to celebrate the publication of my new book


Our colorful 1751 farmhouse will be open to the public. On view will be many of the projects that are featured in Crafting A Pattern Home along with many other things I have made over the years.

This event will be a celebration of the handmade. I hope the day will inspire you to add some pattern and color to your home.

The event is FREE. Books will be available along with some other things I have made. For more information and directions, see the EVENTBRITE PAGE HERE. Although tickets are not mandatory, it will help me get a count to know what to expect. Hope to see you here in western Massachusetts in May.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October Sunflowers, Frieda's Birthday and Giveaway #4

Where has October gone? For that fact, where has 2010 gone? In a few short weeks it will be Thanksgiving. Whoa - slow down. Please..... I doubt it will. Yikes!

Back in the beginning of August, I still hadn't finished planting my garden! I decided to take a chance and throw in some sunflower seeds along the garden shed. If they didn't bloom, I hadn't expended much energy. It's been a rather mild fall here and although we have had several frosts, my late planted sunflowers are putting on a bit of a show. The other morning, the fog was rising, the mountainside was gloriously colored and the flowers were just shining their little hearts out.

They aren't quite as profuse as the sunflowers that grow in our field but they sure do look gorgeous and make me smile.

We don't have full-blown sunsets in our yard. What we do have is the sun reflecting itself on the mountain beyond our house. As the sun gets lower in the sky, it climbs up the hill.

Quickly it becomes a sliver and then disappears and it gets dark.

I love that time of day and I frequently sit out in a chair and watch the sun climb up the mountain.

Today is my grandma Frieda's birthday. She was born in 1901 in Germany and came to America in 1911. She would be 109 today. Gram was a huge part of my sisters and my life. She lived only across town and we saw her multiple times a week. Gram was always making something - whether it be kuchen, cookies, dinner, growing a garden, arranging dried flowers, sewing, crocheting, or embroidering. She taught me to crochet when I was 9 years old. Gram is one of the reasons I became interested in textiles and handwork of all kinds. She passed on her love of busywork with the hands to me and I am so thankful for that gift she shared. I can still remember her saying to me "Oh, Kristin, you are so clever." It was that encouragement that spurred me on! Every once in a while, I will stumble on her beautiful handwritten letters that I have saved since I was in college. She had elegant handwriting and she wrote me once a week for the two years I was at graduate school in Colorado. As she got older and began to fade, her letters became shorter and confused. But I cherish each and every one. So Happy Birthday Gram - wherever you are. I love you! And thank you!

And now it is on to this week's October Giveaway #4. Here's what I have for you.....

1. A signed copy of my book "Kids Embroidery" (a great present for a little friend!)
2. A copy of Alison Stewart-Guinee's Fairy Tale Knits (courtesy of Alison)
3. A signed copy of my book "Kristin Knits"
4. Two sets of my postcards - "Olympia in her Floral Felted Lei" and "Sheep in Coats"
and lastly.......
5. FIVE different colored balls of my self-striping sock yarn Best Foot Forward (courtesy of Nashua Handknits). That will make a lot of socks!

Here's how you enter..... Answer the following question in the comments section of this post:

Today it is about knitting patterns..... Do you feel a free pattern is as accurate as a purchased knitting pattern? Do you look to yarn companies and yarn stores for knitting patterns? Or knitting magazines? Or do you look to independent designers for patterns on the web? Feel free to add whatever thoughts you have on the subject! Thanks so much!

Contest closes Tuesday, November 2nd at midnight. Please make sure you leave an easy way to get a hold of you (e-mail addy is best!) Good luck! I have one more fabulous giveaway planned for the end of next week so check back!


Beth said...

Kristin! What an amazing giveaway.

I use both purchased and free patterns. If I'm using a free pattern, I try to look at examples of the item knitted up and read people's comments about the pattern. I also really appreciate it when patterns include more than one size in the directions. I think purchases patterns are more likely to do that, so I guess I might have a slight preference there. But I've used and enjoyed many free patterns, too!

I look at books, blogs, ravelry, and friends creations for inspiration and pattern help. There's nothing better than making something that a friend has already done - and a friend that is willing to help you if you hit a snag.

Diana said...

Your sunflowers are beautiful. It's nice to see something still blooming so late in the season.

I have never had a problem with accuracy (or inaccuracy) in a knitting pattern, either purchased or free. I get most of my patterns from either Ravelry or free patterns on blogs. I do hunt through my LYS for books,patterns, and ideas, though.

Sally said...

Of course let someone else win this one if I'm picked, but to chime in: I use patterns from all over, especially since Ravelry came about, because I always read what others have to say about the pattern. But my favorite pattern source is my own library of books and magazines. I can peruse at my leisure, make little notes to myself, draw arrows, etc. Also, I check the publishers' errata before embarking on a project. Then I feel more confident.
Happy Birthday, Frieda! I had a great aunt Frieda, my mother's favorite aunt, who was an amazing embroiderer and quilter. I still have some of her quilts.

Joyce said...

Interesting questions . . . I work full-time Monday-Friday,so I find myself mainly buying books/patterns on the web and from the bookstores where I can browse in the evening. (My LYS is closed by the time I am off work.)

My first love is books. I have lots of knitting books and am always looking to add another.

I also like magazines - it's fun to see the styling and trends. I love Knitty and I love that it's free. Ravelry has helped me discover some great independent designers.

I have to admit that just lately, I'm moving more towards the knitting the independent designers' and using the books more for inspiration because I can download a pattern PDF easily to my phone to take with me and the patterns can be updated to be error free.

I love your blog and find that pretty motivating too!

So that's my take on patterns.

maureen said...

I use whatever pattern I like, i I research it on Ravelry before knitting it seeing how others have encountered it and what yarns they have used

More often than not I buy the yarn and then have to find a pattern to knit

I do not at all mind paying for a pattern I do however mind paying for a book of patterns that I will only use one pattern in the book, in that case I try and get the book from the library

I always look at independent designers patterns, they seem to be more innovative and if I like one in the collection then I usually like more in the same colllection

Kathleen C. said...

I haven't had any more problems with the free than with the magazine/purchase patterns. There are always a few glitches that get through here and there despite designers, writers and editors best eforts.
And I definitely do not see the free pattern as a lesser design quality pattern. I find my free patterns mostly from Knitty or Ravelry.
I find patterns everywhere.
I look through magazines and if there are at least a few patterns I like I will buy it.
I will buy a book if I feel that the textual information is instructive enough or if I like most of the designs (only a few isn't enough for the cost of the book... usually). I find and buy from online... finding these patterns mostly through blogs and Ravelry.
Even when I know that I'm unlikely to make some patterns if the visual inspiration is moving enough I'll buy it. Just for the oomph it gives my knitting dreams.

AmyPinSeattle said...

I use both free and paid patterns. However, I'm doing more and more free due to the prices of the patterns. I don't mind paying up to $5 for a pattern, but $12? come on!

I also think free patterns is an excellent way for a new designer to break into the industry and get a following so they CAN start charging for their patterns.

I also have heard from several people that the Twist Collective patterns are problematic and they are frustrated since they paid quite a bit for the pattern.

If I pay more than $1-$2, I want it to be well written and accurate.

Heather L. said...

I guess I would think that a purchased pattern would be more accurate, but, then again, I've bought patterns from famous designers and there were errors in them!! I usually go to ravelry to check for free patterns. since my sister (Christina Wall) is an independent designer, I always ask her for recommendations and of course knit many of her patterns! I also like reading blogs, such as Ysolda's.

Suzanne said...

I use patterns from books, free and purchased patterns. I usually expect a purchased pattern (whether in a book or leaflet) to be accurate though I have had many that weren't.

Free patterns that I have used have mostly been pretty good. I usually wait till they are around a few months and then any kinks are worked out.

Ravelry has been great in finding new designers. I find that if I make something by a designer I tend to like their other stuff. If the pattern is well written and error free, I am more likely to purchase more of their patterns.

judi said...

Although i get patterns from many sources i love getting patterns from independent designers. I have found the accuracy to be on par with those in books or other publications. Ravelry has made knitting a whole new experience and I love being able to see many examples of a design.

taylorgirl6 said...

Gosh. I'm really the odd one out in this. I've never knitted. I don't even know how to. But I've asked for needles and yarn for Christmas this year, and I hope to teach myself.

Full disclosure - I have a love affair with sheep. When I travel to Ireland, I drive my girlfriend (the native) crazy with my need to photograph every sheep I see. Someday I'd love to raise them. It only seems natural to love wool as much as I love sheep.

emeselle said...

I get my patterns from all of those sources. I expect a purchase pattern to be more accurate than a free one, but I've been surprised by that more than once and have taken a more egalitarian outlook. Ravelry has made me much more brave--before I begin a free pattern or buy one from a download, I can see if others are having trouble, how their yarn choices turned out, etc. I like magazines and books too, and they are even more useful now that I can use the Ravelry library function and browse the patterns in each. I tend toward the same designers, once I find one pattern I like I find I'm more likely to like the rest. I see by the other comments that I am a lot like your other readers :) mslabruyere@yahoo.com

Paula Durrant said...

Earlier this month I went to a very upscale yarn shop and fell in love with a pattern they were selling. I bought the yarn [$200} and they gave me the pattern. I began knitting and discovered mistakes in the pattern ... several, so many I couldn't figure it out myself. I emailed, called and finally the designer called me. She wsa flippant and brushed me off. I was startled and unhappy that the errors were not taken more seriously. The shop own actually told me they didnt' bother to check because they were a small shop. I offered to become a checker, the offer was ignored. at any rate the designer must have gotten herself together because she called me later with the corrections and [sort of] an apology.

I expect patterns to be correct whether I pay for them or find them on the internet. I have not published my own because I can't find anyone willing to check it for me. The sloppiness is discouraging to any knitter - beginning or advanced. I feel designers have a responsibility to make sure the pattern is correct and the directions are clear.

I look everywhere and have gathered a good library of books, magazines, free internet patterns and paid internet patterns. I love the downloadable ones because it is immediate. I do however continue to buy books - so I gather patterns in a variety of ways.

Karen V. said...

Kristin, I have been reading your blog for quite awhile and feel especially compelled to comment, not only for the great giveaway, but to say that your Gram and my Dad share the same birthday, he would have been 92 today. He was a great inspiration to me and will always be a hero in my book! I am a novice knitter, so my experience is limited, but most of the free patterns I have tried have been accurate. I rely on magazines, blogs and Ravelry for obtaining most of my patterns. With so much available on the Internet now, I don't visit my LYS as much as I used to. Thanks for keeping me inspired with your blog, photographs and beautiful knitting!

Karen (karen(at)edwardproperties(dot)com)

Sue said...

Love your sunflowers! As far as patterns go if I fall in love with a certain design I don't care whether it is free, from an indie designer or in a book or magazine. I just save up if necessary and get it! Often I substitute for the yarn called for because I do not work outside my home and many yarns are much to expensive for something that will be worn around the house. I do however tend to use wool or cotton whether 100% or blends. As far as accuracy I haven't found one to be more accurate than another, mistakes happen and I do tend to check Ravelry to see if someone has found a problem with the pattern I have chosen. Luckily I always seem to pick one that others have already made!

Joan and Kevin said...

Yes, I feel a free pattern is as accurate as a purchased one. I usually knit from magazines. That is how I started knitting socks. I have not looked into independent designers for knitting patterns. I have learned to go on line and check for mistakes in knitting patterns in my knitting books.

Southern Gal said...

i am spoiled as to patterns and accuracy as my first knitting projects were from the likes of Elizabeth Zimmermann and Meg Swansen and Alice Starmore.

however, i research extensively on Ravelry (what a godsend) to see if there are issues with patterns - and am constantly surprised to find errors in the big knitting magazine patterns.

Ravelry is such a good source for independent designers - i have come to discover many innovative and such creative knitters just by fooling around and ending up far from where i began... and may blogs too.

i dont mind paying a fair amount but agree with the commentor above who wrote about the high end (10-12) range - and am disappointed but not surprised to read about Twist pattern issues having not bought any of those yet (tho many are in my queue).

i love trying out a new designer (and especially if free) and then paying for subsequent patterns.

JFibers said...

I use both free and purchased patterns as well as patterns from books and magazines. I knit ALL the time so I always have something on the needles from a variety of sources. I like my book library because books are amazing to hold in your hands but my downloaded computer library is VERY easy to transport. It really depends on where I am going and how much space I have to pack. At home on the couch, I have ravlery open, the book laying next to me, and my notebook (where I write notes) on the coffee table. I have noticed with ravelry though that I get excited about a pattern until I learn I have to pay for it AND then download it. I don't know, it something strange about downloading it and then printing it off that I feel the designer should do the printing at least.... I know, strange but I tend not to buy those patterns that I have to pay for and download. I think I may be more inclined to buy them if the designer printed them and sent it to me AND I could download it.... weird I know...

Anne said...

Oh, my, you do the best give-aways!

My favorite way to get new patters is buying a book, but my shelves are full and the money is not so easy to come by right now, so I'm doing the library thing. (Your books are an exception--when I saw Kristin Knits in the book store the first time, I had requested it from the library before I even left the store, and then bought it shortly after.)

I've used free patterns from the internet and never had a problem. Also, purchased single patterns. Never had a problem. I've gone to my LYS and purchased them. I've gotten Vogue Knitting for years. Every configuration you can think of.

What I dislike is finding something I really want to knit and not being able to figure out how to get the pattern. Maybe it's in a magazine from a couple of years ago, or maybe a book the library doesn't have and I won't buy the book for just one pattern.

What I really dream of is getting an iPad and purchasing and downloading knitting books. If done right, I will be able to adjust the size of graphs for my eyes, get in close to the photos to see detail, mark my spot, keep notes, and most of all carry multiple, usually too big and too heavy, books with me with ease. For me, this would be the reason to get the iPad, and also help me justify buying my beloved knitting books again!

Anonymous said...

Hi -I feel purchased patterns are more detailed but...I have used some very detailed free patterns from knitting blogs also. I usually look atand buy patterns that have been recommended by a knitting blogger - it might be from a magazine or a book or an independent designer. I don't usually buy from yarn co. or stores.
JoAnne Heintz

Carla said...

In my heart of hearts I want them to be the same or as detailed and sometimes they are.....sometimes they are not-

Martha said...

I've never had any trouble with any pattern I've used, free or purchased. I get patterns from many sources and keep a notebook of pictures and patterns of completed items that appeal to me. If I see something on the web, I print it out immediately. If something is in a magazine or book, I put a sticky note on it and and add a reminder in my 'idea notebook.'

Your writing about autumn and the season changes makes me wish I lived where seasonal changes are experienced in more definite ways. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures. msaatjian@cox.net

Diane said...

I will buy a book of patterns if several of them appeal to me. I really have enjoyed the "making gifts from one skein of yarn" books. Free patterns from Ravelry have been accurate but, perhaps, not as detailed as those that I have purchased. The purchased ones seem to have more photographs. I find that using a free pattern that I enjoy finds me returning to Ravelry to see if that designer has other patterns for sale or for free and I have purchased them because of enjoying the free one. Suggestions from blog writers; especially when they include photos of finished projects, are another tool for finding patterns I purchase

Dianna P said...

I look at books, pamphlets, and on line free patterns. I would expect the patterns that are free might not be as accurate as those that are published in a book or pamphlet from a yarn company, as they have an editor who should be looking at accuracy (I think?!). I buy books of patterns, except if there is only one pattern I like. Then I forgo the pattern. I also look at magazines for patterns. Lots of patterns live at my house!

Gramma Phyllis said...

I look through everything, magazines, books, online and Ravelry. Sometime I just go with an old favorite from EZ with my own modifications. My mother was an editor so I know how easily errors can slip through. Because of that fact I try to find the pattern on Ravelry and see if any errors are listed. I never buy a book or magazine unless it has at least 3 or more patterns that call to me. I may not knit them but I have the pattern just in case. I have a lid on the price I will pay for individual patterns, but I have purchased them. I have several favorite designers whose sense of style is close to mine and I tend to keep an eye out for their patterns.

Kristin, I love your photos of the farm. They make me homesick for the farm I grew up on even though it was in Mississippi and only a few miles from the coast. We had a small flock as well as all type of fowl.

kingshearte said...

I don't think I would say that a free pattern is inherently less accurate than a purchased one, although if there are errors, someone who's making money form their pattern certainly has more motivation to make sure they get corrected. The (free) pattern I'm working with now does have some weirdness going on in it, but I've also used many other free patterns with no problems.

As for where I go to find patterns, it's mostly online, usually through Ravelry, but I do occasionally browse the knitting section at work (I work at a bookstore). I don't specifically seek out either company or independent patterns, either. I just browse through Ravelry, and look at whatever catches my fancy.

BTW, I really love the photo in your header of the yarn in egg cartons. Super cute.

WeeBonnieBabes said...

I goodness, no pattern ever seems accurate to me. I am an AWFUL knitter, I am still in the process of learning. I save the free patterns that come on the balls of yarn I purchase and I use oatterns from some knitting guide books I have purchased. The reason I am trying to learn to knit is because the majority of my baby clothes were knit for me by my grandmother and my great aunt and recently my great aunt gave me the patterns for these outfits. I always watched them knit when I was little and have always wanted to learn and getting those patterns was the little push I needed. I hope to someday knit my future children little outfits just like I had as well as pass mine down.

mommarocks said...

I like free patterns and purchased patterns equally. I will have to absolutely adore whatever it is if I buy it. And it is usually a more complicated pattern if I buy it. I look everywhere for patterns. If I see something I love somewhere, anywhere, I will try and find where I can get a pattern. Or, I will try to make it up myself. Although - and I should admit this - I am a novice. I've only been knitting two years. I haven't done fair aisle yet. I just purchased one of your patterns to try it. I hope it works out ;)

Deborah said...

I use just about any pattern, however, I have particular designers whose patterns/books I will go out of my way to purchase. I am a life-long knitter and have seen just about every trend come and go, but good designs are always in style. I'm fortunate to have a good-sized library of knitting books, which I prefer to magazines.

Debbie said...

I use many sources for my patterns. I subscribe to magazines, go to yarn company's web sites and buy books. For the most part I find the free patterns just as accurate. I am much more aware of independent designers now due to Ravelry then I was before. Most of the knitting mags concentrate, or seem to "big name" designers and most of the ads in the mags are yarn companies, suppliers, etc. Now with Ravelry, I can see a new design from a new designer and maybe add them to my list of people to watch/follow.

Turtle said...

awe, happy birthday freida! the month has flown by...only good thing being the faster it goes the faster before daughter comes home for turkey break!

i look to all of the above for patterns and inspiration, and i feel the designer takes as much care in their free design as a for sale pattern, lol, hopefully!

knitwork said...

I don't think free patterns are any way inferior to paid patterns when it comes to errors. I have used many free patterns and have got wonderful results.

Meliabella said...

I have actually found the free patterns I choose to work with to be more accurate than those published in books or flyer. It seems that book and flyer publications, more often than not, have errata.
I tend to find a lot of my patterns through the friend feature on Ravelry or on blogs (some designers and some just friend working on projects). I am also introduced to a lot of patterns through podcasts and videocasts.
The magazine I knit from the most is Interweave. I find the others to be more inspirational.

Michelle said...

I find that more often than not I am looking to the independent designers for patterns. I think that is in large part to supporting ravelry. Occasionally I will go to a yarn company to look for patterns. But, since I myself long to be an independent designer I feel that they deserve the bulk of my support.

Kitten With a Whiplash said...

When you look at all the errata for pattern books and magazines, it's hard to say that purchased patterns are really more accurate than free. Some of the free patterns are accurate, but written in a confusing manner, as the designers are inexperienced at conveying the necessary information. Overall I would say that both paid andfree patterns run the full gamut from fabulous to, um, less than fabulous, to put it nicely. I get patterns mostly free off the internet or from thrift shop purchases of books and magazines. I've got some paid patterns over the internet, but not many.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Kristin, thanks for the opportunity. I do feel concern about accuracy of free patterns - a purchased pattern by it's very nature is expected to have a high level of forethought and accuracy. That being said, a free pattern from an established designer feels trustworthy because their name is at stake. I'm loving the access to patterns by independent designers - from their websites, ravelry or on-line yarn stores. I mostly rely on my growing collection of books and magazines which are available at 2 a.m. when I can't sleep! rla0523@aol.com

Jules said...

Hello Kristin
What a lovely giveaway! And what a beautiful picture of your Gram.
I'm just starting out on teaching myself to knit - I have the basics from my Mum - but I'm learning heaps from blogs, people are so generous with their tutorials and free patterns found on Ravelry - it's all a big knitting adventure.
So I can't say if purchased knitting patterns are more accurate than free ones - I'm just enjoying myself trying them out!

bensedin art said...

I get patterns from book, web and magazines.I've used free patterns from the internet and never had a problem. Revelry is the best source!

green23 said...

I get patterns from wherever but I really trust ravelry patterns when I can see other knitters' comments. I haven't had a problem with accuracy.

Great giveaway!!!

onescrappychick said...

my first love is books.. but along came Ravelry and I love it. I love that I can read what others have to say, and what modifications they needed to make. How it ended up fitting. I'm an allrecipes.com junky for the same reason, and love to shop for clothes on websites that offer reviews.

Sigrun said...

I use both free and purchased patterns, think both are quite accurate. I get patterns from yarn stores, books, magazines and the web. Mostly the web I think. Knitting blogs are my favorite as I love to see what other people is making. Have often thought about starting one myself but ... well it will happen one day :-) Thank you for sharing.

cgoudeau said...

I use both free and purchased patterns and find that they both have their place. I've found just as many pattern mistakes in both; in fact a book I just bought has an obvious error in it if followed. After ripping out, and figuring out what I should have done, I've edited the pattern. I prefer buying from independent pattern designers, that way I can ask a question, get help or correct a mistake in the pattern.
Chris G

Charlene said...

I love to look at knitting books, blogs,and magazines that is half the fun for me,but when it comes down to knitting i usually get the pattern from the internet. There is always lots of advice and help there. I live far from a LYS so being able to gets info from the net is so helpful.Kristin Thank you for yet another great giveaway!

Charlene said...

I forgot my email is ma2vt@comcast.net

Susan said...

For the most part Yes, I do feel like a free pattern is as accurate as a purchased one. I love searching for free patterns on the internet. Ravelry has enabled me to accumulate so many wonderful patterns, resources and ideas. I just wish there was more time in the day. Initially I enjoyed magazines for the patterns but as the years have passed I appreciate the articles more and more. I have really come to love the resources available on the internet and through groups such as Ravelry.

My email is susankuyk@yahoo.com

Anne said...

I love patterns and books and with Ravelry, it's so easy to look up a pattern to see how it worked out for other people. So I collect patterns from all sources and never really thought about the fact that a free pattern may not be as accurate as one that is purchased. I work in a yarn store and find that people are more willing to purchase a yarn if the yarn company gives us a free pattern or I can direct them to a free pattern online.
That said, I would love to receive your giveaway because I love books and yarn!

carol said...

I have used many different patterns but always find the free ones are not as clear as the ones you pay for. Thankfully Ravelry is a place you can go to get so many opinions on any pattern so the kinks are usuually worked out. Love your site and read daily.


Sarah said...

I use a lot of free patterns I've found on Ravelry, as well as patterns that I purchase, patterns from books, patterns from knitting magazines, and I haven't noticed many errors in any of them. It is great to have Ravelry to see how various patterns have knit up and to see all the modifications people make!


Ronnie said...

I use patterns from different sources. I am a bit leery of some online free patterns. Had a bad experience with a major mistake in the pattern. Mostly, I get my patterns from magazines and books.

Julie said...

I use both free and purchased patterns. I look at sites like Ravelry to research modifications. My main source is supporting independent designers! I feel that it makes my knitting more unique to find designers that are not that well known; however, I *always* reveal my pattern source and let a fellow knitter where to purchase/find it.
Thanks for another generous give away!!

Anonymous said...

I love to check out all patterns. I'm probably most leery of knitting patterns from yarn companies, unless I "know" the designer. I like free patterns, because I look at them as a way of getting to "try out" an unknown designer and if I like the pattern/designer I'm much more willing to purchase patterns from them. Ravelry can be helpful for errata and common problems, but generally people are too nice to complain without a good reason. But in the end the problem/truth is that I've been knitting for over 25 years and I own so much that I don't often buy books or magazines (I do buy single patterns) unless I LOVE it. The growth of my single pattern collection has increased because of Ravelry's wonderful library that keeps all my pdfs together.

Thanks, Kelley

Anonymous said...

I would think that a free pattern that introduces knitters to a designer would be as accurate as a printed pattern because it might be just that opportunity to make a FIRST IMPRESSION! I've used all types of patterns and found good things and rough patches in all types. And it was YEARS after struggling with a few different problems that I learned there was something called ERRATA - I'd assumed it would be accurate if it was published, no matter the source. As always, thanks for your generosity! bookboxer on ravelry

Leslie said...

I use both free and purchased pattens. I would hope that both would be equal in their correctness. I have found errors in patterns purchased for $$, like $7.40 and often none ion free pattern from yarn companies on the net.

I am a tad leary of privately listed patterns because they might not have been test knitted. Ravelry is wonderful for finding out about pitfalls in patterns and also seeing how the pattern looks on different people!

The Giveaway is so generous! Thanks for offering it.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Kristin. Thanks so much for the lovely inspiring photos of the sunflowers, and for sharing that someone else gardens late, too! I look all over for patterns and inspiration, and often begin with a yummy yarn I couldn't resist. Then I am looking for the right application, and of course can get frustrated because I don't have enough, etc. But I truly enjoy seeing what other people imagine and make across the crafts spectrum, so it is often a pleasure just to go looking. Then before I really start a project, whether purchased or free, I google for comments from other knitters and to learn if there are corrections. Sometimes, I simply adapt based on what I have and what I learn as I knit a pattern, so I don't worry so much about whether the pattern is absolutely accurate! I make mistakes and either correct them or adapt,and adapt for my own fitting needs or sense of style, too. So, even the process of browsing patterns and then knitting is very creative, enjoyably so! Thanks so much for all that you share. I adore your sense of color! Claudia Horner

keke621 said...

All of the above. I do have some favorite designers and have found errors in designs by some of the most recognizable names (most often in books I've purchased). Happy to say it doesn't happen often and I have the greatest LYS to assist if an errata has not been published.


JennyHats said...

I use both free and purchased patterns, though I do think purchased patterns have been combed through for accuracy a lot more than free ones... but that doesn't mean the free ones are bad! If I do run into a mistake, or I don't entirely understand what a free pattern means, I just remind myself that it's free and thank my lucky stars that someone was willing enough to share the pattern with us free of charge! Usually I can tweak any issues myeslf.

Doesn't stop me from buying patterns, though. I do feel kind of trapped when I buy them, like it'll be a waste of money if I don't complete the project (I suffer from project ADD, haha). So I actually complete the projects when they're purchased :)

I get my patterns from all over, basically. On the web is my preferred way because I like printing off the patterns or always having them accessible on my computer should I lose them. I do love the excitement of getting a new knitting book, too. And I always admire the independent designers who are so talented that they're able to create such wonderful designs from scratch and share them with us all :D

Well, there's my novel for you, haha.

Cyndy Landers said...

Hey Kristin,

Wow, I get my patterns from everywhere. Books, mags, online, Knitty, Ravelry, blogs. You name it and I've probably got a pattern from there. Even if I don't knit them up they offer inspiration. I've never come across too many problems with errors either from purchased or free patterns. Although I always check for errata before I start a new pattern.

Happy Birthday to Gram. Makes me all the more sorry I didn't have one. None of my grandmothers lived close so never had that relationship.

thanks to all the inspiration your blog gives to us who read it. Happy Fall.


Diane North said...

Ah, patterns! The Ravelry community has been such a boon to my knitting. It is the search feature which is wonderful..and if the pattern is right the cost is not a deterrent, I find. However, when I do fall in love with a particular yarn I tend to gravitate to patterns designed for that yarn. I also have quite a collection of hard covered books on knitting AND magazines, so I guess you can tell I am all over the place. The more sources the better!

mamaross said...

Wow, you've put me in a nostalgic mood. My grandmother wrote to me (and all of my cousins) every week when I was living away from home. More often than not, there was a $5 bill tucked in with the letter. She too had beautiful, old school penmanship and I kept all of her letters. Every time I see a catalog offering the kind of stationery that she used, I am tempted to buy some, even though my family are all still living with me.

As far as knitting patterns go, I get them from books, magazines, purchased downloads, and occasional internet freebies. About the only place I don't get patterns is my lys, but only because I don't have the patience to comb through the pattern binders when I could be looking at all the wool. I always check Ravelry for examples of how the pattern knits up and I scan the knitters' pattern notes to see if they had any particular problems with the pattern, so I can occasionally screen out a less accurate pattern. I haven't run into too many patterns with significant errors. . . unlike my first quilt pattern, which had instructions that never in a million years would have produced the Irish Chain quilt pictured on the envelope.

Susanne said...

If I see a pattern I like, then I consider it. However, if there are no charts I will NOT purchase or even try if it is free! I purchase both IK and Vogue each time they come out and also return to designers I know on the web. ie Anne Hanson, Wendy, etc. Of course I have far too many patterns to ever knit in my life time. However I do know that what I was attracted to this year may not be what I like next year! Great contest, thanks!

evie said...

Over the years I have collected many, many shelves worth of books, magazines and individual patterns. I now also frequently purchase PDF patterns and save a copy to my google docs so I can access them when I am away from home. They're perfect for when I get an urge to make a visit to a LYS and I want to know how much yarn I need to buy. I occasionally will use a free pattern but am more likely to buy because I'm looking for something that requires a bit more experienced design work. I love the ability to check Ravelry and see how others have done with a pattern and what their concerns have been.
I get irritated when publishers and editors who are getting paid to prepare items for publishing don't do a very good job. I think many big time publishers in the last 5-10 years have been in such a hurry to get things to the stores and in their haste have produced books full of errors. I try to wait until a second print to buy my books, so that hopefully the errors will have been spotted and corrected. I've purchased several Twist Collective patterns and have not run into any problems yet.
Also sometime the complaints about a pattern is not so much the pattern but the users skill level and expectations and variance from suggested yarn.

Katie said...

I find that free patterns and purchased patterns are just as prone to error - but I also find that online patterns are usually more reliable than those in books, since errata can be instantly corrected!

I browse on ravelry for inspiration for knitting. I usually do not pay much attention to who designed the pattern until I see something I like. Then - if it REALLY liked the pattern - I will look for other designs by that person.

I much prefer patterns I can get online (for free or purchase) because they are so handy. I have been buying fewer knitting books just to keep down the clutter. I covet them and the patterns, but it's easier to drag around a slip of paper or upload a pdf to my Kindle.

Anonymous said...

I use patterns from all sources available. I usually have something in mind with the yarn first and then I hunt my vision or what I can adapt to my vision.


Helen said...

What a beautiful post about your Grandmother!
I think I have better luck with free patterns vs paid. If there is a pattern I want to buy, I will wait before I purchase it because it seems that there is errata in every book on the market. Some more than others. I still look to Interweave even though I no longer subscribe. I think there are some great knit blogger designers! It seems to me they are more careful in their work especially if they are self publishing.

Susan Barfield said...

I have been most satisfied with the patterns I have bought from independent designers on the web. Occasionally I try a free pattern, and occasionally a pattern from a book, but usually I'm looking for a specific thing. And I'm happy to pay a designer. I just purchased a pattern that was available for free download, but the paid version was more detailed and charted (it's lace), so I was happy to pay and support the designer. Please enter me in your wonderful contest I'm at susanabarfield(at sign)gmail(dot)com. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I started out this day by saying "Where did October go?!" Whoosh!

I am blessed to often receive knitting books as gifts (An Amazon Wish List is a great thing!). I also enjoy independent designers, and have purchased patterns that I discovered on Ravelry.
Free patterns are, of course, a wonderful thing, and thanks to the internet we all can certainly share in the generosity from those who pass along their patterns.

Speaking of sharing.......thank YOU for sharing the story of your Grandmother. I love the picture you included, she looks so sweet!

~Amanda (gr8aunt)

SnohoTina said...

Wow, your giveaways have been simply awesome. I still love the excitement of finding a great knitting book and leafing through it when I'm looking for something to knit. I also love to search through the patterns on Ravelry. I don't mind paying for downloads if I really like the pattern or if its from a designer I've always wanted to knit something from. I don't find the free patterns to be less accurate but I do usually find that the ones I purchase are usually more visually pleasing with more graphics and graphs. Thanks, I hope to win.


Diane said...

What a great giveaway! My friend pointed me to your blog awhile ago and I visit regularly.

As far as patterns, I get them from many sources: books, magazines, internet. My favorite place to go to first is Knitty.com, then Ravelry, then my way-to-extensive library of books (need to justify them with a fair degree of frequency). As far as accuracy goes, the more people who "handle" it on its way to publication, the more chances for errors to sneak in. Easily accessed errata is very important!

Hee, hee: word verification was "pignet"

caroline said...

I look to all those sources for patterns. I don't feel free patterns are any less accurate than published patterns. errors can occur with any pattern. I do routinely check for errata. Books are wonderful because I do love paging through a colorful and inspirational knitting collection. The web just isn't the same though I love the ready access. I tend to print out web patterns and collect them in binders. Makes it easier to riffle through them for ideas when I'm about to start a new project.

Julie said...

If I am looking for ideas I usually go to Ravelry where I check out favourites (designers and patterns), search for specific projects, or see what my friends are making. Magazines also inspire, and again I head to Ravelry to see others' comments and projects before choosing. I have had some good free patterns as well as some bad. I'm better at weeding out the bad ones now; I know what to look for. Once in a while a sample knit in a yarn store will catch my eye too. Oh, and blogs - I have been alerted to some great patterns by reading my favourite blogs, clicking on links and pretty much falling down the rabbit hole that is the internet.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter your draw! juliewitt at shaw dot ca

fracksmom said...

I use patterns from what ever source has what I think I would enjoy making. I have tested patterns for some Ravelry people so I know their patterns are always right. I know that a lot of the people I follow on twitter are in magazines, or have sold to a yarn company.
Since discovering Ravelry, twitter and bloggers I tend to buy from their Esty accounts.
Support the independent yarnie.

toni in florida said...

I prefer to get either free or paid patterns from independent designers (ones I've mostly found from reading blogs and following their FO links back to the original designers, if they did not themselves design the patterns), and to download them and store the PDFs on my computer. Knitty is also a reliable source for correct patterns, and those are all free. The reason? Those designers respond very quickly when buyers tell them of problems they've encountered and post replacement PDFs with the corrections in them far more quickly than a magazine or book editor would (if you could find the right person to complain to in the first place).

I used to think that patterns in printed magazines or books HAD to be correct, because how would you find out if they were not? Would you really wait days or weeks for an editor or author to get back to you by snailmail? Unlkely. More likely is that you'd get frustrated and grow disenchanted with the book/designer/project.

Even after the interwebs became linked to our daily lives, errata was not easy to track down. And heaven forbid you have some "vintage" or "classic" books that have errors! You might truly be on your own. (Yes, I do have quite a few of those and am consequently reluctant to start any of the really involved projects for just that reason.)

I have gotten a few patterns at the LYS, but usually the purchase was prompted by one of the store samples.

That said, I am a sucker for some books, because they are stunning and amazing and absolutely must stay at my house. Now I know to check Ravelry to see if other knitters have already found/posted errata and corrections and adjustments! And in many cases, the authors have blogs (like you!), so I can ask via the comments section or e-mail about any perceived errors I might find (after I've tried several times to fix it myself of course, as most such errors are probably more about my knitting and/or pattern-reading skills and less about the pattern itself).

Thanks for such a luscious giveaway!

My email is cupcakencorset (at) gmail (dot) com.

mary said...

I have used patterns from all the sources you mentioned. I try to check for any errata before starting my project. I think most designers try to make their patterns error free.

Kelsie B said...

Awesome giveaway! I would love to win this. I have never really had many problems with free patterns. I use them frequently. But I always read and reread the patterns before I even begin. And purchased patterns do seem to have the pattern written for more sizes. I like that a lot better. And lately I have been turning to some independent designers that I have found on places like Ravelry. I love how the Internet has been the link to keep us all together. Anymore if any of us has problems with a pattern there are so many people willing to try and help out. And great designers like you have blogs that we can keep up with.

Anonymous said...

I am always on the search for patterns - purchased or free makes no difference.

I do my research on Ravelry and with knitting groups but I really do expect that any pattern should be perfect. Must be anal retentive me!

Amazon Alanna said...

I've been reading for a while, but this give-away struck me in a big way!

I use both free and purchased patterns to knit...but only from online designers. And mostly are sock and baby sweater patterns.

alannabologna (at) gmail (dot)com

Mike and Sara said...

Kristin, I use patterns from magazines and books, and occasionally free patterns from trusted designers. I love books for inspiration, and I usually go the web (Ravelry) for additional inspiration (and errata) once I've decided on a pattern I want to make. Usually the free patterns I make are tiny things (like Christmas ornaments), so I don't find errors.

Beautiful post about your grandmother!

Dee said...

That was a beautiful post...

I use patterns from all sources and my feeling is that people are human and that there are bound to be mistakes. I usually check the source for an errata page.

SEG said...

Like many of the other respondents, I use patterns from multiple sources (free, paid, magazine, book, inside of the yarn skein paper :-)etc etc). Now that Ravelry is out there, I do check to see if someone has reported a problem. My professional background is as an editor so my comments come from that perspective. I never work on a big project from a magazine immediately after publication. It takes at least one and usually two production cycles before I see an erratum (if one was needed). For books, I go to the author's website if they have one or the publisher's site to check for errata, particularly if it's the author's FIRST book. Knitting, crocheting & sewing are extremely detailed (as you know) and I find that first-time authors can be careless proofreaders. They read their manuscript expecting it to be correct; GOOD proofreaders read proof expecting to find errors. It seems that once that first-time author goes through the errata process (no fun), their second and subsequent efforts are more carefully proofed.

Tweedlebug said...

Lovely giveaway! I think that both free and purchased patterns are just as likely to have errors. While purchased patterns do usually have more sets of eyes checking for errors, they do usually have more in the way of deadlines to contend with as well, so errors can certainly sneak by both sorts of patterns. I enjoy patterns from books, magazines, and the web.

Mary G said...

Since I'm a hand-knits designer, I have to say that if I buy a pattern (or get one free) I usually tweak it so much that it doesn't matter it's accuracy ...

That said, I like to try those of other independent designers -- looking for interesting techniques, color theory (love your stuff), and classic/traditional styles made in new ways.

Thanks for the oppty to vent on designs ....

Mary G.

Carmen said...

Sunflowers make me smile too. They remind me of the awkward kid you used to walk past in the corridors of high school. You know, those awkwardly tall lanky guys with the slight slump and shaggy hair. And, they're so bright!!!

I am keeping my fingers, toes and arms crossed I finally win this giveaway!!!

In terms of the patterns I use i see no difference between the bought or free kind. There are pros and cons to both types. I haven't found any big errors in either free or purchased patters I either couldn't figure out on my own or find help from someone else who has worked through it. Though, the benefit of patterns from independent designers vs. books and magazines is that they tend to respond to email or ravelry message if you have questions. I don't like buying a whole book with so-so patterns just because I'm head over heels for one pattern (I also don't buy CDs for one song).

yoopergirl said...

I think that sometimes free patterns are more reliable. Sometimes companies and busy designers get in a hurry maybe? Either way, I don't favor one over the other. I'm always looking for a bagain so free is great, of course!

Anonymous said...

I get patterns from multiple sources - books, magazines, ravelry, blogs, pattern sites, and yarn company sites. The pattens are created by people and people sometimes make mistakes - in free and non-free patterns.

Donna G in VT

Lisa Viviano said...

To date, I find pattern accuracy about equal (purchased/free). I tend to find most of my patterns in knitting magazines and from my local yarn shop.

Love your sunflower photos.
Lisa Viviano

Karen said...

Sometimes a free pattern is MORE accurate because more people have access to it, make it and comment on it. (And hopefully the error gets corrected!)

I use patterns from all over, often combining my fav parts of each into my own pattern. Sometimes I knit myself into a corner; sometimes I can recover, sometimes I can't. It's all a learning experience.

Karen in OH

Jolene said...

In the past, I've knit exclusively from books and magazines (never bought the independent patterns at my LYS). In the past year, though, I've knit a number of online patterns (free and pay) -- as long as they're in Ravelry, I'm willing to give them a try.

Regardless of the source, I expect them to be as accurate as possible -- with any errata promptly posted.


Sally said...

I use patterns from all over. I get patterns on free web sites and I also use books. The only problem I have with books is the models don't look like me so I'm not sure how the fabric would look on me. I use book for children's things because I can tell how they would look on my grandchildren.

katiegirl said...

I've also used patterns from free sources and from books or pdf files. I've been happy with all of them!

Simply Me said...

I really feel that there are some good souls out there that post free patterns that are very easy to follow and with pictures showing you what it is that you are making. I also have had experience with free patterns that didn't make anything that even resimbled what the pattern was intended to make, which, I might add, was very disappointing. I often spend hours searching for just the right pattern for an item i wish to make and hav found that often the ones that yarn companies produce are very true to their word. Although I prefer to make things that are unique and since i taught myself to knit I like ones that are clearn and easy to understand. I wish that i could write patterns of my own, I am just not at that point in my life yet. I have designs that I have croceted that are my originals, I too learned from my grandmother and my daughter from her grandmother, (Something I think all little girls should learn from a grandmothers lap and wisdom.) It is also hard for me to understand how someone would post patterns and charge for them, I realize that if you have them in a book and are selling the book then charge, but, something like baby booties or dishclothes why charge $4.00 or more, I mean we should all share things of this nature every now and then.
I hope to win this drawing as I am wanting to make socks and I need to expand my knitting skills. I wish I had someone close to teach me, but I have not even found a place to take classes. So this would give me something new to try and learn.

Chppie said...

Thanks for sharing about your grandma.

I do like free patterns and I'm trying to move towards using more independent designer ones. Right now the free patterns I use tend to be from large companies who have a designer or set of designers whose style I like. I also have a sense of how the patterns will be written. For these patterns I do expect them to be accurate because a production team is in place already to ensure this.

I think the same of knitty, although they use independent designers they have standardized instruction and charting format and use pink to display corrections to errata. I have been pleased with the knitty patterns that I have knit.

For a truly independent designer I would like an accurate pattern but if it is someone who is just starting their design business I cut them a little slack figuring that they don't have a production team to support them and have a significant learning curve. However if it's been several years and patterns are "sloppy" then I cross them off my list. I just don't have time to figure out why something isn't working.

Andy said...

I have always used patterns from knitting books and magazines. Lately, tho, I have found patterns for things I JUST HAVE TO MAKE on Ravelry. Sometimes it is something that pops up in a forum or one of those little ads on the side when you are looking at something else. If I like it, I have to get the pattern. If it is free, great. If not, I will pay for it. Most are not much money and I am happy that designers are compensated for their work.

I've never felt that free patterns were less accurate than others. Any pattern can have an issue --- an inaccuracy, a typo or a sizing issue that doesn't surface until many people knit it. I love the fact that you so much info is available now before you start a project!

Anonymous said...

A pattern has to speak to me and it could come from anywhere. I especially like toys and Ysolda Teague's Otto and Elijah come to mind, and Susan B. Anderson's giraffe. Free ones can be lovely too, such as Rachel Borello's Henri the knitted bear.
Mistakes happen all over: blogs, books, magazines, podcasts. The dedicated ones put the corrections out there.
If I come across a particularly snarly pattern I put it aside and think about how to fix it. The more snarly, the longer I think!

Ms. Knitsalot said...

I use both, through books and free online resources. Love Ravelry and browsing through beautiful blogs. Thanks for the lovely giveaway and for sharing your precious memories of grandma Frieda!

PJ said...

With the rush and pressure to publish I think that mistakes crop up frequently in purchased patterns (magazines for example). Mistakes in freebies are not nearly as annoying because I haven't paid for someone else to crunch the numbers for me.

What I find to be a huge difference with patterns from less experienced self-published designers is lack of attention to detail and technique as well as a heavy reliance on top-down raglan sleeve shaping. On the plus side is a tidal wave of creativity. The more exposure these newer designers are getting, the better the patterns seem to be.

I have favorite patterns and designers from all realms - well-established magazines, blogs, ezines, free web sites, and a huge library of books. I have no problem paying for a design that speaks to me, but it gets tiring to have to remember to check for errata.

grammynan said...

I think generally free patterns are shorter but not necessarily less accurate (than purchased).
I love the indie patterns. I like to follow the designers' blogs (like yours) to become familiar with the designer and his/her inspirations.
Lucky lucky someone who will win this giveaway!

Rachelle said...

I've come across free patterns that are more accurate than some bought ones, I generally check all patterns on Ravelry for mention of errata before I start on them. I tend to look for patterns either in books or magazines or Ravelry; I'm not so fond of yarn company patterns anymore, but that could be because our main local yarn company (Patons of Australia) seems to rehash the same patterns over and over just in different gauges.
sable at xtra.co.nz

billicummings said...

Hey Kristen,
Love your blog! There's always something interesting going on at your house. The Farmer's fence is really amazing. I guess I'd have to say I don't know if free is as accurate as purchased. I get most of my patterns from magazines. Although I have over 200 knitting books. I have ordered from the web and at specific designer's sites too. I love to visit new knitting shops and ask the gals if they have any of there own patterns for sale, this makes the pattern more personal and special to knit. By the way your appearance on Knit and Crochet today is something I always look forward to. As Gram would say, "Oh, Kristin you are so clever!" Billi


sandy said...

I use both free and paid for patterns. I look details that make the pattern stand out.


Donna S. said...

Never thought about a difference in accuracy between free/purchased patterns. I've used both & can't say I've noticed more errors in the free ones.

I have purchased patterns at yarn stores, off of the web and or personal blogs.

karen said...

I have use all sorts of pattterns. If I can find some comments or erata before I start i always try to do so. So far I haven't found too many mistakes. What a lovely giveway - thanks.

sue said...

I really never gave a lot of thought as to whether a purchased pattern is more accurate than a free one. I think with the access to patterns online these days, anyone can post a free one or put a charge on it so I guess my answer is "no." I find most of my patterns online through independent designers, and some online from yarn companies.

fiberfriend said...

When I'm on a mission to go find a particular type of pattern that is in my mind, it doesn't matter weather the pattern is free or if it cost.
All patterns are equal in my eyes, and when I see that perfect pattern, I will get it in the manner that the designer has decided on. I will carefully read all of them thoroughly and equally when in my hands before knitting to find any errors or modifications that I might need to apply, to fit my needs, body or the recipient that I'm knitting for. Pictures really help sell the patterns, and I know we don't have to tell this to Kristin :)

JackieLemon said...

I knit from both free and purchased patterns. I like to buy from independent designers and I have a library of old magazines and books that I reference for ideas. Some go back to the '70's. I think the accuracey is higher with the independent designers that are on the web because they have the ability to correct mistakes when they get feedback from knitters. Ravelry is such an amazing resource for pattern errata and I always check it when starting a new pattern.

Dawn said...

So much of my pattern selection has changed as my life has change. When I first started knitting I was all about going to the LYS and reading books. Now as my kids are older and our life is busier, I find myself using magazines and ravelry for most of my knitting. I have never had trouble with the accuracy of patterns, they just need to be portable.

Anonymous said...

I like to buy my patterns from the yarn manufacturer, they usually have great support, and the pattern seems more accurate.

sheila Ricker said...

I prefer buying patterns from the yarn manufacturer, there is more support and the patterns seem to work!

Karen Smith said...

Yes, I do feel that a free pattern is as accurate as one purchased, probably because I've used several and have never had a problem with them. I find patterns wherever I can, whether it is in a yarn store, on line, in a book, or in a magazine. I really love knitting books and magazines and have an ever growing collection. I'm always bookmarking stuff that I want to knit someday (so many patterns, so little time!) - either on line or in physical books/magazines. I also print out free patterns that I stumble over online if they appeal to me.
One of my favorite things to knit (and what I knit more than anything else) is SOCKS, and I love the self striping yarns that are out now, so I really, really, hope I am chosen for this! Thanks for the generous give away!

Karey said...

What an amazing giveaway, thanks so much. In regards to knitting patterns, I feel free patterns are as accurate as the others. I tend to get patterns from the internet through blogs that I enjoy and knitting books or patterns that comes recommended from fellow knitters. I also learned to knit from my Grandmother and have all of her knitting patterns which are really neat. Thanks, karclockATgmail.com

Kelly P. said...

Hi Kristin! I have found that purchased patterns are usually more accurate. I have used the occasional free pattern from well-respected designers, and those tend to work well, too. I have knitted and crocheted a few items from free, online patterns with mixed results. Some were error-free, some not. I have a number of musicians in my family, and am very aware of the problem artists face due to "free" downloaded content. I can only imagine how much the internet has hurt designers and other artists. On the one hand, it gives you a wonderful medium for communticating with people all over the world. On the other hand, so much free content can lead people to think, "Why should I buy knitting books, magazines, etc. when there is so much I can get for free?" I, for one, have no problem paying for a pattern, especially when it is from a designer I love. What I do think must help all designers is the free "how to knit" content on the web, from places like knittinghelp.com. There are patterns I would have never attempted without these kind of resources available to me. Thanks so much for the contest! I absolutely love your blog, and all your work!

Kelly P.

Shannon said...


What an amazing giveaway. I like to use both designer and free patterns. For designers, I go with those I trust and who have a good reputation for putting out a quality product. Free patterns are fun to try for maybe smaller projects that don't require as much of an investment in case there are errors.


Acadia said...

Hi Kristin!
I always assume that there may be an error in any knitting pattern. I love all types of patterns, those from magazines, books, yarn companies and independent designers on the web. I try to check for errata before I begin a project or look to see what others have discovered on ravelry.

Love your blog. I once lived in Brattleboro!


schwartzwq@aol.com said...

I love the story about your grandmother. Mine also used to write me wonderful letters when I was in college and later when I was working and living on my own (by then she was in her 90s but I think she found my life--single, working--very interesting). She had that same loopy formal script (Palmer, I think) and signed her letters, "Devotedly, Grandma." She lived to be 99.

Patterns are my great knitting weakness--sometimes I think worse than yarn. (I once posted to Ravelry that I had PABLE and it was worse than SABLE.) Sure, there is more variation in free patterns--in form and reliability--but I am amazed at the gigantic errors that turn up even in the most prestigiously published patterns. My particular pet peeve is a pattern that produces something that is OK in itself but totally different from what is shown in the picture.

That said, I love poring over patterns even if they are way beyond my skill level. and I always find that I learn so much more in actually knitting the pattern than I would just dreaming over it, and that keeps me constantly buying and downloading more. (I'm a huge fan of Nashua North American Designers Series, so anything involving Nashua strikes me as a great giveaway.) Thanks Kristin!

One Sheep said...

This reminded me of a sweater I crocheted when I was a teen. I came across the pattern again years later and there were so many notes scribbled, crossed out and rewritten - most of which I couldn't even read anymore! I don't know if it was the pattern or me that had the problem back then. Today I seldom follow a pattern exactly, as I mostly do sweaters and have to upsize them most of the time. As long as the directions for a complicated stitch pattern or charts for colorwork or cabling are accurate I'm ok, as I don't have to worry about the pattern's stitch count.

Bonnie said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I love looking through knit magazine and books, and I either get patterns there or from Ravelry searches. I follow a lot of knitting blogs, and I find patterns through those that I put into my knitting queue. I always check patterns on Ravelry before I begin in hopes I'll find any pattern errors or problems other knitters have had and avoid them myself.

Karen said...

This giveaway is so awesome! Thank you.
I use both free and purchased patterns - I have had pretty good luck with the free ones. The purchased ones tend to have a ton more detail which I like :)

Thanks again!
lemontart5kb at gmail dot com

DebNC said...

I always love a free pattern especially when it comes from a published knitter.A freebie is an oppertunity to try a pattern from someone you have not purchased from and if you like that knit writer you will go back and purchase in the future.I look everywhere for patterns.I even will take a picture of something knitted and figure out the stitches and incorporate it in something I already do. Thanks for this oppertunity and Happy Bday to your grandmother.

andrea said...

I love patterns. All patterns! I never hesitate to purchase a pattern that I like. (I don't have to love it.) Free patterns are a bonus and I try to purchase from a designer that offers both free and charged for patterns. I feel like we are both helping each other out. I don't find much discrepancy in the qualiity and correctness between them. I think that all knitters,when writing up a pattern take equal care in the precision of the correctness. Afterall, we would never intentionally cause anoter knitter to have to TINK!

Anonymous said...

Like most knitters, I love a good free pattern. But the more I knit, the more I want to support the independent designer who is selling single patterns on Ravelry or through their websites.

I look less and less to my LYS for patterns. And I blame Ravelry for that! I can search for what I want and either buy the pattern or use it as inspiration to make my own pattern. I will only buy a book if I find if visually appealing or will knit at least three to four items from it.

--Annie in Oklahoma

Nancy said...

Patterns are wonderful -- from all sorts of sources. I have a small library of knitting books and a growing library of patterns downloaded from the Internet. Some of these are free and some of these are purchased. As others have said, I check for corrections to the patterns. I have not found any difference in the quality of patterns or the number of errors. Living in the Baltimore area, I have a wonderful selection of local yarn shops from which to chose. I love that the shops either offer the free patterns in the shop or provide the links to the free patterns. Thank you for providing another opportunity to win! Nancy P (ncpinn@gmail.com)

M said...

Great questions!
I've found errors in both free and purchased patterns; however, I would have to say that I've found more errors in purchased patterns over free. Before knitting a new pattern, I check Ravelry and google the pattern to look for errata/corrections. This has certainly saved me a lot of tears and frustration!
In the past few years I find myself purchasing fewer knitting magazines. I find myself going either straight to the yarn source for patterns (I am a huge fan of Classic Elite patterns), my LYS (Knitty City or Purl), one of the many online knitting magazines - or Ravelry. I may buy one or, at most, two knitting books per year - it would have to be beautifully photographed and have at least 5 patterns I'd like to knit at some point. Overall, I'd rather pay my hard earned $$$ to a designer than to the owner of a yarn magazine, who probably doesn't pay the designer all that much $$ for their hard work.
My email address is hellokitty_31155ATyahooDOTcom

Amy said...

I hope I am doing this right. I have never blogged or posted a comment on a blog. I had to get my husband to help me. I think he was so excited that I am finally entering into the web world. Anyway, now to the question. When I first started knitting i used mostly free patterns, but now that I have more knowledge about resources, I use more patterns from books and magazines. I really enjoy Interweave Knits. REcently I have started learning more about designers and I am finding there are a few designers that I really enjoy. I really enjoy your designs and the way you use color (I'm sure everyone says that) and Shirley Paden. So I guess as my knitting knowledge evolves my preferrences for patterns evolves also.


Julia (mb at diegesis dot net) said...

Seeing your photos always makes me wish I had more room for sunflowers--they look so wonderful in a big throng!

I don't have enough experience with different pattern sources to have a strong feeling about which are more accurate. Seeing people's notes on published patterns, I definitely wouldn't assume that a purchased pattern would necessarily be more accurate than a free pattern; I have the impression that people are pretty careful about the patterns they post, making sure they're accurate. I look at a lot of books and knitting magazines, and I also look at a lot of patterns on Ravelry or on people's blogs--in general, not because I'm going to follow that specific pattern, but in order to understand how different kinds of things are made. Most of the things I make are improvised but I take ideas and guidance from lots of other people. There's so much to learn! And I love it when people explain the logic behind a pattern ("it's important that the increases and decreases match, because...") rather than just giving detailed micro-instructions--that way if I want to make a change, it's easier to understand what's really going on.

Breanna S. said...

Your post about your gram made me cry, my granny passed this summer and I miss her terribly. I too Cherish the memories of my granny; creating, baking, and laughing.
Thank you

PumpkinFreckles said...

I happened upon Ravelry early in my knitting life and look for patterns there and if possible get them for free, but if it's love, I will hunt down a pattern like it's the holy grail.
Thanks for the give-away. The winner will be one lucky knitter.

Barbara Dykes said...

Well... I knit and purl and increase and decrease. I taught myself how to cable through a needlework text book so I'm not an expert on reading patterns. I love books at the library and practice with those.

Beautiful Farm!


Diane H K in Greenfield said...

I sometimes wonder if a free pattern is as accurate as a purchased one, so I usually (but not always) opt for a purchased one. I figure the designer who charges is more likely to have test knitters, I guess.

I do look to yarn companies for knitting patterns, particularly for children's wear. I like looking at patterns in knitting magazines, but don't often knit them because they often use yarns I can't afford.

I've been spinning my own yarn for some time now, and use my homespun along with Ann Budd's formulas to make garments. That's turned out to be a fairly good solution for me.

dianehk01 at gmail dot com

Lorraine said...

In general, I don't believe that free patterns are as accurate as purchased ones. Very often they are not tested/edited because they are written by amateurs.

I buy very few pattern, because I design my own. I have designed for a number of yarn companies and have been published in books.

I do knit some free patterns from established designers, mostly mystery sock pattrns.

suthnheart said...

what a beautiful post about your grandmother. thank you for sharing her with us.

October marks one year of knitting for me. I started knitting one month after my mother passed away because I want to be able to pass the tradition and knowledge down to my future daughters-in-law and grandchildren.

because I took weekly lesson at my LYS until their closing this summer, I bought most patterns there. I now have to travel 30 minutes to my not-so-LYS to peruse their patterns and yarn.

I go where the patterns are. I know what I want to knit so I search for the item, find what I want and either download a free or paid pattern, or call my LYS and order it.

I definitely have favorite independent designers and keep up with their art but I knit what I like at that moment.

I, like most others, have come across inaccuracies in both types of patterns, but the pattern I had to rewrite to understand and not rip out my hair was a paid pattern by a well-known designer who even manufactures her own yarn (definitely not you!

basically, my thoughts are you can't knit blind. you've got to figure out where you're going before you get there, so whether paid or free, famous or not, pay attention to the directions and look ahead.

enjoy your day on your farm!

LT said...

Cool giveaway, I have enjoyed reading the responses.
For knitting, I have always used free patterns from Ravelry or from the blogs I read, or from books I've bought. I have only found a few errors in the patterns I've used, and they were all easy to figure out. I usually read through the pattern before using it, and I look at other knitter's projects on Ravelry to see how they've turned out. If I don't like how the pattern is written, if it seems confusing, or if most of the projects don't turn out well, I won't use it. That's why I have a hard time buying a pattern online, because I'd be afraid that I wouldn't like how it's written. BUT, recently I have decided to buy a few from designers who also offer free ones that I have enjoyed. This way, I already know that I like the designer's style and I should be happy with the bought pattern.

Patt Ward said...

i use both purchased and free patterns and it seems to me that mistakes are about equal. i usually scan them first and am pretty good about correcting mistakes. i am known to change patterns a lot, anyway. i get my patterns from a variety of places. i am not afraid to experiment. guess i have a little confidence in doing that since i have knitted about 40 years. thanks for the give away! love your books!

Christine said...

I use books, mostly, for my patterns, as the mags sometime are not in tune with what I'm looking for. I also use free patterns, but since I do pattern writing myself and am a mathemetician, it's easy for me to find any errors. I do not think that free patterns are more error-prone than paid for ones....I guess it erks me when a pattern in a book has errors.

I buy patterns online from independant designers. I love doing that and it's instant gratification.

Dawn said...

I use all of them. It doesn't matter where it comes from, as long as it's legal.

Tracey said...

I feel that the answer to your question regarding free vs. purchased knitting patterns really depends on the designer. I think that if you have a good designer, they put as much effort into free patterns as they do patterns for purchase. And it's great when they offer some free ones so you can see how detailed (or not!) the patterns are.
I am just starting out, but have purchased patterns from independent designers on the web, and some of my favorites are susan anderson and never not knitting. I have gone to knitting books mostly, and am looking forward to winning fairy tale knits or krisin knits. I've had my eye on both for awhile!
Thanks for the chance!

annie said...

Oh my gosh, I use all the wonderful resources we have today. I buy (or subscribe to) books and magazines. I would say I've found most free patterns to be as accurate as those I buy. Maybe because of Ravelry where amazingly nearly every pattern can be found with comments by real knitters. And the wonderful thing about the internet is that if a pattern has an error, there is errata available almost as soon as the first knitter finds the mistake. So much better than before when there really only were magazines, a few books and if you were lucky enough, you knew about Elizabeth Zimmerman.

(orillaknits on ravelry)

Kate said...

I get patterns from everywhere, free and purchased from Ravelry and other sites online, booklets from knit shops or online shops and regular books too. I also love knitting magazines. I don't question the accuracy of patterns IF lots of people have completed the project...the power of Ravelry!! I would probably not try a free pattern that hadn't been tested a bunch, unless it was for something tiny and uncomplicated.
THANKS! lpmkate@yahoo.com

hellmanmd said...

I do have lower expectations for free patterns than I do for ones I purchase, unless the free pattern comes from a source like knitty.com or some other place I trust. If I'm spending money on something, I expect that it will work! I'm particularly disappointed when I find errors in patterns in books and magazines (hello, VK!). I get my patterns from wherever I can find them, but as I have no LYS within easy reach, Internet sources are much easier for me. With independent designers, I have no compunctions about writing to them if I have a problem with a pattern I've purchased.

gileadgoats said...

Wow, what a great giveaway Kristin! As for the patterns....I use both free and purchased patterns. I buy them online, thru magazines, and at my LYS. I really like to support indie designers when I can, and buy self published books and ebooks often.
I haven't noticed that free patterns are any less accurate than bought and paid for patterns. Sometimes things get missed in editing, it happens. The great thing about the internet these days is, most patterns that are published with errors also have published the corrections.

lavendercottage09 said...

Love your pics of the countryside! I'm a city girl with a country soul!! When it comes to patterns I use them all. I've only had one mistake on a pattern and it came from a free one on a brand name yarn website. I love the Indi patterns because they are from knitters just like me. I own quite a few books but use our local library to check new ones before I purchase. Ravelry is wonderful because there are usually lots of pictures.

Margie @ lavendercottage09@hotmail.com

JenBerry said...

I'm such a newbie that I need a pattern!

moonbabyk said...

hay kristin! i love your stuff, youknow me i have purchased both of your books and many of your patterns from you because i love the way you lead us down the kniting path. i also download free patterns wen they speak to me. i hunt kniting everywhere, i search ravelry, im in several groups so as to be familiar with new ideas, i love my lys, and we are lucky here in salt lake for we have five lys stores, i search all book stores also for knitting news,patterns, and info. i think it is important to search all venues for our creative craft. i would sooooooooooo love to be choosen for some of this fantastic yarny goodness. we love you!

tjf said...

Your blog is so inspiring to me! Thanks so much. As far as patterns go, my first love is books. I like having them to look at over and over again. I am careful as to who the authors/designers/publishers are though; some books definitely have many errors. I don't mind purchasing good patterns (yours, Fiber Trends, Pure and Simple and others) and I've also used free patterns. I have purchased magazines but for some reason have not used those patterns as much.

Mullaney said...

Books, magazine,stores, web - anywhere and anything I look to for patterns. And if I can't find what I want, I make it up myself!
Thanks! Maureen

Anne said...

Hi Kristen~ I love GOOD knitting patterns and when I find them I use them over and over. "Bad" patterns can be found anywhere - free or purchased! I look everywhere for patterns. I gravitate towards classic knitting - good solid patterns to which I can add a bit of my own personality. I find them from independent designers on-line, in books/booklets and less often in magazines. I enjoy your patterns - great ideas for color work, and things to get the creative juices flowing. Thanks for your hard work! Anne Paulson paulsons4@arvig.net

Kathy said...

I like using both free and purchased patterns, but I usually will check Ravelry first to see the FOs and comments about the pattern. I do a lot of blog reading so I also come across patterns that way. If only I could knit fast enough to work all of the patterns that I have favorited in Ravelry!

~Kathy (mkcattell@comcast.net)

Anonymous said...

I'm always looking for the next new pattern -- I rarely knit the same thing twice, except for utilitarian things like hats and mittens for the kids. I think the main difference between the mistakes in published patterns vs. freely shared patterns is that you can usually obtain errata from the publishers and patterns posted in blogs are not always updated. Regardless of where you get your patterns, it is important to understand your knitting and be comfortable making changes when you need/want to. Oh, and that requires gaining some comfort with frogging.

I love patterns with texture - cables, twists, lace, etc., but love deep colors. The photo on a pattern can make all the difference for me!

I enjoy reading about your farm -- my DH would never, ever agree to live that life so I need to do it vicariously :)
-- Cate ctashton at colby dot edu

Beans1 said...

I love getting free patterns. I find that free patterns are as accurate as purchased patterns. I just love knitting and am always looking for new and fun patterns to knit. I knit alot of socks so am always looking for variations to spice up my socks. I have alot of knitting books and I enjoy magazines. I use patterns alot just for a starting point and change them as I go.

Willow said...

I have a collection of books, individual patterns, magazines and downloaded epatterns which I used for my knitting projects. I have not had many problems with inaccuracies in either free or purchased patterns. But just in case, I always read through the pattern first because I will never forget the day my daughter and her friend called me in tears. They had downloaded a free pattern for knitting cables and were sure they were the worst and stupidest knitters in the world. It wasn't them. It was the very poorly written pattern! That happened to be a free download from the internet. I have noticed though that many books are published with an errata page or link--someone at a knit shop said that the fiber industry is so intent on getting books out on the shelves they have been cutting 'time' corners and not having the books proofed or the patterns checked as carefully as they should, and I would agree with that assessment.

My most recent sweater project was from a magazine, hat project from a purchased pattern from ravelry, scarf from my own design. Last week, I cast on a sweater for my grandson using a pattern from a book. I must be an equal opportunity knitter!

willowknits atyahoo dotcom

mjm said...

I confess - I have a pattern addiction. and it is so easily fed. I love books for patterns because I think that you get so much from the designer- with the background they write on the pattern and the way the sweater is styled in the pictures its almost like a peep into their personal life. I also love blogs for the same reason and will pay for a pattern that I like. It is so interesting to see the patterns and designs that people are doing on ravelry too. I have to confess that I don't have much problem with accuracy though. I knit by feel and looking at the pictures and the pattern guides me along. if there is a mistake I find myself adjusting it as I knit. similarly some patterns are so complex the way they are written you can't follow along and end up looking at the picture to figure it out.

Susan said...

I am a teensy bit obsessed with knitting patterns. In fact, if I divided the number of skeins of yarn in my stash by the number of knitting pattern books, individual knitting patterns, saved magazines with patterns, and overall pattern planning materials, I would still have enough to last a lifetime. I like diversity in obtaining patterns. Sometimes I want to design my own, hence the pattern planning. I love fill in the blank patterns, i.e. if your swatch is x st/inch and your measurement is y", cast on z st...I am a plus size gal, and that causes some problems for me with "store-bought" patterns, even for little things like socks! There are a few Plus-Size books out there, and I have them, but everyone's taste is different, so I don't love all the styles. I try to make modifications, but that's a lot of work. Nonetheless I still buy a lot of books, to study, write in margins, and hold drool over. I also buy a lot of magazines, because there's always something new. I like free pattersn on the internet but don't always trust them. I like particular yarn companies (fond of green mountain spinnery for example) and will buy a book or pattern from them. I'm very loosy goosy and basically buy whatever strikes my fancy, but if they have BIG sizes, then all that much the better! Thanks!

Spiffypaws said...

I think that free patterns can be just as accurate as purchased patterns, and are sometimes more detailed. When looking for patterns, I look everywhere but prefer knitting mags, and indep designers on the web. I've also bought a lot of books and vintage patterns. Knitting stores are almost always a disappointment when looking for patterns, unfortunately.
P.S. Kristin, you should sell your photos. My boyfriend is a pro and he says your photos are great!!!

editknit said...

I used to knit a lot of patterns from knitting magazines, but now I buy most of my patterns online from independent designers. On a site like Patternfish, the selection is huge and it's so easy to search for exactly what I want. Once I find something, I can download the pattern and start right in. It's hard to search through the patterns at a yarn store. Yes, the quality of free patterns is not as good, but they're handy for simple things when I don't want to do the math myself or when I just want to copy one element--a stitch pattern, for example. I buy knitting books when I think I will learn from them and use them for reference, even if I don't knit very many of the patterns. editor at tinarounsavell dotcom

Kathleen said...

I use both free and purchased patterns. I have never had a problem with pattern accuracy - it is usually user (as in me) accuracy issues. I get most of my patterns and yarns off the internet - we don't have may yarn shops here in central Nebraska - but when I do get to one I love looking at their patterns and samples - it is always fun to see the real thing.
pick me pick me -

Leslie said...

Interesting question, Kristin. I'm a hybrid knitter, I take ideas from other people and then modify them for my own likes/dislikes. I'll spend hours looking for "just the right pattern" in Patternfish or Ravelry after gazing at EZ's books, the stuff in my bookcase (either real or digital) or in my 3-ring binders.

Insofar as accuracy goes, most books have errata if you look so I wouldn't say the fact that one pays for a publishing house pattern is anymore of a guaranty of accuracy than a pattern you get off the net. I will occasionally get a revision of a pattern from an indie designer when I've paid him/her directly. When I choose to knit a FREE pattern, I'll take a close look at Ravelry for other knitters' comments.

Knitting is more like cooking than baking. Baking is scientific, you need to follow measurements (directions) precisely for an excellent result (or that cake just won't rise). Cooking allows you to follow the pattern (recipe) precisely or as a guideline, making your own adjustments along the way. I'm a cook of a knitter!

Anonymous said...

I am working on two sweaters right now. My first sweaters ever. One is a free pattern and I find it very difficut to follow and have found some mistakes. I have been knitting this since april. I started a small sweater a month ago and I am almost done. The pattern I purchased (the small sweater) has been much easier.

710 East Myrtle Avenue said...

I use both free and purchased patterns. I'm only starting my knitting book collection and rely mainly on knitting blogs and yarn company websites. I like to have patterns and yarn stashed away so that I'll always have something available when the inspiration hits.
Thank you once again for a wonderful give-away and thank you for your blog which brings me so much joy :D

Anonymous said...

Happy Autumn Kristin,

I absorb knitting patterns like a sponge from many sources, magazines, knitting books and now blogs & Internet searches. Most often I change something in the pattern, that's just the artsy-knit-person I am, but I especially enjoy color photos with patterns so I can invision the original knitters' idea. I am new to purchasing patterns on the internet, so I choose very carefully. I'd rather add yummie knitting books that I just have to have to my Knit-Library and also can't resist knitting magazines.
I've enjoyed your blog for a long time, especially since I'm originally from the East Coast, but even more now that I am going thru cancer. Its very refreshing to read & see the photos of your beautiful farm. I feel very fortunate to have more use of my left arm to KNIT again. I knew my spirit would be fine, if only I could knit. I could hardly cast on for awhile. My hair is growing back in fuzzy-wuzzy, like a hedgehog. It brightens my spirit to check in and see what is going on in your world. I admire your textiles, patterns & yarn. What fun it would be to knit toy animals with Kristin colorful sock yarns !
Thank you for the give-away, but most especially, thank you for choosing to be committed to posting so that we all may enjoy your creativity. Your knitting books are like Renissance Knit Art ! BEAUTIFUL ~ Gram Frieda was right, you are so CLEVER !

Jean said...

I subscribe to a lot of magazines plus I read a lot of blogs and they are kind enought to share a lot of nice patterns. Just like your blog which I enjoy. Thank you Jean

Vanessa :P said...

The story of your grandmother made me cry a little!
I maintained a correspondence with my grandfather, a German Mexican carpenter who lived in a dusty border town, for over 20 years!
He passed away two Novembers ago, before he had the chance to walk me down the aisle like I had dreamed.
I saved ALL of his letters he ever wrote me and when I take them out and see his familiar script it makes me feel close to him, even though is is gone.
Thanks for sharing!