Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Crochet hooks

This post is about the different types of hooks that are available and to explain a little bit about them:

 


When I first started crocheting I didn’t know what differences there were between different hooks or how to choose which hook I needed for a project. My first hook was a 5mm aluminium hook that came free with a magazine. I don’t use it very often but it’s still special because it was my first one :-)

You can get all kind of crochet hooks: steel, aluminium, acrylic (which usually come in an amazing range of colours sometimes with glitter inside them), plastic, wooden, bamboo. Most crocheters seem to have a favourite material they like their hooks to be made out of. It all depends on what is most comfortable and fastest for you.  

For me, bamboo and wooden hooks are wonderful are my favourite because they are so warm and gentle on my hands but when I travel I love my aluminium or plastic hooks that can be easily cleaned.
  

Despite all of the different materials used to make hooks there are just two main types of crochet hooks: inline and tapered. The head of an inline hook lines up perfectly with the main shaft of the hook whereas a tapered hook gradually slopes to be thinner at the head of the hook and the head stands out a little at the end and does not line up with the main shaft.
Often, inline and tapered hooks are referred to by the brand names: Bates and Boye. Bates hooks are inline and Boye hooks are tapered (the red hook in the photo above is a Boye).

A good investment if you’re just starting out with crochet is a set of hooks. The first set of hooks I bought were bamboo.

 
There are lots of websites where you can buy bamboo hooks ranging from small to really big, jumbo hooks for a good price. In general I like bamboo hooks but you have to be careful to choose well made hooks because some bamboo hooks have the tendency to snag a little on yarn which can really annoying after a while. If this happens to you, my trick is to use a nail buffer to gently smooth out any ridges.

My other set of hooks are KnitPro symphonie:


These are my favorite hooks because they are so smooth and work well with any kind of yarn. Another great thing about these hooks is that they are adaptable so that they can be used for Tunisian crochet – the silver bit at the bottom of the hooks is where you can attach the cable needed for Tunisian patterns.
Steel hooks are the tiny hooks which are sometimes nearly as thin as a needle (some are sharp like a needle too!) and they are used for delicate projects with very fine yarns. 


There are guidelines for which hook to use depending on the type of yarn you want to use:
Yarn Weight              Metric Hook Size                   US Hook Size
0 – Lace                     Steel                                      Steel
1 – Super fine             2 to 3.5mm                           B -1 to E-4
2 – Fine                     3.5mm to 4.5 mm                  E4 to 7
3 – Light                    4.5 to 5.5 mm                       7 to I -9
4 – Medium                5.5 to 6.5 mm                       I-9 to K-10
5 – Bulky                   6.5mm to 9mm                      K-10 1/2 to M-13
6 – Super Bulky         9mm upwards                      M-13 upwards

However, these are only guidelines and you can create really great effects using different combinations of yarn and hooks. For example, I love using 4 ply sock yarn (classed as yarn weight 1 Super Fine) with a much bigger hook (5 – 5.5mm) to create and open work, lacy piece.
One other important thing to point out is that there are two main sizing systems used with hooks. Nowadays most hooks come with both the metric and US sizes embossed on the side but if you find one with just one number/letter written on it, you can use this chart to convert the size:
 
Metric Size
US Size
    0.75
       14 steel
    0.85   
       13 steel
    1.00
       12 steel
    1.1
       11 steel
    1.3
       10 steel
    1.4
       9 steel
    1.5
       8 steel
    1.65
       7 steel
    1.75
       6 steel
    1.9
       5 steel
    2.0
       4 steel
    2.1 
       3 steel
    2.25
       2 steel B/1
    2.5
       C/2
    3.0 
       D/3
    3.5
       E/4
    3.75
       F/5
    4.0
       F/5 G/6
    4.5
       7
    5
       H/8
    5.5
       I/9
    6.0
       J/10
    6.5
       K/10.5
    7.0
       K/10.5
    8.0
       L/11
    9.0
       M,N/13
    10.0
       N,P/15

I hope this post has inspired you to pick up your hooks! Happy crocheting :-)

4 comments:

  1. GRACIAS POR TU VISITA.
    QUE BUENAS ESAS AGUJAS!!!!!
    LAS BLANCAS SON GORDITAS Y LINDAS-
    SALUDITOS

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your post was informative, find the right hook is the most important for a beginner crocheter. A few years ago when I had crochet hook in my hands at the first time, I choosed a tiny steel hook and I gave it up. I didn't want to make laces and thought crocheting is just about laces. Then the last year I saw a cute hat pattern and needed an E hook for that. So I bought one. That was the turning point, since then I can't stop crochetig! I made hats for the whole family, amirgurumis, shawls, pillowcase, coasters, purses and lot of other stuffs and started to write patterns :) So addictive!
    Knit Pro hooks look fantastic. In Hungary they are very expensive, their price is twice as much as other brands :(

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Elisabeth, thank you for joining my blog, it's always lovely to 'meet' a fellow addict :)

    Thanks for this post too... really interesting and informative, especially the UK/US conversion list which I can never keep in my head :)

    Most of my crochet is worked in DK yarn, so I tend to use a 4mm hook the most, although this week I've been using a 3mm one and I must say it feels really nice in my hand. I'd love to try a Knit-Pro hook too, for no other reason than that they are so pretty :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Aren't we crocheters crazy about our hooks!!.. I too posted on my blog the moment I received my bunch a while back. I really loved the patterned one on your post. Well my favorite is 4mm so far for yarn and 2mm for thread.

    Lovely post. Thanks for joining my blog. I'm returning the favor :)
    Evu - amateurcrafts.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking time to leave a comment! I love reading every single one - they really make my day :) I try to answer each and every comment by email or on your blog.

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