A beginner to the world of crocheting may feel overwhelmed when shopping for a crochet hook to start with. Hooks come in a vast assortment of sizes and lengths, as well as many different materials such as steel, bamboo and alloys. Each sized hook lends itself to certain projects and experience levels pairing up with certain ply's of fibre. For example, a larger hook such as size J and a thicker-type chunky yarn is good for beginners who want to see big results quickly. The smaller steel crochet hooks are sized to match up with thinner crochet threads for tension and texture differences in working delicate projects. One cannot be without the other. Most crochet crafters keep a crochet-hook chart handy to refer to when needed. It is important to note that crochet hook sizes can vary depending upon the country, the pattern's age, and the manufacturer.
Size 00 to 16 steel crochet hooks and thread for delicate projects
Thread crochet hooks are made from steel, are tiny in size, and are used in conjunction with thinner crochet thread, which also comes in different sizes to accommodate fillet crochet texture and tension differences. Steel thread crochet hooks range in size from 00 to 16. Steel crochet hooks are charted in their range of sizes, for example, Size 00 is 3.5mm; size 0 = 3.25mm; 1 = 2.75mm; 2 = 2.25mm; 3 = 2.1mm; 4 = 2.0mm; 5 = 1.9mm; 6 = 1.8mm; 7 = 1.65mm; 8 = 1.5mm; 9 = 1.4mm; 10 = 1.3mm; 11 = 1.1mm; 12 = 1.0mm; 13 = 0.85mm; 14 = 0.75mm; and 16 = 0.60mm.
Crocheting a delicate piece of lace for a collar in thread crochet calls for a thinner thread and extremely tiny hook. Hook sizes are designed to match up to certain thread sizes depending on how tiny and delicate the crocheter wants the stitches. Mercerised threads such as #100, #80, #60, #40, #20, and #10 range from smaller ply to larger, respectively. These threads are thinner than yarns and play an important role in textures when using them for delicate projects such as doilies, edgings, potholders, shawls, appliques, and more.
B/1 to S crochet hooks and yarn for larger projects
The larger yarn crochet hooks range in size from B/1 to S/19 and are categorised in universal metric measurements, as well as in their range of sizes. From smallest to largest are: B-1 = 2.25mm; C-2 = 2.75mm; D-3 = 3.25mm; E-4 = 3.5 mm; F-5 = 3.75mm; G-6 = 4 mm; 7 = 4.5mm; H-8 = 5 mm; I-9 = 5.5 mm; J-10 = 6mm; K-10 1/2 = 6.5 mm; L-11 = 7mm; M-12 = 8mm; N-13 = 9mm; P-15 = 10mm; Q = 16mm; and S = 19mm.
The larger-sized crochet hooks along with yarn create a heavier and more varied range of textures, when making larger projects such as scarves, afghans, sweaters, and hats. Often, many of these type projects can be completed in a weekend.
Crochet hook sizes and conversion charts
Although a particular hook size is important for the type of project, a crocheter's stitch tension (tight or loose) usually determines how a project will turn out. This is why crochet patterns most often state "check your gauge." Crochet hook conversion charts show both the U.S. and U.K. (United Kingdom) sizes of hooks, which differ from each other. Crochet hook charts may show metric measurements and not inch measurements and vice versa. To convert to inches, multiply millimetres by 0.03937. To convert to millimetres, multiply inches by 25.4. Both U.S. and U.K. crochet hooks usually show the sizes and metric measurements in the middle flat area of the hook on one side and the manufacturer's name on the other. As a side note, vintage crochet hooks are valuable collector's items in today's market.
Crochet hook materials
Modern crochet hooks are manufactured from bamboo, bone, or wood, which are lighter in weight than the aluminium or steel vintage hooks used in the past. For crafters with arthritis, choosing a crochet hook by make is important, since a lighter bamboo hook may be easier to hold and work with than hooks made with alloys.