In this article we will describe the main varieties of crochet hooks, their specific features, size measurement systems, and choice of hooks for certain types and thicknesses of yarn.
Crochet hook is a single tool which looks like a rod with or without a handle with a hook (head) at one end which is used to grab yarn and pull it through the fabric. The overall length of the tool is usually 13-15 cm.
The head of the hook is the main element. The size of the head predetermines the size of crochets formed and, consequently, thickness and density of fabric. The head should have a good recess which will allow grabbing yarn properly. Low-quality crochet hooks often have improper heads with no or very small recess. This causes the yarn to slip off which makes it difficult or impossible to form a stitch.
Both the head and the working part of the rod (up to the handle) must be polished properly and must not have any scores, bulges or any other defects.
The crochet hook handle is the part of the tool where your hand rests during crochet. Sometimes there is no handle and it is just a part of the rod. But crochet hooks with handles are considered to be more comfortable to use. Handles are made of different materials and have different shapes to make long crocheting as comfortable as possible for the crocheter. These are usually slip-proof, nice to the touch materials. The curve of the handle may fit the curve of your hand when crocheting. Crochet hooks of this kind are known as ergonomic crochet hooks.
Crochet Hook Size Measurement Systems
It is very important to know the size of the crochet hook head because it is the properly selected correlation between its size and the yarn thickness that allows obtaining fabric of proper quality. A too small crochet hook used for thick yarn will provide non-elastic rough fabric. It will be hard to crochet as you will have difficulties picking stitches with the crochet hook and pulling the yarn through them. At the same time, a thick crochet hook used for this yarn will provide unsteady loose fabric. In this case, patterns may look very messy or sometimes indiscernible at all.
There are several needle measurement systems which originated in different countries: metric, English, American, Chinese and Japanese systems. Nowadays, measurements in the metric system and the system used in the manufacturer’s country are usually indicated on the crochet hook handle and on the package. Below is a conversion table for different measurement systems:
When yarn is bought in skeins, the recommended size of the crochet hook suitable for the yarn is always indicated on the label. It should be remembered that each crocheter has her own specific manner and crochet density and may need a different crochet hook size.
If the recommended crochet hook size is not specified on the yarn skein, you can use the following table:
If you do not know the thickness of your yarn (meterage in 100 g), it is recommended to use a crochet hook which is twice thicker than the yarn.
In any case, we strongly recommend you to make small swatches before you start knitting the main article in order to determine the most appropriate size of the crochet hook. Start with a tool of the recommended size specified on the yarn label and replace it with a smaller or bigger one if required. You will see how the fabric will change and how the pattern will look. Moreover, the swatch will help you perform necessary calculations for the article. And when you wash the swatch, you will see how the yarn behaves after washing. More information about swatches is provided in the following articles on the website.
Materials Crochet Hooks Are Made of
At present, crochet hooks are made of various materials, both of natural and synthetic origin. The materials are the same as those used for making knitting needles. We have already described the materials in detail in the article (LINK to the article about knitting needles)
We have listed the main aspects you need to know when choosing a new crochet hook. The range of available tools is quite wide and you are sure to find ones that will become your favorites.
Have a nice trip to the world of knitting