Book Review: Crochet Stitch Dictionary: 200 Essential Stitches

Monday, October 27, 2014

Title: Crochet Stitch Dictionary: 200 Essential Stitches with Step-by-Step Photos
Author: Sarah Hazell

Book Review by Marie Segares (

I know I’m not the only crocheter who considers herself a “stitch guide junkie.” I have several dozen crochet stitch dictionaries, in multiple languages, in my collection. Crochet Stitch Dictionary by Sarah Hazell breaks new ground by combining process photos with the standard information typically found in a good stitch guide.

The book opens with a Getting Started section that features information about hooks, yarn, and notions. Illustrations and text explain how to hold your yarn, start a foundation chain, and work in rows. The book goes beyond the basics of a stitch guide to include finishing instructions for weaving in ends, seaming, blocking, and caring for your projects. There is also a completely illustrated section with written explanations describing the basic stitches, variations on where to put the hook, and tips for forming specialty stitches such as bullions.

The rest of the book is devoted to a directory of stitches. The table of contents features a color thumbnail of each stitch, so they are easy to find. Each stitch features its own introduction, where Sarah shares alternate names, construction details, comparisons to other stitches in the guide, and project suggestions. Each stitch is shown in a large colorful picture against a white background. The stitch explanations are provided in international stitch symbols and “steps.” Each step is equivalent to a row, and includes the explanation in US pattern abbreviations and, usually, one process photo.  The book ends with a four-page guide to US pattern abbreviations and symbols and a thorough index.

Crochet Stitch Dictionary has a wonderful layout, with clear and inspiring photographs. It offers more details than a typical stitch dictionary, so it would be suited for both beginners and more advanced crocheters. The process photos add great detail, but beginners might appreciate more photographs. The photos typically show where the hook might be inserted, or how a stitch should look when finished, but they don’t show each action within a stitch since each “step” is the equivalent of a complete row. If you already own a collection of stitch guides, you will see duplicates, since this book covers many of the popular crochet stitch patterns used in the US.

I wish the font for the row instructions was slightly larger, especially since the layout made good use of white space so there seems to be more room available. However, the beautiful layout and the addition of photos make this a wonderful stitch guide overall. I would recommend it as a general reference book for a beginning crocheter, for a more advanced crocheter with a limited (or non-existent) stitch guide collection, or a crocheter who learns best through photographs.

The book is available in print for a retail price of $22.95, and as an ebook on several platforms including Kindle.

Full disclosure: A free review copy of Crochet Stitch Dictionary was provided by Interweave Press. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

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