My Favorite Crochet Stitch Dictionaries

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I often get asked what my favorite Crochet Stitch Dictionaries are. This post includes my Top 5 Crochet Stitch Dictionaries. These are the crochet books I refer to and use the most when I’m choosing the crochet stitches for my patterns.

When I first started designing I didn’t know how to read a stitch diagram so I didn’t care if my book had a stitch diagram included in it.

My favorite crochet stitch books when I first started designing were:

154 Crochet Wave Patterns, 280 Crochet Shell Patterns, Triple Play Pattern Stitches, 50 Fabulous Crochet Bobbles, Popcorns and Puffs , 108 Crochet Cluster Stitches and 99 Crochet Post Stitches.

Old Favorites - Crochet Stitch Dictionaries

I loved how each book was for a different stitch pattern type. I found the stitches included were easy to apply to simple projects, when very little shaping was needed. I found them perfect for blankets, afghans and other square and rectangular shaped projects.

Now, with a few more years designing under my belt and a greater respect for stitch diagrams, my favorites list has changed quite a bit.

I find it quicker and easier to determine if a stitch is going to work with my design when I can visually see it represented in the stitch diagrams or stitch charts. Each of my top five favorites listed below includes stitch diagrams and written instructions for every stitch.

My Favorite Crochet Stitch Dictionaries

Top 5 Crochet Stitch Dictionaries
  1. Crochet Every Way Stitch Dictionary: 125 Essential Stitches to Crochet in Three Ways. By Dora Ohrenstein.
  2. Crochet Stitch Dictionary: 200 Essential Stitches with Step-by-Step Photos. By Sarah Hazell
  3. Melissa Leapman’s Indispensable Stitch Collection for Crocheters: 200 Stitch Patterns in Words and Symbols. By Melissa Leapman
  4. Around the Corner Crochet Borders: 150 Colorful Edging Designs with Charts and Instructions for Turning the Corner Perfectly Every Time. By Edie Eckman
  5. Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs: 144 circles, hexagons, triangles, squares, and other unexpected shapes. By Edie Eckman

These are my Top 5 Crochet Stitch Dictionaries. The above links will take you to Amazon and when you get there if you click the image of the book on the left of the title you will be able to Look inside to see what the book is like before you decide which one you might like to add to your own bookshelf.

Here’s a screenshot of what you will see. When you click on the book image (on Amazon) it will open the book for you to see some of the pages and stitch patterns included.


TIP: If you are viewing a different book online and aren’t sure if you are interested, click to the Kindle option in the description and often you will be able to take a peek inside!

When I am designing I prefer physical paper books because it is easier for me to immerse myself in and I grew up with paper books. However, each of these 5 Crochet Stitch Dictionaries includes a digital eBook version too and usually for a less expensive price.

I’ve listed My Top 5 Crochet Stitch Dictionaries in order of my favorites, with #1 being my current favorite and most used stitch dictionary.

Crochet Every Which Way Stitch Dictionary. I love how Dora Ohrenstein has presented her book and it has helped me understand how to increase and decrease edges for shaping in a visual (stitch diagrams thank you!) manner and in a written format too.

Crochet Stitch Dictionary. Sarah Hazell’s book, has been a constant companion of mine since I purchased it (almost 7 years ago!). Along with the written instructions and stitch diagrams you also get a few photo tutorial images for tricky bits in the stitches. So you know what it should look like before you proceed to the next part of the stitch pattern.

Melissa Leapman’s Indispensable Stitch Collection for Crocheters has some different stitches included that I have yet to find in other stitch books. So if you flip to page 104, you will find the Colorwork Patterns. Her stitch patterns are easy to follow and the stitch diagrams are in more than one color, with clearly marked ‘REPEAT’ sections.

Around the Corner Crochet Borders and Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs have been instrumental in helping me visualize my crochet stitches. Edie’s entire series of books is fantastic. I have purchased each of them and refer to them often when I am working on new crochet mandala and afghan square patterns.

Edie’s other books (on my home bookshelf):

Every Which Way Crochet Borders
Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs

Favorite Crochet Books 2021

One other book which I still love and use regularly, is The Big Book of Crochet Stitches by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss. I did a book review for this book many years ago (the publisher sent me a digital copy of the book). I loved the book so much I ordered and paid for the paper version to be mailed to me (shipping and customs almost cost as much as the book back then!). I still love it (I only wish there were stitch diagrams included). If there were stitch diagrams, it would have been 4th on my favorites list.

I hope this post helps you find some easy to follow crochet stitch dictionaries to try!

Quick Note: Crochet Stitch Patterns often have more than one ‘official’ name. For example: Griddle Stitch = Lemon Peel Stitch; Thicket Stitch = Suzette Stitch and just to add a wee bit more confusion, Moss Stitch = Linen Stitch = Granite Stitch. So if you see a crochet stitch you’ve never heard of before, check how it is constructed. Most times, it is just an old stitch being called something new!

Have fun playing with your yarn!

2021 Crochet Stitch Dictionaries

You may also like this post about Tapestry Crochet.

Loom Knit Stitch Dictionary Tunisian Crochet Stitch Dictionary

Oombawka Design Crochet Free Patterns


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  1. I have the Edie Eckman books but have not seen the other stitch dictionaries. I’ll have to check them out and see how different they are from those in my library. Thanks so much for bringing these to my attention!

  2. These books would be great to flip through and tag the pages for the borders to add to afghans. I still have my tutorial hardback crochet stitch book from the 70’s….of course that was prior to most everything being on the internet.