This week’s crochet book review is of Kathy Merrick’s Crochet in Color. Subtitled Techniques and Designs for Playing with Color,┬áthis book is all about getting more comfortable working with bold colors for garments and other items. It is as much about gaining confidence in incorporating color into your personal style as it is learning the best ways to use color in crochet work.

Who this crochet book is for

This book is for anyone interested in using more color in their work. It includes projects that have only one color and projects that have many colors so you can jump in wherever you are most comfortable. Some of the designs actually lend themselves well to working in more neutral colors as well, so if you find that you just can’t bring yourself to leap into bolder colors then you can still get something out of this book. Kathy’s encouraging tone will make you want to try fun colors, though!

I would not recommend the book for beginner crocheters, per se, just because it doesn’t have the extensive introduction to stitches and techniques that many crochet pattern books do. However an ambitious beginner willing to double-check other sources when questions arise would do totally fine with this book.

Crochet book format

This crochet book begins with a basic introduction and then a more detailed intro specific to exploring color. This is followed by four sections of patterns divided as follows:

  1. One or Two Colors
  2. Stripes
  3. Color Blocks
  4. Color Adventures
Each section has 3-6 patterns for a total of 17 patterns. Each pattern includes the following:
  • Title that tells you exactly what you are making (such as Pleated Hat or Splashy Flowers Scarf)
  • Paragraph-long description of item. I love this because the author shares her own stories and insights about how the pattern came to be. Adds a super personal touch to the book!
  • At least two photos of finished item
  • Finished size of item, sometimes with drawings showing the dimensions of each part (such as the front and back of a cardigan)
  • Yarn. This is done well because it tells you the weight and basic color but then it also tells you specifically which yarn the designer used
  • Hook size
  • Extra notions needed (like a split-ring marker)
  • Gauge
  • Notes at the beginning of the pattern. I love when designers to this because it tells you right away what you need to know to excel at the pattern (such as that you won’t join the rounds with a slip stitch because you are working in a spiral or that you will be crocheting in back loops only)
  • Special stitches. These are set aside in a box on the pattern page with the row-by-row instructions
  • Row-by-row instructions (easy to follow). These are separated for each piece of a multi-piece item (such as the front, back, sleeves and collar of a cardigan)
  • Finishing information
  • Some of the patterns also show a stitch diagram, color chart and/or a construction diagram
The patterns are followed by a section on colorwork techniques that you can reference if you need help figuring out how to change colors or work in tails when working in different colors. This is followed by a section on finishing techniques including blocking. Then we get a page of crochet abbreviations and a few terms (like right side / wrong side). This is followed by what is called a glossary in this book and basically is just instructions for basic crochet stitches with drawings to help you see how they are worked. A page of resources and a simple index wrap up the book.

Favorite projects from this crochet book

Firefly Cardigan - leave it to me to like one of the one-color projects. :)
Butterfly Turtleneck
Swirls Pillow

Special notes

The best part of this book for me is the terrific personable tone that the author uses throughout the book. I feel like I’m reading her blog, or better yet crocheting with her over coffee!

CONCLUSION: The patterns in this book provide a great opportunity to work with color in a modern way!


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


  1. I am in LOVE with that wrap on the cover!! Will have to get it one day! Thanks for the review

    • Kathryn Reply

      @Andi – It’s a beautiful one isn’t it?! So many great crochet books out there these days.

    • Kathryn Reply

      @Juliebbord – Hope you end up getting something out of it for sure!!

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