Whenever I need inspiration for crocheting or changing a pattern up a bit there a three books I always look at first. They are all written by Linda P. Schãpper and filled with classic and original crochet designs by the author.
The first book is The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs and features 500 patterns. It was first published in 1985 and was revised in 2007 with diagrams and colour photographs. There are written instructions as well as a pictorial index with a thumbnail of every design and the design’s page number so it is really find exactly where your favourites are. It also has an illustrated guide to basic crochet stitches and an extensive list of international crochet symbols so you do not have to be fluent in English crochet language to understand the patterns. If you have never tried following an English crochet pattern before, I would definitely recommend you follow the diagrams.
The book is divided into 33 chapters ranging in designs based on basic stitches like single and double crochet to the more advanced stitches like wraparound, Y and X-stitches. In fact there are 10 chapters on shell stitches alone.
The second book is called The Complete Book of Crochet Border Designs with 342 classic and original patterns divided into 17 chapters much the same way as the previous book. It was first published in 1987 but revised in 2007 also with diagrams, colour photographs, a pictorial index, an illustrated guide to basic crochet stitches and an extensive list of international crochet symbols.
The third book is 300 Classic Blocks for Crochet Projects. It was also first published in 1987 and revised in 2008 with the same features as the two other books. It has 19 chapters with basic stitches, triangles, circles, hexagons, sculptured blocks and more.
I love to use these three books as a helper when I want to change a pattern and give it my own touch. The borders and blocks are also good for sprucing up old clothes or adding something extra to your other projects. Just flipping through them inspires me and I hope you will give them a try and find your own inspiration for your own projects.