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I'm pretty sure I'm not the only knitter/crocheter who spends as much time looking at projects online as they do making them. I have a few favourites I keep coming back to again and again -- sometimes for free patterns and sometimes just for the eye candy and inspiration. Here, in no particular order, is my list of current faves. What are yours?

Fringe Association -- I love the photos, the stories, and the tutorials are really, really helpful. I could browse this blog for hours (possibly on my coffee breaks at work, ahem).

Purl Soho -- There are tons of free patterns on here in sumptuous colours, and you can purchase materials and patterns as well. The designs are simple, so I admit I've adapted a few of them (posting one soon, actually)!

Brooklyn Tweed -- I can get lost in their lookbooks for hours, and their yarn is amazing. Bonus that my LYS in Victoria now carries it!

Westknits -- Stephen West is just the funnest knitter out there right now, and the dressiest. Plus who doesn't love shawls?

LillaBjorn's Crochet World -- A recent find for me, because I'm getting excited about crochet in all kinds of ways. This is a very pretty blog, full of ideas, tutorials and lovely things you can only do with a hook.

Jane Richmond -- I wanted to include one local-to-me knitter, and this blog has some lovely free patterns as well as links to buy her gorgeous books. Very west coasty!

And for those of you who read to the end, here's a peek at what's on my needles, inspired by a free pattern from one of the above.  Happy summer knitting, crocheting and browsing!


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Free quick slipper pattern

Mrs Fisher's Slippers

I call these Mrs Fisher's slippers because I knitted a very similar pair when I was in grade four during an extra-curricular craft class, which really means that this is simply my own variation of an easy slipper pattern that's been around for a very long time indeed. My teacher (Mrs F) was an infinitely patient, bespectacled lady who obviously could knit with her eyes closed and I was NOT a very skilled knitter at the time. I suspect she got a little tired of me asking her over and over to explain how to purl, heh. So I feel really accomplished when I can knit these up in a couple of hours.. See what I did, Mrs F?

This project works with most worsted weight yarn, doubled (eg. knit with two strands held together). I use between size 4.5 to 6 needles, depending on the weight of the yarn (you can use bulkier, you'll just get a bigger slipper). Play around with sizing by varying size of needles as well as number of cast-on stitches. These are kn…

Free Pattern: Flutter-Your-Fan Two-Needle Mittens

It's autumn, and summer is gone -- gone in a scarlet swirl of leaves on the chilly wind. Dramatic, no? Well, really I'm only pretending to be sad, because I live in the Pacific Northwest, where chilly is about as bad as it gets in the fall. Yay, fall! And guess who needs new mittens?

A while ago I worked out a knit-flat mitten that was essentially a simple variation on that old slipper pattern (but with a thumb).

This week, with the weather getting nippy, I decided to revisit mittens while curling up with a good movie. My kiddo recently picked up a VHS copy of Gone With the Wind (how's that for different levels of nostalgia?) so naturally my thoughts turned to fans and lace. Lace is easy knitted flat -- which took me back to my two-needle mittens, which led to this free pattern. Enjoy!

*Note: I did not post gauge (I'm naughty that way) but as long as you don't knit super-loose, this should turn out fine. Also, a gauge swatch is about the size of a mitten anyway. Bu…

new shrug pattern!

Eve's Mistake Lace Shrug

This makes a pretty, lightweight spring shrug with 3/4 length sleeves and a lacy back piece.  I made it for my friend Eve, who wanted a shrug to wear while dancing.  If you want the sleeves full length, simply make them longer.

I have no idea what this lace pattern is, or even if it's a real lace pattern as I sort of knitted it by accident.  It almost looks like a lace version of mistake rib, and since it was accidental (I was trying to knit another kind of lace but liked the way this looked so I kept it), so for now, I call it "mistake lace". 

2 skeins Red Heart Designer Sport, sport weight yarn

1 set dpns US size 7
1 set straight needles US size 7 (optional)

CO 56 st on size 7 US dpns

Join, pm, and knit in round in 2x2 rib for 4.5 inches.  Knit in stockinette until arm measures approx. 16 inches from end.  At beg. of round turn work, k1, m1, k to last stitch, k1, m1 (58 st).

Row 1:  (WS) k2, *ssk, yo, k, yo, k, k2tog* (repeat stitches bet…