Whenever you start learning a new skill, there are a lot of different elements you need to wrap your head around. Crochet is no different.
Crochet is a complex skill and it will take time to understand all the different elements involved in mastering it.
However, taking some time to read up on the subject will speed up that process. So, you have done the right thing by opening up this article.
While we can’t help you become a crochet expert overnight, we can make you an expert in crochet hooks by the time you finish this article.
Crochet hooks come in various sizes. How do you choose the size that fits your project?
Crochet hooks come in different sizes. The smallest crochet hook has a diameter of2.00 mm and the largest has a diameter of 20 mm – and even bigger!
Most crocheters prefer using larger hooks for bigger projects because they allow them to create bigger stitches. Crochet hooks also vary in length from 7 inches (18 cm) and upwards.
Choosing the correct crochet hook size is important. If you don’t get the right size, you won’t be able to achieve the desired look or texture.
This article provides a handy guide to crochet hook sizes. It will help you select the best crochet hook for your crochet style and the projects you are working on.
Let’s start by looking at the crochet hook itself.
A Guide To Crochet Hook Sizes
In this section, we will talk you through what crochet hooks are, what sizes they come in, and how to work out which ones you should be using for which project.
What Is A Crochet Hook?
Let’s start with the basics. A crochet hook is the main tool needed to crochet. It is held in the dominant hand and it is used to manipulate the yarn.
If you are looking to do more than one crochet project then you are going to need multiple crochet hooks. You will find you get the best value for money by buying the hooks in a set, rather than individually.
Crochet hooks come in many different sizes, lengths, and materials.
The material your crochet hook is made from doesn’t matter – you can choose whichever one sounds more appealing to you. You could pick wood, plastic, or metal.
The same goes for the lengths of the hook, if you have some mobility issues, then you might want to consider investing in some longer crochet hooks, as they are easier on the joints in the arm.
TIP – getting a hook case for your hooks will make storing, organizing, and finding your crochet hooks easier.
What Sizes Do Crochet Hooks Come In?
Crochet hooks come in a range of sizes.
They start at 2.00 mm and traditionally go up to 20.00 mm. However, some craft companies make gigantic crochet hooks that are even bigger. We once saw a 50.00 crochet hook. It was very heavy.
You can also get lace (steel or thread) hooks that are used to make patterned lace. The biggest lace hooks are 2.00 mm and they go all the way down to 0.30 mm.
How Can I Tell What Size Hook To Use?
There is a lot of misleading leading information out there about picking the right crochet hook for a project. However, there are only three elements that will affect which hook you should be using for a project.
What will not affect the size of hook you need to use is the size of your hand. We see this talk about a lot.
If you have large hands, you may want to get a longer hook, the idea that people with bigger hands should be using bigger hooks is nonsense.
The only thing the size of the hook affects is the size of the stitches – so if you want to make a close-knit jumper, then whether you have big hands, small hands, or average sized hands you will want to use the same size hook.
The three elements that will affect the size of hook you want to use are –
- The pattern you are using recommends a size – when you are a beginner, you will be working from patterns for most of your projects. The easiest thing to do as a beginner is to follow the recommendation of the pattern. If the pattern does not have a hook recommendation, message the person who wrote the pattern and ask them.
- Adjust based on a gauge – when you first pick out a pattern, we recommend making a 6 by 6 square using the stitch to see if you like how it looks. If the stitches are too loose or too tight, then you can change the size of the hook to work with that information.
- The size of the yarn – most packets of yarn come with a recommended hook size to use with it. It is also worth noting that if you use thicker yarn than the pattern recommends you might have to use a different size hook.
TIP – Remember that you are making the projects for you, not the person who designed the pattern, so if you want it to look slightly different, you can make changes.
How Do Crochet Hook Sizes Work?
When you pick up a pattern, the first thing you need to work out is what country the pattern was written for. A good pattern will tell you.
If you’re making clothes this is particularly important because clothes sizes differ around the world.
However, it is also worth noting this because crochet hook sizes also differ around the world. A D/3 hook in America would be known as a 10 hook in the UK, or even as a 3.25mm hook elsewhere.
It is the size of the shaft that determines the size of the hook. The shaft is the area between the thumb area part, the handle, and the hook.
It is worth noting that there is no standard sizing when it comes to crochet hooks, so the exact sizes will vary from brand to brand.
TIP – use the same hook for the whole project, if you swap to a different brand of hooks then the project may end up uneven or lopsided.
In America, letters are generally used to denote sizes – i.e A-G. In Canada and the UK, numbers are generally used – i.e 1-14.
And Australia and New Zealand typically use the Metric Sizes – i.e 2.00 – 20.00 mm.
This is not always the case, last time we were in the UK, we picked up a set of hooks that were labeled with the metric sizes.
So, just pick the system which makes the most sense for you and is easiest for you to get hold of.
General Crochet Size Rules
The general rule of thumb is that the bigger the yarn the bigger the crochet hook you will need to use.
Also, if you want the stitches in your project to be bigger, looser, or “chunky” then you will want to use bigger hooks.
Steel crochet hooks should not be confused with steel lace hooks. These are much finer than crochet hooks and are used to create fine patterned lace.
Here is a quick guide to pairing your yard and thread with a hook:
0 (Lace Crochet, Thread) – B/1
1 (Super Fine) – C/2, D/3
2 (Fine) – E/4, F/5
3 (Light, Light Worsted) – G/6, H/8
4 (Medium, Worsted) – I/9, J/10, K/10.5
5 (Bulky) – L/11, M/13
6 (Super Bulky Yarn Weight) – N/15
A Quick Guide To Size Conversion
As we mentioned above, most countries have a different way to name the sizes of their crochet hooks.
America uses letters, Canada uses numbers, and Australia uses the metric system. You can find a conversion table below to help you out.
It is worth noting that even within a country, sizes can range from brand to brand. Two hooks might say that they are the same size, but turn out to be completely different when you make a gauge using them.
Table Version Of The Size Guide
This table is based on the data put together by the Crafts Council – an arts charity based in the UK.
|15.75 / 16 mm||Q||–|
Steel Hooks – Are They Different Sizes To Traditional Hooks?
If you are new to the world of crochet then you might be wondering what the difference between steel hooks and metal hooks is.
Simply put, metal hooks are crochet hooks that are made from metal. Whereas, steel hooks (also known as lace hooks or thread hooks) are used for making pattern lace.
Steel hooks are a lot smaller than traditional crochet hooks, and you won’t be able to use them for most crochet projects.
The biggest steel hookers are 00 hooks and the smallest hooks are 12s.
Lace Hook Size Guide
In the US, lace (or thread) hook sizes are denoted using numbers. The bigger the number, the smaller the hook. These hooks go down to REALLY small sizes.
How Do I Know What Size Hook To Use?
Before we leave you, let’s take a look at how you should pick a crochet hook for your new project.
Some crocheters make their own designs, this will be beyond most beginners – instead, we recommend that you stick to using patterns until you understand more about crochet.
Most patterns will suggest a hook size for you to use. The person who has designed the pattern will most likely have experimented with different sized hooks until they found the stitch size that looks the best.
Once you have picked out the hook recommended by the pattern, it is recommended that you make a sample patch called a gauge.
This will allow you to see how the stitches look. You can then change the size of the hook if you do not think this looks right.
We recommend that you make a 6 stitch by 6 stitch gauge, or a 4 inch by 4-inch gauge for larger yarn.
Most patterns have a gauge size for you to test against, if your gauge is too small then move one hook size up. If it is too big then move one hook size down.
You do not want to change your hook once you have started the pattern, so it will be worth taking the time to get everything right at the beginning.
Crochet And Crochet Hooks – The Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The First Hook I Should Buy?
You will be much better off buying a collection of hooks as a beginner rather than a single hook. It is better value for money and you will be able to adapt your pattern if you need to.
How Does Hook Size Affect Crochet?
The size of the crochet hook has a direct effect on the size of the stitches you will produce.
A small hook will allow the yarn to be knitted together more tightly. A bigger hook has the opposite effect.
How Does Yarn Affect The Size Of Crochet?
A large yarn used on a small hook will create very tight stitches with very little flexibility. This can work well for toys but not so well for clothes.
Generally, thicker yarn will create a bigger gauge.
What Size Crochet Hook For 4ply Wool?
We have found that 2.50 mm or 3.00 mm hooks work best when working with 4ply wool. This is the most common type of wool in the US.
However, the size of hook you need will depend on the pattern and the size of the stitches you want to create.
What Is The Most Common Crochet Hook Size?
The most common crochet hook for patterns is the 5.00 mm hook – the G/H hook in American sizes. It pairs well with 4pyl wool but creates enough space for you to be able to see the shape of the stitches you create.
Where Is The Best Place To Find Patterns?
We recommend looking for patterns online. There are so many options – both free and paid for.
You will be able to easily search for the exact type of pattern you need.
Why Do Some People Charge For Crochet Patterns?
It can take a long time to put a crochet pattern together.
It involves lots of experimenting and hours of making the sample products. As well as, taking a lot of time to write up the pattern.
Some people charge for their patterns to be compensated for the time they spent making the pattern.
Can I Make A Crochet Pattern Using A Thread Hook?
Thread hooks (lace hooks or steel hooks) are generally too small to use for a crochet pattern. They are also mostly too small to work with wool.
They may create stitches that are too tight and snap your wool.
What Is The Best Color Of Wool To Use?
The color of wool you use for a pattern will depend on what you are trying to make and how you want it to look.
That being said, light colors are easier for beginners to work with.
What Is The Worst Color Of Wool To Use?
As we mentioned in the question above, the color you will use will depend on the project.
However, dark colors are really hard to work with, even for intermediate crocheters. We recommend staying away from black and dark blue until you are more confident.
Should I Buy A Metal Crochet Hook?
The material that your hook is made of doesn’t affect anything other than how the hook feels in your hand.
We personally like to use metal and wooden crochet hooks. They feel nicer than plastic.
What Should I Do If My Hook Has No Size Label?
You can check with the people you brought the hook from.
Or you can get a gauge measuring tool. This tool has a series of holes that will allow you to measure hook sizes.
Or you can get out your ruler and physically measure the hook.
How To Tell If My Hook Is Too Big?
Make sure to make a gauge swatch before you start making the pattern.
If the gauge is bigger than expected the hook is too big. If the gauge is smaller than expected then it is too small.
If the stitches are too tight then the hook is probably too small for the wool.
How Do You Know What Hook Is Right For The Pattern?
Every pattern will tell you what size of hook and thickness of wool you should be using to get the desired results.