I don't recall this being addressed on many blogs, but, in my travels along the information superhighway, I've discovered an invaluable resource for connecting with fans of your favorite designers, along with a great source for freebies. Yahoo! Groups!. I won't post the direct links, since I'm not sure if I would get in trouble, but it's worth a look to see what's out there.
I've joined communities for Brooke's Books, Lizzie Kate, Oak Haven Designs, even Little House Needleworks. They're nice communities. The designers post to some of them. What a great way to have contact with the designers, especially if it's someone you want to become familiar with before you spend money on a chart. And it's a chance to network with other stitchers, which I never get tired of.
Today, I'm working on a very cute ornament-sized LK freebie, Joy, obtained through a LK group. It was a shop handout, so I know it's a legal freebie (you have to watch for illegal stuff online, there are a lot of sites out there posting charts from kits. I don't see the point of that). It's a fun, quick stitch, and I'm using a scrap of fabric from my stash. All it's cost me is the cost of three skeins of floss--it needs four colors, but I had one, readily accessible. I'll have this finished by the end of the evening. It's a work of heart, and a chance to join a great group for less than $1 outlaid!
So, go explore, see what's out there to enjoy. What neat groups for stitchers can you find?