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I love my crochet origin story. I didn’t learn to crochet from a book or a video. Instead, I learned on the playground, when a classmate had some string and showed me how to form a string using only my fingers. When I came home from school that day and my mother asked me what I had done, I demonstrated my new skills. Like a skilled witch witnessing wild magic in her child, my mother sprang into action, providing me with a crochet hook, yarn, and other instructions. Crochet has been a constant in my life ever since. A hobby to soothe worries, a skill to pass on to friends, a source of gifts for loved ones near and far. As an experienced crocheter, crochet teacher, and generally bookish person, I definitely collect books for beginner and advanced crochet.
A lot of people jump to YouTube immediately when looking to learn a new skill, but honestly, books pair well with videos. Sometimes you want a still image of exactly where the hook should be relative to the yarn. And videos can have a lot of filler content, which makes it frustrating to find the clip you really want. Plus, once you’ve learned the skills, you need real projects to work on, and the books provide inspiration for a lifetime. Crocheting is an incredibly fun textile art for the freedom and creativity it encourages. So whether you like a granny square, a cute amigurumi creature, or the idea of designing your own crochet art work, here are some books to get you started and deep into crochet. Let’s go.
Teach yourself VISUALLY: Crochet by Cecily Keim and Kim P. Werker
If you’re just starting out, you need a book with great pictures showing you exactly what to do. This book is considered by many to be the gold standard for new crocheters. It’s the only book you’ll need to get started, as its step-by-step instructions are paired with quick reference guides. In addition, the variety of patterns will provide you with ideas for your first projects. My advice: don’t start with a scarf. Scarves are a lot bigger than you think, and rectangles can get boring fast.
Return the hook by Jonah Larson
Jonah Larson has become something of a crochet celebrity in recent years. That big heart crammed into such a small person is undeniable! More than sharing his love of crochet as a craft, Jonah encourages sharing crochet items as a way to care for people in need of warmth. Her book provides quick and easy patterns that are ideal for giving away. Her book also includes a small section on learning to crochet. Many organizations accept crochet donations, including two of my favorites, Knit the Rainbow (despite the name, they accept the hook!) and wool helper.
Granny squares go up and down in fashion and design trends, but if you’re a person with real style, you can always pull them off. They’re incredibly fun and satisfying to make – like potato chips, you won’t want to stop at just one. This book can turn a beginner crocheter into a master granny. This book also welcomes the two countries separated by a common language. It’s essential to know that the US and UK use different crochet terminology, and this book clarifies the differences.
3D Granny Squares: 100 Crochet Patterns for Pop-Up Granny Squares by Celine Semaan, Sharna Moore and Caiti Moore
Crochet stands out from its peers with its unparalleled sense of fantasy. So if you’ve already learned granny squares, it’s time to take them to the next level and make them really pop. This extraordinarily fun book contains 100 different 3D designs for granny squares featuring everything from a rose to a jellyfish. With projects like blankets, throw pillows, and garlands included, you won’t be confused as to how to roll out that army cuteness.
Super easy amigurumi: crochet cute animals by Mitsuki Hoshi
Even beginner crocheters can tackle the intricate art of amigurumi, crocheting small-scale stuffed creations is ideal for. Just start with a beginner-friendly book like this one. Crocheters start with a simple pattern for a cute chick and add more complexity to each project. Featuring adorable animals like parakeets and penguins, these patterns will make amigurumi your favorite way to crochet in no time. Amigurumi make great gifts; I especially cherish the tiny Baby Yoda I received during a pandemic porch drop off in 2020.
Sweet Crochet Friends: 16 Amigurumi Creations by Khuc Cay by Hoang Thi Ngoc Anh
As with granny squares, more advanced crocheters can make great amigurumi projects with their skills. Ingenious designers like Hoang Thi Ngoc Anh come up with patterns for projects that have such character, such detail, that people will be amazed they came out of your hands. Fun fact: unlike knitting and weaving, no machine was ever built to crochet, so any crochet you encounter in nature was made with hooks, yarn, and human hands.
The Tunisian Crochet Handbook: A Beginner’s Guide by Toni Lipsey
Among the beginner and advanced crochet books, one exploring Tunisian crochet cuts through the levels. With its unique technique that holds multiple stitches on one needle, similar to knitting, Tunisian crochet can adapt to any era in a crocheter’s career. I haven’t tried it for over 20 years in my own business, but you can start today. With both simple and intricate projects, this book will inspire anyone curious about the beautiful fabrics Tunisian crochet produces to create something timeless.
If you love the cuteness of amigurumi but want your crochet products to have a little more meaning, Twinkie Chan has you covered. If you’re lucky enough to have a stand mixer in your kitchen, why not protect it from dust with a lid that looks like a delicious strawberry shortcake? And why would anyone sit on a floor beanbag that doesn’t also look like a giant donut? If you’ve always wanted your home to have Peewee Playhouse vibes is the book that can make those dreams come true.
Modern Crochet Sweaters: 20 Chic Patterns for Everyday Wear by Janine Myska
While many people limit their crochet projects to accessories, toys, and homewares, there are more and more books that show how crochet can make beautiful clothes that won’t make you feel like you’ve stepped out of your house. ‘a groovy magazine from the 1970s. The patterns in this book range from comfortable everyday clothes to special, stylish ones. This book also provides models sized at 5X, demonstrating an admirable commitment to sizing diversity.
Once you’re a sufficiently advanced crocheter, you’ll probably want to stretch and work outside of other designers’ patterns. A great source of pure crochet inspiration is a stitch dictionary. Honestly, they should be in anyone’s book collection for beginner and advanced crochet. Among the 200 points listed, you’ll no doubt find images that jump off the page, just begging to be turned into a blanket, a hat, or who knows what else? Crochet a wedding dress. Make tree sweaters. The possibilities are endless if you have the basics you need.
I hope my enthusiasm for crochet has rubbed off on you a bit. It’s inspiring to me that there’s always more to learn from a craft like crochet, if not from these books than perhaps from another of the best books for crochet. And there’s someone in this world who yearns for the warmth and beauty you could provide with a hook and yarn. It could be you! It’s time to start crafting.