Knitting is a popular hobby and has a long, amazing history around the world. Here are seven websites that have everything a knitting enthusiast could want to find on the web.
The world’s leading museum of art and design has some unique resources for the knitting lover. View and download patterns, including a collection from the 1940s, view numerous articles, and read about the history of regional knitting in the British Isles & Ireland. There’s also a reading list of selected books about knitting.
For over 35 years, the Craft Yarn Council (CYC) has represented the leading yarn companies, accessory manufacturers, magazine, book publishers, and consultants in the yarn industry. The Council sponsors various promotional and educational programs, including the acclaimed Certified Instructors Program, Discover Knit and Crochet classes, and its popular I Love YARN Day event (the second Friday in October), which offers a virtual meeting place for the nation's knitters and crocheters. Find free patterns, discover classes, and access standards and guidelines for knitting and crochet including:
- a uniform list of crochet and knit abbreviations
- guidelines for ranking the skill level of crochet and knit patterns
- measuring, fit, and sizing guidelines for babies, children, women, and men
- categories of yarn, gauge ranges, and recommended needle and hook sizes
- categories of yarn by weight, gauge ranges and recommended needle and hook sizes
- millimeter and U.S. size ranges for hooks and needles
- graphic symbols for skill levels and yarn weights
- chart symbols for knit and crochet
- understanding yarn label information
- tips on reading knit and crochet patterns
For knitters of all skill levels, AllFreeKnitting.org is dedicated to offering the best free knitting patterns on the web. The site also offers tutorials, tips and articles for the knitting enthusiast. You’ll find free product reviews and giveaways of "all the latest and greatest products including yarn, knitting books, totes, and more." The free email newsletter, Knit Picky Patterns, features knitting photos, free knitting patterns, and video tutorials in every issue. Create a free account and you can comment on patterns, add private notes to patterns, rating patterns, and create a personal Knitting Patterns Box where you can save your favorite free knitting patterns from all over AllFreeKnitting.com in one place.
TKGA is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated specifically to knitting. As a member, you will have access to:
- Quality technical information,
- Cast On magazine, the educational journal for knitting,
- TKGA Correspondence and Mini Courses
- Certification programs like the Master Hand Knitter and Master Machine Knitter Programs
- Monthly K2TOG newsletter.
They are working to develop a virtual education program. Membership is $25 a year.
This is a project of New Media Arts, Inc., a nonprofit organization. "This ongoing project is an effort to scan craft pattern publications that are in the public domain, to preserve them, so we can keep our craft heritages in our hands." Patterns for all kinds of crafts are available for free including: knitting, crochet, woodworking, and cross-stitch. APL also hosts a Yahoo Group of over 5,000 members.
During WWII knitting was a way that many people supported the war effort. According to The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, the cover story of Life magazine on November 24, 1941 explained "How to Knit" and included instructions and a pattern for a simple vest. The article advised, “To the great American question ‘What can I do to help the war effort?’ the commonest answer yet found is ‘Knit.’” Thousands of Americans did just that to provide soldiers with warmth and loving reminders of home. The museum website also notes that First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was often photographed knitting for the war effort.
Since 2006, The National WWII Museum in New Orleans has coordinated the service project called Knit Your Bit—a volunteer-based effort to collect and distribute hand-knit scarves to veterans. Knitters and crocheters in all 50 states have participated and tens of thousands of scarves have been distributed to veterans' centers, hospitals, and service organizations across the country.
There are patterns to print out, information on starting your own local effort for Knit Your Bit, and you can join the Facebook group to hear the latest news, get information on Knit-Ins at the Museum, and more.
The “CKC” is on mission to "preserve and promote the art, craft, and scholarship of knitting, crochet, and related arts.” The Center offers online exhibitions and you can become a charter member to support the efforts. Your membership will support:
- Development of a Standardized Knitting and Crochet Nomenclature
- Launch of a Virtual Museum
- Establishment of Preservation and Exhibition Guidelines
- Development of Online and Physical Exhibitions
- Development of Educational Outreach, Materials, and Programs
- Promote and/or Publish Research on Knitting, Crochet, and Related Arts