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How to Find Free Knitting Patterns for Plus Sizes

Several months ago I asked readers of KnittingforCharity.org and the Knitting Nuggets Newsletter what they would like to read about. For the past several months I have been attempting to respond to those requests with the articles you’ve seen here. One email, however, I have only just now have gotten the opportunity to research and respond to. Leslie wrote: “Hi…thanks for asking this question! I would love to learn more about knitting for larger sizes. I find it very frustrating when knitting a shawl it’s too small for someone who is larger than a size L or even XL. If there is a way to see patterns for plus sizes that would be fantastic!” This was a good question indeed, but one I was uncertain of how to answer — thus my delay in doing so. But today I decided to sit down and see what I could find.

Plus-Sized Patterns: How to Find Them

I have been using Ravelry for years to find all sorts of patterns to suit my own needs as well as that of others. The Ravelry pattern browser is a fantastic tool and one that I highly recommend. If you need inspiration or a specific kind of pattern, this browser is literally a one-stop resource. And just as I had hoped, it was exactly what I needed to answer the question “how do you find patterns for plus sizes?” Here’s what you need to do: 1. Visit ravelry.com. If you aren’t logged in, do so. If you aren’t a member, what are you waiting for? Membership is free and one of the best choices you’ll make as a plugged-in knitter. 2. Once you’re logged in, you’ll see a series of tabs at the top. You want the second tab marked “Patterns.” Click on this. 3. At the top left, you’ll see a search box. Right below it, you’ll see “Want to browse? Use the pattern browser & advanced search.” The underlined portion is a link that will take you… 4. … to the Ravelry pattern browser. You’re almost there! 5. At the left, you’ll find a column of filters. Here’s where the browser works its magic. Look for the one labeled “Gender/Age/Size/Fit.” It will most likely be at the very top. 6. Click first on “Fit”; this will bring up another menu. Within this menu, you’ll find “plus fit.” Click on that; it’s now selected, and the patterns that fill the screen will all offer plus sizes! Now, you’ll want to make sure all of these patterns are *knitting* patterns (unless you’d rather crochet). If you want to narrow this down by knitting, scroll down to the “Craft” menu. (You can also click on the “Jump to filter” drop-down menu and select “Craft.”) Click on “knitting,” and all the patterns you see will be strictly knitting. One more filter I would suggest: “Availability.” This will let you further narrow down the patterns to “Free.” I know these all sound like a lot of steps, but I can assure you that once you’ve done this a few times, it goes a lot more quickly. You may even find it turning into second nature!

A Few to Get You Started

If you don’t feel like doing all that to find plus-sized patterns, never fear. I have a nice selection below. You can use these as a starting point and then use the steps listed above to find more. February Lady Sweater: This is an adult version of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s famous “Baby Sweater on Two Needles.” Iced: This is a lovely, loose cardigan that is meant to go with everything, especially knitted in a neutral color. Carol’s Clever Little Shawl: This is a fun little shawl based on an historic shawl designed in the 1800s. Blissful Blue Top: Here’s a lovely feminine tank top. Remember, you must register on Lion Brand’s website to access their patterns, but it’s free. Golden Flame Poncho: This light, lacy poncho can be worn over your shoulders or around your neck. Retro Rogue: Here’s a cute little shrug with vintage styling. Filian Cowl: You can create this cowl to be a stiff, cold-weather cowl and wear it up to your nose, or you can make it loose and drapey for a stylish accessory. River Deep, Mountain High Cowl: This is another bulky cowl pattern that comes in two versions: short, to be worn close to the neck, or long, to be wrapped twice around the neck. Simple Raglan Cardi: Here’s an adorable little short-sleeved, cropped cardigan that can be worn over sundresses and tank tops. Why not try one of these free knitting patterns, and then look for one of your own?