My mother started teaching me crochet when I was 6 or 7 years old. It didn’t really stick, though, until about 20 years later. In a fit of intense boredom while visiting my mom for Christmas, I picked up some yarn and ended up with an afghan. I have never stopped crocheting.
Crochet is very therapeutic. It’s very calming to be able to create something, make a mistake, and unravel it and pretend that it never even existed. There’s (usually) no evidence of the mistake, other than a long strand of yarn. And I’m okay with that. When things go right, I end up with delightful things, like my very bookish amigurumi collection or any number of crochet bookmarks.
If you’re looking for a new hobby to keep your hands busy and your mind calm, I highly recommend picking up a crochet hook. Here are 25 of the best crochet books to help you get started and keep you busy for years to come.
Best Crochet Books: General Reference
This is the book for a person who is only just aware of the existence of yarn and have no idea what a crochet hook looks like. It starts at the very beginning and gives you all the info you need to get started, and it’s an excellent reference book for even the most veteran crocheter. It’s all info—no patterns.
The Crochet Answer Book, 2nd Edition: Solutions to Every Problem You’ll Ever Face; Answers to Every Question You’ll Ever Ask by Edie Eckman
The book does exactly what it promises: answers every question that any crocheter will ever have. The illustrations are a weakness, but the explanations give all the info you’ll ever need to get yourself out of a crochet quandary.
Stitch ‘N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller
Stoller has been described as the “leader of a entire movement of hip young knitters” and now she brings that same vibe to the world of crocheters. She makes crochet fun and approachable for “hookers” of all ages.
The most frustrating thing about finding a cool crochet pattern online is having no clue what half double stitch or blanket stitch means. There are so many stitches, and they’re really just variations on each other, so close and yet so different. It’s hard to keep track. This book is the perfect one to keep by your yarn stash. You’ll be less likely to run from a complicated pattern and more likely to produce some really stellar stuff.
Learn to Crochet, Love to Crochet: Over 20 Hand-Crocheted Accessories and Garments to Make for You and Your Friends by Anna Wilkinson
This is the book for everyone who thinks that crochet is only something for little old ladies. It teaches you everything you need to know about actually crocheting, and they show you how to make cool, modern items that you’d be proud to own and/or wear.
Now that you know the basics, and you know where to go when you’re trying to make sense of a pattern, let’s try the fun stuff!
Best Crochet Books: Amigurumi
This pattern book should be at the top of any bookish crocheter’s TBR list! It’s got a wide range of classic characters, including Anne of Green Gables, Sherlock Holmes, Ebenezer Scrooge, Elizabeth Bennet, and Huck Finn! They make the perfect bookshelf accessory, and once you’ve mastered them all, you should be confident (and competent) enough to create your own crochet versions of your favorite book characters.
Creepy Cute Crochet: Zombies, Ninjas, Robots, and More! by Christen Haden
You know the way that toddlers dressed as zombies are both super scary (obviously) and completely adorable? That is the perfect description of the amigurumi in this book. They are totally creepy and so darn cute that you’ll have a hard time figuring out which one to start with. To help with that decision, they are conveniently ranked by degree of difficulty.
AmiguruME: Make Cute Crochet People by Allison Hoffman
This is a book about creating crochet people. It’s not an official guide as to how to produce specific people, but if the sample people look familiar, there’s a good reason (I see you, Frida Kahlo). The idea is that you can use the instructions given to create any person you want—create your kids, your best friend, your book club buddies, your favorite book characters, or even make a likeness of your favorite author for the next time you see them at your local book store. You know, if that’s your thing.
Kerry Lord has a whole line of amigurumi books covering a whole range of different animals, including books that focus specifically on dogs and birds. There’s one on human dolls, and another on imaginary creatures. There’s a little bit of everything, and she makes it all fun and accessible to a whole range of crocheters—and most titles are available in French and/or German, too!
Amigurumi Fairy Tales: Crochet Your Own Enchanted Forest by Tessa Van Riet-Ernst
This books is the direct result of its author taking two things that she loves—crochet and fairy tales—and bringing them together in a new way, one that celebrates the best of both. Eight stories and more than 20 characters are represented, along with detailed, step-by-step instructions.
Dinosaur Amigurumi by Justyna Kacprzak
I don’t think that a Tyrannosaurus would be able to crochet, what with those little tiny arms, but that doesn’t mean you can’t crochet a cute little T-Rex of your own. Or a Triceratops, a Stegosaurus, or a Edmontasaurus. Each design is simple enough for a novice and comes with illustrated instructions and full-color photos of the finished product.
Best Crochet Books: Apparel and Jewelry
There are hundreds of sweater patterns online, but none of them look as amazing as the tops and accessories that appear in this book. There’s a good crochet overview for the beginning crocheter, and there are excellent full-color photos of the full range of items for men and women. You’ll also learn how to choose your yarn and how to care for the items after they’re made. Ibomu has a book on hats that is totally worth checking out, too.
This is a book of really cool retro-inspired designs. You can put together whole outfits from the items featured, and you can do it in whatever color pattern you choose—easily one of the best things about crochet. Items include tank tops and skirts, crop tops and collars, even cute throw pillows for your couch.
Crochet Jewelry: 40 Beautiful and Unique Designs by Waejong Kim
If you have been eyeing the eyelash yarn at Michaels and wondering what you could possibly make with that, this book has your answer! It’s filled with easy to follow instructions, and it teaches you about all the cool ways you can use those delicate yarns and incorporate beads and stones. Best of all, the finished products are absolutely stunning.
Double Stitch: Designs for a Crochet Fashionista by Erika Simmons and Monika Simmons
Designed by super-stylish twins—the “Double Stitch” twins—this book is full of fun crochet clothing options that are definitely meant to be warn, whether your are out running errands or out for a night on the town. Projects range from a ribbed halter dress to a choker and matching purse to a corset with satin ribbons. Variety and versatility are the key words here.
Best Crochet Books: More Great Pattern Books
So far, the books on this list have either taught you the basic elements of crochet or they have shown you all of the cool, modern, and fun things you can make. Think of that as your motivation for learning to crochet. The rest of the books on this list, however, take you down a more conventional path. That doesn’t mean you can’t take what you learn from them and blaze your trail. It’s all up to you.
Mandalas and Motifs
First up is a group of books that are a nice bridge between contemporary and traditional crochet. They make use of non-traditional shapes, and include a lot of detail work, making use of a variety of colors and stitches in just one small shape. It can be tedious to learn, but once you’ve developed a rhythm, these motifs, mandalas, and flowers can be a lot of fun to work with. They are an excellent way of adding your special touch to a more straight forward design.
Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs: 144 Circles, Hexagons, Triangles, Squares, and Other Unexpected Shapes by Edie Eckman
Mandalas to Crochet: 30 Great Patterns by Haafner Linssen
Crochet Flowers Step-by-Step: 35 Delightful Blooms for Beginners by Tanya Shliazhko
Granny Squares are the building blocks—literally—of so many great crochet projects! It’s one of the first things most crocheters learn to do, and what is truly wonderful about them, is you can sit and make a bunch of squares without having a finished project in mind. It’s all about figuring out how you want to use them. You can create elaborate patterns with them, or you can take one and build from it just by adding a border. They can be as large or as small as you want to make them, and you can use any weight yarn or size hook. They may look old and boring at first glance, but they are easily the most versatile tool in any crocheters metaphorical crochet tool box.
Granny Squares: 20 Crochet Projects with a Vintage Vibe by Susan Pinner
Modern Granny Square Crochet and More: 35 Stylish Patterns With a Fresh Approach to Traditional Stitches by Laura Strutt
Granny Squares Weekend: 20 Quick and Easy Crochet Projects by Emma Varnam
Granny Square Crochet: 35 Contemporary Projects Using Traditional Techniques by Catherine Hirst
An afghan (little “a”) is a type of colored wool or cotton knitted or crocheted into patterns, usually made up of stripes or squares. They are among the most time-consuming of crochet projects, but they are also super rewarding. And, in the case of the afghan I have draped over the back of my couch, super sentimental. The next three books on the list have enough afghan ideas to keep you crocheting for a very long time. But you wouldn’t be here if you had a problem with that, would you?
200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws, and Afghans by Jan Eaton
Big Book of Crochet Afghans: 26 Afghans for Year-Round Stitching by Connie Ellison
If you’re just looking for a one-off pattern for something special, check out the designs posted on Etsy and Ravelry (you’ll have to open a free account before you can check out the pattern selection). There are tons of great patterns out there, along with great opportunities to support independent designers and their work.
Now, go pull a skein from your yarn stash, pick up a hook, and let the crochet commence! What do you think are the best crochet books to get started with?