2020 was Promised Fibers first full calendar year in existence! So many things happened this year. We had some highs – figured out how to do our taxes properly! – and some lows – had our festival/conferences plans dashed due to the pandemic. Through it all we still managed to provide for our community. This year with your donations of ~$4,000, we provided a total of 21 mini-grants – 8 fiber artists and 13 small businesses. It was important for us to put more emphasis on small business this year due to the adverse effects of the pandemic on small businesses. I’m so proud of this community for helping Promised Fibers to provide for so many individuals and businesses.
We also accomplished a lot outside of the mini-grants. In February, we changed our min-grant structure so that recipients were chosen by the Promised Fibers Mini-Grant Committee. Thank you to Ashley, Jen, and Lisa for your hard work on the committee this year! We are looking for a new committee member and the application is available until January 4, 2021. In June, we turned 1(!) and hosted a make-along – the Make It Inclusive Make-Along or #miimal2020 for short. We were able to giveaway prizes to 12 fiber artists thanks to the generosity of participating fiber arts businesses. Thank you to Red and the Wolf Designs, Snickerdoodle Knits, Modus Operandi Fibers, and Bee Kind Yarn for your donations to #miimal2020. Also this summer, a website many fiber artists and small businesses relied on for their craft made some dramatic changes rendering their website inaccessible to many. We compiled a list of Ravelry Alternatives and Resources to Make Patterns Accessible to address the need for accessibility in the fiber arts community. Accessibility is not one size fits all, so there are many options to hopefully address many needs. In September, we launched the Community Notions Program. The program takes donated fiber arts notions and send them to people who request them. In November, we gave away 10 patterns so that fiber artists could participate in the Fasten Off YAL. In December, we provided a replacement package for a FibreShare participant.
Thank you for your continued support! We hope we can continue to count on you in 2021 and beyond.
With the lack of accessibility efforts shown by Ravelry recently, the call for accessibility in the fiber arts community as a whole have grown. One aspect of the community that needs accessibility considerations is patterns. This list only includes free resources (for crochet, knitting, and sewing) because it is recognized that everyone may not have the funds to access paid options. Also, many of the options below mention Excel and people may not be able to afford that software. Some free Excel alternatives are Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel Online, Apache Open Office, and WPS Office Spreadsheets.
There are resources for both designers and crafters, but the resources could be interchangeable depending on individual needs. Accessibility is not one size fits all. Do what is best for you and your audience and be open to feedback!
- Contrado – A blog post explaining essential sewing vocabulary.
- Crochet Guru – A site with tutorials on different crochet stitches.
- Knitting Stitch Patterns – A site with tutorials on different knit stitches.
- Local Library – Your local library may have fiber arts materials to lend out. They may also have a knitting group with people who may be willing to help you learn new skills. And of course, they have books! Books can offer you insight on different stitches and techniques.
- Made to Sew – A YouTube channel with machine sewing tutorials.
- Promised Fibers – Apply for a fiber artist mini-grant to assist with purchasing project materials. Use this Affordable Fiber Arts Patterns & Supplies blog post to help you find patterns and supplies that meet your budget.
- YarnSub – Allows you to search for yarn substitutions based on different yarn characteristics or brands. Also has articles about choosing yarns and making swatches.
In light of Ravelry’s lack of commitment to accessibility, many designers have chosen to leave the platform or to offer their patterns in another location in addition to Ravelry. Some people stated that having those alternatives listed in one place on the blog would be helpful to them. This list is not all of the options available to you for knit and crochet patterns. Also, please understand that some designers are unable to leave Ravelry. This post will be sorted into the following categories: Individual Designers; Other Pattern Hosting Platforms; and Apps/Extensions for Ravelry. None of the links below go the Ravelry itself.
If you would like to add anything to this list or notice anything problematic with something on this page, please reach out using the Contact Us page.
Other Pattern Hosting Platforms
- Etsy – Etsy is an online marketplace. It charges listing fees, transaction fees, and some ads fees. Etsy sellers have had issues with the website and its shipping fees and ad fees.
- Fiber.Club – Fiber.Club is an in progress platform created by @lizamakesthings on Instagram. Follow @fiber.club on Instagram for updates on the platform.
- LoveCrafts – LoveCrafts is an online platform for selling patterns. They handle VAT and customer queries for designers.
- Payhip – Payhip is a platform to sell digital downloads. They have a free option with a 5% transaction fee.
- Threadfolio – Threadfolio is a new, work-in-progress platform for digital copies of patterns. Currently, there are no fees for posting patterns and patterns posted are free. As the site grows, there will be small transaction fees to the designers for paid patterns. @chain.two.crochet/@threadfolio on Instagram will post updates on the site.
Apps/Extensions for Ravelry
- If you choose to leave Ravelry, you can download all of your pattern .pdfs. The link goes to a YouTube video where the speaker is using the old Ravelry.
- Alpaca – Alpaca is an iPhone app that can give you access to your Ravelry patterns, project pages, and Ravelry search without needing to be on Ravelry. You will likely need to get through the Ravelry login screen to connect the two.
- Browser Extension – @evanitaewm on Instagram has created a browser extension that when installed shows Ravelry to users in more subtle colors.
- knitCompanion – knitCompanion is an iPhone and Android app that makes .pdf patterns interactive. You can link it to Ravelry and also upload .pdf patterns from anywhere. This app has a free and a paid version.
- Ravit – Ravit is an iPhone app that can give you access to your Ravelry patterns without needing to be on Ravelry. It is $4.99 in the App Store. You will likely need to get through the Ravelry login screen to connect the two.
Happy birthday to us!
Firstly, thank you! Thank you to everyone that has donated to and supported Promised Fibers. Thank you to those who have participated in #miimal2020. Thank you to everyone who puts in the work to make the fiber arts community inclusive and accessible. A special thank you to Lisa, Ashley, and Jen for serving on the mini-grant committee and to Morgan (@knitcraftandknittery) and Rin (@modusoperandifibers) for their input and support from the beginning. I am so grateful for it all.
Second, I wanted to check in regarding the goals I made for Promised Fibers for 2020 (which you can read in the Reflecting on 2019 blog post). Our number of monthly donors has gone up and I hope that number will continue to grow so that mini-grants can continue to be provided. I have not written any educational posts this year, but this year has been a doozy. So much has happened in society this year, that my focus has been helpful. We’ll see what the rest of the year holds for this blog space. The connections between Promised Fibers and other people/businesses in the fiber arts has definitely grown. There were scholarships for fiber arts conferences and retreats in the works, but coronavirus has postponed those plans. I hope that in 2021 I will be able to show you all more of those connections.
And finally, business. Promised Fibers will have less of an Instagram presence in July. The mini-grants will still be available this month, there will just be less posting. I need the time to spend with family, work on my dissertation, and figure out the tax paperwork for the state of Pennsylvania (there are so many forms). If you need to get in touch this month, I’ll be available via email.
Promised Fibers is hosting a make-along! The Make It Inclusive Make-Along is meant to highlight those designs that are size inclusive and/or POC designed, and that we all want to wear! #miimal2020 will run from June 1 – July 1 to celebrate Promised Fibers turning 1 in June! There will be prizes! Read on for participation guidelines and prize descriptions.
Anyone can participate in #miimal2020. However, if you want to be eligible for prizes, please adhere to the following guidelines:
- Work on a size inclusive and/or POC designed knit, crochet, or sew pattern. [Minimum of 60″ bust size and minimum of 60″ hip size available for your chosen pattern].
- Post your wip to Instagram with the hashtag, #miimal2020, and tag @promised.fibers. Include the name of the pattern you’re working on in the caption.
- Make sure you’re following @promised.fibers on Instagram!
- There’s no need to make more than one wip post, but you can if you want!
There will be prizes for knitters, crocheters, and sewers. This list will be updated as more prizes are added. If you are a business and would like to donate a prize, please reach out via the Contact Us page! If there is a particular prize you’d like to be considered for, then please mention that in your #miimal2020 post.
- Modus Operandi Fibers yarn
- Modus Operandi DIRT + DYE Seedlings membership
- Snickerdoodleknits Shawl pattern
- Red and The Wolf pattern
- EWE Fibers gift card (anonymously donated)
- Bee Kind Yarn – 2 skeins of choice
In my quest to expand Promised Fibers’ reach, I began looking into the rules for raffles in the state of Pennsylvania. According to their definitions for games of small chance, the way the mini-grants were done previously were too similar for own comfort. So before trouble has the chance to blossom, I’m going to avoid it by changing the mini-grant regulations to clearly differentiate them from the raffles we hope to do in the future.
Mini-grant recipients (fiber artist, small business, & specialty) will be chosen by the Promised Fibers Mini-Grant Committee – more on that near the end of this post. The applications will be changed to include the following:
- Mini-grant recipients will be referred to only as recipients and not “winners”.
- The description at the top of application will now include: “Applicants do not have to make a donation to Promised Fibers.” [This was always the case, I just wanted to make it explicit]
- The acknowledgment section will now include: “I understand that mini-grants will be awarded on the basis of need and furthering the goals for inclusivity. Applications will be reviewed by the Promised Fibers Mini-Grant Committee made up of volunteers and the Promised Fibers director. Volunteers will NOT have access to the names or contact information of the applicants. Projects will not be funded if they intend to infringe on the copyright or trademarks of another person or company.”
- Fiber Artists Applications will include this question: “I identify as…” with checkboxes for BIPOC, disabled, low socioeconomic status, LGBTQ, Other.
- Small Business Applications will include this question: “My business is committed to inclusivity and/or diversity by…..”
The Promised Fibers Mini-Grant Committee does not exist yet, but it will be a group of unpaid volunteers who with me to review the submitted applications to decide on the monthly recipients. It will be a once a month commitment that they can leave at any time. Committee members will be emailed a spreadsheet of the application responses MINUS identifiable information and asked to discuss/vote. The voting process is not decided yet and will depend on the needs and ideas of the chosen committee members.
If the committee is something that you are interested in participating in, please apply!
These 7 months have flown by! Promised Fibers, Inc. was started this June with the help of the fiber arts community. In that time we have:
- Created a list of accessible/affordable fiber arts patterns and supplies
- Created a list of size inclusive fiber arts patterns
- Raised over $3000 to help with non-profit fees and mini-grants
- Provided 18 mini-grants
- Made connections with businesses to begin offering sponsored grants
This means so much to me and to this community. I am glad that I took the leap of faith to start this non-profit and I look forward to expanding Promised Fibers’ reach to help more people in this community.
Some goals for next year:
- Increase our donations/income to continue our work and provide more mini-grants
- Write at least 4 educational posts related to the fiber arts
- Increase our connections with people and businesses in the fiber arts community
Thank you for a great 2019! Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2020!
Being inclusive is a key value to Promised Fibers. Size inclusive patterns should not be hard to come by and one day we hope they won’t be. This list is divided in crochet, knit, and sew pattern designers. Designers included have a majority (or all) of their patterns written up to size 3X according to the Craft Yarn Council’s measurements. Designers were only included if their pattern pages have the measurements noted specifically and not just letters (i.e. XL) or numbers (i.e. 9). Based on the information listed on pattern pages, it is assumed that these designers are size inclusive AFTER accounting for ease of the garment. If you experience trouble with the links on this page or notice any errors, please reach out to Promised Fibers using the contact form on the home page.
Sewing Pattern Designers
- Caramiya: Caramiya currently only has one pattern for sale. The swimsuit pattern goes up to a 56″ bust.
- Cashmerette: Cashmerette has patterns up to a 56″ bust and a 59″ hip.
- Friday Pattern Company: Friday Pattern Company has tops, dresses, and swimsuits up to 60″ bust. However, their pants patterns do not appear to be available past a 49″ hip.
- Helen’s Closet: Helen’s Closet offers patterns up to a 54″ bust and a 58″ hip.
- Patterns for Pirates: Patterns for Pirates offers a wide variety of patterns up to size 3X and some of them are free.
- Seamwork Mag: Seamwork Mag offers patterns up to a 54″ bust and a 58″ hip. Patterns are cheaper if you are a member.
- Sew Altered Style: Sew Altered Style currently only has one pattern for sale. The top/dress pattern goes up to a 56″ bust.
- Sew Liberated: Sew Liberated currently offers only one pattern that can fit the requirements of this list. The Estuary Skirt goes up to a 57″ hip.
- Stitch Upon A Time: Stitch Upon A Time offers multiple patterns up to a 56.5″ bust.
Crochet Pattern Designers
- By Stephanie Erin Designs: Some of Stephanie’s patterns go up to a 62″ bust.
- Counting Crafty Sheep: Counting Crafty Sheep currently only has one pattern that fits the requirements of this list – The Melanie Tee written with up to a 62″ bust.
- Cre8tion Crochet: Cre8tion Crochet offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- DeniMade: DeniMade offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- For the Frills: For the Frills offers patterns up to a 62″ bust. Link is to their ravelry page. All of the patterns are free. Specific measurements are found on their website which is linked on each pattern page.
- Joanne Scrace: Joanne Scrace offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- Knits N Knots: Knits N Knots offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- Outstanding Crochet: Outstanding Crochet offers some patterns up to a 58″ bust.
- Rachel Choi: Rachel Choi offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- Raeli Masina: Raeli Masina currently has a top and a sweater pattern up to a 60″ bust.
- Rebecca Velasquez: Rebecca Velasquez offers patterns up to a 60″ bust/hip after ease. Many of the top patterns offer a finished hip measurement but no bust measurement.
- White Owl Crochet Co: White Owl Crochet Co. offers crochet sweater patterns up to a 60″ bust.
Knitting Pattern Designers
- Ambah O’Brien: Ambah offers patterns up to a 60″ bust.
- An Caitin Beag: An Caitin Beag offers patterns up to a 64″ bust.
- Anne Hanson: Anne Hanson offers patterns up to a 62″ bust after accounting for ease.
- Aroha Knits: Aroha Knits offers several patterns in 60″+ bust.
- Baby Cocktails: Baby Cocktails offers patterns up to a 62″ bust. Link is to their website; they can be found on Ravelry as well.
- BiggerThanLife Knits: BiggerThanLife Knits offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- Born & Raised Knits: Born & Raised Knits offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- Boyland Knitworks: Boyland Knitworks offers patterns up to a 56″ bust after accounting for ease.
- Carolyn Day Designs: Carolyn Day Designs offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- Coco Knits: Coco Knits offers some patterns up to 54″ & 56″ bust.
- Dandelion Girl Designs: Dandelion Girl Designs offers patterns up to a 58″ bust after accounting for ease.
- Dragon Hoard Designs: Dragon Hoard Designs offers patterns up to a 60″ bust after accounting for ease.
- Drea Renee Knits: Drea Renee Knits offers patterns up to a 62″ bust after accounting for ease.
- Hannah Fettig: Hannah Fettig offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- In A Panda’s World: In A Panda’s World offers some patterns up to a 58″ bust in both English and French.
- Ivy and Autumn: Ivy and Autumn offers patterns up to 66″ bust.
- Jacqueline Cieslak: Jacqueline Cieslak has patterns up to a 72″ bust.
- JellyKnitting: JellyKnitting offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- Jessie Maed Designs: All Jessie Maed Designs are offered up to a 62″ bust.
- Joji Locatelli: Joji Locatelli offers patterns up to a 58″ bust after accounting for ease.
- Just Run Knit Designs: Just Run Knit Designs offers patterns up to a 68″ bust after accounting for ease.
- Kniterator: Kniterator offers the opportunity for knitters to generate a raglan sweater pattern customized to their measurements.
- The Knitted Dingo: The Knitted Dingo offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- Knitosophy: Knitosophy offers patterns up to a 63″ bust.
- Knitting Expat Designs: Knitting Expat Designs has sweater patterns up to a 60″ bust.
- Park & Knit: Park & Knit offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- The Petite Knitter: The Petite Knitter offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- Pip & Pin: Pip & Pin offers patterns up to a 64″ bust after accounting for ease.
- Ponder and Ply: Ponder and Ply offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- Skeinanigans: Skeinanigans offers sweater patterns up to a 72″ bust.
- Skeindeer Knits: Skeindeer Knits offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- Softsweater Knits: Softsweater Knits offers patterns up to a 64″ bust.
- Summer Lee: Summer Lee offers patterns up to a 64″ bust after accounting for ease.
- Swanky Emu Knits: Swanky Emu Knits offers customizable patterns to fit you perfectly.
- Tanis Fiber Arts: Tanis Fiber Arts offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- Tellybean Knits: Tellybean Knits offers patterns up to a 60″ bust after accounting for ease.
- Tin Can Knits: Tin Can Knits offers women’s and men’s sweater patterns up to size 4X based on the Craft Yarn Council measurements.
- Truly Hooked: Truly Hooked offers patterns up to a 62″ bust.
- Woodhouse Knits: Woodhouse Knits offers sweater patterns up to a 60″ bust.
- Ysolda: Ysolda offers patterns up to a 60″ bust.
While the fiber arts has a lot of benefits as a hobby, it can also quickly become too expensive to participate in fiber arts crafts. This post is meant to highlight businesses that are trying to make the fiber arts more accessible to all. Businesses are only included if we could verify discount information via their website/profiles. If you see any information that needs to be changed or would like to see a business added, please let us know via the contact form on the homepage.
Jessie Mae Martinson (@Jessssiemae on Instagram) has curated a spreadsheet of budget-friendly yarns.
- Aroha Knits: Aroha Knits has multiple free and pay what works knit patterns.
- Bedhead Fiber: Bedhead Fiber has a sponsorship program for education, yarn, and dye seeds. To be considered for sponsorship email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Born and Raised Knits: Born and Raised Knits offers sliding scale discounts on their patterns.
- byKiilerich: byKiilerich offers discounts on larger quantities of yarn.
- Dye is Cast Yarns: Dye is Cast Yarns offers an automatic discount on sweater quantities of yarn (5+ skeins).
- Elsie and Everly: Elsie and Everly offers sweater quantity discounts on their yarn that can be attained via email only.
- Fiber Community Fund: Fiber Community Fund provides yarn and pattern support.
- Fibre Forward: Fibre Forward is a nonprofit arts education charity that provides fiber arts resources to the public, at no cost.
- Jessie Maed Designs: Jessie Maed Designs offers a sliding scale discount on their patterns. Discount codes can be found on the individual Raverly pattern pages.
- Kindred Red: According to their website header, Kindred Red offers a 5% discount on 6-7 skeins with code 5OFF, a 7% discount on 8-9 skeins with code 7OFF, and an automatic 10% discount on 10+ skeins.
- Knitcraft and Knittery: Knitcraft and Knittery has a community funded yarn project and details can be found on their website.
- Little Skein: Little Skein has a community funded yarn project and details can be found on their website.
- LoveCrafts: LoveCrafts is a global home for makers that supports artists pursuing their craft.
- Old Rusted Chair: Old Rusted Chair gives an automatic 10% discount on orders of 5+ full size skeins.
- Ritual Dyes: Ritual Dyes offers sliding scale discounts on their products.
- Sprigs and Stone: Per their coupon code highlight on Instagram, Sprigs and Stone offers a 20% discount on 8+ skeins with the code SWEATER20.
- Snickerdoodle Knits: Snickerdoodle Knits offers their patterns free to those in need (based on the honor system; details on their Ravelry page).
- Stitch Upon A Time: Stitch Upon A Time has a pay it forward pattern program.
- Teeny Button: Teeny Button offers a discount on sweater kits over a size large.
- Traveling Yarn: Traveling Yarn offers an interest-free payment plan on orders over $35.
- Truly Hooked: Truly Hooked is a UK based company offering an automatic 10% discount on purchases of 4-6 full skeins of the same product and 15% for 7+ skeins.
- Undercover Otter: Undercover Otter offers quantity discounts for orders of 6+ and 8+ skeins.