The Different Types of Crochet Hooks
When learning to crochet, it’s always best to start out with a solid understanding of the tools you’ll need to successfully take on this craft. Crochet hooks can come in an array of sizes and materials, while also having plenty of different styles to choose from. Below, we’ve created a guide to help you better understand the world of crochet hooks and help you pick the right one for your first project.
Tapered hook vs. In-line hook
A crochet hook has a long slender handle with a hook at one end that helps pull yarn through loops and form crochet stitches. The stitches then pass from the throat of the hook onto the shaft. While all hooks have the same basic anatomy, there are subtle differences in shaping that can alter the way that yarn passes along the hook and how the hook navigates the stitches. The head of the hook can be either rounded or pointed; a rounded head can be ideal when working with a plied yarn that might be prone to splitting, whereas a pointed head can work well when you are crocheting a very dense fabric. Some hooks can also have different throats, which isthe part of the crochet hook just below the top of the actual hook. This can be either an in-line throat or a tapered throat. An in-line hook has more of a rigid decrease which tends to have a snug hold on the yarn, a tapered throat is smoother and allows the yarn to slip off more easily. Typically, a tapered hook is easier for a beginner to use as the yarn doesn’t slip off your hook as easily this means a tapered hook is also great to use when working with a finer weight yarn. While tapered hooks are suggested for beginners this doesn’t mean a beginner shouldn’t use an in-line hook, it’s always best to use whichever hook you feel most comfortable with.
Find tapered and in-line crochet hooks here.
Crochet Hook Materials
Wooden Crochet Hooks
Wooden crochet hooks can be more expensive than metal or plastic hooks however, wooden crochet hooks are the smoothest crochet hooks and havea natural warmth to them. A cheaper alternative to traditional wooden crochet hooks is bamboo crochet hooks. These crochet hooks are lightweight and smooth while still having enough texture to prevent the yarn from slipping off your hook too easily. For these reasons bamboo crochet hooks are great for those just starting to crochet.
Find wooden crochet hooks here.
Metal Crochet Hooks
Metal crochet hooks are the smoothest crochet hooks out there, the yarn easily glides on and off the hook making for quick crocheting. With such glide to the yarn when crocheting with a metal crochet hook you will most often see more experienced crocheters use these hooks which much ease and comfort. However, beginners should not be intimidated by these crochet hooks as in some cases a beginner may find the smoothness makes it easier for them to achieve proper tension if they find themselves crocheting too tight. Most crochet hooks are made with aluminum and tend to be lightweight, although not as light as bamboo crochet hooks. In some cases, you will find smaller crochet hooks, reserved for thread crochet, are made of steel.
Find metal crochet hooks here.
Plastic Crochet Hooks
The most inexpensive type of crochet hooks, plastic crochet hooks are great for those just starting to crochet. They are the most lightweight type of crochet hook to start out with and have a slight texture to them, so they are not as smooth as metal crochet hooks. This lightweight crochet hook is great for working on large projects in bulky yarns as the hook barely adds any weight to your growing project and makes it easier to manipulate your stitches.
Find plastic crochet hooks here.
Standard vs. Ergonomic Crochet Hooks
While crocheting can be a therapeutic hobby there is no denying that the same repetitive movements which bring such joy can also introduce hand fatigue. For those experiencing hand fatigue when crocheting or have chronic pain and are prone to repetitive strain injuries, an ergonomic crochet hook might be helpful in alleviating any discomfort or pain you are experiencing. Ergonomic crochet hooks can be bought in all three types of crochet hooks discussed above with either a tapered or in-line throat. Alternatively, you can turn your favorite hook into an ergonomic one. Grips are great for those crocheters out there who can’t bear to part with their favorite crochet hook as you can easily place these grips over existing hooks.
Find ergonomic crochet hooks here.
Different Crochet Hooks for Different Types of Projects
This type of crochet is different enough from traditional crochet as it requires a specific Tunisian crochet hook. Tunisian crochet is often referred to as Afghan crochet, this type of crochet requires an elongated crochet hook with a stopper on the end. Tunisian crochet combines crochet and knitting skills and creates wonderfully textured stitches resulting in dense and plush fabric, often mistaken as knitting.
Find Tunisian crochet hooks here.
This type of crochet work involves the use of a very large crochet hook, a large plastic crochet hook works just fine for broomstick lace crochet. Broomstick lace sometimes referred as jiffy lace or peacock eye crochet is a style of lace crochet from the 19th century. This type of lace crochet makes use of a larger sized crochet hookor dowel to create large eyelet motifs throughout your stitches, resulting in stunning lace crochet work.
Find broomstick crochet hooks here.
Crochet Hook Sizes
Your crochet hook size is determined by the yarn you are using, the gauge you want to achieve, and the type of stitch pattern you are working. All patterns and yarns will suggest the crochet hook size you will need to make a project or work with a specific yarn. This suggestion from both the pattern and yarn itself is a guide to help you obtain proper gauge. Gauge is the amount of crochet stitches you need to make per inch. This ensures that your tension is correct when making a project so that your finished project looks as intended. You can find yarn gauge and recommended crochet hook size on a yarn page or on a yarn’s label. These can be represented as symbols like the ones down below.
Find crochet hooks in a number of sizes here here.
Different Ways to Hold Your Crochet Hook
If you’re looking to learn to crochet it can be useful to understand the two most common ways of holding your crochet hook. Neither is better than the other, however, it is helpful to know that there are different ways to hold your hook because it can help you feel more comfortable when crocheting.
As the name implies the pencil grip method of holding your hook is like how you would hold a pencil in your dominant hand. With the crochet hook facing you, your index finger and thumb will grip the hook while the rest of your fingers act as a support.
The knife grip is like holding a knife when cutting your food. With the crochet hook facing you, your middle finger and thumb will grip the shaft of the hook while you place your index finger along the top.
The best thing to do when starting to crochet is to try both ways of holding your crochet hook so you can choose the grip that’s most comfortable for you. Often you will also find it easier to work new stitches if you simply adjust or change how you are holding your hook. The same can be done if you are experiencing fatigue or discomfort in your hands while crocheting. Check out our video tutorial below as we show you the two different ways to hold your crochet hook.