Crocheting is a fun activity that is perfect for people of all ages. It allows you to work with your hands, participate in a craft, and make some beautiful pieces once completed. Different from knitting, crocheting is a practiced art that can turn simple yarn and wool into blankets, clothing, hats, and scarfs.
If you are just starting out crocheting or have decided to take on a new project, you may have some questions related to crochet hook sizing. Below, let’s take a closer look at how crochet hooks are sized so that you can better understand the right crochet hook sizes for your next project.
History Of Crochet
Crocheting is a delicate craft that has been around for hundreds of years. Practicing crocheting is a popular pastime for many people. The art of crochet involves intricately weaving different textiles and materials together. To do this, the crocheter will create intricate stitches that connect to one another. The available crochet patterns are endless, and people will often crochet sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, or blankets.
While weaving textiles and threads have been in existence since at least the 10th century, crocheting is relatively new. The first written instructions for crocheting appeared around the 18040s.
The first pattern detailed a simple chain and single stitch, which is still the foundation of crocheting today. As time progressed, crocheting patterns and stitches became more intricate and detailed. Around the 1890s, crocheting lace became incredibly popular with the onset of Queen Victorian and her love of lace.
Many people often confuse crocheting with knitting. While these are both art forms that work with yarn and textiles, the two arts are very different. Knitting will often use two needles to create the stitch, while crocheting will just use one crochet hook. Additionally, each stitch in crocheting is completed before the next stitch is started.
The stitches will then add onto one another, forming the pattern. Alternatively, knitting requires the crater to put together a row of nearly complete stitches at once, creating an entire row of completed stitches with one final swoop. Crocheting and knitting are both able to achieve similar projects like sweaters, blankets, and hats.
Typically, crochet hooks will be listed with a size on the package and on the hook itself. This size may be listed as a letter, a number, or as a dimension listed in mm. All three nomenclature techniques are common and rather interchangeable.
The typical size for many people just starting in the hobby ranges between an E and a J. The higher the letter is in the alphabet, the larger the hook will be. For example, a size C hook will be smaller than a J. The corresponding number range for a good beginner hook may be between a 5 and an 8.
The larger the number on the hook, the smaller the hook head will be. A crochet hook conversion chart can be handy when trying to switch between nomenclature. The below crochet hook conversion chart is handy to understand the various sizing measurements.
Next, consider the type of material the crochet hook will be made of. Usually, crochet hooks will come in a plastic or aluminum finish. This finishing material is really a matter of preference, as one hook material is not necessarily better than the other. Many beginners choose an aluminum hook as their first set of crochet hooks, but plastic is just as good.
Lastly, the crochet hook may have a measurement on it that describes the throat. The hook throat is the part of the hook that traps the yarn, preparing for your next stitch. These can either be a tapered throat or an inline hook throat. Again, this really comes down to preference as one type is not better than the other. It’s a good idea for new crocheters to test out both types of throat hooks to determine what style they like best.
One of the biggest factors for choosing the right crochet hook size will be determining the type of yarn you will use for your next crocheting project. Yarn weight can play a large role in the type of crochet hook you will use.
Many crafters choose to use crochet thread to crochet their projects. If you are using thread, you will need to find a hook that allows you to make a very small needle. Often, crochet hooks that are meant to be used with thread will be smaller and will be steel hook. These hooks will usually be in the 14 to 12 gauge range. The smaller hook allows you to create tighter stitches which help you make a smoother, final project.
Generally, thread-weight yarn can be used to make baby blankets or sock-weight material projects. These yarn weights might be noted as a 1, 2, or 3 weight. Most crafters will like to use a crochet hook gauge that ranges from a B to a G size to accommodate the thin yarn better. A steel crochet hook is preferred for working with these thinner weights.
One of the most common weights you will find readily at the craft store is a medium-weight yarn. These yarns can be made of several different materials ranging from wool to acrylic, to bamboo silk. Medium-weight yarns are versatile and can be used for many crafts, including sweaters, hats, gloves, and blankets.
Typically, when using a medium-weight yarn, the yarn will be noted as a size 3 or 4. This yarn usually uses a medium hook in an I, J, or K hook size. Choosing the right hook size will depend on the yarn’s material and your personal preference. An I, J, or K crochet hook gauge correspond to a 9-10.5 hook size.
Thicker yarns have their purpose in the crocheting world. Not only are they perfect for making cozy sweaters or blankets, but they allow a crafter to work through their project much faster. Each stitch is larger because the yarn is thicker.
It follows then that a larger hook is needed to work with the thicker yarn. Usually, bulky weight yarn is listed as a 5 or a 6. This yarn is super thick or fluffy and usually has several individual strands of thread woven together to create such a thick yarn.
To accommodate the yarn’s larger size, crocheters will have to use a thicker gauge crochet hook. Typically, crafters will want to find a crochet hook that ranges from a K to a P/Q size. The corresponding number to look for when purchasing a large hook is between a 10.5 to 15 size. This size will accommodate bulky, thick, and chunky yarns for crafts.
Lastly, there are jumbo-weight yarns available. These yarns are the thickest weight possible and are used in a variety of specialty crafts. Jumbo weight yarns are denoted with a 7. These yarns are perfect for crafting big bulky blankets or even rugs.
When working with jumbo yarn, it is important to consider the length of the crochet hook. Because the yarn is so thick, it takes up a considerable amount of needle room. Be sure to find a long enough needle to work with the type of project and stitch you intend to make.
The crochet hook gauge to use when working for a jumbo weight yarn should be between a P/Q and a Y. This is the largest type of hook available. The metric sizing that corresponds to this size needle is anything larger than 15 mm.
As the craft and art of crocheting evolve, several new hooks are on the market. Crochet hooks have advanced past the standard aluminum hooks sold at the craft store, and many crocheters are starting to work their way into niche crocheting markets.
Like other crochet hooks, these hooks also come in a range of sizes, making them versatile and scalable, allowing you to work with several yarns and materials to complete your project.
Tunisian Crochet Hook
This niche market for crochet hooks has brought about a different type of crocheter. This type of crocheting uses a slightly different stitch that requires the hook to be longer than the normal crochet hook. These hooks will be longer and will often look like they have a thread or a cable that connects the head of one hook to another.
Many long-time crochet crafters will like to purchase a bamboo hook eventually. These solid wood hooks are smooth, light, and easy to work with. The bamboo hook comes in the same gauge swatch as other hooks, allowing you to choose the recommended hook size for your particular project or pattern you are working on completing.
These hooks are smooth and ergonomic and get better with age. The softwood absorbs some natural oils from your hands as you work, making this an ideal and completely customized hook that is comfortable to work with, especially for large projects or patterns.
Sometimes working with fine yarn or dark-colored yarn is taxing and difficult to see. It can be difficult to see the stitch you are working on, making the pattern difficult to complete. Some specialty crochet hooks now offer a lighted hook variety.
This type of crochet hook allows the crocheter to have a convenient light right inside the hook. Having an available light can make it easier to perform complicated stitches on dark or extremely fine yarn or thread.
When it comes to crocheting, many crafters have their preferred brands and models. One brand that is repeatedly recognized as a leading manufacturer is Boye. This brand makes comfortable, easy-to-use hooks that crafters gravitate toward.
You can buy just a single Boye hook or purchase a Boye crochet hook set. Be sure when purchasing a Boye hook that you buy the right size for your working pattern. These crochet hooks can be expensive compared to others, so be sure you are making a smart purchase.
Recently, a newly popular option for creating large blankets that do not use crochet hooks at all. This type of project involves using extremely jumbo-weight yarn. Because the yarn is so large and thick, a traditional crochet hook will not hold the yarn together.
The popular option is to simply use your hands to create the intricate stitches required to piece the yarn together. This technique is a fun, alternative way to still crochet without needing many supplies or materials at all. Plus, hand crocheting is fast and easy, and many projects can be completed in just a few hours.
When it comes to crocheting, you have plenty of options. Choosing the right yarn and crochet hook can be overwhelming, especially considering the vast amount of projects and patterns you can complete. Luckily, our team has put together a list of the most frequently asked questions about crochet hook sizes so that you can find the right size crochet hook for your next project.
What are crochet hooks made of?
Crochet hooks are versatile tools that can be made of several materials. Crafters can purchase crochet hooks from the store made of plastic or aluminum. These are the most common type of materials found, and these materials are often recommended for beginners just getting into the craft. Aluminum and plastic crochet hooks are cheap, readily available, and sturdy.
There are also special materials that can be used to make crochet hooks. These can include wood, bamboo, or even glass. Some crocheters prefer the feel of a wooden or glass hook, but these do come with a cost. Often, there are fewer options for the crochet hook size, and these are more expensive than traditional aluminum or plastic hooks.
What is a crochet hook?
A crochet hook is a tool that is used to create a crocheted project. A crochet hook is a tool that is thin, long, and narrow. The tool can be made of aluminum or wood and has a small hook located at one end. The hook ranges in size and is used to grab and hold the yarn as a crocheter works to complete a crochet pattern.
A crochet hook is a versatile, affordable, and necessary part of learning to crochet. Many crocheters will have a range of crochet hooks in several sizes to allow them to complete many projects with different thicknesses and yarn weights.
What is a tapered crochet hook?
A tapered crochet hook is a common type of crochet hook. Compared to an inline crochet hook, a tapered crochet hook has a taper to it, making the hook part of the crochet hook thinner than the hook’s handle.
This type of hook is no better or worse than alternative hooks and really just comes down to a matter of preference. Some people find a tapered crochet hook easier to work with compared to the inline alternative.
Does the size of the crochet hook matter?
Yes! The size of the crochet hook matters significantly. The hook is the top part of the crochet hook that is used to pull and hold yarn for different patterns and projects. The hook size should depend on the thickness and weight of the yarn you are using. If you are using a thicker yarn, you will want a bigger hook size. Thinner yarn demands you use a smaller hook size.
If you are using too small of a crochet hook with thick yarn, you may experience difficulty pulling the entire thickness of yarn through stitches, making the yarn split and fray. This flaw will significantly impact the final outcome of your project.
Alternatively, using too big of a crochet hook for a project that uses thin yarn can make the stitches appear too large and clumsy. This flaw can make your crochet pattern appear too loose and untidy. It is always important to use a crochet hook size that matches the yarn you are working with.
Can you use a different size crochet hook?
Using a different size crochet hook for projects is actually encouraged! While using readily available, mid-weight yarn for your projects is easy and comfortable, it is not the only material available for you to create beautiful pieces of art. Consider using a range of yarn weights to complete your projects.
This diversity will not only give you a nice range of projects to complete but will help grow your skills. Often, working with thread-weight yarn can be more tedious and requires more intricate stitches. Alternatively, using thicker or heavier-weight yarn can allow you to complete the larger projects more quickly.
Mixing up the size of the crochet hook you regularly use will allow you to expand your ability.
What is an inline crochet hook?
An inline crochet hook is a type of hook that has the hook part of the tool “inline” with the handle. This style makes a streamlined look to your crochet hook. The alternative option to an inline hook is a tapered crochet hook.
This type of hook is more narrow toward the hook and gets thicker toward the part of the hook you hold. Both an inline and a tapered hook are commonly used for a range of crocheting projects. One type of hook is not better or worse than the other, and the difference really comes down to preference.
How do you know what size crochet hook to use?
When it comes time to start a new project, you will need to decide what type of yarn to use. Often, a specific crochet pattern will indicate the best weights to use. The yarns may range from a simple light-weight or fine yarn to a chunky and bulky yarn type.
The type of yarn you use to complete your project will largely dictate the crochet hook’s size to use. Larger and bulkier yarn will require a larger crochet hook. Finer and thinner yarn will require a smaller hook.
Be sure to check both the crochet pattern and the yarn label to give you an idea of the crochet hook size to use for your particular product. Using an incorrect size can not only lead to frustration but can damage your final product with loose stitches or frayed yarn.