Today’s crochet book review is of Carol Meldrum’s Simple Stitches: Crochet: 25 Projects for the New Stitcher.

Who this crochet book is for

As the name suggests, this crochet book is designed specifically with beginners in mind. The idea is that you can learn to develop your crochet skills through working on the twenty five projects in the book and I think that would definitely be possible for people interested in doing that. But I wouldn’t discount the book as too simple for a more advanced crocheter either. Sometimes simple projects are great! And there are some fun ones in there that I think would be worth working on regardless of your crochet skill level.

Format of this crochet book

This crochet book begins with a one page introduction from the author that gives a very brief history of crochet and tells you what to expect from the book. This is followed by a section on “the basics”. This is common in many crochet pattern books, of course, and tells us a little bit about the tools and yarns that we can use as well as how to do the basic stitches, work in the round, increase and decrease, etc. I would say it’s comparable to many other pattern books I’ve seen but the very clear photos and detailed written instructions make it especially nice for a new crocheter. Plus it includes a few extra things that you don’t find in all books – like a section on seams.

Now we get into the twenty five projects. Each project includes:

  • Project name that makes it clear what the project is (like Narrow Stripe Beret)
  • 2-3 sentence description of the project.
  • Multiple large, clear photos of the finished product.
  • A star rating (1-3) for the difficulty of the project.
  • Finished size.
  • Materials Used. In this book we get to find out exactly which yarn was used in the finished product that is in the photo including name, weight and color.
  • Gauge information.
  • Abbreviations for unusual stitches and notes on where to find instructions in the page (such as SC2tog = single crochet 2 together – See also Page 125).
  • Row by row instructions, simple and clear
  • Notes in bold font inserted at strategic points to help you out. For example, a note after round 1 of the Narrow Stripe Beret tells you where to place the stitch marker and a note after Round 2 explains that you will now be working in the back loops. I like the way this is done.
  • Finishing instructions. They’re included even when they are simple as “sew in ends”, which is good for beginners.
At the end of the book are a few extra things. There is a crochet hook conversion chart. What’s nice is that it shows the metric, the US and the “old UK” rather than just the first two or second two. Very thorough. There is a table of abbreviations. There is a super helpful “finished size chart”. There’s a yarn weight chart. And then there’s a simple index.

Favorite projects from this crochet book

I love the Cobweb Lace Gloves!
Terrific drawstring halter top!
Adore the beaded loop detail handbag!

Special Notes

Most of the projects in this book were made with Rowan yarns, a few others with Patons. Of course, you can always adapt with your own yarn choice. Just thought I’d mention it.

One of the things I really love about this book is that there is a great variety of projects, which isn’t always the case with books designed for beginner crocheters. There are hats and belts, bags and gloves, blankets and cushions, aprons and potholders, a crochet hook case, wearable tops and even jam jar covers and crochet cupcakes! They’re easy enough for beginners but you don’t feel like you’re doing “first-timer projects”.

CONCLUSION: Great book for beginners, useful for crocheters at any level.


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


    • Kathryn Reply

      @Anastacia – It’s a good one, hope you get a chance to check it out!

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