As long as I can remember, I’ve loved books. I graduated with a degree in English Literature and did an internship at a publishing house for a while. When I need something – whether it’s a distraction, an adventure or inspiration and education- I turn to my books. Since I started working with yarn, I’ve been building up my collection of knitting and crochet books. I think they make incredible resources and it’s lot easier to keep track of pattern collections than individual downloads. They also make for great gifts. So today, I wanted to share some of my favorite books. Some of these knitting and crochet books teach techniques, some of them have the most gorgeous patterns, and then there are my catalogs from which I get tons of inspiration and yarn envy.
My Favorite Knitting and Crochet Books
These book are a mix of things so I’m going to just go ahead and get into it. I’ll start with reference books, but there’s no real order to this list.
With knitting and crochet books, I think it’s best to learn as many stitches as you can so I love stitch dictionaries. For me, designing patterns usually starts with picking a stitch pattern that I love and working from there. These two books are the same thing, one is crochet and the other is knitting, but both have beautiful stitches. The stitches are explained through written directions and the charts/diagrams so it makes the stitches really easy to learn. I did a full review of the 500 Crochet stitches here if you want to see more about that. I’ve also used these to learn the Star Stitch and Trinity Stitch, which are currently my favorite textures.
This is a great resource if you’re just starting out. It goes over everything you need to know and has great beginner projects to try. If you click the title, you can take a look inside the book on Amazon and see all the things it teaches. The thing I loved most about this was that it had a section at the beginning on how to hold the yarn and hook for left- and right- handed crocheters. Most resources only show right-handed instructions and I got this to help my niece who’s left-handed. The book is written with the UK terms, but it also gives the USA terms which was a nice touch. The patterns are not written in the standard step 1, step 2, step 3 layout. Instead, they’re in paragraphs, which is nice but doesn’t really prepare you for reading patterns later.
This is an amazing resource for learning to work socks. Even though I haven’t been able to make a pair of socks yet, I know that it’s because I didn’t do any of the measurements they advise you to do. I dived right in and I made a lovely pair of socks that didn’t fit. So, as long as you measure, you won’t have that problem. The book is so beautiful and detailed. It goes over several different ways to works the toes and heels and give you tips along the way. The first pattern for each section has a simple socks design using a certain toe & heel combination so you get to practice getting those techniques down. It really helped me make sense of short rows and practice increasing. The patterns in this book are just exquisite. I like to just flip through and look at them sometimes!
This is actually a kit, but once you use up the yarn and stuffing they supply, the book is pretty great and you can always go back to it. The patterns in the book are great and described very easily, but you can’t learn to crochet from it. You can learn to crochet amigurumi from it, as long as you already learned the basics stitches. This was so fun to use and I made a figure for each of the kiddos in my family and they went by quickly. The shapes are simple and it was so cool so see how they worked up. Overall, I love this book (and kit), and it was a great intro to working with small figures. They also have different versions of this kit: Star Wars, Disney princesses, Marvel Avengers, and even a nativity one!
This is the oldest in my knitting and crochet books collection. I bought it 10 years ago when I first started learning. I don’t think the patterns are quite what I would go for now, but I learned a lot from this book. Since I learned the basics through online resources, I used this to learn more about how those stitches would come together to make something. The patterns use simple stitches to create different looks that I didn’t think were possible. I especially LOVED the mocha scarf pattern in here. It’s a thick scarf with a cup of coffee applique on it and it’s awesome. Overall, I think this book helped me think outside of basic scarves and hats and showed me how to make crochet more interesting, even if you only know a couple stitches.
Out of all my knitting and crochet books, this one is probably my favorite. First of all, there are just so many patterns in this chunky little book and all of them are beautiful. You know that one skein of incredible expensive yarn you couldn’t resist buying, but don’t know what to use for? This book is full of the perfect projects for that, but even if you use the regular worsted weight acrylic from the craft store, you’ll get something that feels luxurious. The patterns are all elegant and simple and clean. I’ve used a lot of the patterns in this book; I made about 8 pairs of gloves for my mom and aunts. Also, the back of this book has measurements and references for everything. I’m a huge fan of all the knitting and crochet books in the One Skein series, but this is my favorite.
Speaking of the One-Skein series… this one is focused on patterns for babies and it’s just about the cutest thing in the world. It has tons of patterns sized for the tiniest newborns to up and about toddlers. It’s sectioned into hats/caps, dresses & tops, little pants and diaper covers; it also has sections for random toys and accessories, blankets, and anything else you’d want to make. Another thing I love is that not only does it tell you how much yarn you need and what kind, it gives you the exact name and color they used, so you can get the same results. Side note, I know there are some knitting and crochet books in this series that have both crafts in the book.
This is a short and sweet book. It’s small but there are some adorable patterns in here. Aside from one that I wasn’t too in love with, I’ve made everything in this and I love it. The patterns are more for children under 6-9 months and everything is really small, but they’re sweet and easy to make. The first 20 pages of this book (which is 100pgs) is about how to knit, measure, finish and just general tips similar to most knitting and crochet books.
60 Quick Knit Baby Essentials: Sweaters, Toys, Blankets, & More in Cherub™ from Cascade Yarns® (60 Quick Knits Collection)
This book makes me so happy! Each and every pattern here is incredible; they’re fun and colorful, stylish and still easy to do. I love that these patterns feel modern and something you’d really want to dress a kid in. As much as I love the patterns in the other books, they can sometimes feel tacky or too “granny-ish” , but these are patterns that I am completely in love with. This book makes me want to save patterns for when my friends and cousins have kids lol. These patterns are mostly for toddlers and “big kids” so it’s nice to have this supplement the book above. There are several in here that my sister and I wish we could have in adult sizes because they’re just so nice.
This next one isn’t really a book, but I’m including it anyways because it is a collection of patterns. This is actually a box and inside there are cards with the patterns on the back. There are 21 patterns, plus a card that includes abbreviations and extra info. The 5 in the first row of the picture are my favorite. I really like the way this is in a box form; when I work on a pattern, I can just grab the card I want. There’s a good mix of patterns, from the bright and cheerful baby blankets to the more manly, woodsy throws. I wish the patterns had more detailed though. The instructions are brief, so if you need more explicit directions, it’s probably not for you.
I’ve been shopping from KnitPicks since I started knitting 9 years ago, and it always makes me super happy to get their catalogs in the mail. I only started saving them recently though, because I realized how much good stuff is in there. They don’t have patterns or tutorial in them, but they show you everything they have in stock. So if you did want a patterns or kit, you can get it from their website. I love these and keep these for inspiration. I always feel very inspired by the designs and the new things I see in the catalogs and I like to reference them for ideas. They’re free and they’re full of beautiful pictures of yarn so I keep all of them. Someday, I hope to have my designs in there 🙂
This year, I came out with my own book! It’s a full course designed to teach you how to crochet even if you’re just starting out. Especially if you’re just starting out. It’s a 63 page ebook that you can download and work through at your own pace. There is a “Getting Started” section that goes over the tools you need, choosing the yarn, and some tips and guides to help you. Then there’s a Tutorials sections which goes over 12 of the basic crochet tutorials from creating the foundation chain to changing colors and working in the round. The patterns sections is my favorite because there are 12 beginner-friendly patterns that I’ve made myself, taught others, and tested. These are simple and beautiful patterns that I guide you through with step by step pictures and written patterns.
It’s more than just an ebook though, The Beginner’s Guide to Crochet is a full course. There are videos walking you through each tutorial and each pattern so you can actually watch me make the project and follow along. It’s a short book at 63 pages, but it’s full of 12 tutorials, 12 patterns, 24 videos and bonus resource pages. I’m a bit biased, but you can check it out in my Etsy shop here or give the course a test drive with the 10 Days to Crochet Email Challenge.
And there you have it!
Those are all my favorite knitting and crochet books! I love each and every one of these, but if if came down to choosing just one, I would go for the 60 Quick Knit Baby Essentials because it makes me happy to flip through. Obviously, I’m not counting my own book 🙂
Let me know what your favorite books are and be sure to subscribe down below to get the latest from The Blue Elephants delivered right to your inbox, as well as access to the freebies in the resource library. I’ll see you guys soon!