Tips for Finding Crochet Patterns Online
Please note that the information provided on this page will help you to find crochet patterns, but there is no guarantee that these patterns will be free of charge. Most very good patterns are worth paying for, but you may also note that most free patterns can also be adapted to improve their appearance.
How to Find Crochet Patterns Online
If you've been crocheting for any length of time, you've probably learned that the Internet is an excellent source of free and paid patterns, and that getting your crochet patterns online is more convenient than purchasing hard copies. PDF files are easier to store and can always be printed off to use at your convenience.
On the other hand, if you're anything like me, finding these patterns can be tricky.
You've probably run into a number of resources listing "all free patterns" by category, and if you're like me, you've probably also gotten frustrated with having to pour over page after page after page of useless links until you find what you want.
So what's the problem?
It's hard to find crochet patterns you like when there aren't any images.
This page will help you learn how to find crochet patterns without having to wade through page after page of useless links. It will also provide you with links to the aforementioned resources providing links to free patterns.
Please note that these tips won't always yield free patterns.
A (social network) community or knitters and crocheters to showcase their talent and to join in with one another in challenges, Knit and Crochet Alongs, and other activities.
Tip #1: Use Ravelry
If you crochet (or knit) on a regular basis, you should probably already be a member of Ravelry. This is a good time to sign up if you aren't already a member, since you have to sign up in order to be able to search and use other features of the site. Since this is the best resource for people who crochet, you may want to make your profile on there, join some groups, and upload some projects before moving forward. Don't worry: I'll wait. Just open the page in a new window.
Ravelry may very well provide you with every pattern available on the Internet and in some cases even patterns that are only available in print. Note, however, that many aren't free to download.
How to Search Ravelry
Ravelry's search is complex because it offers you a number of ways to find information on Ravelry.
If you look at the images to the right, you will hopefully see that my search was for African Flower Motif (examples of this motif below) because it is a recent discovery for me and one of my favorites so far. If you look at the second image (click the thumbnail), you will see the illustration of the fact that you can search for different things.
Choose either "patterns" or "projects" to find patterns. Projects will allow you to find patterns because you'll have a good visual of the projects that people have done, with a link to the patterns (unless it's a custom pattern).
Following my search, you'll get a search results page that looks like this. (Click "this" to get to the search results page). In this case it's a single page of results since this is a specific type of pattern.
On the left side of the page, you can narrow your search -- a lot -- by choosing various different settings, including difficulty level, yarn weight, and other factors that are important to your ability to complete the project.
Because the vast majority of Ravelry patterns come with pictures -- or because pictures are available of completed projects -- this makes an ideal way to search for patterns.
Gorgeous African Flower MotifsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Do you sometimes struggle to find the patterns you want?
Ravelry is Good for Finding Crochet Patterns Because...
Ravelry is good for finding crochet patterns because it stores information about every pattern that has been linked to the site. Any pattern used in a project that has been added to the site is linked from the site even if it can't be found online. If you're looking for something very specific, Ravelry's the way to go, provided that you have enough searchable information about the pattern you're hoping to find. If you can't find it on Ravelry, it's probably a keyword problem.
Next, I'm going to be discussing how to use Google to find your patterns. This may be a bit more complicated since this has always been how I find my patterns, and I've always struggled.
The Problem with Using Google to Find Crochet Patterns Online
Google can be tough when looking for crochet patterns online. It's not the best resource for finding patterns -- unless you know some tricks to help you out. I discovered this just yesterday and was excited enough about it that I wanted to share this with you while it was fresh in my mind.
If you do a search for African Flower Crochet Pattern, you'll get a list of links, typical of Google. At the top you'll see a handful of images, which you can click to see examples of African Flower Motifs. Below, you'll probably see a list of links, and maybe a video or two.
The problem with this is that you don't know what you're getting when you click a link, and this can be time-consuming and discouraging when page after page is text-only without example photos or information about the pattern.
While there's nothing wrong with novices making patterns, it's frustrating for those people who want to be able to see what they'll be crocheting.
Tip #2: Click Google Images after Searching
After you do your search in Google, click on the images at the top of the page. This should take you to Google's Image Search for African Flower Crochet Pattern. Suggested additions to your search will appear at the top of the page. In this case, Google suggests "hexagons" and "squares" for you to narrow your search. There's no need in this case, but feel free to click on either of those if you're following me.
In most cases, if you click through the image to the origin page, you'll find that the origin page provides the pattern to create the item in the picture. Sometimes these are paid patterns and sometimes you'll get the pattern right there on the page with the picture, but about 90% of the time, you'll be able to find the pattern this way, and you're wading through fewer links to do so!
Tip #3: Youtube Isn't Bad for Finding Crochet Patterns
When you're looking for a specific pattern (not an entire project, just the pattern of stitches), Youtube can be incredibly helpful in finding these pattern stitches. Search for the name of the stitch pattern or motif (in the case to the right, African Flower Crochet) and then select a video tutorial from the list.
(Please, for heaven's sake, join your yarn correctly for crochet. This tutorial isn't a good example of joining, since she ties the yarn together instead of joining it, but you should get the point).
Did these tips help you?
These Tips Work for Knit and Crochet Patterns
These tips work well for both knit and crochet patterns, and may work for certain other projects for which patterns or instructions can be found online. I'd love to know how you get on with these tips, so please go ahead and respond to the poll and get in there in my comments!
Crochet projects make excellent -- if sometimes expensive -- gifts for your loved ones, and I'd love to know how you get on with making some beautiful crochet!
© 2014 Becki Rizzuti