I try really, really hard to put just about everything you could possibly need in my patterns. No really, they’re alarmingly detailed. But every now and then you might find yourself wanting even more information. So I’ve put the expanded version of lots of things here. The posts below have answers to about 95% of the questions I’ve ever gotten!
I am, alas, wildly unqualified to teach you how to knit. You should come to my patterns knowing the basics (casting on and binding off, knitting and purling, working flat and in the round, and following charts). Once you have the hang of those fundamentals, I can show you how to do all sorts of marvelous things!
I know if you’re new to something, tracking down a reliable resource can feel overwhelming. So I’ve pulled together a list of my favorite spots to find great tutorials. These are all places I know and like and trust to give you good information.
Tin Can Knits has taken a few of their free, beginner friendly patterns and made special classes to walk you through the whole process. If you’ve never followed a pattern, start here.
Ysolda creates beautiful patterns and has an astonishing number of really lovely free tutorials. If I ever work up the nerve to try colorwork, this is where I’ll start.
Purl Soho sells gorgeous yarn and has lots of great technique videos and posts. They are especially good for specific stitches (like different kinds of increases and decreases).
Modern Daily Knitting has literally hundreds of great articles on pretty much every technique you can think of. When I want to learn something new, I look there first.
Knitty has been bringing us free patterns and awesome techniques for twenty years. It’s a piece of knitting history, do yourself a favor and spend an afternoon exploring.
Between them, those five sites will answer pretty much any basic technique question you might have!
There are a few questions that come up often enough that I wanted to address them here, just in case it’s helpful!
Can I sell the stuff I make from your patterns?
Yes absolutely! The things you make are yours to do whatever you want with. You don’t need to ask, and you don’t need to mention me or the pattern.
As far as I can tell, there’s not actually a way for designers to prevent you from selling what you make unless they have you read and agree to a license before you buy their patterns. So even if I wanted to keep you from doing that (and I don’t! I think it’s great if you want to sell the things you make!), it would be tricky. There’s a good article over here that covers this idea (in the context of a sewing pattern), if you want to read more.
But as far as I’m concerned, you’re welcome to sell the things you make. Please don’t sell or give away the patterns themselves. But the objects you make from them are fine to sell!
Why do your patterns cost so much?
In short, my patterns cost that much because I am a professional. This is my job. My patterns are really good. And that is what I have chosen to charge for my work.
The longer version of the answer depends a bit on the intent behind the question. There are a couple of variations on this one, some come from a good place, and some are pretty nasty.
Let’s start with the nicest possible version.
I completely understand that knitting patterns are small indulgences, and there is not always room in the budget for small indulgences. We’re all trying to survive in this capitalist hellscape, and things are hard. But if you’re in a situation where you can’t afford small indulgences, that’s a sign of some really big societal problems. It’s not the fault of the teeny tiny business selling those small indulgence (they are also trying to survive the capitalist hellscape). It’s rotten that we’re all in this situation, but it’s not ok to yell at me about it.
If that’s the situation, make sure you’re subscribed to the mailing list. Mailing list folks always get a discount on new patterns and often get better versions of any sales I run. I also offer a number of community supported copies of new patterns to the mailing list (more details on that program, including how to donate extra copies if you’re able, over here). If budget is an issue, please feel free to take advantage of those.
Now for the less nice version.
I get a fair number of comments from people who seem to think either that all patterns should be free or that maybe it’s ok to charge a little something, but they better at least be cheap. And I find this…less understandable.
Knitting patterns are not free to create. I have thousands of dollars of computer and camera equipment (not to mention yarn and needles). I pay hundreds of dollars a month in fees (for things like the hosting bills for this website and the licensing costs for the software I use to edit photos and write patterns). Those costs need to be covered.
Knitting patterns are not quick to create. I spend dozens of hours coming up with an idea, knitting an object, writing a pattern, creating charts, taking photos, testing and editing patterns, writing pattern listings, and supporting patterns after they’re released. I’ve been doing this for more than a decade. I make really good patterns. I need to be paid for that time and expertise.
If you don’t like what I charge, that’s totally cool, don’t buy my pattern. If you don’t need a pattern to make your own version of something I’ve designed, that’s totally cool, don’t buy my pattern. If you feel like you get the same experience making something kinda similar from a free pattern, that’s cool, don’t buy my pattern.
But if you love the things I create? If you really like how I write my patterns? If you think the pictures are gorgeous and the instructions are clear and the little extras in the patterns are tremendous fun? But you think my patterns should be free because ‘it’s so simple’ or ‘anyone could do that’ or ‘it’s not worth that much’ or ‘someone else makes their patterns free’? Well I’m afraid I’m going to have to cordially disagree.
As I said, I’ve gotten these comments a lot over the years (every other designer I know gets them too). You can see a few posts I’ve written in response to specific incidents if you want to read more. Here’s one where I talk about releasing a pattern, even though I knew some folks would come along and say it was too simple (I promise, simple is relative). Here’s one where I break down what a pattern costs to produce (spoiler, several hundred dollars), and how many copies I have to sell to break even on what I spend making it. Here’s one where I talk about what designers earn (spoiler, less than you think). Here’s one on why my things are in individual patterns rather than books these days. Here’s the response I left when someone decided to leave a comment on a pattern saying it was too expensive. And here’s a list of the places that your pattern purchases help support.
What happened to the other patterns?
I started writing patterns in 2009 and released several hundred patterns and a dozen books. In the summer of 2022, I realized that trying to keep hundreds and hundreds of patterns up to date was just too overwhelming. I couldn’t do that and still release new things. So I took my old patterns down so I could keep doing new things.
A tiny handful of my very favorites came back out. New patterns are under way. And a few more old favorites may come back out over the coming months and years. But the vast majority of the old patterns are retired. I absolutely will not go back to having a massive catalog of hundreds of patterns available all the time.
However…enough folks have asked about some old favorites that I’m toying with how I might make them available for a very limited time every now and then (like maybe for a week once a year or something like that). I’m not making any promises, but I am looking into a few possibilities. If you want to hear if that happens, make sure you’re subscribed to the mailing list or my patreon.
What’s up with affiliate links?
Some of the links to amazon on this website are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. (That’s their weird sentence that they make me say in exactly those words. I think it sounds sort of robot army-ish, but hey, their program their rules.)
Full disclosure, amazon is garbage. We all know that. But it is also convenient and makes life easier for a lot of folks. So, amazon links are affiliate links, because if I’m going to send traffic their way, I’m damn sure going to get back the couple of cents they’ll give me for doing that.
If you don’t want to buy stuff on amazon, that’s great! I encourage you to search out similar things from your local stores. But it’s the best way I’ve found to get the most information to the most people in as convenient a way as possible. So I’m going to include them. But I am always in favor of finding an alternative if that’s an option for you.