Crochet Books: Vickie Howell’s Pop Goes Crochet!

pop goes crochet book of pop culture patterns

For my first crochet book review on this site I wanted to focus on one of my favorite crochet project books. It’s Vickie Howell’s Pop Goes Crochet!: 36 Projects Inspired by Icons of Popular Culture. I get most of my crochet books from the local library and this one is no exception. I’ve checked it out more than once and kept it until its due date every time. That’s because it’s a really fun book with several great projects.

More About This Crochet Book

This is a terrific crochet book for people who are interested in fashion, especially celebrity fashion. It reveals a little bit of information about the history of crochet in the fashion world from the 1920’s on. I wouldn’t say that it’s a good book for beginning crochet artists. It doesn’t have a lot of extra instruction for people who aren’t familiar with crochet. That said, it’s really easy to follow and I started using it soon after I began crocheting so it doesn’t require super advanced skills either.

A Crochet Quote

I love the introduction of this book where Vickie writes:

“Quite simply, crochet feeds the human need for balance in our lives. Making something with our hands reflects something basic about ourselves. We want to work hard without losing touch with our creative selves; we want to earn money without losing our souls; and we want to be part of a larger picture of human progression while still maintaining our individuality.”

Format of Crochet Book

pop goes crochet book

Vickie Howell’s Pop Goes Crochet starts with a great introduction to the intersection of crochet and fashion. This is followed by the 36 projects, each of which is based on the fashion style of a different celebrity icon. These celebrities are divided into 5 groups:

  1. Rebels. If you like Dita Von Teese or Marc Jacobs then you might want to check out what’s available in this section.
  2. Icons. These are the classics like Grace Kelly and Shirley Temple.
  3. Fashionistas. If the names Giselle, Yohji and Harlow mean anything to you then you’ll want to check out the crochet projects in this chapter.
  4. Starlets. If Angelina, Gwyneth and Mary-Kate are more your thing then starlets is the section for you.
  5. Rockers. Do you want to crochet something that could be worn by Cher or Bjork? The final six projects in the book are a great place to start learning those skills.

At the end of the book you’ll get some basic crochet information like crochet abbreviations, a yarn weight chart and information on crochet hook equivalents. There’s also a section on the crochet artists that designed these projects, providing you with more information about the people that you want to learn more from.

Favorite Crochet Patterns

Some of the projects in this book that I have found to be most interesting include:

crochet faux boots

Angelina-inspired faux-boots; they’re essentially footed legwarmers crocheted over a pair of high heels. The pattern asks for yak yarn, size D and G crochet hooks and super simple crochet skills like single and double crochet.

crochet bikini pattern

This Esther Williams inspired crochet swimsuit is super cute! The suggested yarn from the book is Cascade Fixation, a cotton yarn with some elastic in it, so it stretches just a bit unlike pure cotton yarn. The pattern uses C and D size hooks and requires switching between several different basic crochet stitches.

crochet sweater pattern inspired by marc jacobs

This Marc Jacobs crochet sweater is a great unisex design. Make it a little bit longer and it’s an adorable dress. I love everything about it. What terrific style details!

You can see more of the crochet patterns in this book on Ravelry.

Crochet Designers

Vickie Howell put this crochet book together, but the crochet patterns were created by a wide range of terrific crochet designers. You’ll find patterns by MK Carroll, Mary Jane Hall, Robyn Chachula and many more great names in the crochet world.

Recommended Crochet Book

This is one of those books that is definitely worth its money if you’re someone who buys books on crochet. It features many different styles, projects ranging from intricate to fairly simple and options for both small and large items that make great gifts for other fashion lovers. For that matter, if you know someone else who loves to crochet clothing, the book itself would make a great gift for her, too!

Vickie Howell is also the author of Top 10 Crocheted Hats and co-author of Aware Knits.


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San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


  1. I have a design in this book too! It’s the blue “Heidi” Scarf with the hanging pom poms. Have you seen it?

    Mary Jane Hall

    • Yes and I love that design. And anyone else who wants to see it can just check out the photos on the Amazon page for the book. Your work is always so impressive. :)

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