Hello! Today we’re going to be talking about the crochet arsenal – or, what every crocheter should have in their supply kit.
We’re not going to be talking about yarn today, because that’s a post of its own. Instead we’ll be focusing on the tools you use to work with yarn…so that means crochet hooks! I thought I’d show you my own collection to give you an idea.
My own crochet arsenal has gone through many different iterations. I started by pilfering hooks from my mom, who eventually took pity on me and passed down a bunch of her supplies to me. (I know you’re reading this…thanks for letting me steal so much of your crochet stuff, hehe.) I don’t even think I had a designated crochet hook bag for the first few years of my crocheting, which probably explains why I could never keep track of my hooks. As I started acquiring more, though, I found pencil cases to put them in. I absolutely love my collection now:
It’s a pencil case (actually, from my mom again), but it works perfectly for crochet hooks! In the top pouch I keep scissors and stitch markers, and the bottom part is where my hooks live. I keep yarn needles in the cupcake on the left. Then there are a few hooks that are too big to fit in the case, so those live in my yarn drawer or in my pencil cup, wherever is closer.
This is what I’ve acquired after four years of crocheting. You don’t need this many crochet hooks to get started. :}
When I start teaching someone to crochet, I give them a supply list, and here’s what I recommend as far as crochet hooks. I absolutely think a G (4.00 MM), H (5.00 MM), and I (5.50 MM) are essentials. That will get you a long way as far as crochet projects go. You’ll also need a yarn needle to weave in your ends – that’s basically a sewing needle with a big eye so the yarn can pass through it. They’re also known as tapestry needles. If you can, though, I would strongly recommend getting a set of hooks like this, because if you end up liking crochet then you’ll be set! Having a bunch of sizes is really nice, and that set isn’t badly priced at $10.
Here are all my crochet hooks laid out:
Looks like I have 27 hooks, plus one that I couldn’t find for this picture. However, for some reason I have three D, F, G, and K hooks, two H and J hooks, and four I hooks. So I don’t have 27 different sizes.
Crochet hook sizing can seem kind of complicated, but just go by the millimeter size and you’ll be fine. So if you see something that says F (3.75 MM) crochet hook, look for the 3.75 millimeters part. That’s because some crochet hooks have different letters depending on the brand – for example, the N hook I have is 10 MM, but I’ve seen other people who have a 9 MM “N” hook. So when in doubt, check the millimeter size. The letter is just to make things a little quicker – for example, a G hook is almost always going to be 4 MM (again, not always, I’ve seen 4.25 MM ones too), but it makes it easier in conversation. Also, this is US sizing; I’m not sure how it is in different countries, but I believe it’s the same.
Steel hooks, the super small ones, have a different sizing system. Since I don’t work with thread, I’m not an expert on it, so I won’t get into it here. Just know that if you plan to go into doily-making, it’s a whole different can of worms. :}
I can hear you wondering about the long hooks. The pink one is a Tunisian crochet hook, which we’ll be talking about later this month. The blue one is a double-ended crochet hook, for cro-hooking or, funnily enough, double-ended crochet. I’m still learning how to do double-ended crochet so I can’t educate you on that, but Tunisian crochet is super fun and I can’t wait to get into that later!
There are differences between crochet hooks of the same size, too, depending on the brand. There are two main crochet hook makers: Susan Bates and Boye. Everyone seems to prefer one or the other, and neither is right or wrong. Here’s a comparison:
Boye on the top, Susan Bates on the bottom.
See how the Boye hook is more tapered and the Susan Bates one remains consistent?
It’s more apparent from a side view – Boye on the bottom this time.
Susan Bates does in-line crochet hooks and Boye does tapered ones. If you find yourself having a super hard time crocheting, I recommend trying a different style of hook. I am decidedly a Susan Bates kind of girl, and so are every single one of the students I’ve taught. I have also noticed a significant difference in speed when I’m crocheting with an in-line hook rather than tapered. Tapered hooks slow me down a lot. However, some people swear by them, and that’s totally cool…it’s just a matter of finding out what works for you!
When you do hit upon that perfect crochet hook, hold onto it for dear life. My favorite hook is one that my mom gave to me. It’s a Susan Bates H (5.00 MM) hook, and it probably cost about $3 because crochet hooks are inexpensive, but I wouldn’t part with it for anything. It slides through stitches like butter. Also, they started making Susan Bates hooks a little differently a few years ago (it’s called Susan Bates Mexico on some of the hooks now, I don’t know why), and this was before the switch – so it’s just a teensy bit different, but I definitely notice. I’ve used it so much that the blue has faded in parts.
Pretty cool, huh? I crocheted an entire afghan (what the crochet world calls “blankets”) with this, so I suppose it makes sense that it would be faded. I can’t believe I haven’t lost it by now. It’s definitely my favorite hook.
Do you have a favorite kind of crochet hook? Are you a tapered or in-line hook fan? I’d love to hear your thoughts! 😀