Feb 13, 2015

About Crochet Hooks

Have you every wondered why there are so many different types of crochet hook.  They come in a variety of styles and sizes, each of which have their specific purposes.  While some people have their preference of material when it comes to crochet hooks, I come from the school of though where every material has it's place.

What kind of crochet hook should I use?
In this post I am going to answer some of the most common questions
I see around the internet about crochet hooks.

I have a little bit of everything when it comes to crochet hooks and if you crochet with different types of fibers, it is a good I idea for you to also have different types of crochet hooks as well.  Today I am going to cover everything you have always wanted to know about crochet hooks.

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Some of this is standard information and some of this comes from my personal experiences using different materials and shapes in my own crochet art.

First I will talk about materials then I will move into the different shapes of crochet hooks.  Finally I will give size references based on the weight of the yarn.

If you have ever asked yourself, "Which crochet hook should I use for this project?"  I am here to answer that question.


What are the Different Materials Used to Make Crochet Hooks?


There are four main materials used to make crochet hooks though these are not the only materials that can be used to make a crochet hook.  People that make their own use a variety of woods and such, I am just covering the primary materials used in creating a crochet hook.

Steel

Steel crochet hooks are typically used for thread and come in smaller sizes.  I use these to create projects like bookmarks and doilies.

Anything that you would like to be thin and light weight should be crocheted in thread with a steal hook. Because of the metal, the thread moves and glides freely on these hooks.

Steel crochet hooks are great for thread and other
small gauges of yarn or string.

Aluminum

Aluminum crochet hooks come in larger sizes and they allow for fast crocheting because the yarn glides freely on these hooks.

For most materials this is ideal but if you feel you are dropping stitches because your yarn fibers are very slippery (such as a silk blend) you may want to try one of the other options I mention next.

Aluminum is a great choice for most projects.

Plastic

Plastic comes in just about every standard size as well as jumbo hooks.  My size Q hook is made from hollow plastic to keep it light weight.

These hooks do not always allow the yarn to move smoothly and sometimes you may here a squeak when working with this material.  If that bothers you, I suggest staying away from plastic.

I personally enjoy this sound as I work and sometimes I want a hook where my yarn does not move around all crazy.

Plastic always has it's place and can help if you feel as though you keep dropping stitches from your crochet hook.  My biggest problem with plastic is that it breaks and bends easily so I would not recommend if for tighter stitches.  These hooks are typically acrylic or luxite depending on the brand and manufacturer.

Plastic is a great choice for slippery yarn
but can break easily under high amounts
of tension and force.

Bamboo

This is one of my favorite materials to use while I crochet.

Wood is not as hard as aluminum or plastic so it feels nice in my hands and helps with stiffness and cramping.  You can also use a fine grit sandpaper to adjust the hook to your liking.

If you want something that grips the yarn you can rough it up a little and if you want something that glides, buffing this type of material with a really fine sandpaper can make that possible.

  I use my bamboo hooks often and love the way my yarn moves on them.  It's the perfect amount of grip and glide.    

Bamboo is my favorite material of hook
to use while I crochet.  It just feels
good in the hands.


Hook Shape:  Pointy Hooks Vs. Inline or Flat Hooks


When it comes to crochet hooks their are two basic types.  I will refer to them as pointy hooks and flat hooks, though they may have some other name.  When I refer to hooks as pointy or flat, I am referring to the shape of the hooked part itself.  It is easier for me to show you the difference rather than try to put that into words.

Information on crochet hook types.
Though these hooks are made of different materials, they
also demonstrate the two basic types of hook that
can be seen on crochet hooks.

I personally enjoy using a flat hook rather than a pointy hook but this feature is completely a matter of personal presence.  I have heard the same complaints for both hooks so it depends on your crochet style.  I find that a flat hook is less likely to snag yarn then pointy hooks but I have asked so many other crochet artists and designers what they think on the subject.  It's always a 50/50 split on what hook people prefer.  If you are new to crochet I recommend buying one of each and then deciding from there what works best for you.  I started with pointy hooks but now when I buy hooks I make sure they are flat.  If I am crocheting with wool a flat hook is almost a necessity.  If I am crocheting with a cotton yarn it really doesn't matter which type of hook I use because that type of yarn is less likely to snag while I work.

What are Really Long Crochet Hooks Used For?


There are also long crochet hooks that resemble a knitting needle but instead of having a pointy tip, they have a hook just like shorter crochet hooks.  This is because these crochet hooks are used for a style known as Tunisian crochet.  This method involves keeping multiple stitches on a hook and working back and forth in a fashion similar to knitting.  The end result is a solid fabric that has a texture all it's own. Tunisian crochet can be a lot of fun and can be used for a variety of projects.  I like using it to make dish/wash clothes and other projects that require a nice solid fabric.

Tunisian crochet hooks looks similar to knitting
needles but with a hook on one of the ends
and a stopper on the other.

What Size Crochet Hook Should I Use For My Yarn?


This chart can help as a guide to which crochet hook you should use to start your project.  Always remember that when you crochet items such as garments, gauge is extremely important and should be checked.  Always create a gauge swatch to figure out exactly which hook to use when you are crocheting different patterns.  It only takes a little bit of time to create this swatch and it will save you so much time later on when you are finishing your project.

Yarn Weight  0 1 2 3 4 5 6
Also Known As or AKA Fingering, 10-count crochet thread Sock, Fingering, Baby Sport, Baby DK, Light Worsted Worsted, Afghan, Aran Chunky, Craft, Rug Bulky, Roving
Recommended Hook Sizes (metric) Steel 1.6-
1.4 mm
2.25-
3.5 mm
3.5-
4.5 mm
4.5-
5.5 mm
5.5-
6.5 mm
6.5-
9 mm
9 mm and up
Recommended Hook Sizes
(U.S.)
Steel 6, 7,
8 or B-1
B-1 to
E-4
E-4 to
7
7 to
I-9
I-9 to
K-10 1/2
K-10 1/2
to M-13
M-13 and up
I hope this clears up any questions you may have had about crochet hooks.  If you have any other questions or personal experiences to share please leave them in the comments.  I love to hear from you and I am on stand by to answer all of your crochet hook questions.

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1 comment:

  1. I have some of the bamboo ones and have never used them. I prefer the aluminum ones.

    ReplyDelete