In case you’ve somehow managed not to notice over the past few months, Tuesday mornings is when I always post crochet book reviews here on Crochet Concupiscence. Today’s review is of 200 Crochet Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets: An Indispensible Resource of Technical Know-How and Troubleshooting Tips by Jan Eaton.

Who is this crochet book for?

This is an encyclopedia of stitch knowledge so it would be suitable for crocheters of any level. I like this book because it does have great tips and ideas for beginners but also has advanced ideas so that the experienced crocheter does not get bored.

Format of crochet book

I could tell that I was going to find this to be a really easy-to-use encyclopedia of crochet information from the very beginning of the book. First there’s a super clear table of contents. This is followed by a more detailed “about this book” that provides further insight into the layout of the book. This great intro material makes it easy to find what you want to find in this book. There is also helpful material about choosing and holding a hook, what other items should be in your “essential tool kit”, info on yarn types, etc.

Within the “about this book” section, you can see a full page of information about what type of information you’ll find on each page of the book. Each section may include:

  • Fix it panels. These are helpful hints for how to fix common crochet problems associated with the information shared on that particular page.
  • Try it panels. This tell you how to utilize different methods and materials for different results.
  • Design ideas. These provide tips on edgings, buttons and other embellishments suitable to the page.
  • Step-by-step sequences. Of course, you need to know exactly how to do whatever you’re trying to do.
  • Completed swatches. This shows you an image, front and back, of what a swatch of this work should look like.
  • Stitch patterns. Guides to a variety of different stitch patterns are located throughout the book.

Favorite projects from this crochet book

Often when I do a book review it’s for a crochet book of patterns and so I feature my “favorite projects”. Since this is a crochet encyclopedia, it’s a bit different. However, there are some cool parts of the book that I do want to highlight because I especially liked them. They include:

  • A section on crochet pockets. This is a really simple description of how to create numerous crochet pockets including round, triangular and curved pockets as well as pockets with buttonholes. What a useful bit of information for any crocheter who makes garments or even some accessories.
  • A section called “jazzy trims and fringes”. This provides instruction for some really fun crochet work including striped spirals crochet, crocheted spirals with beads attached and corkscrew fringe. I’m not even sure what I would add these trims, too, but I love that I have the option of using something so fun when I figure it out!
  • Working Jacquard and intarsia patterns. This is something I rarely see in crochet books and often only hear about among knitters so I’m excited to see it included in crochet instruction form.

Amazon product description

“The basics of crochet are very quick to master, but feeling confident about how to move beyond the basics and create a stylish, professional finish for all your crochet projects is a common dilemma faced by many crocheters. Presented in an easy-to-use format arranged by topic and cross-referenced, so you can dip in and out as needed for advice, this book offers hundreds of answers, fixes, insider tips, and secrets to help you along the way.”

Additional notes

This is the king of timeless crochet book that you can go back to again and again for inspiration and information so it’s worth it to add it to your personal crochet library rather than merely getting it out of the public library and returning it.

Reader question

What is your favorite crochet dictionary or crochet encyclopedia and why?


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


  1. Shadygrove Reply

    I bought the Harmony Guide to Crocheting by Debra Mountford back when it came out around 1993 (wow–check out the Amazon price listings!). This is my desert island book and the book I must have if I have no others. It has just about everything anyone would need–so many stitch patterns, motifs, stitch instructions, charts, etc. It’s the equivalent of Joy of Cooking or Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, only for crochet. I love crochet books–I own at least 65, including many stitch guides(check out my Ravelry library, lol). Other excellent resources/general guides are Edie Eckman’s motifs and borders books, Margaret Hubert’s Complete Photo Guide, Dora Orenstein’s Creating Crochet Fabric, and Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet.

    • Kathryn Reply

      Thanks so much for the excellent recommendations. Some of those are books I don’t have yet so I will definitely look into it.

  2. This is a book I have to get to add to my collection. I wish I could find someone that has a large collection of crochet books that I don’t yet have that I could buy all in one shot. :o)

  3. Jackie Bourassa Reply

    One can never have too many technique books. Each one covers something new.

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