Knitting patterns with fair isle band
Trying New Things With Free Counted Cross Stitch Patterns
It used to be that if you visited your local needlework shop you may have found a few sheets on the counter from the big manufacturers containing some free counted cross stitch patterns. Now with the internet, it is much easier for both the designer and the stitcher to find each other.
So how do you do that? There are two main places to look, the search engines and freebie list sites. Just try Googling for "free counted cross stitch patterns" or "cross stitch freebies" and you will find more than you could ever stitch.
There are plenty of sites on the Internet that only provide free craft patterns, including ones that only have cross stitch patterns. They are often sorted by subject, skill level or technique and many are using the new technology of RSS feeds to keep you updated when new patterns are added.
So why do designers and manufacturers give their work away for free? Freebies allow them to show you the quality of their charts and instructions. If they are easy to follow, then you will have confidence that any patterns purchased from them will be equally clear.
Another reason manufacturers offer free patterns and graphs is to encourage you to purchase their products. If you don't need to spend money on patterns, you can spend it on fabrics and threads. Some free patterns may encourage you to use a specialty brand of thread that you might not normally purchase.
Remember, although these patterns are offered freely, the designers still hold the copyright. They are not free for you to make money from, after all the designer themselves aren't! If you stitch for charity, it may well be worth asking the designer for permission to stitch a limited number in order to raise funds. I am usually agreeable to this as long as I am asked and the stitcher doesn't intend to make hundreds of items.
You will find more than just free counted cross stitch patterns on the world wide web of course. A freebie is an ideal way of learning a new technique such as blackwork or hardanger. So why not branch out and try before your buy? All you need are basic supplies, a printer to print your free pattern and some spare time, have fun!
John Wigham is a professional author and co-founder of Patterns Patch cross stitch forums. An online cross stitch club whose members get free: patterns, articles and tutorials. Come to our lively => cross stitch blogs for more details.