There are two things that you need to get started with crocheting: the yarn and the hook. It’s simple. This post is for you to find out the different types of hooks and yarn in order to make your next crochet project.
Crocheting requires one hook. The hook is usually held by the dominant hand while the other hand keeps the tension of the yarn. The first thing you need to know about the hook is the throat part of the hook. There are two types of hooks, the tapered and the inline hook. I like the tapered hook because of my style of crocheting. The inline hook tends to snag my yarn. Below, you can see the picture of the different types of hook:
There are also different types of materials: aluminum, wood, plastic, and steel. Usually the smaller hooks, smaller size than 2.25mm, are made out of steel. Size 2.25 through 10mm, have different types of available materials, such as aluminum, wood, and plastic.
I have tried some wodden/bamboo hooks. I like using this hook when the weather is a little chilly because the hook is warm to the touch when I first pick it up. When first picking up an aluminum hook, sometimes it feels like I grab an ice cube instead. After a while, though, the warmth from my hand change the alumnium hook’s temperature into a comfortable one. This might be a small difference, and I know some people who really prefer the non-aluminum alternatives because of it. I’m not one of those people. I still prefer aluminum over wooden/bamboo hooks. Also, I haven’t found any bamboo hooks that are tapered. Since I prefer tapered hooks, I usually go with my set of aluminum.
I bring a set of my plastic hooks with me when I travel. They are cheaper than the other types of hooks. I don’t mind losing them in case I put them down somewhere and forget about them. Luckily, till this day, I haven’t lost a single hook. Although most airports allow any type of crochet hooks, as long as they are no longer than 6″, some airports will take them away if the hooks are made out of metal of some kind. I bring plastic ones because of this also. Once again, I haven’t found any plastic tapered hooks so I still go back to my aluminum hooks.
I started looking into the ergonomics hooks. At first, the price for each hook shocked me. A set of them could be 10 times as much as a set of basic aluminum hooks. Since at this point, crocheting is weaved into my daily life, I started my research. If I was going to spend that much money on a set of hooks, might as well purchase the best one for me. I’ve tried Crochet Dude by Boye, Clover, and Knitter’s Pride. All of them has tapered hooks attached to the ergonomic rubber handles. I personally like the Knitter’s Pride hooks the best. They might look like they’re uncomfortable in comparison to the others two because of their flatter rubber holder. For some reason, I crochet a lot faster using them because of it. The Crochet Dude by Boye is a little too heavy for my preference. As much as I prefer the regular aluminum by Boye, I do not like their ergonomic ones. If I was to choose a second runner up to my Knitter’s Pride hooks, I would choose the Clover brand. Neither Knitter’s Pride or Clover comes in aluminum hook for size K or larger. (Update: I recently found a Knitter’s Pride size K hook. Woot woot!) Below is a picture of what they all look like:
Before I found these, my dear fiance made me a hook cover. Check it out:
Now let’s talk about yarn! When you pick up a yarn, each yarn label has important information for you to pay attention to. The weight of the yarn is a number inside a yarn symbol. There are number 1 through 6, and sometimes 7. Any smaller than 1 is usually categorized as thread. As the number gets larger, the yarn gets bulkier. I have seen a number 7 yarn; they are pretty rare, though.
When I teach new crocheters, I recommend size K hook and a weight 4 yarn. Any smaller yarn would make the new crocheter get frustrated. Any larger yarn, and the new crocheter will be overwhelmed.
There is another square that is called gauge. The recommended hook is usually inside this square in order to get the gauge stated on the label. This part is especially important if you are making garments.
On the yarn label, there is another important information, the material of the yarn. There could be a whole blog post about this alone. There are so many different types to choose from, such as wool, alpaca, acrylic, cotton, bamboo, nylon, and even milk! There different types of blend, of course, such as wool and alpaca. The yarn label would say “60% wool and 40% alpaca” on it. Going into a chain craft stores, you will probably find a lot of acrylic yarn while going into a local yarn shop, wool yarn. There are pros and cons of all of them. The wool is sought for because of it’s breath-ability, the alpaca for its softness, the acrylic for its versatility. My suggestions is to touch them all to compare for yourself. (This is my excuse to go to a yarn store in person anyway 😉 ). Then get some of them to play around with. Different person likes different types of yarn. My personal favorite when making garments is alpaca blend yarn. When I make those cute amigurumi, I use either acrylic, wool, or a blend of both. See picture below where I made a robot out of acrylic yarn and a Trojan warrior out of wool yarn. Cotton yarn is my least favorite type; however, I still use them to make washcloths and pot holders because other materials tend to melt, or well, catch one fire.
Bonus materials that you can have: stitch counter, tapestry needle, stitch marker, tape measurement, and scissors! Other than scissors, the other materials are optional, depending on the project. Tapestry needles are handy when it comes to tucking in ends. As much as I don’t like tucking in ends, these things help me do this task faster so I can go back to crocheting. Of course, I crochet everywhere so project bags are a must for me, but optional, because I usually stuff my project inside my purse.
That’s it, ladies and gentlemen. Take your pick of hook and yarn, and get started on crocheting.
As always, craft strong, craft happy!