Recently, I received a lot of questions about how I do this and that, about the gauge, the yarn, the hooks … a lot of technical questions. So I decided I will start with a new crochet journey. This time with a Crochet Lessons series. One lesson per week (I hope). We will talk about everything and start with hooks, then yarn, basic stitches, how to read patterns and how to make them. Crocheting is an endless long topic. At least for us crocheters, right?
I won’t waste any of our precious time and I will start right now!
For starters, you will need two items: a yarn of your choice and a crochet hook. With these two simple tools, you can create almost everything.
Today we will talk about crochet hooks. A crochet hook as some people call it crochet needle (I prefer first) is a tool with a hook at one end. Why? It is used to draw the yarn through the loops.
If you are familiar with knitting, you know you need two needles to knit. But don’t go to your local yarn shop and buy two same crochet hooks! You need just one. Well, not just one. Maybe two, three or whole bunch of them. Crocheting is an addiction, believe me!
1) Crochet Hook Anatomy
A crochet hook is divided into 6 sections as seen on the picture.
2) Materials and Handles
Crochet hooks are available in various sizes and materials. Steel crochet hooks are small and are often used to crochet intricate items, such as lace doilies, with fine yarn or cotton. Larger crochet hooks are usually made from lightweight materials such as plastic, aluminum or wood.
Some hooks are made with wooden or plastic handles. Material from which the crochet hook is made should not affect the size of your final work. But it may affect your enjoyment of the process.
3) Hook Size
Like I said before, you can buy crochet hooks in different sizes. The diameter of the hook shaft determines the size of the hook and the size of the stitches the hook will make. Hooks can be sold by letters (US), numbers (UK) or millimeters. There are many manufacturers of hooks, and it is very possible that two hooks with the same number or letter can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer (that’s why the gauge is so important).
4) Hook Appearance
Although most crochet hooks are similar in length (approximately 6 inches) and appearance. In this variety of crochet hooks, you can also find a bit longer crochet hooks. We use them for Tunisian crochet (more about Tunisian crocheting soon). In my opinion, Tunisian crochet is more similar to knitting than crocheting. That’s why the length there is so useful.
There are two basic hook types. Inline and not in line or tapered. Their names refer to shape of the head and throat. For example, some hooks are more rounded while others are pointier. There is no rule which is better. It is a matter of personal preference. You can experiment with different brands to find the crochet hooks you prefer.
5) How To Hold A Crochet Hook
First off grab the crochet hook with your dominant hand. Your dominant hand is the hand that you hold your pen with when you write. There are two ways to hold the crochet hook. You can try both positions to determine which one suits you best.
The most popular method is to hold the crochet hook as if you were holding a pencil. Hold the crochet hook in your hand as if you were holding a pencil. Your thumb and index finger hold the flat section (thumb grip) of the crochet hook as seen on the picture.
You can also hold the crochet hook as if you were holding a knife. Your thumb, index finger, and middle finger hold the flat section of the crochet hook. Your other fingers can also help support the crochet hook.
The pencil method is maybe a bit more elegant but it can be a bit clumsy when you crochet very fast. Crochet hooks are not specifically for right or left-handed people, either one can use them.
In my opinion…
I own a set of aluminum crochet hooks. I bought them when I first started a few years ago. The price was very low, somewhere around 7 US dollars for the whole pack. I wasn’t willing to pay a lot for them at that point because I didn’t know if I will like crocheting or not. Now I am so used to them that I would not change them for anything. Cheap and great quality.
I also own two hooks with handles. I think the handle is great for smaller hooks 3 mm and less because they are so thin that your fingers sometimes hurt. But for bigger hooks, I personally do not need a handle. My hook stash is small. I always wanted to have a set of wooden crochet hooks, I think the pictures for blog and patterns would be gorgeous with them. Maybe someday. Hope so. Most of the time I use my 3,5 mm hook (E/4 hook) and I hold it as a knife.