Long before Ravelry was even a twinkle in Jess and Casey's eyes, before Google went public, before Facebook was founded, if you were a knitter on the Internet, you probably spent most of your time at Knitty.com.
It was so hard to find free knitting patterns back then. How could you? There were thousands of patterns available online, but it was virtually impossible to search and find them, much less evaluate their merits. Knitty was the best resource, because not only did they publish original patterns, but the patterns themselves had been tested and were formatted so nicely. Free patterns at the time tended to be a hodgepodge of PDF files and badly typed directions.
Better still, Knitty's archives separated out the patterns by type, and rated their difficulty. I remember browsing the archives as a beginning knitter (when I should have been working), and wistfully sighing at the possibility of maybe someday being a skilled enough knitter to attempt one of the patterns rated "Piquant."
Ten years later, and Knitty's pattern library has grown impressively - as has its collection of interesting in-depth articles on knitting and spinning. It may be easier to find free patterns online today, but Knitty has remained one of the best sources of both patterns and new talent. Many famous designers have contributed patterns to Knitty, and then there are the break-out stars like Kate Gilbert's Clapotis wrap, Cheryl Niamath's Fetching fingerless gloves, and Cookie A's Monkey sock pattern.
I myself have knit at least half a dozen Knitty patterns. More than any other single source, including all of my pattern books. Knitty patterns are always refreshingly well-written and organized, and they always have wonderful, professional-quality pattern photos. It's hard to believe it's been ten years since the first issue of Knitty went online. Here's to another 10 years!
Image copyright knitty.com