If you’re just learning how to crochet, choosing a crochet hook can be overwhelming. There are various crochet hook sizes and types and styles. It’s really about finding the set that works best for you. But until you’ve worked with crochet hooks for awhile, you won’t know which you prefer. That’s why it’s a great idea to get a set for beginners when first starting out.
Most sets for beginners have a range in sizes that will work for most basic patterns. The crochet needles will go from small to larger sizes, and each work with different weights of yarn. Just like when you’re choosing a knitting needle size, the size crochet hook you use will determine your gauge.
When you learn to crochet, having a hook size chart and a yarn weight chart is recommended. These tools will help you determine what you’ll need for your projects. This guide will provide these tools and offer an extensive knowledge on everything you need to know about the different types of crochet hooks.
Types of Crochet Hooks
There are several different types of crochet hooks, all made from different materials. This subtle difference can really change the outcome of your work and your comfort level.
There are even two types of hook throats. Inline and tapered. Inline crochet hooks has a deeper hook and the thumb grip is higher up. Tapered is more of a smooth straight hook with a thumb grip lower down. You can find both options in most materials. No one type of hook or throat is better than the other. It’s all about personal preference.
Here’s a list to get you familiar with the different types of hooks and to help you discover which is right for you.
Aluminum – Aluminum crochet hooks are one of the most popular choices for beginners. Their smooth surface makes it easy to slide stitches on and off the hook. You can find these in craft stores and online for a very reasonable price.
Bamboo & Wood – Wooden crochet hooks are soft and warm in feel. They’re comfortable to hold and can oftentimes mould to your hand. The only downside to these hooks is that they do not come in all sizes. While you can find most of the standard sizes in wood or bamboo, you won’t be able to find the jumbo or tiny hook sizes.
Ergonomic – Ergonomic crochet hooks are the easiest to hold and are recommended for people with Arthritis and other hand conditions. It reduces the stress on your hand from the repetitive movements of crochet. You don’t have to have a hand condition to use these. These hooks are a good preventative measure to take and to care for your hands.
Knook – This is a special tool. It has a hook on one end and a hole drilling through the other. By inserting your yarn through the hole, you can form knit like stitches. If you’re trying to mimic knit fabric without the time and effort knitting takes, this is a great option. There are a lot of good tutorials online if you can’t figure out how to use the knook.
Light Up – These crochet hooks are great if you have a hard time seeing or work late at night. Lighted crochet hooks are also a great option for travelling. They have little lights installed in the hook when makes the hook glow. It’s easier to see and work with this added light and a lot of people grow to love these.
Plastic – Plastic hooks, like aluminum are very affordable. You can find these most places and they come in all sizes. Whatever project you’re working on, you can find a plastic hook to match. They often come in fun colors and have a decent grip. They’re pretty durable for plastic too.
Steel – Steel hooks are used for detail work and lacework. Steel crochet hook sizes typically run small for this reason. They’re easy to hold onto and delicate enough for small work. If you have the patience to do lace crochet and make doilies, these are the hooks you should look for.
Tunisian – Tunisian crochet is a crossover between knitting and crochet. Like the knook, Tunisian crochet can create knit like fabric if you work certain stitches. A Tunisian crochet hook looks like a mix between a knitting needle and a crochet hook. It’s long like a needle and has a hook at the top. You work multiple stitches onto the long part of the hook like you would in knitting. This is a really fun technique, and if you’re interested in trying it, pick up a Tunisian hook first.
Now that we’ve gone over the various materials and types of crochet hooks, let’s talk about sizing.
Crochet hook sizes can be complicated because there are different types of measurements. Sizes can be measured in letters (U.S) or millimeters (metric) and even numbers (U.K.).
The most standard size hook for crochet for beginners is an H-8 5.00mm. This size comes in almost every beginner set out there.
Crochet hook sizes aren’t standardized. That means that if your pattern calls for a size J, and you use a size J from a different crochet brand, your pattern could turn out wrong. Frustrating, right? That’s why the one method you should rely on is metric measurements. This is based on an actual form of measurement so you can guarantee your patterns will turn out properly.
Most US hooks include the letter, number and metric measurement all in one such as I mentioned before. H (letter) 8 (number) 5.00mm (metric).
To help with conversions between measurement styles, here’s a chart explaining the US, UK and Metric measurements and how the sizes correlate.
While this chart will help you figure out which size to use for your pattern, it’s always a good idea to do a gauge square. If your square is smaller than what the pattern calls for, size up a hook or vice versa, down a size if your square is too large.
Gauge is also dependant on your yarn weight. Each hook size has a yarn weight that pairs perfectly. Once you’re more experienced, you can play around with mixing yarn weight and hook size. You can get some fun results for doing this. But to start out, it’s best to stick with the yarn weight the pattern and hook size called for.
To help you figure this out here’s a really detailed chart pairing up hooks with their appropriate yarns.