Book Review and Giveaway: Design Your Own Crochet Projects

By Rachel Choi – 84 Comments

When you think of buying a crochet book, most people are looking for a variety of patterns. Design Your Own Crochet Projects by Sara Delaney has a different approach. While still providing a variety of crochet patterns, it gives you the details on how each pattern is designed and sized. I wish there was a book like this years ago when I started designing my own crochet patterns. It gives you the insight into how the author develops her patterns so that you can extrapolate what you want to make your own.

First Impressions
Math!!! I’ll admit, I’m a math geek so I love math, but if you don’t it may take you by surprise how much math is involved in designing and sizing patterns. A quick thumb through the book and you’ll notice the lovely photos of the projects along with the pages full of calculations. While it may be easy to follow for some, it may look like a foreign language to others.

You can get your own first impression by using the Look Inside feature on Amazon. You’ll be able to see the first few pages, and even get to see a few of the full crochet patterns and how they are formatted.

What’s Inside?
Like many books, it starts with an introduction. It discusses different fiber types and everything you would need to know about swatching. Although most folks would tend to skip over this section, I would recommend reading through the swatching section since gauge is super important when crocheting wearable items. Swatching is also a big part of design in each of the patterns. If you don’t swatch you won’t get very far in the book.

After the intro, there are 7 sections: scarves, cowls, hats, fingerless mitts, mittens, gloves, and socks. Each section has 2 patterns, with the exception of the hats and socks, which have 4 patterns. Each pattern is written like a standard crochet pattern, so you can crochet the item just like you would with any other pattern. What makes this book different, and more geared towards teaching you how to design your own pattern, is the section before the pattern that walks you through how the sizing was calculated using the swatch size. Taking the time to actually read through the calculations sections will teach you the sizing aspect of design. It will give you the skill to interchange weights of yarn and adjust the pattern to fit your own gauge. If you are ambitious you can then use the calculations to form your own pattern.

If performing all the math seems too daunting, check out the online crochet calculator page that goes along with the book.

What’s Missing?
While the book is great at teaching the math of crochet and giving demonstrations on how to size items, it doesn’t teach the visual part of design, how to create your own stitch patterns, or your own unique look to a pattern. To be fair, who can really teach that anyway? You are your own measure of creativity and only experience in crocheting can help you with that.

The book is filled with examples for crocheting accessories, which is a great first step in the crochet design world. Larger items, such as sweaters, are beyond the scope of this book. It also doesn’t include blankets, home decor, or toy patterns.

Is this book for me?
Design Your Own Crochet Projects is great for learning to size your own crochet accessories. But if you aren’t interested in learning the ins and outs of sizing, you can still crochet the patterns that are included in the book. It won’t tell you everything you need to know about pattern designing, but it is a very good start. If you’re new to pattern designing and are willing to take the time to learn and do a bit of math, then this book will be an excellent teacher for you!

FREE Giveaway Time!
Here’s your chance to win a FREE copy of Design Your Own Crochet Projects. To enter the giveaway…

  • Leave a comment below stating which section of the book you are most interested in learning about: scarves, cowls, hats, fingerless mitts, mittens, gloves, socks, or other.
  • Also free free to look inside the book for yourself using the Amazon Look Inside feature where you can view full patterns and the beginning parts of the book.
  • Please only one comment per person, as multiple comments will be deleted.
  • A winner will be randomly drawn and announced on November 16, 2017.
  • Shipping from Storey Publishing is limited to the U.S. and Canada.

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Check out the Giveaway Winner page.

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  1. Denise says:

    Im most interested in learing more anout mittens. several things really.this is a gteat giveaway thanks!

  2. Myra T says:

    I am most interested in gloves, I think. I have a friend who can do wonderful free-form crochet, but I’m not that brave. Yet. I’d love to know how to design my own patterns and learn the basics of modifying others so that they work better for me.

  3. Carol martin says:

    I already design my own baby blankets, scarves and cowls. I’d love to do my own gloves, I have such short fingers to have something I like and that fits would be marvellous.

  4. Lynda says:

    I am most interested in scarves and cowls. I have previously done some beanies for the grandkids.

  5. Gloria Wilson says:

    I’m most interested in scarves and hats!

  6. Crochetlori says:

    I would love the section on hats. I’ve designed many of my own patterns for scarves, gloves, and would like to increase my knowledge of hat design.

  7. Susan says:

    I am excited about the part of creating mitten section

  8. I would love to expand my knowledge and discover how to actually do this! I would love to start with scarves and hats….and move to more complicated stuff later!


  9. louise says:

    I would like to see about the hats and socks and think this is great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Randall says:

    All of the above, I think, except for Hats. Socks especially!

  11. Trudi says:

    Socks! I love hats and mitts too for all ages. It is so rare to find a book that doesn’t assume you are a beginner.
    I need stretching with pattern ideas

  12. Kim says:

    I’m most interested in learning mittens, gloves, and hats! My hats are so basic, and mittens/gloves – I have small hands, and adult sized patterns are WAY too big, but kids are too small

  13. susanne says:

    Im most interested in learning sweaters & other garments

  14. Debbie says:

    I am mostly interested in the hats section. A friend of mine is going through chemo right now and I plan to make her a variety of hats for her to wear through this difficult time

  15. Dorothy says:

    I am interested in the math part, especially for gloves. I once asked a math teacher to help me with a crochet pattern I was designing. I gave gauge,how much yarn I used for the swatch, he figured out how much yarn I would need for the project, even breaking it down to how many skeins of each color I needed. He was correct within a few skeins of yarn. I need to know more about how to do this.

  16. Lana Spirko says:

    I love hats and would love tips on creating more. Thank you.

  17. Judy Ullmann says:


  18. Kelly Wilson says:

    I’m also a math geek and to get a chance to combine my two loves is fantastic.

  19. Karen says:

    I am most interested in designing cowls. The book sounds great!

  20. Paula says:

    Gloves and socks

  21. Joyce Gravino says:

    This book sound absolutely wonderful. I often fail at the part of designing and the math

  22. roxanne says:

    This looks like a great book. I would love to design my own socks.

  23. Maratree says:

    I’m interested in designing scarves and cowls.

  24. Debbie says:

    Probably scarves as this would work well in cutting them down and then using a smaller portion for therapy purposes with our foster youth. The therapists utilize our squares, etc., to provide sensory/tactile for those children who missed that in their infancy.

  25. Ellen says:

    I am very interested in the calculating part of it all, and would like to start with fingerless gloves. I have winged a few invented scarves, but would like more certainty in calculating the amount of yarn I’ll need.

  26. susanne says:

    I would like t learn about gloves & other, like garments

  27. LAVINA says:

    Scarves and Socks

  28. Connie says:

    Honestly it’s a toss up between socks & mittens. I’ve tried my hand at a lot of different things but those are the 2 that I’m still not so sure about.

  29. Penny Taylor says:

    I would love to figure out how to create my own hats and cowls. Definite must have items for when old man winter finally comes around. Thank you for this opportunity to win this book that would help me to design my own.

  30. Jackie Thomas says:

    I would love to be able to make my own sock patterns. Most of the patterns I’ve found online don’t really fit well, or are too bulky (more like slippers!).

  31. Marlaine Samson says:

    I would like to make hats that will fit perfectly on my head and this book will help a lot. Great book! Thanks for sharing!

  32. I would love to be able to work on fingerless gloves. A lot of people are asking me to make them for them this fall, and I would like to be able to design them for a perfect fit. Although, this book looks like it would be great for many projects.

  33. Marcia says:

    Learning to create my own gloves & mittens would be wonderful. Should not have too much trouble with math as that was my favorite subject in school. Have already been combining stitches for scarves & the occasional hat/ear warmers & would love matching gloves. Made some fingerless gloves & the finger holes were to small, guess my fingers are a bit pudgy so the regular pattern did not work for me. Had to give them away. I also sew & make my own winter jackets & coats & look for matching or contrasting yarn for hats & scarves – definitely would love to make gloves too. Thanks!

  34. Sarah L says:

    I’m most interested in the socks section. I finally learned to make socks, but now I’m afraid to try to customize them.

  35. Janet olojugba says:

    I’m most interested in learning to design my own scarves and socks.

  36. Karina says:

    I actually was looking for some resources that help with understanding the math behind crochet. Looks like I don’t have to look any further. 🙂

  37. Dinah Roberts says:

    I have been looking for a book of this type for a very long time!!! I would love to win and begin to create my own patterns, whether they are just for myself or for publishing.

  38. Cherie Ballog says:

    Definitely mittens since my hands are always cold!

  39. Karen says:

    I would like to find out how to crochet gloves and other items. I’m not very good at math, but looking forward to finding out how to do so. Thanks for the link to see some of your book.

  40. Jill Welsch says:

    I crochet very tightly, so patterns rarely ever work for me. I’m most interested in hats right now

  41. Kristi says:

    I would love to learn more about making socks. 🙂

  42. Laurie Lewis says:

    I would love to learn more about socks!!!

  43. Stacey says:

    im interested in both the socks & gloves sections!

  44. sue says:

    Mittens! Fingerless mitts! Hats! I do a lot of charity crochet, so this sounds like a great help.

  45. Shirley Morrow says:

    I’m interested in the calculating and sizing instructions in the book. I often use different parts from patterns to design my own special gift.

  46. Grace White says:

    I crochet all kinds of items. I have joined a crochet club that is making lapghans for a nursing home. I would really like to make socks.

  47. Sandra Abundis says:

    Would love to learn more and open the creator in myself

  48. Shauna Williams says:

    I am excited to learn the mathematics of resizing my creations. I’m great at crocheting, but getting the right size for other people on the first try would save me soooo much time, and be very helpful in making my own patterns. Thanks in advance!

  49. Deb S says:

    Would love this for my daughter-in-law who has just learned to crochet within the last 2 years and is doing phenomenal. Would love to take her to the next level with designing something for herself.

  50. Rhonda says:

    I really want to learn about socks. All the ins and outs.