Hello and welcome to Learn to Crochet with RTC, Getting Started Session Two: All about Crochet hooks, Needles and Notions!
There are many different types of crochet hooks. And much like walking into the yarn aisle unprepared, the crochet hook aisle can be just as daunting! Crochet hooks vary in the material used to make them, shape, length, and size. These styles and sizes suit different types of yarn and gauge.
So how do you know which one to use?
Crochet hooks are classified by size, and depending on what part of the world you find yourself in they may be called by a number, letter or measurement in millimetres. They are typically five to eight inches long.
The front crochet hook in the photo above, for example is a 4 mm crochet hook but can also be called an G” or be given the number “6”. Confusing? Yes! Having a Crochet Hook Conversion Chart is always handy. For this reason, I have created one for you that you may download for free here:
This chart will provide a comparison of some of the more common crochet hooks used for yarn.
There are a few different types of materials that crochet hooks are made up of:
Steel Crochet Hooks:
Steel crochet hooks are often your smallest set of crochet hooks. They are typically used for finer threads and lace work. They range in size from 0.6 mm to 3.5mm.
Aluminum or plastic Crochet Hooks:
Aluminum crochet hooks are more commonly used today and are used for your thicker yarns and fibres. They range in size from 2.25 mm to 30 mm. To see a list of the more common sizes, please see the Crochet Hook Conversion Chart Above.
Wooden Crochet Hooks:
Wooded crochet hooks, while not as prevalent as aluminum or plastic crochet hooks, can still be a pleasure to use. In fact they are my favourite! They can be hand or machine carved and fashioned from a variety of different types of wood such as bamboo, rosewood and birch (my favourite are the rosewood and birch!). They may have intricate designers carved into their bases, can be lightweight and warm to the touch. One thing to be aware of is the finish of the hook. You will want to look for one with a smooth finish so that it does not snag your wood. Sometimes I find that they get smoother with time.
Afghan or Tunisian Crochet Hooks:
Afghan or Tunisian Crochet hooks are used for a particular style of crochet called Tunisian. These hooks come in the same range of sizes as the aluminum hooks, but are much longer than a standard crochet hook (sometimes they may have a long “tail” with a knob on the end). They are longer because whereas in simple crochet you work with only one stitch on your hook, in Tunisian you work with multiple loops and stitches at the same time (much like in knitting). You need the extra length I. The hook to accommodate the stitches.
Ergonomic Crochet Hooks:
Ergonomic crochet hooks are hooks that are built for comfort. They will have a larger handle that can be decorative or simply more or a padded handle. They may have a grove in the handle to help improve your grip. They come in a range of sizes from your 0.6mm to the largest. In recent years it has become popular to make your own ergonomic handles out of polymer clay, affixing it around a lesser expensive aluminum hook.
Which material works best for you? Don’t be afraid to try a few out! Head to a yarn shop and take some for a test run. Look for recommendations online or at your local crochet circle. What’s important is that you find one that it comfortable for you.
How do you know which size of hook you need?
The crochet pattern or yarn label can lead you in the right direction. Under the tools section you may see something like “Hook: Size H/8 (5 mm). Adjust hook size if necessary to obtain correct gauge.” If so, simply find a crochet hook with the same description. In a later post you will learn how to check to make sure you have the same gauge, don’t worry!
Here is a comparison of the size difference between a 1.0 mm and a 10 mm crochet hook:
Sometimes the yarn label is helpful in letting you know which size of crochet hook you should choose. On the yarn label, look for the symbol that looks like the one on this label with a little crochet hook in a box:
The bottom little box on this ball of yarn showing the crochet hook tells us that we need a 5.5 mm or I/9 crochet hook.
As for the other materials or notions you may see with your pattern, they may include some seen below:
Stitch Markers (shown in the above photo as the red, green, black and blue rings):
Stitch markers are used to mark particular stitches in a project. They may be used to mark the first stitch if you are Crocheting in a round. Or they may be used to mark a stitch that you will need to return to at a later point in the pattern. When selecting your stitch markers, select ones as shown which have an opening on them for inserting and removing them from the stitch. You may come across stitch markers that are enclosed circles, these are used for knitting.
Yarn needles typically have a more dull point and are larger than a sewing needle. This will be used to finish off your project and weave in any loose ends.
You will want a pair of scissors that are able to cut yarn cleanly. I prefer them I be of the smaller variety to that I can clip the ends the yarn closer to the project.
This will be helpful in determining if you have the correct gauge (again more to come on that soon!), or if your pattern asks you to crochet to a certain length.
Buttons, Pom Poms, safety eyes, ribbon etc.:
These are fun accessories that you can add to your finished projects! Here don’t be afraid to let your personal styles and loves shine through! The blue plastic gadget shown in the above picture is a Pom Pom maker, but there are many diy tutorials out there too!
Now that you have an idea of the kinds of materials you will need for your project, I look forward to diving into some basic guidelines, stitches and techniques with you!
See you soon!