14 Free Crochet Hat Patterns: Crochet Beanie Hats, Crochet Cap Patterns, and More
Crochet Hook Sizes: Choosing the Right Hook Size
Learn how to find the best hook type and size for any project.
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For many, crochet is quite a relaxing and stress-free hobby-- once you know what you're doing. But learning how to crochet can be somewhat overwhelming at first. Before you even get started crocheting, there are a number of different things you should learn including how to select the right yarn, how to determine crochet hook sizes, and how to read crochet patterns.
Once you've learned the basics of crochet hooks and are ready to put your skills to the test, you can check out this collection of beginner crochet patterns, but first, take some time to learn everything you need to know about crochet hook sizes and more here. First, we will share a downloadable crochet hook size conversion (and thread crochet hooks) chart, which will help you every time you are starting a crochet project.
After the chart, we will go over the details of hook sizes; what the numbers and letters mean, when to go bigger or smaller, and other important information. The next section includes the most common crochet hook types, from steel to wood, with an explanation and image for each. Once you have learned all about crochet hooks, you will need to know how to choose one. We go over that in our last section, so be sure to take a look before heading off to crochet.
PLUS! Check out our video below on types of crochet sizes and hooks, and then scroll down to learn about the different types of hooks, the different sizes of each, and when you should be using which hook.
Table of Contents
Crochet Hook Sizes
|Crochet Hook Conversion Chart|
Crochet hook sizes vary based on the material, brand, and country that the hook was produced in. You can usually find crochet needle sizes directly on your crochet hook. There will either be a number or a letter, sometimes both.
The number represents the diameter of the shaft (in millimeters), which is the part of the hook between the point and the handle. The size of the shaft is what determines how large your stitches will be. Crochet hooks made and sold in the USA use a lettering system for their sizes. The letters represent crochet hook sizes from smallest to largest ("B" is usually the smallest and "Q" is the largest). As the letter gets further into the alphabet, the hook gets larger.
As you can see from the chart, the hook size will vary from place to place, so it is important to know the conversions. Once you do, you'll be all set to complete a crochet pattern from another country.
If you find that your crochet stitches are too loose, then go down a hook size. A general rule of thumb is that your yarn and hook should somewhat correspond with each other. For example, smaller yarn uses a smaller hook and a larger hook is used for bulky yarn.
Steel hooks are also known as "thread hooks" and should only be used for fine lace thread. They come in numbered sizes that get larger as the number gets smaller. These crochet hooks vary in size from the 0.6 mm thickness of the size 14 to the 3 mm thickness of the size 00. You can find the conversion for thread hooks in the chart below.
Hopefully your crochet hooks are all labeled with their size, but what do you do when they are not? Or what if the number wears off? Don't worry! This helpful guide has three different ways to determine the size of an unmarked crochet hook. What Size is My Crochet Hook? How to Measure a Crochet Hook
Crochet Hook Sizes Conversion Chart (click to download hi-res version)
Types of Crochet Hooks
When it comes to the best crochet hooks, it really depends on what you're crocheting and your personal preference (based on your hand shape and movements). Most people call these crochet hooks while others call them crochet needles. Whichever you prefer, there are several different types. Let's go over crochet hooks:
- Steel: These crochet hook sizes (the right column) are the smallest hook sizes are usually reserved for fine thread crocheting, such as doilies.
- Aluminum: The most "generic" hook choice. Aluminum crochet hooks are available in a large range of sizes and is popular (especially for beginners) because the yarn glides smoothly.
- Plastic: Popular choice and cost-effective. these are available in all sizes (even jumbo!).
- Bamboo: Lightweight and warm in the hand; these crochet needles are available in all sizes except the smallest and jumbo sizes.
- Wood: Besides bamboo, other wood is used to make crochet hooks as well. Wood can be in the standard shape or made with curves to be economic. Sometimes the wood is even colored to make the hook even more distinctive.
- Tunisian: Also called a cro hook, these are longer than regular hooks and sometimes have a hook on the end. Like a knitting needle, you keep your stitches on a Tunisian crochet hook as you work. Tunisian crochet is also called afghan crochet.
- Ergonomic: Designed to reduce the strain in your hands as you crochet, these hooks usually have larger soft handles or handles you can insert a regular hook into.
- The Knook: A long crochet hook with a hole running through one end. You thread a piece of yarn through the hole in the knook needle, and you can create stitches that look like knitting.
It might be easy to guess that, yes, crochet hook size does matter. However, hook size is definitely more important in certain types of patterns than others. Learn why and when the size of crochet hooks is important in this useful article. Solved: Does Crochet Hook Size Matter?
Choosing the Right Size Crochet Hook
On most yarn you buy, the suggested hook size should be right on the label, as well as an estimated number of stitches per inch (or 4 inches). Before you begin a crochet pattern, we suggest you crochet a swatch with the stitch pattern you are going to use for your project, wash your yarn, let it dry, and then measure your stitches. This is especially helpful when you are crocheting an item in which size matters, such as a sweater or skirt.
Here are some resources to further help you decide which crochet hook you should use:
- The Best Crochet Hook for Beginners - This page provides beginners lots of information and factors to consider before purchasing their first hook.
- 6 Best Crochet Hooks to Use + Crochet Patterns by Size - Learn about hook sizes and browse patterns that can be worked up using each.
- Types of Crochet Hooks - Even though we went over the basics on this page, our Types of Crochet Hooks page has even more information and insight about them.
- What Can I Make with "G" and "H" Crochet Hook Sizes - These are two of the most popular hook sizes, which is why this page focuses on patterns that work with G and H.
- Patterns by Crochet Hook Sizes - Find more free crochet patterns that focus on matching the hook with the pattern. It's so helpful to look through patterns for the hooks you have.
Learn every stitch you'll need to know with our page full of tutorials: 20+ Basic Crochet Stitches + Beginner Crochet Classes Online
Check out this guide on Choosing the Best Yarn for Crochet Projects!
Note: This project is from I Like Crochet digital magazine. Non-members can access 3 free patterns every month. Subscribe to the I Like Crochet Gold Club for unlimited access to their entire pattern archive, featuring hundreds of exclusive patterns.
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