Congratulations on taking your first step into the wonderful world of crochet! Learning to crochet opens a world of great opportunities for you—you'll have the ability to create beautiful crocheted pieces, gifts for others, items you can sell, and so much more! Crochet is also a great therapy for anxiety and helps relieve stress too!
It's crazy to think that such a simple, non-mechanical tool is capable of creating out of yarn—beautiful crochet pieces. Even though the crochet hook may look like a very simple tool, if you look closely you'll find that it actually has five different sections, each with it's own specific purpose.
Crochet hooks come in many different sizes and made out of different materials. Determining which hook to use depends on the type of yarn you'll be using, desired stitch size, and your personal preference. Once you familiarize yourself with crochet hook basics, you'll have already started a solid base to begin your crochet journey! Click on the picture to download and print!
Common crochet hooks generally measure five to seven inches in length.
The head of your hook lays aligned with the body of the hook and is referred to as in-line. When the head is not aligned with the body, this is referred to as non-inline.
The throat (or groove) guides and catches the yarn as you pull the yarn through the loop of your stitches. Crochet hooks that are more tapered help prevent yarn snagging or fraying. Less tapered hooks are useful when you are having issues with dropping stitches or popping your hook out of your work.
Hooks are shaped differently depending on the manufacturer. I don't like recommending a certain brand of crochet hook because it really is a personal preference. However, I will recommend trying different brands until you find the hook that works best for you.
You'll find that some hooks have a point on the very top of the hook which helps you insert the hook into crochet fabrics. Other hooks have a wide head which prevents your yarn loop from slipping off.
Thumb Grip (or Pad)
This area is optional and a matter of personal preference. This section is for gripping your thumb and middle finger or index finger. You'll also find the hook size printed on this area as well.
This is the main portion of the hook that's held by the crocheter.
Hooks are created from an abundance of different materials. Some of the common materials used are: metal, plastic, bamboo, & wood. The smallest hooks are made of steel and plastic. Metal hooks allow your yarn to move smoothly over the hook; enabling the yarn to move freely.
With wood and bamboo hooks, they provide some friction which is great when you're working with slippery yarns.
The diameter of the hook's shaft determines the hook's size. Smaller hooks are used with very thin yarns and crochet threads. Using a small hook creates smaller stitches. Large hooks are used with thicker and bulkier yarns, making large stitches.
The smaller the stitch, the tighter (more close together) you stitches will be. The bigger the stitch, the looser (farther apart) your stitches will be.
TIP: If your stitches are too tight, use a crochet hook that's the next size up. If your stitches are too loose, use a hook that's the next size down. You can tell if your stitches are too tight if you're not able to easily slip your hook the stitches you've made.
It's beneficial to get in the habit checking the label on your yarn. Most yarn brands will list the suggest crochet hook size for that specific yarn. In most cases, patterns should also include the hook size.
It's important to remember that matching the gauge to a pattern holds higher priority than the recommended hook size of the specific yarn.
You'll often come across yarn labels that list the needle size, but not the hook size. In this case, go with a hook that's either the same size as the needle or go slightly larger.
Below you'll find two charts—one for U.S. measurements and one for U.K. measurements.
The U.S. and U.K. have different measuring units and are labeled differently. Hopefully with the growing interest of standardizing sizes by using metric measurements. Click on the charts—download and print.
As you can see, choosing the right crochet hook for yourself not only makes crocheting more comfortable and easier—it also helps with creating beautiful crochet pieces!