|Snowflake afghan I made for my Gran several years ago|
Crocheting School is a nice big book with lots of pictures. It covers basic stitches, plus many I've never tried (afghan/Tunisian, hairpin lace and using a loom for example). Published in 2004 its yarn examples look outdated in color combinations (hard to believe 10 years is enough time to do that!), but the techniques are so great. I have made the three-layered Irish lace flower, thinking I'll make some hair clips for Jane, and I tested the interlocking rings in Christmas colors just for fun.
Uncommon Crochet: Twenty-Five Projects Made from Natural Yarns and Alternative Fibers is one I checked out electronically. A bit more modern (published in 2012), it has fun projects to try with materials other than yarn. I really want to make the leather basket, and the raffia placemats look intriguing too.
101 Crochet Stitch Patterns and Edgings is another 2012 release that I borrowed digitally, and it's just a stitch dictionary with straightforward directions for each pattern. I bookmarked three to try -- a chevron, a rainbow arch and a starburst/alternating shell.
I will soon exhaust my library's digital and print collection, but I still like to look at more patterns. Browsing online is one way to go, and there are certainly many free patterns available. But often I prefer a more book-like experience. A quick search on the Amazon Kindle store for "crochet" revealed many free pattern books. They're released by yarn makers in the hopes that you'll pick a pattern and buy the suggested yarn, but it's still a great way to find some new patterns and ideas.
Here are some not-free but still cheap books that I'm thinking about investing in, although most are available to borrow for free with the Prime Kindle Owners' Lending Library:
- Crochet One-Skein Wonders $2.99
- Crochet Dynamite: Gifts For Your Besties $0.99
- 99 Crochet Flowers $2.99
- Quick Items to Crochet A Collection of 20 Vintage Crochet Patterns for Craft Fairs and Gifts $3.99
Do you have any other ideas for inexpensive crochet? This doesn't even touch on the ways to save on materials. I have enough acrylic worsted weight yarn to keep crocheting hats for a good long while, but I keep coveting and wanting more -- especially now some lighter weight variegated sock yarn for making a drapey pineapple pattern baby blanket!
Disclosure: Affiliate links used throughout.