintage cable pattern booklets.
My main source is Ravelry, like a lot of people said already. I browse daily (is it an addiction ?), around 15 minute when arriving at work, while drinking my first coffee.
I have many ways to search :
– I carefully selected a handful of designers I love (Julie Hoover, Kate Davies, Carrie Bostick Hoge, Michele Wang to name a few) so I get notified when they publish a new pattern.
– I also love to “friend” people whose work I admire to see their new projects and what kind of patterns or yarn they work with. (by the way, may I add you to my friends ? I’ve always been too shy to ask…).
– I love to use the search page on Ravelry, there are so many options to narrow your choice, and my favourite is to use the “gauge” filter, because it allows me to search for a pattern when I already now what yarn to use.
– I’ve made some bundles in my “favourites”, based on what type of project I make, or wish to make, like “crew neck sweaters”, or “textured yokes”. I’ve recently started to tag them, for seasons or construction, or a specific technique.
Apart from Ravelry, I like to browse books / magazines, because they provide not just patterns, but also a global aesthetic or vision. Making and Laine are my favourites. On the other hand I must admit I do not often use their patterns. I also have some japanese pattern books (hello “Aran and Gansey”!), and love them for the challenge.
Mostly Ravelry these days. I don’t do Instagram or any of those other things, but when I see a pattern in a magazine or suggested somewhere online I always check it out on Ravelry. I’m pretty eclectic with designers, although if I had to pick one it would be Romi Hill, for her glorious shawls. Having said that, I’d never give up any of my pattern books. Some of them I’ve knit a lot from (Victorian Lace Today, A Fine Fleece) and some are just to look at and dream over. On a cold winter day, or a hot summer evening, nothing beats thumbing through an actual book.
One thing I do with magazines is to tear out patterns I like and put them in my pattern file, then get on Ravelry and put them in a bundle of favorites. Then it’s easy to see which I have, and the rest of the magazine can go to recycle. Before I did that I had huge stacks of magazines that were really too daunting to look through when I wanted something.
Martha, that sounds so organized! Are you for hire?
Yes to the Aran and Gansey book! Thank you for reminding me. And yes you can friend me!
I am often pulled in by a pattern from one of the newsletters or emails that I follow – Quince yarn, Purl Soho shop in NYC, Melanie Berg in Germany, Ysolda in the UK, a Norwegian lady for 18″ doll clothes, Beth Brown Reinsel, etc. Also Patternfish, Twist Collective, and of course Ravelry. And the many books and magazines that I have bought. I am getting better at saving potential patterns in Favourites on Ravelry.
I have a cache of patterns from before Ravelry that I still intend to knit, from browsing at a LYS (Adele’s Yarn in San Francisco, sadly gone now.) Since then, Black Water Abbey has been a large source of patterns, though they’re closed now too.
I use Ravelry’s pattern search a lot, especially if I bought yarn for a pattern but later am having second thoughts about whether I want to make it!
I subscribe to Interweave Knits and find a lot of sweaters I like there, which I then mark as favorites on Ravelry. I look at Vogue Knitting and Knitters on the news stand and sometimes buy them but they don’t have as many things I’d like to knit as they used to.
I knit mainly for myself and am only interested in making cardigans with lots of cables or interesting patterning, so I’m not looking for new and different things. Occasionally I venture into color work – I love the way it looks but it’s harder for me.
All of the above! I do look for people on Ravelry and Pinterest that have a similar body type to mine when making a final decision. I like to use a popular pattern because it typically means it is written well. Not to say that others aren’t, but I don’t have much knitting time, and want to make sure I will end up with a wearable project.
I have been knitting for about 40 years –since I was around five–and I have a huge collection of printed patterns, books and magazines, etc. I look at Rav every day, and I have particular designers that I follow and admire. However, I started designing in the pre-Rav days, and my website provided folks with the chance to download a PDF. When Rav came on the scene, I phased that out… But I really only knit other people’s patterns every now and then, so I can learn from them. I come up with my own ideas, and I don’t worry too much about the fads! (I still own and wear sweaters my mom knit as a kid and ones I knit in high school and university!)
I clothe myself and my family, mitts, toques, sweaters, cowls, the works–and I use Rowan, Rav, Madder, Vogue, ethnic/regional collections, how to books, and old IKs as inspiration. I really do miss the old Interweave days when Melanie Falick and Pam Allen were editors at IK though. I cherish –and revisit-many of the designs they published.
Love all the great ideas here! I follow my favorited designers on Ravelry by first doing a name search, favoriting each one, then do a filter on favorite designers, and save and name the search… I named the saved search “Designers”.
When I log in to Ravelry, if one of my faves has added a new pattern, there will be a little blue dot next to the magnifying glass at the top of the screen. Tap that, and the next page reveals the search results. There is an option to view newest first. Voila!
It’s been eons since I set this up so this isn’t intended as a tutorial and hope it sparks ideas. Think Rav may have had a tutorial on creating saved searches this way back.
I subscribe to Making magazine, enter each issue in the library, also collect vintage knitting books from used book sales and thrift shops, then add them to my Ravelry library. When I find another treasure at a sale, I can check Rav to see if I already own it. 😊
Great tips! I need to try this.
Ravelry, magazines like Amirisu, Pom Pom, Making, from IG follows and then designers I just love. I learned to knit when I was about 10 years old, so I am also an owner of old school pattern books/booklets.
Currently, I almost exclusively use Ravelry, unless I happen to see something on pinterest or a blog or that a friend knit and then find it on ravelry. But I remember I started out with a stack of old knitting and crochet magazines and patterns from my mom. I also picked up patterns at chain stores where they had free take home sheets with patterns from big yarn companies, and of course spent hours sitting on the floor of the library in the craft section poring over knitting books or photocopying patterns from Vogue magazines in the library. And of course, Knitty!!! I loved Knitty! Beautiful free patterns, and little bits of stories about the pattern and the designer. I didn’t have a lot of money when I started out so somehow I felt I couldn’t afford 5 dollars for a pattern, but I used to comb through all of the Knitty patterns when they’d release their online seasonal bunch of patterns. It helped me find a lot of interesting designers.
I love how many people are mentioning Knitty.
Ravelry all the way. I used to like everything Stephen West put out, but he has left me in the dust the last few years. Before Rav I perused knitting magazines on a regular basis.
Definitely Ravelry these days. It’s my favorite time suck and source of inspiration. I began knitting long before Ravelry, though. In the “old days” I’d mostly get pattern booklets when I bought yarn for a project. Sounds so quaint and well managed now. Then I discovered Rowan, then Interweave, then Vogue Knitting ….. I never knitted much from magazines, but I loved them for their inspiration & advertisers (I still buy Interweave & Vogue mostly for the advertisements). Similar story with books. I have a very full library of them, and love reading through them, but don’t usually go there for patterns (except when they show up in a Ravelry search).
Blogs, books, and magazines. Ravelry helps me manage my library, note favorites and find next projects within that library. I have often been sent to one of my books or periodicals from a Ravelry search only to get lost its pages, drooling over so many other patterns. What I love about the books and periodicals that live on my shelves are the articles that accompany patterns. I learn and re-learn so much from my print material. I tend to be attracted to and knit the same designers but do not follow those designers specifically.
Fun Q! I use all the methods – Ravelry is the hub but I love going to knit design web pages and magazines (though less so now than when I first started knitting). I’ve also been known to buy the occasional book. Prob is, I don’t want to own full books of patterns when I only like 2 of them…
Yeah, I’m super choosy. I often wonder if there’s some universal average among knitters of what the tipping point is. That might be a future Q!
I use ravelry. Usually, I click on my “friends” activity and see what they are favorite-ing. You are my friend, Karen ;) Sometimes it’s a designer but mostly it is just someone’s style that inspires me so I “friend” them and see what they are liking and knitting. Or I will just go on a pattern search if I have an idea of what I want.
I have loads of books and magazines and patterns from the pre-Ravelry days. Now I don’t buy a book unless I can see myself making several of the patterns it contains, otherwise it is more practical to get the individual patterns. And those I get 99.9% of the time from Ravelry. I do always check projects and notes, and so appreciate the notes!
I realized that lately, my knitting ideas come from pictures of people’s WIP’s and FO’s on IG! Then I check the pattern name and search for it on Ravelry. I remember pre-internet. I didn’t even know any other knitters. I had to drive 3 towns over to reach a yarn store, where I’d search their pattern books for ideas, or just knit something from a grocery store magazine out of acrylic that I bought at K-mart!
Sometimes it’s hard to remember how different life is from not that many years ago!
I just found out today that F+W Media, the publisher of Interweave Knits and Knitscene, among many other magazines, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Sad news.
I had been underwhelmed by IK the last few years, and what with the option of buying individual patterns from Ravelry, just let my subscription lapse. The loss of subscriptions has been cited as a major factor.
On the other hand, Pom Pom, Amirisu, Making, Taproot, and other indie print publications seem to be doing well, so it is perhaps just a sign of changing times.
F+W seems to have had issues well beyond the knitting/crochet titles, but I do imagine it’s hard to make a go of the old-school knitting magazines these days.
I used to go to the library for some of my patterns. Debbie Bliss, Erika Knight, Alice Starmore etc… I could not wait for each month’s issue of Interweave knits magazine to come out! Interweave and Rowan magazines were, IMHO the most innovative and creative publications you could find at the time. I would also read yarn catalogs like crazy. I got seriously into knitting a few years before Knitty.com came out and when it did, my mind was blown!!
I wish I’d be around for the Pam Allen era of Interweave — I know there’s a lot of nostalgia, and based on what she’s done with Quince, I can see why.
Like most folks Rav is how I search for and organize inspiration. YouTube has been the second most important tool to me as a new knitter – both for learning new techniques but also to hear other knitters talk about yarn, people, and projects they love.The Gentle Knitter, and Melody Hoffman are favorites.
I’m pretty old-school. I have certain pattern books (and indeed individual patterns) that I return to again and again like dear old friends. I will also be seduced by new pattern books when one comes out that particularly appeals to me. I love Martin Storey’s designs so keep an eye out for them (which often means keeping an eye on Rowan). I also find some of the knitting magazines good for ideas/shapes/colours if not for actual patterns (Designer/Vogue Knitting is particularly good for this). I find Ravelry rather overwhelming so on the internet I tend to browse small producers like Kate Davies, Brooklyn Tweed, and Virtual Yarns. Of course, I find inspiration on Fringe Association and also on podcasts such as Hey Brown Berry, Dramatic Knits, Knitting The Stash and Stranded Knitting.
I still haven’t developed a real podcast habit and know I’m missing a lot of good stuff!
There are an awful lot of podcasts that I’ve watched part of and not got on with, but as with most things there are a few pearls. If I were just to recommend one, it would be Hey Brown Berry – she is such a lovely lady.
For me it is just like others mentioned before. In the beginning of my re-start of knitting there were the knitting blogs including the then usual blogroll (I’m not sure this is the right word, I’m pointing at the list of ‘friend’ blogs on the side panel of a blogpage). Furthermore knitty,com, twist collective, amirisu, pompom.
And just today another favorite for finding new patterns went life, the MDK Mayhem. https://www.masondixonknitting.com/march-mayhem/
Yes! Lots to explore there.
I definitely follow certain designers, wherever they can be found – Instagram is a big influencer here – but I use Ravelry for the most part for all my deep dives into a pattern search. One of the major influencers for me is also knitting podcasts: Fruity Knitting, Espace Tricot, Grocery Girls, Voolenvine, and Chelsea Purls are all huge sources of inspiration. Also e-newsletters from designers and yarn stores I admire – Loop London, Purl Soho, Urban Yarns, Andrea Rangel, Andrea Mowry, Caitlin Hunter…and YOU, dear Karen! I have been a huge supporter and fan of Fringe Association for many years. And sometimes, just walking into a LYS and seeing a knitted sample of a design is all it takes to fall under the spell of a beautiful design once again….!!
Thank you! And yes, newsletters are another great source I didn’t think of!
Pre-Ravelry I haunted my local library and subscribed to Interweave Knits and Cast On Magazine. Now every time I get a new magazine or book, I make sure to enter it into my Rav library. Whenever I search for a new project, first I search my own library on Rav, then if I don’t find what I want there, I widen the search to my favorites. Besides magazine and books, I find inspiration from certain blogs (fringe, mason dixon, yarn harlot) podcasts (Fruity Knitting, Stick + Twine, Kristy Glass) and festivals (Rhinebeck, Knitter’s Day Out in Harrisburg PA). I also get inspiration locally, from my LYS, knitting group and Rav friends. I do have favorite designers, but I rarely knit more than one pattern from the same person, so I don’t really follow them.
The first pattern I knit from, was in Stitch n Bitch by Debbie Stoller. From there I would get magazines and look at blogs. I still love blogs for pattern inspiration. And of course Ravelry. I do look at IG but I don’t really end up knitting stuff from what I see there. I follow the blogs of a lot of designers and that’s how I choose most patterns. Although I’ve knit from magazines too, I always check Ravelry before committing to knitting a garment. I really hope blogs don’t disappear entirely.
I’ve subscribed to Interweave Knits for about seven years, KnitScene and Knit Simple for a few years before that, and have a lot of Vogue Knitting and other random magazines, plus a bookshelf of knitting books. All are logged in my Ravelry library. When I want to knit something, I’ll search my library for, say, a sport-weight cardigan that uses [insert yardage from yarn I want to use up in my stash]. Right now I’m making the Paddock Cardigan from an old Interweave issue that didn’t really register at the time, but fit the gauge for a gorgeous small batch yarn I picked up at my local farmer’s market, and I love it.
Love this Q&A! So much inspiration on magazines and designers, so first of all: thank you!
My main go to is Ravelry. I almost daily browse for patterns and inspiration. Viewing other peoples projects is a big help on deciding if I want to knit (or crochet) a pattern and to help me choose the right yarn. I love the queue for planning and I’ve only recently discovered the save search option. I know it’s a trap – sometimes I find myself looking for the next project more than knitting – but I love it :) Some of my favorite brands/designers are: Quince & Co, Leila Raabe, Hannah Fettig, Pam Allen, Madder and Ririko.
I find everything on Ravelry now, and the internet before that. But I started knitting in the early 1990s, before the internet existed. I first learned using the famous knitting book, “Erica Wilson Knits.” In the following years, I bought pattern books and booklets at craft stores, or used the patterns on the inside of yarn packaging. Ravelry and social media has changed everything!