I should elaborate on the title this isn't tips on how to do it per se but tips on where you may be able to find the answers you seek. Also, that this should all be read knowing that they are my opinions and is in no way an exhaustive list. I'd love for others who read this blog to add their tips in the comments too - I'm always looking for new inspiration...
Both Knitting & Crochet ::
Ravelry :: This site if you're not already a member is available through registering and you'll then be sent an invite. You can populate a home page for yourself (or not) take part in forums, find local groups, search thousands of patterns for crochet and knitting - many of which are free or low cost to download, search for projects people have used the yarn you have in your stash, find new local independent yarn suppliers, place your excess stash up for sale or swap, pop along to a local ravelry event and meet your cyber buddies, read their monthly E-zine, visit the troubleshooting pages, share your own patterns and designs, potentially become a designer and sell your own patterns through their pages - if you join in the fun, come and find me 'Clobell'.
LYS :: I don't know which yours will be but I haven't come across a Local Yarn Store that doesn't offer at least incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated staff truly engaged in their crafts and at most lessons/courses, Knit and Natters and lovely discounts to help you build your stash.
The Black Sheep :: Great Discount Yarn stockists as well as accessories, patterns and current season yarns, they also have cross stitch, tapestry, embroidery and much more with reasonable P&P and fast delivery
Kemps :: Great Discount Yarn stockists as well as patterns, accessories and current season yarns with reasonable P&P and fast delivery
You Tube :: I'm sure you'll have come across it before but youtube is more than a place to find comedy videos and repeats of X Factor auditions. If you search for a technique you may be stuck on- highly likely you'll find someone's video that could bring it all to life for you (I had this epiphany with Norwegian Knitting as I couldn't grasp the continental way to purl - videos for all those terms if they're unfamiliar can be found here too).
Purlescence :: a little bit of luxury when you knit, yarns accessories etc
Twisted Thread :: home of the shows that bring you Ally Pally Knitting and Stitching, this year taking place in October - loads of online stocksists, speciality stands, magazine stands selling back issues and discounted subs for show visitors, classes led by popular authors and celebs of the yarny world
KnitPro :: Home of the rainbow coloured wooden needles, interchangeable tips and cables for circular knitting, Cubics square needles (said to reduce pain for those who suffer with arthritis/joint pains), double ended crochet hooks, sock blockers and much more
The Little Knitting Company :: Luxury yarns, kits, accessories, patterns, SOAK specialist yarn wash - an online group and much much more
Pinterest ::Once you start looking and re-pinning and increasing your boards with inspirational items it will be very hard to tear yourself away! Read my post from here for a teeny bit more. Or click on the button in my side bar to follow me (at very beginning stages so far!).
Knitting Pattern Central :: Website offering lots of links to free patterns and also has a section dedicated to knitting and crochet combos.
Knitting :: (My first love, something about taking a single thread and creating something out of it)
Knitting Help :: A fab resource of videos of different techniques, forums and the ever useful glossary - including lots of what you need from the CO to the BO!
Lets Knit :: both the magazine and the online site are aimed at the beginner side of things (I enjoyed the fun factor in their patterns) often include a crochet item and free gifts with the mag
Simply Knitting :: another magazine as well as online presence, aimed at beginner to intermediate, the odd more complex pattern and often include a crochet item and free gifts with the mag (I love the toys - Alan Dart supplies a lot of them and novelty items and accessories). Just look at the below pic of some knitted valentines chocs in the next issue:
Knitting - a great gallery of the patterns in the magazine - less toys and novelties but you will come across home items, I also find they have more patterns aimed at intermediate levels so good when you want a stretch. Each month you tend to find a theme to the magazine and I feel the patterns have a more traditional style to them. Also home to the lovely Purl Princess of Purl About Town column. Knitting also has a great LYS (Local Yarn Store) search function and it surprised me when it found 2 close to me I hadn't even heard of.
Blacker Yarns - Natural Fibres galore supporting local and heritage breeds - beautiful kits and patterns available to show off these sumptuous yarns at their best
BLISS - the neonatal charity organises donated knits and offers patterns to members of their crafts club (for a small fee). Knitting small baby garments is a great way to do something nice for others and to learn the techniques and foibles of larger garments - without frogging back the 200 stitches or 90 rows you've just done. I often find neonatal patterns in charity shops too- so you're donating either way x
(Worth mentioning here that you should check with your local NICU what they wish to receive if anything and to bear in mind that all items must be machine washable and even better if not from natural fibres as these can cause allergic reactions.)
Jane Brocket :: blog writer, author of gorgeous books - if you're like me you'll fall in love with the whole blog but Jane has a lovely section dedicated to yarns and knitting too.
UKHKA :: Patterns, resources, search tool for local knitting groups and home of the Knit 1 Pass it On initiative
Crochet: (My joint second crafty love - with baking, not exactly a comparable craft but that's the way it is)
Attic24 :: A lovely homey blog with inspirational bright colours, cheery commentary from a Mum of 3 who crochets up a storm. Below is my 'Granny Stripe' still on the hook at the mo. The blog has loads of step by step, picture based tutorials and so far I've made the ripple, snowflake, some hearts and WIP my stripe. Lucy has a Ravelry group dedicated to her called 'We Love Lucy', where you can find moral support, banter and lots of links to pics of peoples finished articles.
CocoRose :: A beautifully styled blog with a variety of lovely things to look at, great text and crochet inspiration. If you love muted shades, this site is gorgeous and filled with shabby chic imagery to keep you motivated.
About.com :: When I first started to look for crochet resources and wasn't a member of Ravelry at the time, I came across about.com and it helped give me loads of pointers and basic patterns - just be cautious as you'll find both american and british terminology in use.
It is now past my bedtime and I'm signing off for now - but will add anything else I think of as time goes on (I'll also try to remember to change the published date so if you see it again in a few days/weeks it should indicate something added x)