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The Top Five Vintage Crochet Books

You can take the girl outta the library but you can’t take the librarian out of the girl. I love books, and I love crochet books even more. I also love order and lists so I’m going to share with you my top 5 vintage crochet books and why I love them. My criteria for vintage is that the books have to be over 20 years old and be awesome. So here we go…


5-  At number 5 is Hard Crochet first published in 1978. The author Martin Dittrick wanted more macho things to crochet. Things like ridged Stetson hats and briefcases. He experimented with different hooks and fibres and came up with a technique he calls “Hard Crochet”.

There’s a hat made out of carpet yarn that’s so stiff because of what the author calls “super-blocking”.  My favourite thing has to be the crocheted vase-shaped basket on page 18 that shows no sign of buckling even with 22lbs of books placed on top of it.


4-  At number 4, published in 1989 is Glorious Crocheted Sweaters. If you like big warm fluffy jumpers, delicate summer jumpers, intricate cabled cardigans or cosy coats you’ll love this book.

Some of the photographic styling, make-up and hair (think 80′s bubble perms and back-combed tresses) maybe dated but the patterns and styles would have no trouble gracing the pages of modern crochet publications.



3- Modular Crochet from 1978 just about breaks into my top 3. I’ve made a fantastic ribbed top using the methods described in this book. The instructions for making a wide variety of tops are so clear and easy to follow.

I know I’ll come back to the techniques demonstrated in this book time and time again.



2-  I love this book and it was a hard choice to not make it my number 1. The Crochet workbook from 1989 is packed full of crochet goodness. It covers basic techniques and  is where I  first discovered Freeform crochet in all its wild glory.

There’s also a wonderful chapter on inspiration with  techniques to get your crochet juices flowing. This book is a must if you fancy rockin’ a full on 80s crochet cape.



1-The Harmony Guide to Crocheting from 1986 was the first crochet book that I bought. Not only does it cover both basic and complex stitches, there are guides on Tunisian crochet, Irish crochet, filet crochet, lace crochet, edgings, trimmings and motifs (phew!).

It has great colour pictures and for such a slim book it has a surprising 650 stitches. This one’s a must for beginners and experts.




So there you have it. I could’ve easily made this a 50 item book-list but I had to show some restraint! What vintage books are in your top 5?


Book Details, with Amazon links, for all you bibliophiles out there.

* The Harmony Guide to Crocheting, Techniques and Stitches. Edited by Debra MOUNTFORD. Published by Harmony Books, 1986. ISBN 0 517 88074 1.

* The Crochet Workbook. Sylvia COSH and James WALTERS. Published by B T Batsford Ltd, 1989 . ISBN 0 7134 59158.

* Modular Crochet, a Revolutionary new Method for Creating Custom-Design Pullovers. Judith COPELAND.  Published by M Evans & Co,1978. ISBN 0 87131 256 5.

 * Glorious Crocheted Sweaters. Edited by Nola THEISS. Published by Sterling /Lark Publishing Co, 1989. ISBN 0 8069 6992 x.

 * Hard Crochet . Mark DITTRICK. Published by Hawthorn Books, 1978. ISBN 0 8015 3279 5.



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