Books / Crochet / Reviews

Best Crochet Books for Beginners

For today’s book round-up, I’ve compiled a list of my go-to books from right off my own shelves. I won’t say these are the best crochet books ever printed, but honestly, I couldn’t work without them. These are the books I turn to when I’m looking for help, inspiration, or even just quick tips & tricks. Some feature stitch patterns that’ll make you eager to start a new project, while others are full-on crochet bibles packed with all you’ll need to start making your own designs.

Read on for a quick synopsis of each book, in no specific order, as well as my own quick review of each. These books are linked for convenience, so be sure to check them out!

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modern crochet bible cover

Modern Crochet Bible by Sarah Shrimpton

Publisher: David & Charles

Release Date: January 21, 2020

Purchase: Paperback; Kindle Edition

(from the publisher)

The Modern Crochet Bible is the definitive guide to all the crochet techniques and stitches necessary to create stunning contemporary crochet projects.

Learn how to stitch stunning contemporary crochet projects using traditional techniques with a twist such as filet crochet or brand new techniques such as corner to corner crochet. All the key crochet techniques and stitches  including Tunisian, tapestry, corner to corner, overlay, mosaic, filet, colour pooling and crochet embroidery are featured, as well as instructions on how to use the exciting, new yarns that are available.

As well as step by step instructions and photography there are patterns for over 10 cutting edge modern crochet makes for you and your home. Choose from a cowl, blanket, wrap, bag, rug and many more.

This book is actually the latest title in my crafting library, and I love it. In addition to some rarer techniques that I’ve not seen in other crochet books, there is a project for each technique so that you can practice what you’ve learned.

Be aware that this book features UK terminology, so US readers will need to account for this while making the projects.

crochet stitch dictionary cover

Crochet Stitch Dictionary by Sarah Hazell

Publisher: Interweave

Release Date: October 22, 2013

Purchase: Paperback; Kindle Edition

(from the publisher)

Great for new and experienced crocheters alike, Crochet Stitch Dictionary offers 200 stitches with detailed written, charted, and photographed instructions. This essential book presents 10 color-coded stitch sections: Basic stitches, Fans & Shells, Bobbles & Clusters, Spike stitches, Post stitches, Mesh & Filet, Cable stitches, Tunisian stitches, and more!

Learn each stitch with written, charted, and step-by-step photo instructions that clearly explain where the yarn goes each step of the way. In addition, each stitch pattern shows a large finished swatch in actual size.

You’ll enjoy the colorful and eye-catching “candy-box” sampler pages that start every section. Crochet Stitch Dictionary offers excellent useful instruction and inspiration for all crocheters.

This title, like the one below, is a stitch guide and so doesn’t feature any projects. It does include helpful visual tutorials for the basic stitches, making it perfect for beginners. Interestingly, while the synopsis notes the inclusion of Tunisian stitches, my edition does not include any. Of course, this may have changed in more recent editions.

step by step guide to 200 crochet stitches

The Step-by-Step Guide to 200 Crochet Stitches by Tracey Todhunter


Release Date: January 15, 2019

Purchase: Paperback

(from the publisher)

The perfect resource for new and experienced crocheters alike, The Step-By-Step Guide To 200 Crochet Stitches offers 200 stitches with detailed written, charted, and photographed instructions. This essential book stitch dictionary includes: Basic stitches, Fans & Shells, Bobbles & Clusters, Spikes, Relief stitches, Mesh & Filet, Waves, Crossed stitches, Decorative stitches.

You’ll learn essential crochet skills, such as changing color, fastening off, and forming basic stitches. Each stitch is accessible with written, charted, and step-by-step photo instructions that clearly explain where the yarn goes each step of the way. Plus, large finished swatches in eye-catching colors show off the beauty of each stitch inspiring your hook through the entire book.

This was actually my first crochet book! There are so many stitches in here, and the instructions & pictures are super clear. For anyone interested in Tunisian crochet, there’s even a small section featuring different Tunisian stiches. This book helped me learn so much about crocheting, and I would highly recommend it.

ultimate crochet bible cover

Ultimate Crochet Bible by Jane Crowfoot

Publisher: Collins & Brown

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Purchase: Paperback; Kindle Edition

(from the publisher)

The latest fashion magazines are full of crocheted pieces, but beginning stitchers looking to tap into the trend might not know where to start. Ultimate Crochet Bible is the ideal guide for anyone casting the first time, but is also the definitive reference for more experienced practitioners who just need to brush up on a technique. Filled with more than 400 images, it explains exactly how to create garments, jewelry, accessories, and more, from the basic chain stitch to finishing touches like a picot trim. Additional topics include creating texture, structure and shaping, color work, and embellishments.

This book is incredible. There’s just so much information packed in, making it truly the ultimate book for aspiring crochet designers. The visual step-by-step instructions are super clear & useful, and I crack this book open all the time. This is a definite recommend from me.

crocheter's skill-building workshop cover

The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop by Dora Ohrenstein

Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC

Release Date: November 18, 2014

Purchase: Paperback; Kindle Edition

(from the publisher)

From choosing yarns, shapes, and styles to finishing off your project with flair, Dora Ohrenstein shows you how take your crocheted creations to the next level. This fun guide includes more than 70 stitch-along swatches that teach specific crochet techniques and five projects — a hat, shawl, neck warmer, bag, and scarf — that put your new skills to use. With a variety of stitch patterns and shaping types explained, you’ll be inspired to build upon Ohrenstein’s creations and develop your own sophisticated designs. 

While less than half the size of the previous title, I’m amazed at how much useful information this title includes. It very simply outlines the basics of crochet, while also outlining the math that goes in to making and shaping more complex projects. Included at the end are 5 super cute projects that utilize many of the aforementioned techniques!

500 crochet stitches cover

500 Crochet Stitches: The Ultimate Crochet Stitch Bible

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Release Date: August 25, 2015

Purchase: Hardcover

(from the publisher)

500 Crochet Stitches is both a stitch guide and a how-to-crochet primer, all in one volume. You get all the information needed to get started, including how to choose yarn and needles, read patterns, work basic stitches, how to check gauge, increase and decrease, join pieces and finish projects and care for your crochet items.

The comprehensive pattern library includes 500 crochet stitches, including basic stitches using single and double crochet, trebles, and some new techniques to get the fabric you want for that special sweater or hat. Lace and openwork stitches are a starting point for exploring the airy shawls, and afghans crochet is famous for. Use one of the many motifs to create an heirloom blanket, or mix and match motifs to create a truly unique piece. There are also edgings and trims you can use on your crochet and other projects, including sewn items and knitted ones.

Each is fully explained with instructions and accompanied by a full-color photo of a sample crocheted swatch. All swatches are worked in updated yarns, beautifully photographed and accompanied by easy-to-follow instructions.

This is a big book. I’m less impressed by the photos and instructions (compared to the two 200-stitch books, the images are much darker and less clear). However, 500 stitches is just too good to pass up. There is so much in here, including a *huge* section on motifs as well as borders that no other books on this list can compare to.

Have any more book recommendations? Let us know in the comments!

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