10 Easy Patterns to Knit and Crochet While Listening to Audiobooks

10 Easy Patterns to Knit and Crochet While Listening to Audiobooks

It’s m’duty to tell you that this article contains affiliate links, which earn me commission at no extra cost to you. Here’s my disclosure policy.

Audiobooks and yarn crafts go together like rama lama ding dong.

Personally, this is my happy place because two of my MOST relaxing pastimes happen simultaneously—reading and yarning. 

But, I’ve learned that it’s essential to pick EASY patterns to knit and crochet while listening to audiobooks. If I tackle a pattern that’s too tough, then I lose the thread of the story. I need a semi-mindless pattern that only demands a fraction of my brain so that the rest can latch onto the audiobook.

But I don’t want to just make square dishcloths. I want to make something good.

Pairing the right knit or crochet pattern with an audiobook takes some trial and error, but when you get it right, ooooh, it’s a match made in heaven. 

The good news? I’ve done the pattern-picking for you! Here are 10 of my favorite easy patterns to knit and crochet while listening to audiobooks! I have actually made each and every one of these patterns, so I can personally vouch for them.

Ready? Let’s go!

1. Egmont Shawl

By Katy Petersen at KT and the Squid

Type: Crochet

Difficulty: Easy-Intermediate

This is one of my favorite shawls to give as a gift because everyone seems to love it. It keeps your neck and shoulders toasty, without weighing you down. It’s basically a yarn hug. 

I recommend that you take a few minutes to work the first few foundation rows in complete silence. Then, once you get into the repeat rows, go ahead and turn on your audiobook.

The nice thing about this pattern is that I’ve had success using worsted weight yarn and a 5.0mm hook. Upping both the yarn weight and hook size means the pattern works up faster.

🎧 📖 Suggested Audiobook Pairing: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein (the Andy Serkis narration)

2. Annie’s Purple Hat

By Daisy Farm Crafts

Craft: Crochet

Difficulty: Easy

This is hands-down my favorite hat pattern to crochet while listening to audiobooks. Why? Because it’s insanely easy—basically just one row repeated over ‘n’ over—and the result is perfection. (I’ve never made it in purple, ironically.)

It’s a fully customizable pattern. You calculate the circumference based on the wearer’s head, so you can make a small version for a kid or a great, big man-sized hat. The design and fit work for any gender, and the style is timeless—who doesn’t love a slouch beanie? 

🎧 📖 Suggested Audiobook Pairing: Walking on Water by Madeline L’Engle

3. Barley Hat (infant to adult size)

By Tin Can Knits

Craft: Knit

Difficulty: Easy

Tin Can Knits is a fabulous brand that’s worth checking out if you’re interested in amazing free patterns that you will knit over and over again and love forever. This was the first Tin Can Knits project that I ever made, and I’ve knitted it countless times. 

Even though it’s pictured here on a baby chunkface, the pattern includes instructions for all sizes. The garter panel adds interest to an otherwise basic stockinette hat. 

If you have trouble remembering where that snazzy garter panel begins and ends—it can be easy to zone out when you’re listening to an audiobook—then just pop on a few stitch markers.

🎧 📖 Suggested Audiobook Pairing: Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson

4. Ragdoll Unicorn

By Spin a Yarn Crochet

Craft: Crochet

Difficulty: Easy-Intermediate

I mean come on! Is this not the cutest plushie? Jillian Hewitt at Spin a Yarn Crochet specializes in these rag-doll-style stuffed animals. Due to its boxy design, this one isn’t too difficult to make and piece together while concentrating on an audiobook. And the result will win you oohs and ahhs from all the little girls in the land. 

If you like making toys, then you MUST check out the vast library of huggables that Jillian has designed. 

🎧 📖 Suggested Audiobook Pairing: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

5. Millennial Pink Headband

By Alyson Chu

Craft: Crochet

Difficulty: Easy

I’ve worn this headband more than any other headband that I’ve ever made. It’s super warm and thick. It’s almost a cross between a headband and a messy bun hat on me. 

The fancy-looking twist is crazy-easy to accomplish, and it lays nice and flat instead of bumping out in a big knotlike way. 

Just a note, I chained 46 to start my foundation row, and I have a 22-inch head circumference.

🎧 📖 Suggested Audiobook Pairing: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

6. 1.5 Hour Crochet Beanie

By Crochet Dreamz

Craft: Crochet

Difficulty: Easy-Intermediate

I never timed myself, but I’d wager the 1.5 hours is accurate. I managed to finish this in one day working off and on here and there. I used size 5 yarn instead of 6, and I’m guessing that two strands of worsted held together would work just fine. 

A few pattern notes: I stopped crocheting the brim when I reached 38 “dips/spaces” for 38 sc around, and it worked fine, but I have kind of a small head. I added one more sc2tog round at the end to close the hole at the crown. 

🎧 📖 Suggested Audiobook Pairing: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

7. Desert Winds Triangle Scarf

By Jess Coppom at Make and Do Crew

Craft: Crochet

Difficulty: Easy

As with most shawls, this one needs your full and complete attention for the first few foundation rows. Once you begin the repeat rows, you can start listening to your audiobook and enter zen mode. 

I love this pattern because it looks lacy but it doesn’t demand the extreme mental concentration that lacework is notorious for. I also found that the structure is much sturdier than most true lace patterns. And it calls for worsted-weight yarn, not the superfine stuff that makes me go cross-eyed.

🎧 📖 Suggested Audiobook Pairing: News of the World by Paulette Giles

8. Beloved Aran

By Solenn Couix-Loarer

Craft: Knit

Difficulty: Easy

This pattern looks good no matter what yarn I use. No matter what color or color combo I decide on. It’s just a beautiful, simple pattern that works for kids, adults, men, and women. It’s not too complicated as long as you keep track of which row you’re on. 

Here’s my trick for keeping track of what row I’m on. I print the pattern, and I put a post-it note on the page, and I literally draw an arrow so it’s pointing to the row I will start with when I pick back up. Very high-tech, I know. 

Apparently, this pattern only exists on Ravelry, which is free to join and a goldmine for all knitters and crocheters. 

🎧 📖 Suggested Audiobook Pairing: The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery

9. Half n Half Infinity Scarf

By Melissa Fisher at Woods and Wool

Craft: Crochet

Difficulty: Easy

A crochet pattern with one simple row to repeat? Yes, please! It does not get simpler than this!

Please note, the yarn you use DOES matter. You want to pick something on the lighter side of worsted, something that isn’t too stiff, as the gauge is dense. The color pairing is what makes this super-simple scarf pattern so fantastic. If you actually click the link and see Melissa’s yarn, you’ll get a feel for how rich and textural this pattern can become.

🎧 📖 Suggested Audiobook Pairing: The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

10. Double-Thick Crochet Potholders

By Sewrella

Craft: Crochet

Difficulty: Easy

Single-layer crochet potholders just aren’t enough to protect your hands (or countertop) from heat. But these double-thick potholders are! And you don’t have to crochet two potholders and sew them together at the end. The thermal stitch has the double-thickness built into it.

You do have to invest a few minutes in learning how to crochet the thermal stitch if you don’t already know how (it’s not very common). Once you know it, then all you have to do is repeat it, and—voila!—you’ve got a perfect potholder! I’ve given MANY of these away as hostess gifts. Who doesn’t need another potholder in their life?

🎧 📖 Suggested Audiobook Pairing: Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Connect with me on Ravelry

I hope you loved this list of patterns to knit and crochet while listening to audiobooks! If you’re on Ravelry, please do send me a friend request so that I can see all of the fantastic stuff you’re making with yarn!

My top tips for loving audiobooks

If you want to love audiobooks even more, here’s everything you need to know to take your listening experience to the next level.

The best way to listen to an audiobook (so you enjoy it)

The best way to listen to an audiobook (so you enjoy it)

It’s m’duty to tell you that this article contains affiliate links, which earn me commission at no extra cost to you. Here’s my disclosure policy.

Do you hate audiobooks? If so, you’re not alone. A lot of people do. 

But, then there are those people…the ones who thought they hated audiobooks until, one day, they didn’t anymore. They realized they liked audiobooks. Even loved them. Now, they’re always raving to you about their latest {amazing} listen.

So, what changed for them? And how can it change for YOU?

The best way to listen to an audiobook is to follow these steps:

  1. Pick a story you’re already familiar with.
  2. Start with 1x playback speed, and then increase it.
  3. Allow yourself to focus on those first few chapters.

If you start the audiobook right, then you greatly increase your chances of sinking into the story and loving every second. It’s really as easy as that. 

I’m going to explain each of these three steps in detail, but first, lemme ask this question…

Why do some people hate audiobooks?

Is it because they can’t concentrate, or they’re just not “auditory learners”? 

Mmmm…it’s possible, but I’d wager that it’s because they didn’t start off on the right foot when they pressed play.

If you’re one of those people who has a hard time getting into an audiobook, don’t despair. By starting an audiobook right, you can set yourself up for a super-satisfying reading experience. 

Why is the beginning of an audiobook so important?

The beginning of an audiobook is the most mentally taxing. Why? Because everything about the story is new to you, and you don’t (really) care about the book yet. These two thumbs-down factors make it very tempting to bail in those early chapters.

Characters, places, years, settings…it’s all getting thrown at you…and it’s a lot to remember. If the book has multiple POVs or it jumps back and forth through time, then whew! In a snap, you’re all jumbled. You stop listening and have no desire to continue. Or you conclude, this book is no good.

The beginning is also when you are least invested in the story, and it’s when you’re earnestly asking, “Do I care? Why should I?” It’s natural to ask this, but you have to give the book a fighting chance to make you care.

In short, you’ve got to push through the beginning.

As you progress through the book, THEN you don’t have to work so hard to remember who’s who and where’s where and what’s what. And, hopefully, by this time, you care about the characters and what happens to them enough to keep pressing play. THIS is the point when audiobook haters (magically) become audiobook lovers.

Starting right is huge. That’s why my tips focus on setting you up for success in that critical stage of beginning an audiobook.

Learning to love audiobooks can enrich your reading life SO much. Plus, listening on audio is a great way to get back into reading if you’ve been in a slump (or full-on hibernation). 

How to START listening to audiobooks

Here’s the best way to listen to an audiobook, according to me. These three steps will set you up for audio success.

1. Pick a story you’re already familiar with

You may be like, “Nuh-uh, I want a NEW story, not something I already know.” But hear me out.

Listening to a story you’re already familiar with is much easier than starting from zero with something brand new. 

I love to listen to a book after I’ve seen the screen adaptation. This works especially well with challenging classics. (It’s how I motivated myself to tackle Bleak House and Wives and Daughters.)

There are (literally) thousands of book-to-screen adaptations to choose from. Pick one that you loved watching, and listen to the book on audio.

You’ll be surprised by how easily you sink into the story—your poor ol’ brain doesn’t have to sort out characters, plot points, or themes. You already know all of that stuff. 

Remind yourself that you’re not reading for plot. You’re reading to experience the story—the full story as originally conceived. 

Don’t worry about getting bored. A familiar story has its perks! 

  • As characters come onstage, they do so as old friends (or enemies). 
  • When the timeline jumps ahead or falls into a flashback, you aren’t blindsided. 
  • Plot holes get filled. 
  • A character’s motivation is explained. 
  • The backstory that got clipped from the film is revealed.

Personally, I love listening to stories I know well. It’s wonderfully stress-free and calming. TRY IT.

(FYI: You can ditch step 1 after you become a more experienced listener.)

2. Start with 1x playback speed, and then increase it

I usually listen to the first few chapters of a new book on 1x speed, which is the original recording speed. It often sounds suuuuuuper sloooooow to me. But starting slow helps me better follow the setup at the beginning. 

I’ll say it again, the beginning is the most brain-popping part of the story because nothing is familiar, and your mind is working overtime to make sense of it all. Give your sweet self some grace, and start with 1x speed.

After I get my bearings in the book, I up the speed, listening at 1.4 to 1.6x.

After I get my bearings in the book, I up the speed, listening at 1.4 to 1.6x. You should increase it, too. Know why? Here’s why:

  • You’ll move through the story faster, which’ll decrease the likelihood that you get bored and quit.
  • The slow cadence of the narration won’t put you to sleep. (It happens!)

Some people can listen at up to 2x or faster. But beware: Increase the speed too much, and you increase your chances of losing the narrative thread. (All it takes is one distracted minute, and you’re totally lost.)

Bonus: Upping the speed reduces the total time it takes to listen to the book. Top-quality audiobook players will automatically recalculate the playback time when you change the speed.

3. Allow yourself to focus on those first few chapters

Once again: The beginning is the part of the book that requires the most effort on your part. Give the book a fair chance to grab your attention. Do this by reducing background “noise” during this critical part of the story.

I love listening to audiobooks when I’m doing chores or driving. Every now and then, though, I realize that a brand-new recipe I’m cooking or the unfamiliar streets that I’m driving have overtaken all my mental faculties, and I’ve stopped listening to the book altogether. 

So, I try to START a new audiobook when I’m doing something mindless and can give the story my (nearly) undivided attention. I know that this has made the difference between me loving vs. abandoning an audiobook.

Doo-dads that’ll help you to get started with audiobooks

For some people, the best way to listen to an audiobook is with wireless earbuds. I never understood why anyone would buy wireless earbuds until I got a pair (these ones). They are insanely convenient. The sound is literally inside my ear, so I never have to worry about missing a syllable, and I don’t have to physically carry my phone around with me as long as I stay within range.

Don’t forget that you can play your audiobook through Amazon Alexa, Echo, or whatever smart home device you use. That way, the narration fills the air around you and gives you that fantastic feeling of being “totally immersed” in the book.

When you’ve got to stop your audiobook over and over again (because life is too loud, or your phone is charging) it can be hard to sink into the story. Wireless earbuds and smart home devices help reduce stops, which can go a long way toward your listening satisfaction.

You may also want to have a hard copy of the book on hand. This helps in two ways:

  1. You can make notes and highlight passages you don’t want to forget. (Most audiobook players support bookmarking, but it’s not super-helpful IMO.)
  2. You can visually see the book’s organization and skim (or skip) chapters you’re not interested in. I do this with nonfiction.
  3. You can read the print copy when you’re not listening and finish the book faster. This helps with really long audiobooks.

After you’re comfortably settled into the audiobook, listen however you want

Once you’re rolling with your audiobook, these three rules no longer apply. You’re free! 

Up the playback speed to 3.0 if you want. Listen wherever and however you please. Find your own happy place in audio heaven.

(By the way, here are a few sweet spots online where you can listen to audiobooks for free.)

That brings me to one last (important) question…

What to DO while listening to an audiobook?

I love to be productive, so I often listen to audiobooks while I’m folding laundry, doing dishes, watering the garden, cooking dinner, or performing any manner of chore-like action.

When I worked outside the house, I listened on my commute. Road trips. Even your daily run or walk is perfect listening time. Audiobooks can add a lot of joy to mundane activities and routines.

But—secretly—I adore listening to an audiobook while also doing something totally unproductive and relaxing.

I love to listen to an audiobook while knitting. Or crocheting. The rhythmic motion of my hands with the flow of the narrator’s voice…oh, baby, oh. 

What’s your favorite handsy hobby? Here are a few calm, quiet things you can do while listening to an audiobook:

  • Puzzles
  • Coloring
  • Needlepoint
  • Card-making
  • Scrapbooking
  • Paint by number
  • Beading
  • Sketching

If you’re more of an outdoorsy gal, then there’s always gardening or a good ol’ fashioned walk in the park with your dog.

Or go for pure, unadulterated R&R: Listen while you sink into a bubble bath or soak your feet in some scented Epsom salt.

Don’t underestimate how good reading books can be for your mental and spiritual health.

Congrats! Now you know how to get started with audiobooks—the “right” way. 😉

Now, YOU tell me. How do you feel about audiobooks? What’s your best advice for an awesome listening experience? Were you an audio-hater once upon a time?

Need a book rec?

Here’s my list of compulsively readable books to start your audio journey.