Crochet stitch dictionaries are pretty much my favorite non-fiction books, and I add to my collection whenever I get the chance! I also get lots of questions about my collection... so I thought I'd share it with you all here on the blog!
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As a designer I use stitch dictionaries all the time, but I used them before I designed professionally too! They are an amazing source of inspiration, and paging through a new stitch dictionary is like exploring a whole new world of possibilities!
What I love the most is when a stitch dictionary includes both written instructions and a chart, and I've included what each book includes below. I love being able to see the chart and how the pattern comes together at a glance - and I love to pick out my favorite parts and make changes and make the stitch pattern unique too! You can see all the sticky notes I use to mark my favorites and add ideas and inspiration in the photos...
Even though there are ones I use more than others, picking a favorite is a little bit like picking a favorite friend! I love them all, though I guess it would be fair to say that the bigger the dictionary, the more there is to love! And I do love all the ones listed here. And you can click on the titles to order your own copies on Amazon!
My 10 Favorite Crochet Stitch Dictionaries
- The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs - 500 Classic & Original Patterns by Linda P. Schapper - Written instructions, charts, and photos. Five. Hundred. Patterns. This book will always be one of my top go-to grabs when I'm looking for inspiration. Every pattern includes a clear photo with white yarn, as well as the chart and written instructions. The patterns are broken into sections to make them easy to find, and there's even a visual table of contents at the beginning! Love!
- Crochet Patterns Book 300 by by - Charts and photos (minimal text in Japanese). If you can't read charts, go learn how and then get this book! I purchased this book at my first Crochet Guild of America conference and it's pretty much my favorite souvenir ever. The pictures are great (except for pages 66 and 67 - fuzzy yarn and stitch dictionaries don't mix well), and the stitches are unique. It's not an inexpensive book (I won't tell you what I paid, oof) but it's been worth every penny! It's currently out of print, but there are some copies on Amazon still available!
- Indispensable Stitch Collection for Crocheters by Melissa Leapman - Written instructions, charts, and photos. This is my newest stitch dictionary, and so it's the most exciting one for me right now - so many new stitch patterns to try and love! There are 200 included in this book, and I think I have sticky notes already on about 50 of them...
- The Harmony Guides 300 Crochet Stitches Volume 6 - Written instructions, charts, and photos. This is the very first stitch dictionary I ever acquired, and it taught me so much! I learned so many new stitches and techniques, and I even learned how to read charts with this book! In fact, it's so beloved and important to me that when it started to fall apart from use I took it to a shop and had it taken apart and rebound with a spiral binding, with clear plastic covers, so it will last (hopefully) forever! Also out of print, but copies are still available on Amazon!
- 108 Crochet Cluster Stitches by Darla Sims - Written instructions and photos. This book has it's downfalls. The photos for some of the patterns aren't great, and my pages were actually put in the book out of order (hopefully mine was the exception)! But you know what... I've used several of the stitch patterns in here, and enjoyed every one of them. So it still stays close to hand!
- Continuous Crochet Motif 60 by - Charts, and photos (text in Japanese). I'm not sure this book is for beginners, even if they do speak Japanese! But if you can read charts and are ready to spend some time with this book, then you'll find 60 gorgeous patterns for motifs that flow one to the next without the need to break the yarn.
- 99 Crochet Post Stitches by Darla Sims - Written instructions and photos. This is not for beginners either, but if you are an intermediate or experienced crocheter, there are some great patterns in here! Lots of good jumping off points for creating new designs.
- The Complete Book of Crochet Border Designs by Linda P. Schapper - Written instructions, charts, and photos. With over 340 border patterns, there's a lot to inspire in this one! From simple single crochets to complex lace designs, there are borders for every project.
- Learn to do Tunisian Lace Stitches by Kim Guzman - Written instructions and photos. This book is a stitch dictionary with patterns - and an interactive DVD! Starting with the basics, Kim teaches you everything you need to know to get started with Tunisian Crochet and create lovely lace patterns and designs.
- Interlocking Crochet by Tanis Galik - Written instructions and photos. This book includes "80 original stitch patterns plus techniques and projects" - and it's a great way to learn this technique! Also called intermeshing crochet, it's made by crocheting with two colors, each of which is only worked into stitches of the same color. Confused? It's not easy! But it is unique as well as challenging!
Do you have a favorite? One that isn't on this list that you'd recommend? I'd love to hear about it - please share in the comments! I'm always looking for new additions!