Do you have a project idea in mind, but don't know where to look for the pattern? Here are some hints for your search.
I prefer to start with a book, partly because I can see the project in color and lay the page open to follow the stitches in each row. If I don't already have that book, the library is the place to look. Our library has an excellent selection of knit and crochet books, because the person who does the ordering knits and her assistant crochets. lol
If the book you need is not in-house, we are part of a 101 (at the moment) library consortium with access to 6.6 million items.
Let's just for one second imagine that you can't find what you want in that particular resource or that you are not part of a large library system. Where would you look next?
Check with the maker of your favorite brand of yarn. www.lionbrandyarn.com, www.redheartyarn.com, www.bernat.com, and other yarn makers will provide you with free patterns. They might also sell you kits with yarn, pattern, and hook or needles, to do the whole project if you would like to do it that way.
If those sources don't offer the pattern you want, also look at www.ravelry.com, www.knittingpatterncentral.com, www.crochetpatterncentral.com, www.etsy.com (pay for patterns), and many free craft websites.
If you go to Google Images and put in the pattern you are looking for, you will get pages of photos. Click on the one you like. You will probably be thrown to someone's blog. Many patterns are free, some are paid, some are just people saying, "See what I made!" In that case, the fun is mostly in the hunt, but you might also find the perfect pattern for your project.
If you are an avid crafter, you might want to start your own blog, posting your own pictures and patterns to help along the next person who is looking for assistance with their good idea.