Top 10 knitting, needlework, crocheting and quilting websites

Dec 1, 2011, 8:27 a.m.

The Internet has revolutionized the craft world. Whether we're beginners or experts, our ability to find instructions, tips, patterns and materials--not to mention loads of advice from blogging peers--is now unlimited. These 10 websites for knitting, crocheting, needlework and quilting stand out for breadth of information and advice, and easy navigation.

Daily Knitter: This user-friendly site offers more than 1,500 free patterns and a comprehensive directory of yarn shops, which you can search online by location, name, and even area code. You also can subscribe to a free daily newsletter with patterns, tips and more.

Knit Wits: This U.K.-based site boasts of having the first "yarn converter," which lets you calculate out how much yarn you need in the same weight but with a different type from a pattern's recommendation. You'll find loads of wonderful British patterns and yarns.

Lion Brand Yarn: Yarn manufacturer Lion Brand's site is a mecca for knitting and crochet aficionados. Free patterns (more than 1,500) are available in formats friendly to the visually impaired: large-type formats and compatible with text-to-speech readers and reading devices that produce Braille. The online learning center's written and video instructions for knitting and crocheting are easy to follow, even for fumble-fingers.

Crochet Pattern Central: Crochet Central's free crochet pattern search directory lets you enter a keyword to locate specific patterns, while a free tutorials directory and individual instructions for each crochet stitch are a beginner's dream. Readers' time-saving tips and tricks also offer invaluable shortcuts.

About.com Knitting / About.com Crochet: Both About.com's knitting and crochet sites are comprehensive in approach and chock-full of information. You'll find charts, technique tutorials, and hundreds of links to free patterns to help you on your way, in addition to About.com's own one-of-a-kind offerings.

Coats and Clark: Venerable thread and yarn manufacturer Coats and Clark's website has a terrific needlecraft section with hundreds of free patterns for hand- and machine-embroidery projects. Look for unique baby clothes and accessories, pillows, holiday decorations and more. Patterns are organized by skill levels, so you won't get in over your head.

Cross-stitch and Needlework: Cross-stitch and Needlework magazine's website offers free, downloadable projects that range from coasters to afghans, cloaks to baby clothes. The online Tips and Techniques section is also a great resource for stitchers seeking advice on topics from how to stitch with silks and floss to the best ways to store finished projects.

World Wide Quilting Page: This site's plain-vanilla webpage may not be pretty, but multiple links connect you to lessons, patterns, classes and loads of free, expert advice. It's been a valued resource for 16 years.

My Quilt Place: The official site of the American Quilters Society, My Quilt Place offers a little bit of everything, from instructional videos to forums and online galleries. It's also a great resource for information about quilting trends and innovations.

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