The good news about crochet is that all you need is your yarn and your crochet hook to get started. While there are several types of yarn available in the market, what type you need really depends on your project. As for hooks, they are dependent on the weight or the thickness of the yarn you are going to use for the project you have in mind.
Since different projects and different patterns will require different hook sizes and yarn weight or fibers, in essence, there is really no straightforward answer to what kind of hook size is best for beginners. It is best that you just simply learn more about the different options that you have, so you can reach to a conclusion on what size is best for you given the project you have in mind.
Different Kinds of Hooks
There are generally two kinds of hooks – the tapered hook or the inline hook. Tapered hooks are shaped with a strong narrowing from the shaft to the head, while inline hooks have a more geometric appearance.
Most beginners prefer using the inline hook, as it does not allow the yarn loop to become smaller when pulled up against the hook’s throat. Additionally, inline hooks have been noted to help beginners keep the loops they create in a consistent size – making tension easier to master and stitching a whole lot easier. However, this is purely all about preference and it is up to you to try both kinds to find one that is really best for you.
Different Materials for Hooks
Just as there are different types of hooks, there are also different kinds of materials being used to make them.
The first type of hook is the steel hook. Advanced crocheters usually use this type of hook, as it is intended for projects like doilies that make use of very fine thread. Another type of hook is made of aluminum, which is the most popular hook choice for both beginners and advanced crocheters. They are mass-produced and are available in a large range of sizes, which is good no matter what kind of project you want to complete.
Another material commonly used is plastic, which is generally cheaper than the aluminum ones. If you don’t want to invest in an aluminum hook while you are just starting, you can opt for this kind. Bamboo is also another option for you, as it is very lightweight, airport-friendly and available in most sizes too. There is also one type called the ergonomic hook, which is designed to reduce the strain in your hands while you crochet. Ergonomic hooks have larger and softer handles than regular crochet hooks.
The most important thing to know is that no one type of hook is better than the other. It is best that you try to feel them on your palm before you even purchase them. Practice either the knife or pencil grip so that you get the actual feel of it, and know that is comfortable for you to hold for prolonged periods of time.
Different Sizes of Crochet Hooks
Crochet hook sizes vary based on the material, brand and country the hook was produced in. Normally, the size of the hook is indicated on the hook itself. As a general rule, the number on the hook pertains to the diameter of the shaft in millimeters. Knowing the diameter of the shaft is important as it dictates how large your stitches will be.
If your hook doesn’t have a number but has a letter instead, that can only mean that it is made in the US and its sizes are arranged chronologically the same way the letters are. B is the smallest size of the hook while Q is the largest size.
Pairing the Right Hook with the Right Yarn
You should be fully aware by now that you cannot just use any type of hook with any type of yarn. So, the question is: how do you know which size to use for the yarn that you chose? The general rule is that the thinner your yarn, the thinner your hook should be. In the contrary, the heavier the weight of your yarn, the bigger your hook should be.
For beginners, it is best to embark on a project that makes use of hooks that are 5mm ones or the H or G size. It’s a good starting point, as this size of hook is right smack in the middle of all sizes. The major benefit of starting with this size is that it is comfortable to hold in your hand and can make the movements of crocheting easier to enact. Aside from that, this size of hook is generally ideal for use with worsted weight yarn, which is best for making garments, sweaters and even blankets if you choose to do so.
Keep in mind that you know your hand better than anyone else, so no one can tell you which hook would suit you best. There are several makes of hooks you can choose from and while shopping, take your time. Feel them in your hands and let your hands decide which one suits it best. Also, before choosing the pattern itself, you may want to choose a hook and choose a pattern that makes use of the hook you feel comfortable using most. You don’t have to make crocheting more complicated than it can already be for beginners like yourself!