Download hundreds of free vintage knitting patterns from old magazines

Where to find vintage knitting patterns

The library digitized old newspapers and magazines and added them to its database Treasure, including knitting patterns.

As Trove’s website says, “It’s free and available online all day, every day.”

To find knitting patterns, go to Trove and start looking through old magazines that have knitting patterns. here.

If you’re looking for old books with knitting patterns, they’ve been digitized here.


Alternatively, some very handy helpers have created lists of knitting patterns to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for. For example, knitting patterns for men, women and children are already created, ready to browse here.

vintage knitwear

Online knitting patterns have been so popular with the NLA that they released a book earlier this year featuring 25 classic patterns from the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

Publishing the patterns, however, was not easy.

Kathryn Favelle, director of community engagement at the NLA, told Christine Layton on ABC Radio Perth“Often in older patterns only one size is provided in the journal or pattern book. We’re used to getting pattern books now that give you four, five, or six sizes to choose from.”

“The knitters they advertised for knew how to knit and fit [sizes].

“Most of us don’t have that skill anymore, so Vintage Knits takes those old patterns and adapts them for modern knitters and also gives us some tips and tricks on how we can make our own adjustments.”

vintage knitting patterns


Similarly, the University of Southampton has made its knitting reference library available online and free to download. There are 300 knitting books published between 1849 and 2012. Read more here.

You might also like:

How to knit for beginners

How to choose the right knitting needles

How to choose the right yarn for your knitting

About Tracy G. Larimore

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