Every week, the sites Knitting Pattern Central and Crochet Pattern Central post new free patterns that they've heard of or that have been sent to them. Several dozen patterns are often posted each week, and sometimes it can be tedious to look at them all to find the good ones... so I've done it for you. Then I've categorized them, alphabetized them, and written brief descriptions for each.
These patterns were all posted to the aforementioned sites in October, 2007, though some may have made their initial appearance on the web somewhat earlier. A few may have been posted in late September or the first few days of November: they were interesting enough to include here!
If you prove to like this feature, I'll continue to do it for you every month. You'll find patterns of all kinds after the break: sweaters for men, women, and babies, handbags, scarves and shawls, hats, toys, animals, socks, mittens, you name it.
Perhaps we should describe these as the "most tempting" patterns rather than the "best": the style and details are good, and they look like they'd be fun to make. There aren't several dozen other patterns just like them available on the web, or if there are, the one posted here is an especially good example.
We've been talking about...
I'm not the only person who writes about this sort of thing here at DIY Life. Check out the following links to see the patterns we liked so much that they got their own posts:
Farrah found plenty of Cartoon Knits: a SpongeBob hat, a Spiderman Afghan, mittens featuring Bloo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and more. She helped football fans find yarn that would honor their favorite teams. She also brought you a plethora of Breast Cancer Awareness Crafts, and found plenty of information about how to make your own knitting supplies (needle rolls, stitch markers, etc). Finally, she liked this "Halloween Spideyscape," a big decorative set of spiders and their web.
I was busy, too: I liked this Super Mario Villains Scarf, a series of charts that would allow you to knit most of your pixel nemeses. The five patterns in October's MagKnits were enchanting. My love for The Nightmare Before Christmas became embarrassingly apparent when I posted about Knitty's Jack Skellington hat/mask and followed it up not long after with a crocheted version of Zero the Ghost Dog, one of the cutest spooks ever. Not so cute was the crocheted Bloody Saw Scarf. And I thought that the KnitPro online graphing application, which will transform any picture you upload into a chart suitable for all kinds of needlework, would empower you to create your own designs.
Arbor Top (PDF Link)
- Cables and
lace in a cap-sleeved, top-down sweater. I looked at several attractive cabled patterns for this list, which I did not include because the designer hadn't paid enough attention to detail: mostly, cables and ribbing didn't flow into each other. Note how, in Arbor, every lace motif grows from the cable beneath it. Also, take a look at where the waist is: a lot of tops in this style (handknit and otherwise) have a waist that's a bit too high, when it should be under the bust. Impressive attention to detail all around, and a cute top, too.
Colorful Cardigan (PDF Link)
- A design by Kristin Nicholas
. Lots of fun with color and pattern. This looks more complex than it is. Although the diamond shapes are done in four colors, you only knit with two of them; details are added later with duplicate stitch. The instructions don't say which technique to use for the color-work: good arguments could be made for both stranded colorwork and intarsia. Based on similar designs in her new book Kristin Knits
(which you'll want to check out if you like this sweater!) and the fact that only two colors are used on each row, I'd go with the stranded/Fair Isle technique.
Draped Lace Shell (PDF Link)
- The shape of this lace tank is simple, with a loose neckline, but the stitch pattern and the yarn make it dressy and elegant.
Laseta 100 Sweater
- A ballet-neck raglan sweater with some stitch details in the bust area. Very chic pattern from Lana Grossa.
- A top-down raglan tank made in silk with lots of lace panels. This is an utterly lovely
sweater with a shapely fit.
Mossy Baby Jacket
- A cardigan with contrasting edges and an off-center band, knit in a nice, mottled merino yarn. One of the more sophisticated free patterns for baby garments that I've seen.
- If you have
to have a themed holiday sweater, you could do worse than to try these designs (one for men, one for women) from Patons, which seem to have a simplified Norwegian design. Horizontal stripes are often unflattering, but let's face it: so are sweaters with appliqued Christmas stockings and packages and intarsia snowmen. You can't win.
Salt Peanuts Cardigan
- Véronik Avery's popular pattern, published in Interweave Knits
a few years ago, has made its way to the web for free (well, free to Knitting Daily
subscribers, but that's free, too). A beautiful v-neck, shawl-collar cardigan, with lace rib detailing and silk ribbon ties. Don't miss this one.
Tunic-Length Knitted Pullover
- For all you Annie Modesitt fans out there, this is a close-fitting boat-neck raglan sweater made in Malabrigo wool.
- A nice cabled headband
, tapered at the ends. You have the choice of knitting from a chart or line-by-line instructions, and like many headbands, this one uses under 100 yds of yarn. I don't know if I would make it in bamboo yarn as suggested: if headbands tend to slide off of you, which happens to me all the time, you'll want a yarn like wool with a little more "tooth."
- A meshy tube with a head-band at one end: useful, adaptable, and a bit peculiar. You can wear it as a hat, a neck-warmer, a balaclava (ski mask), a headband, or whatever else you can manage to fold it into.
Complimented Lace Hat
- A little lace
cap, perfect for days that are cool but not particularly cold, with a flattering scalloped border. The lace pattern itself is not difficult. It seems like it might be a good idea to knit this on slightly larger needles than the designer recommended, though, depending on your head measurement. The hat could probably stand to go up a size.
Felted Alpaca Dinnerplate Beret
- If you've ever wanted a "classic" felt beret (rather than a knit tam), here's your chance. Terrible fake French accent not included with pattern.
Gull Stitch Toque
- From a distance, this hat looks like it has a complex braided cable pattern, but the pattern is actually mostly slipped stitches. It has a detailed, high-end look, and would make a nice gift.
Lizard Ridge Hat
- A multicolored striped hat with a crown shaped like a six-pointed swirling star. Ripples and bumps are created with short-row shaping. Interesting, creative, and artistic, which means that some people may find it loud, but you probably know a teen or college student who will love it. This is based on an afghan which originally appeared on Knitty
Scarves and Shawls
- Cable Embrace Scarf (PDF Link) - A chunky cabled scarf that would make a great gift, true, but also a charity pattern. The Red Scarf Project's only aim is to show affection to college students who have aged out of the foster care system: a handknit scarf for someone who most likely has nobody in their life to make one for them. You can get to work for 2008.
- Celtic Knot Stole (PDF Link) - A lightweight lace stole with a celtic knot motif (made with yarn-overs) and several lace borders. I wish the knot motifs were more integrated with each other, but even as it is, this is a pretty piece.
- Fu Bat Scarf - A basic scarf, livened up with a bat-shaped lace pattern.
- Gerda Stole (PDF Link) - A complex lace stole made in cobweb-weight yarn and blocked with authority: for the hard-core lace lover and those who wish to become one. You can make it in laceweight yarn if you want it to be a bit bigger. Since it's only 50" long with the cobweb-weight yarn, some people will want to take that route.
- Icelandic Lace Shawl - The pattern for this large lacy shawl, also called the Thórdís shawl (after the woman who made the historical model on which the pattern is based), has been unavailable since its first publication more than ten years ago. A Knitting Daily pattern.
- Miss Crazy Scarf (PDF Link) - Not for everyone, sure, but this kind of embellished and reconstructed look has been popular in stores like Urban Outfitters for the last few years. If you don't like the way it's embellished, you can leave off the pom-poms, use other motifs, run silk ribbon through the eyelets instead of yarn, and so on and on. Use this one as a basis for your own creativity.
- Swiss Cheese Scarf - This one is easy, but has an intriguing look. There are many free patterns working with this basic concept, lately, but the execution in this particular version puts it head and shoulders above the rest: Winnie chose to make it in laceweight yarn and to block it carefully. The downside is that it's essentially a garter stitch scarf and will be only mildly less tedious to knit. (Do you have a TV series or two to watch on DVD?)
- A complex-looking slip-stitch pattern made with one strand of solid-colored yarn and another strand of variegated yarn with long color sections. Good for beginners wanting to stretch their wings and learn mosaic knitting, as well as anyone else who thinks this looks cool.
Voyager Lace Stole
- A shawl designed to be knit in Elann
's Alpaca Fina. The swirling lace pattern is reminiscent of both leaves and waves.
Wabenschal Shawl (PDF Link)
- Chunky honeycomb lace in an interesting shape (it's a rhombus, like the designer's "Miss Crazy" scarf listed above). For the fashionista in your life, because both are more hip than a fussy lace rectangle.
- Fantasy Naturale Market Bag - A striped expandable shopping bag in cotton. These patterns are everywhere lately, and this is an attractive knit version. If it's not your style, try the larger of these Felted Market Bags or this Hemp Market Bag (a Knitting Daily pattern).
Intricate Stag Bag
- The title says it all: this Knitting Daily
pattern by Norah Gaughan (also a free Knitscene
download) features an intricate two-color portrait of a stag in the woods. A beautiful stranded color-work design in an alpaca/wool blend.
- Teva Durham's distinctive felted bag is made in the round with short-row wedges that vary in size and shape. A Knitting Daily
Scandinavian Braid Felted Purse
- A simple but attractive felted bucket bag with a "braid" motif, which also looks like Celtic knotwork, in stranded knitting around the top. This might be a good first colorwork project.
Aran Classic Wool Slipper Socks
- Almost like knit winter boots, made in a soft, affordable yarn. The version shown has purchased slipper bottoms applied to the socks. Registration at Patons site required for pattern download.
Buccaneer's Booty Socks
- Pirate socks
with stripes and stranded knitting (a wide skull-and-crossbones stripe). Similar to Jack Sparrow's Favorite Socks, but not quite the same.
Bulky Boot Socks
- Three-color socks knit with Lopi (Icelandic Wool) yarn in a style that will be a great match for sweaters with Lopi-or-Norwegian-style stranded colorwork. These are black, white, and grey, but you can make them in any three colors you like.
Caspian Sea Socks
- Complex socks (almost along slipper-sock lines in style) in a Central Asian folk style with a lot of colorwork. A Knitting Daily pattern by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts.
Ridges and Ribs
- A relatively basic sock pattern, but it was designed specifically to help eliminate the look of "pooling" when knitting with hand-dyed yarns (if you're knitting a sweater, it's easy to alternate balls of yarn every other row to minimize this problem, carrying the excess yarn up the side seam, but if you're making a sock in the round, it's more of a problem). The pattern uses multiple vertical slip-stitch ridges to achieve the effect.
Apple Cozy Pattern
- It looks just like a knitted apple, but it's actually a jacket to keep an apple from getting bruised. Something like this appeared in the book Knitorama
(which is, itself, full of whimsical and kitschy projects), but Casey didn't like the pattern, so she rewrote it. A great exercise to practice shaping techniques.
- The friendliest microbes you ever did see.
Barnyard Finger Puppets
- Let the squeeing commence: a tiny, sweet farmer, horse, cow, pig, and duck. Finger puppets are always a great way to use up extra yarn bits. This particular pattern is just waiting to be adapted to knit gloves.
- A cute basic hat with tiny earflaps. And eyes. And teeth that cover the wearer's forehead. You probably saw this one getting some coverage around the blogosphere a few weeks back.
Cats Love Sweaters
- This one is just what it sounds like: a pattern for a cat sweater. It's only here for my fiendish amusement.
Days of the Week Dishcloths
- Also known as the Emmy Swag Organic Dishcloths, because they were given away as swag at an Emmy party. Practical, stylish dishcloths in natural colors, with the initials of the days knit into them. Check out the other free patterns at Jimmy Beans Wool in the sidebar of this pattern.
- From Kaffe Fassett's new book Kaffe Knits Again
, a pattern for a felted pillow cover with the creative color and patterning that the designer is known for. Utilizes many colors and both major color-work techniques (stranded/Fair-Isle and intarsia). Not for beginners, but a great gift to make.
- Apparently, these are "gruesome" and "for Halloween." I think they're hilarious. The designer has included a list of links to other knit eyeball patterns.
- More squeeing. Inestimable amounts of squeeing. Another great toy/amigurumi pattern from Heather Rupestur. This one is a little fox doll that can help you use up small amounts of yarn... and it's adorable
. Check out her monster patterns while you're there.
Lover's Knot Afghan
- Classic Aran afghan with a braided cable pattern. Lion Brand registration required for download.
Miniature Cowichan Cardigan
- Detailed tiny sweater for stuffed animals, but this one is designed by Véronik Avery. (I don't see many of these that look good: this one is an exception.) A Knitting Daily
- It's a scarf, see? And it looks like a yellow school pencil, with an eraser on one end and a sharpened point on the other. Super-cute! Make one for yourself, or dress your kids in this before they're old enough to complain.
Sea Mineral Mittens (PDF Link)
- These mittens are done in stranded colorwork with mellow colors. They have a lacy scalloped edge. A feminine presentation of a garment that's ordinarily utilitarian and sporty.
Super Mario Brothers Felted Bag
- The title couldn't be more descriptive. This is a pixel-per-stitch recreation of a Super Mario Brothers scene, which creates a short, wide bag. Most of the instructions are visual: just follow the full-color chart.
- A cuddly knitted tree! The design uses loop stitch for the foliage.
Vicious Gnauga Backpack
- A bag to go with your Brainmonster Hat. Made in furry yarn, there's no intarsia here: the huge white teeth are made separately and sewn on afterwards.
You may need this guide to UK crochet terms, which are also used in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
Crocheted V-Neck Pullover
- An excerpt from Doris Chan's Everyday Crochet. This is a shapely sweater with a lacy pattern and contrast bands. I don't really like the elbow-length sleeves, but it wouldn't be too difficult to change them to wrist-length.
- This is a nice execution of another one of those scarves made of a bunch of flower motifs that have been joined together... but most others that I've seen are in books. You can make the scarf, or you can use the motifs separately as an embellishment. (For example, if you made a cap to go with the scarf, you could make an extra flower or two as a decoration.) (Requires Lion Brand registration.)
- Crocheted Pedicure Socks - Nothing notable about the design, except that they're toe-less pedicure socks, useful for pedicure addicts in colder weather.
- A delicate, multi-strand beaded necklace made from crocheted wire. Beading Daily
subscription required for download.
Ladies' Bobble Hat
- A vintage pattern for a pretty, highly textured hat. It's somewhere between bucket and cloche in shape, with a small brim and velvet ribbon trim.
Crocheted DROPS Purse
- UK terms. A shimmering envelope purse embellished with beautiful flowers (think of not-too-intricate Irish Crochet done in a slightly metallic yarn). There are plenty of patterns of all kinds which the authors suggest as an accessory for formal occasions, but this is one of the few I've seen that wouldn't be embarrassing. However, if carrying it to dinner or a dance, I'd transform it into a clutch: leave off the shoulder strap and make gusset panels instead.
- This bag is something like a basket in shape, but it has a very modern feel; make it in a trendy color and try to get a leather or leather-look handle to put on it. By the fantastic designer of the owl mask noted below.
Granny Square Pucker Purse
- As the title suggests, this is a purse made of bright granny squares with a unifying black border. More importantly, it's a pretty good photo tutorial on how to line a crocheted bag with the assistance of plastic canvas.
No-More-Dent Canister Carrier
- Your basic water-bottle holder, made with metal canisters in mind. The stitch pattern will help protect the bottle from dents. (But it does bring up the question: would you rather have a dented bottle, or a bottle in a thick crocheted jacket? Some people would rather deal with the dents. It seems like it might be pointless to protect a bottle from dents if you're never going to see it anyway... still, if you want a carrier, this is a nice pattern.)
Spike Stitch Tissue Holder
- These tissue holders, sized for miniature tissue packs, are everywhere in the online craft world lately. This is a visually interesting, not-too-garish crocheted version with helpful diagrams; it will allow you to make a tissue holder with pretty much any stitch pattern you want.
Waves of Color Tote Bag
- The ripple afghan obsession of the last year or two was going to lead into other objects sooner or later. This is supposed to be a tote bag, but because it has short built-in handles, I think it would make a nice laptop computer case. (If you can make it to the correct dimensions for your computer. The author, who has written a number of cool patterns in the past, hasn't provided measurements this time around.) Choose your colors carefully to keep this one looking current: it'll mostly likely descend into kitsch in a bad way if you use the wrong yarn.
Afghans, Blankets, and Throws
- I'm not sure if this would look as good in every color as it does in white or ecru, but it's a basic lacy throw with an interesting edging; the designer says it's easy to make and will teach you a few stitches.
- I admit it: it's a pillow. But this design has an elegant, almost luxurious vintage feel, even though its shell pattern isn't too difficult to crochet. I'd love to see a matching bedspread and shams. Until someone designs them, consider pairing this one with the Avatar Afghan, above.
Chromium Star Blanket
- Star blankets are nothing new, but this one has been modified to eliminate certain standard characteristics of the design. It also looks really interesting in a variegated yarn (rather than large blocks of color in concentric star-shaped rings).
Diagonal Granny Afghan
- There's something elegant about granny squares done in a single color. This one arranges them so that the afghan itself has a pretty row of triangles as its edge on two sides. (Lion Brand registration required... and hey, you don't have
to make it in Vanna's Choice, the suggested yarn.)
- This is really just a checkerboard-patterned afghan in Halloween colors, with small Halloween motifs like cats and bats appliqued to it. You could make the motifs without making the afghan, and use them elsewhere. The motifs are detailed with fabric paint in the photos; I would detail them with yarn embroidery.
Morning Glory Afghan (PDF Link)
- Four out of four stars of difficulty for this blanket, which is crocheted and embroidered in shades of blue and white to mimic all-over needlepoint. This looks like a museum piece, even though it's made in Red Heart Super Saver.
Purrrr! Pussycat Throw (PDF Link)
- UK terms. At first, this looks like a basic popcorn-ish throw in various colors, which isn't very interesting. Look more closely, and you'll see that the color changes are done specifically to create row upon row of tiny cats.
Turkey Talk Afghan
- A gloriously, epically goofy and kitschy tribute to a holiday that doesn't seem to get as many designs devoted to it as most of the others do. Plus, the turkey motif used here is about as cute as a turkey motif could possibly be, and variegated yarn is used in an interesting way to make the turkey's feathers.
Motifs and Embellishments
Basic Crochet Flower (PDF Link)
- Flowers, flowers, flowers. These are by Candi Jensen, who has written a bunch of popular books utilizing them. This particular pattern is for flowers with five curvy petals and a two-color center. A second version puts another, larger five-petaled flower under the first for a more complex-looking bloom.
Flower Brooch (PDF Link)
- UK Terms. It's only a brooch when you add a pin to it. This double-layered bloom has a slightly more complex shape than the one in the "Basic Crochet Flower" pattern above, but its center is so simple that you might want to add a rhinestone or bead.
Lovely in Green
- A square motif with a lacy, chrysanthemum-like flower at its core. A few dozen of this one would make a beautiful lightweight afghan.
- Tiny five-pointed stars, useful as embellishments.
Shells Leaf Applique
- There are a few flower motifs listed elsewhere in this article. Do you need a leaf to go with them? This reminds me of the leaf motifs used by the Elves in the Lord of the Rings
films: wide, curvy, and stylized.
Slippah Luggage Tag
- This comes to us from Hawai'i, and what you actually have here are two small crocheted "slippahs" (flip flops, slap shoes, thongs) connected by a crocheted chain. Adaptable to many other projects: it could have just as easily been Slippah Earrings, a Slippah Necklace, Doll Slippahs, or anything else you can imagine. Very cute.
Snowflake Gift Topper
- This is one of a number of crocheted snowflake motifs that are out there. When you're finished making one, you stiffen it. This one is meant as a package embellishment, but could just as easily be used as an ornament.
Teresa Franco's Blossoms
- Three styles of flower motifs to use as embellishments, all with a modern, funky look. (That might just be because the designer has great color sense.)
Vintage Butterflies - Several vintage crochet patterns, intended to help people embellish existing articles with butterfly motifs. There are instructions for a Butterfly Blouse
(many small butterflies are crocheted, then stitched to a blouse) and a Butterfly Handkerchief
(a larger butterfly is crocheted and stitched onto a purchased handkerchief, after which a lacy crochet edging is applied). The Butterfly hat and gloves pattern
involves more appliqued lace butterflied, but also includes a pattern for mesh gloves
. Other vintage butterfly patterns are available, if you look at the sidebars of the patterns I've linked here.
- Hot Water Bottle Cover - UK terms. Heated mattress pads are expensive. What else are you going to do when your feet get cold in bed in the winter? This hot water bottle cover isn't exotic, but it should do the job... and it's made in Rowan's Calmer, which means it's snuggly.
- Irish Crochet Pincushion - With several thousand very small stitches, and although it's only about a three-inch square, this heirloom pincushion should take even an experienced crocheter around eight hours to make. It will take even more time if you're a beginner, but it's detailed, not difficult. A good first or second Irish Lace project. (A Knitting Daily pattern.)
- Easy amigurumi, good for using up bits and pieces of yarn.
- Mini Doggie - A wee, hound-shaped amigurumi.
Monster Finger Chapstick Cozy
- This is your basic narrow, single-crochet-in-the-round tube, but it gets massive creativity points for being made over to look like a zombie's severed finger. Make one for your favorite horror fan.
- A gawky little goose with sewn-on feet.
Owl Eye Mask
- A sleep mask that will make you look like an owl, with big eyes and a little beak. This pattern is particularly notable for its fantastic visual design: the designer has an artist's eye. Very cool!
- Yes, crocheted pinecones. Why? Because you can.
- Who knew that a small crocheted pillow could be given so much personality? (Lion Brand registration required for download.)
Pirate Piggie Mask
- Self-explanatory. This looks like a decent pattern, but it would have won inclusion on the grounds of sheer novelty, unless it had been truly terrible. Leave off the pirate elements and add aviator goggles and tan coveralls for a Porco Rosso
Straw Bonnet for Dolls
- Not really straw, not exactly a bonnet (more like a straw hat), and maybe not that exciting to some people, but a nice doll-related pattern that other people might find useful.
Swirl of Stars Tarot Spread Cloth
- Don't be put off by the name, if tarot isn't your thing: this is a round place-mat or doily with a swirl pattern and embroidered stars, and a delicately scalloped edging. Put it anywhere that you'd like to look a little bit more cosmic.
- It's a bunny... like... thing. All right: I don't know what it is. But it's adorable.
- A crochet makeover of a well-known knit softie pattern, MochiMochi's "Grass."
This little critter represents a stylized version of something that may be out in your front yard right now: your lawn.
Whew! That's it! I hope you enjoy making whatever you choose to make, and I also hope that November's crop will be just as wonderful. See you next month!