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!
- Aroha Knits – Free resources for designers, including ones about grading and charting. Free pattern writing guide.
- Blind Low Vision NZ – Information on making pattern documents accessible to those that are blind or have low vision.
- Craft Yarn Council – The Craft Yarn Council has published body sizing standards and a standard yarn weight system. The Standards menu on their website also has many resources about standard symbols and abbreviations.
- Curvy Sewing Collective – Written from the POV of grading a bought pattern to fit buyer, but info could be helpful for designers.
- French Roast Design – Calculator for set-in sleeves.
- Get Knitting – calculator for calculating increases and decreases for sleeves.
- Jacqueline Cieslak – Instagram post about Jacqui’s formula for a custom fit bicep in a knitted garment.
- Jessie Maed Designs – See the “$accessibility” highlight for ideas/options on how to makes your patterns more financially accessible.
- Joy of Motion Crochet – Yarn calculators for gauge, increases/decreases, women’s garment size, yarn yardage.
- Kristen TenDyke Designs – Offers a free Excel spreadsheet and blog post about how to design a top down knitted raglan sweater with accurate sizing. Blog post about how to estimate yarn yardage for sweaters.
- Marnie Maclean – Explains how to use Excel to grade patterns and offers a free exemplar spreadsheet.
- Promised Fibers – Apply for a mini-grant to assist with tech editing costs and/or pattern tester compensation. Consider the requests being made by crafters in the Pattern Format highlight on the Promised Fibers Instagram.
- Sister Mountain – A guide on grading aimed at knitting patterns. There are two parts to this blog series.
- Studio Miranda – A series of blogs posts on pattern designing that includes information on grading.
- Woolly Wormhead – Head/hat sizing guide.
- Ysolda – A sizing chart for women that includes more body measurements than the chart offered by the Craft Yarn Council.
- 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.