Friday, January 29, 2010

Favorite websites to visit

I have spent a ridiculous amount of time on the internet researching and utilizing the many wonderful website that exist for crocheters. My obsession began around the time when I wanted to learn how to do stitches other than single crochet and chains, how to read crochet pattern abbreviations and how to find free crochet patterns. I went online and was absolutely shocked to discover an entire culture, a wealth of knowledge and lovely people that were just as (if not more) excited about crocheting as I was!

So, over the past couple years I have compiled this list of wonderful websites, blogs, and other resources on the web I visit almost daily for inspiration, learning, and just plain fun!

1. Lion Brand - it's simply an amazing resource with over 3000 free patterns to use (all you need to do is go through their free register process, and you can download all you want)! Not only that, but there are tips, explanations of stitches, a customer gallery where you can share what you've made and oggle at other's creations, and you can request their free catalog. Basically, I love this site. Almost any amigurumi I've ever made has been from a free pattern, from this site. Thank you people of Lion Brand, you are awesome!

2. Ravelry - equally amazing site. I doubt there is any other resource out there that could immediately connect such a large community of knitters and crocheters. Another quick and simple free registration, and you are ready to view all sorts of projects, ideas, yarns, patterns (many of them free and available for download!), links to excellent blogs, and it's all connected in this wonderful way! Any pattern that is in the ravelry data base that is added to someone's notebook as a "Project" is immediately added in a collection of other projects that were made from the same pattern. Why is this awesome you might be asking? Well, because if someone in Denmark has an amazing idea to modify the pattern, colors, yarns, etc. they will often display it, maybe tell you how they did it, and you can absorb so much creative juices that you just might explode! Can you tell I love this site?

3. Etsy - This site is all about buying, selling, and loving handmade goods. I love it not just because you can sell your crafts and find some really neat things here, but because, once again, it is a community of people that love what I love! One of my favorite things to do is to type in something that I'd like to make -say a giraffe amigurumi, and see what the sellers have listed. They are all artists with wonderful talent, so I love to just take a look around and be inspired by their creations. If you have never looked at, purchased from, or even talked with anyone who knows about Etsy, I urge you to do it! You will love it!

4. Crochet Pattern Central - They have an entire library of free patterns, all organized by category. They take any and all free patterns posted on the internet, and organize them into one central location. You can go there and then be redirected to other sites and blogs where the patterns were originally posted. This one is always a little more of a search for me to find good patterns from because 1. they don't have pictures of the posted patterns on the page where all the pattern names are listed, instead you have to go to the link, and then sometimes have to search for a link to a picture posted on yet another page.  2. They don't have "designers" for this site, they simply take what is available and post it. This means, sometimes you get really amateur pattern writers who simply wrote up a little diddy on their blog. They might be difficult to understand, they might not have a picture of the finished project, and sometimes the finished object just looks...weird. Though I love this site, you have to really want a certain type of pattern for free to really utilize it.

5. Crochet Me - their slogan, "Linking the crochet community" is quite accurate if you choose to really utilize this site. They have free patterns, links to great blog posts from their writers at Interweave crochet magazine, videos, photo galleries, forums to dicuss all things crochet, and even a glossary. They are a great group of people, and it is a wonderful place to get ideas, tips and more than enough information! All you have to do is become a member through their free membership sign-up.

6. Free tons of patterns, articles, tips, and more! The only downside to this free membership, is you are bombarded with lots of offers to purchase things and sign up for all these "deals" they offer. Otherwise, it is wonderfully useful!

7. Crochet Spot - an excellent blog by Rachel, a passionate crocheter. She also has a store with all her original patterns. I am signed up for her weekly newsletter, and I just love reading her ideas, tips, and general musings about crochet! If you ever download one of her patterns- know that she is the kind of person that just cares so much, I know she would offer her personal assistance if you ran into problems...not that you would! I have an earlier post where I linked to a free pattern for a rose from her site. She is awesome :)

There are many more lovely places to visit, but these are my top. I hope you enjoy, visit these sites, learn and most importantly, be inspired!


arshad said...
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