Where can I fin modern knitting patterns?
December 7, 2014 6:30 AM   Subscribe

I recently learned how to knit and I'm really enjoying it. I'm working on my last scarf and after that I'll be ready to move on to something that requires a pattern. However, I'm coming up short in finding a pattern that I really love.

I'm also a quilter and I love the modern quilting aesthetic...bright colors, negative space, and asymmetry. When I look at modern quilts I feel inspired and excited. I want to find knitting patterns that make me feel the same way. They don't have to look like modern quilts...just something new and exciting. However, many of the knitting patterns I see result in things that I wouldn't really want to wear or have, or things my grandmother would have made (they're beautiful, I'm just trying to go in a different direction).

Can anyone recommend blogs, designers, or patterns that have a more modern feel? I'm already on Ravelry but it's so big that I have trouble finding what I want.
posted by christinetheslp to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Stephen West, maybe?
posted by leesh at 6:36 AM on December 7, 2014 [4 favorites]

Well, I really like the 20th anniversary sweater that Lopi made freely available on their website. Traditional, yes, but gorgeous.
posted by nicolin at 6:48 AM on December 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you haven't yet, join Ravelry. It's a wealth of information, and has an encyclopedia of patterns (both to purchase and free). In Minneapolis, a knitting designer/shop owner is Stephen Be. He has a very modern aesthetic, and you can get a fair amount of ideas from his web site. Vogue Knitting has some of the most modern patterns (although they also include the traditional designs). If you haven't browsed their patterns it would be valuable. Last, but not least, when you go to purchase yarn (not the Big Box stores like Joann's, etc), take a look at the brightly colored yarns that you love (e.g. Madeline Tosh -- just one of many). Many of the yarn makers have patterns that show off their yarns - and you might find a good match. If you cannot afford the expensive yarns at first, you can use information on Ravelry to figure out how to buy the same amount in a different brand.
posted by apennington at 6:50 AM on December 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

I no longer knit but Kafe Fassett was the first name that came to mind.
posted by humph at 7:01 AM on December 7, 2014

One way to use Ravelry to do this is to explore designers. I like a lot of the designs that come out of the Twist Collective magazine, so I search for that on Ravelry and see what comes up. If I found a particular design I like, I'd see whether that designer had other things I liked.

The example for me is with socks. I love, love knitting complicated, unusual socks, generally out of solid colored yarn. For me the jumping off point was a designer called Cookie A. Once I started down that path, I was able to find lots of other stuff I liked.
posted by linettasky at 7:07 AM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Do you use the Forums on Ravelry? The Patterns board might be able to help you find the kind of designers you're interested in. I second all the recs you've gotten so far, they're all good.

Another place to look might be Knitty, which has a lot of interesting designs, and they're all free too.
posted by Caravantea at 7:13 AM on December 7, 2014

One of the more useful, but non-obvious features of Ravelry is 'shared projects' where someone has shared a particular project with a group. So, if you search out groups that focus on what you're looking for and then look at the Shared Projects, you'll get a higher than average ratio of modern looking knits. It's not perfect, because some people can't resist the urge to share everything with every group they're in, but it really brings the odds down.

Modern Knits shared projects.

From project pages of projects you love, look at the pattern pages for the pattern and then designers / publishers of the pattern to find more of their work.

If you find designers you love, look at their groups and discussions, as well -- often there will be a 'similar patterns' discussion for people who like one designer.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:26 AM on December 7, 2014

Maybe look at Amirisu? Or knit.wear?

Examples of things you've seen that do and don't do it for you might help.
posted by clavicle at 7:44 AM on December 7, 2014

I like The Purl Bee website by the yarn shop Purl Soho in NYC. I think their patterns are a modern update to traditional knitting patterns. They offer some free patterns, kits and just overall great modern knitting inspiration for me. They also have sewing patterns and sell fabulous fabric too.
posted by blacktshirtandjeans at 8:49 AM on December 7, 2014 [5 favorites]

You might like the work of Ann Weaver, aka Weaverknits. Seconding Stephen West.
posted by femmegrrr at 8:53 AM on December 7, 2014

My wife is currently obsessed with ├ůsa Tricosa's designs.
posted by Emanuel at 11:00 AM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Once your skill level is such that you're comfortable doing so, make sure you try mimicking one of those quilt patterns you like, the shapes and color changes. I've done so in crochet, and I've been told it's actually easier to do with knit than crochet.
posted by stormyteal at 12:09 PM on December 7, 2014

I love Kirsten Johnstone's work -- interesting textures, asymmetry, few embellishments.

If you find patterns you like on Ravelry, try looking through the designer's other work, or look at other projects made by people who also made that pattern. I tend to add people to my friend list when I like their aesthetic, and it's been a great way to discover new patterns I might like.
posted by third word on a random page at 1:14 PM on December 7, 2014

I was also going to suggest Stephen West and Purl Bee. You also might like Tin Can Knits.

A good way to narrow down Ravelry is to look into forums. If you find a designer you like they usually have a group and forum, so you can check out the members' other project pages for other patterns you might like too. The Lazy Stupid and Godless group has a long post called Patterns Not Everyone Has Seen, which has some gems. Here is a link showing just the patterns mentioned (LSG can be pretty NSFW, so this is cleaner!): Here.
posted by apricot at 6:47 PM on December 7, 2014

Cooperative Press publishes the most innovative stuff I've seen. Check out their e-mag, Knit Edge.
posted by rikschell at 5:28 AM on December 8, 2014

Lots of good suggestions here! Seconding Purl Bee, Olga Jazzy, and Stephen West.

I thought lace was boring and grandma-ish until I ran across Kieran Foley's site knit/lab. Well written patterns and bright colors!
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:32 AM on December 8, 2014

Knitty.com is what inspired me to pick up my needles and start knitting again after 10+ years. Their patterns are ordered by "spice level." There's a ton of great "mellow" patterns. Here's a link to their archives: http://www.knitty.com/archive.php
posted by dithmer at 12:38 AM on December 9, 2014

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