Crochet is a technique to make garments and accessories by using a needle with a hook at the end to form and weave loops in a thread. It sounds complicated, but crocheting should be easy and fun! Depending on your creativity, you can make a project from scarves to hats and animals to blankets and flowers to jewellery. There’s a never-ending list of things you can make and you won’t stop thinking of new projects once you’ve gotten the hang of it. But the challenge for beginners is always how to get started.

The great news about crocheting is that you don’t need fancy equipment or a massive toolkit to get stared. Basically all you need is a pattern, your crochet yarn and your crochet hook. The pattern will usually suggest which yarn to use and your crochet hook will be based on the weight of the yarn you use. The weight of the yarn refers to its bulkiness, meaning how thick or thin the strand of yarn is. The general rule of thumb is that the bulkier your yarn, the larger the hook.

When it comes to your hooks, they come in different sizes and shapes. Some have thicker handles and some thinner. The weight varies too. They can be made from different materials such as aluminum, plastic and wood. Based on your preference, you can use whatever material of hook you want. The hook size, however, will determine the tightness and size of your pattern. On most yarn you buy, the suggested hook size should be right on the label. Depending on your needs and preferred outcome, you can also change the hook size of a pattern.

Before we delve further into hook sizes, let’s get an overview of the different kinds of hooks to better aid us in choosing the right hook and size. Crochet hooks are usually separated into two categories- yarn hooks and steel hooks. Steel hooks are also commonly known as thread hooks.

Yarn hooks are usually made of aluminum, plastic or even wood.  They are used for regular yarn from super fine to super bulky. Thread hooks are made of steel and are most commonly used for lace weight thread.  These hooks are for the smallest sizes and are they are generally much smaller than yarn hooks.

As you can see, the hooks can be made from different kind of materials. Steel hooks are usually reserved for fine thread crocheting like doilies, while aluminum hooks are the most generic kinds of hook to use and they are available in a large range of sizes. It’s a popular choice because the yarn glides smoothly and quickly. Plastic hooks are the most cost-effective, however. The only downside is that they are not as durable and they can easily break. Bamboo hooks are lightweight and warm in the hand; these are available in all sizes except the smallest and jumbo sizes. Tunisian hooks are longer than regular hooks, and sometimes have a hook on each end – which are also called a cro hook. Ergonomic hooks are 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 is 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, but with a single crochet hook rather than with knitting needles.

Now that you’ve learned the basics about the different types of crochet hooks, we can proceed to the hook sizes and the considerations you need to take when changing them. Crochet hook sizes haven’t been standardized yet so they vary based on the material, brand, and country that the hook was produced in. The size of a crochet hook is determined by the diameter of the shaft, or the part of the hook between the point and the handle. The shaft determines how large your stitches will be. You can usually find the hook size directly on your crochet hook or the metric diameter on the thumb grip. If it isn’t there, you can use a hook gauge and measure around the shank.

The reason why steel hooks are also known as thread hooks is because it should only be used for fine lace thread. They come in numbered sizes that get larger as the number gets smaller. The sizes vary from the 0.6 mm thickness of the size 14 to the 3 mm thickness of the size 00. On the other hand, yarn hooks increase in size as the letter/number increases. They size from 2.25 mm thickness of the size B-1 to 19mm thickness of the size S. Crochet hooks made and sold in the USA use a lettering system for their sizes. As the letter gets further into the alphabet, the hook gets larger.

Once you’ve started a crochet project, be sure to keep using the same crochet hook you started with. Using multiple sizes or similar sizes from different manufacturers could alter how your project would look. If your crochet work is consistently too tight, or too loose, try crocheting with hooks made by a different manufacturer to see what effect they may have on your work. You can also try different hook sizes as well. If you find that your crochet stitches are too loose, then go down a hook size.

Some experts say that using a hook that is too small can slow down your project while using a hook that is too large doesn’t affect your speed much. However if you’re using a hook that is gigantic, you may not be able to finish your project at all. At any rate, you’re more likely to finish your work faster with the hooks you use most often and pairing it correctly with the appropriate yarn weight.

So when you’re thinking of changing the hook size of the pattern you chose, keep in mind the considerations above and your project will be just fine.