Recently on our podcast Ready, Set, Knit, Pixie and I finished up our latest project. It was the Summer Pedals Cardigan from Interweave Crochet Summer 2009. Before we started the project, we spent a couple of episodes reviewing the crochet books that we love and cherish. I realize not everyone listens to the podcast, so I thought I would take our notes and give all of you that read the blog the information. I’m thinking I’ll do this over two posts, but it may turn into three. We’ll see.
Let’s start with crochet reference books & stich dictionaries. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have at least on solid reference book in your collection. What will work for you will probably be different than what works for me or Pixie, so we’ve compiled a healthy list. Everyone learns differently and some books have different strengths and teaching methods than others.
In terms of reference books, one should be small enough to carry in your crochet bag so you’ll have it with you at all times. Two books that fill the bill are Edie Eckman’s The Crochet Answer Book
and Nancy Brown’s The Crocheter’s Companion, which is spiral bound – a definite plus when you are using it on the go!
They both have good illustrations and cover a wide variety of techniques. Another good reference book that is spiral bound is Nancie Wiseman’s The Essentioal Book of Crochet Techniques.
It has excellent illustrations in color as well as all of the requisite information.
A larger book that we really love but can’t easily carry around is Crocheting School: A Complete Course, puslished by Sterling.
It has the best, large color illustrations of any crochet book and it’s one Pixie depends on and that I have in my own personal library.
Crocheting in Plain Englishby Maggie Righetti is another very good reference book, particularly for beginners.
Be sure to read Chapter 1, “A Living History”. It is a charming short story about the author’s experiences with crochet from the age of 7. What’s lovely about this book is that the author writes as if she’s talking directly to you and shares many of her experiences as a struggling crocheter and as a crochet teacher.
A new book out by Jane Davis, Crochet: The Complete Guide (spiral bound as well = love) is a lovely little book with lots of great information – however, in this instance the title maybe a tad bit on the ambitious side.
Rowan also has a new book out called Crochet Workshop: The Complete Course for the Beginner to Intermdiate Crocheterby Emma Seddon and Sharon Brant (spiral bound too) that is quite interesting, has wonderful color illustrations and covers pretty much everything a crocheter needs to know.
In addition, there are some great patterns and a lot of ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
One last book to mention is by Pauline Turner and is titled Finishing Techniques for Crochet.
This is the first book we’ve seen that is dedicated to finishing techniques for crochet and it certainly has some great information.
Next, you need at least one good stitch dictionary – but Pixie and I both agree you can never have enough of them. Some personal choices we like are as follows.
The Crochet Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden (spiral bound):
I own both of these books and refer to them frequently when I’m itching to crochet. They give charted as well as worded directions (which is why Pixie & I both love them – she’s a chart lady and I need words) along with some of the most wonderful stitches you’ll ever see.
The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs by Linda Schapper has 500 classic and original patterns, a wonderful pictorial index so you can find what you need very quickly and an overall nice format.
Finally, another little book (spiral bound) by Helen Jordan is called Textured Crochet and contains some very beautiful and unusual stitches.
This would not be my first choice if I was looking to purchase my first stitch dictionary, but that’s just me.
I hope you find this list helpful and not too overwhelming. Like any tool or yarn choices, mileage may vary based on your own taste and learning style.
What crochet book do you love and turn to again and again?
Kathy (and Pixie too!)
Note – Edited on 10/12/09 to correct a couple of typos!
Tags: crochet books