As a beginner there are many terms that we hear thrown around that may sound like a foreign language. My team and I have put together a series of posts that I hope will help take the mystery out of crochet hooks and help you feel more confident in selecting the best fit for you.
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In this series:
Over the next few weeks we will break down what we feel are the most important things to consider when selecting a crochet hook. Whether you are a new crocheter or someone who has loved this craft for ages we hope that we can teach you something new about the options that are available to you.
Here are the topics that we will cover:
- Crochet Hook Terminology
- Crochet Hook Material
- Crochet Hook Handles
PLEASE NOTE: All of the topics covered in these posts are written from our personal experience. You, or someone you know, may have a different opinion. Most of what we cover is all about your personal preference in how the hook feels. These posts are to guide you in the right direction of selecting your first hook or helping you to see all of the options that are out there to find something that is a better fit for you.
Basic Crochet Terminology:
Before we can start your journey in selecting the best hook for you we need to go over the basics. Just as you would for anything, if you want to do something right you should start with the basics it is a very good place to start!
Today we will be talking about different terms that you may have heard in the crochet community. We will explain them in general terms and how they pertain to selecting the best hook for you.
Remember that your crochet hook and yarn are the two tools that you will be using to work your craft. You not only want to make sure that you are using high quality items that will last but you want to make sure that they are comfortable so that you can enjoy hours of craft time.
Bates vs. Boye:
I think that we should start with the age old question, Bates vs. Boye? I am sure that you have all heard this question at some point in your crochet journey. What people are really asking is do you prefer an inline hook or a tapered hook.
Inline, tapered what are you talking about? Let me show you the difference.
Really it becomes a personal preference on which you like better and which works better for you. One is not better than the other. It comes down to how you crochet and which is easier for you to grab the yarn and complete your stitches.
Another thing to consider is how do you grip your hook, this could change your opinion on the question above.
Pencil vs. Knife Grip:
These terms are pretty self explanatory but some people don’t realize that there are different ways that you can hold your hook. Let me start by saying that these are the two most common methods of holding your hook, there may be some other ways out there but we will stick with these two.
A pencil grip is when you hold your hook like a pencil. It rests in your hand as a pencil would as you are writing.
A knife grip is when you hold your hook as if you were going to cut a steak.
Neither way is superior to the other and many suggest that you know how to crochet both ways to take pressure off your hands.
Crochet Hook Anatomy:
Really anatomy class for crochet? YES! It is important to know the different parts of your hook and what they are used for.
Head: The head of your crochet hook is at the very top, just like our own head. There are two different types of heads, pointed and rounded. The use of either will depend on preference and the yarn that you are using.
If you have a yarn that has a lot of plies you might want to stick with a round hook so that you aren’t splitting your yarn all of the time. If you are working with thin yarn you might like the pointed head to make it easier to get into the smaller stitches.
Throat: The throat is the section where you catch the yarn while making your stitches. Some hooks have a longer or shorter throat and again you need to try them out to find what works better for you.
Shaft: The shaft is the section of the hook that sizes your stitches. It is important that when you make your stitches that you slide the loop down to the shaft to give it the correct size.
When you look at the size of the hook they are really talking about the diameter of the shaft.
Grip: The grip is the section that you hold on to. In our upcoming posts you will see that there are many handle options and that the grip can be covered or left open. The grip is usually where you thumb rests while you are working your stitches.
Handle: The handle is the remainder of the hook. This is the section that sits in the palm of your hand. In some of the up coming posts we will show you many of the styles of handles that are available on the market.
Crochet Hook Types:
We must also consider the different terms you will hear when we talk about hooks. There is the traditional crochet hook, a steel hook, a Tunisian hook or even a double ended hook. Each has its purpose.
Traditional Crochet Hook: This is the most common type of hook that you will use. It is used on lace weight (or sock weight) yarn up to super bulky.
Steel Hook: Steel hooks are very tiny. They are sized only by numbers and are used to make things like dollies or jewelry.
Tunisian Hook: Tunisian hooks, sometimes referred to as the afghan hook, are used to work Tunisian stitches. Tunisian is a style of crochet that resembles knit stitches.
Double Ended Hooks: Double ended hooks can be used for Tunisian crochet or they can be used to help correct knitting mistakes. By having two ends you don’t need to remove the hook when trying to ladder up dropped stitches in your knitting.
So what crochet hook do I buy:
When starting out I recommend that you start simple. Start with a Bates and a Boye hook, which do you like better? From there you can start to test out materials and handles that you like. Just remember that each project will be different. It is always appreciated if you have multiple hooks to choose from so that you have the best fit for you and your project.
Don’t feel that you need to start out with a full set of hooks. Try purchasing one at a time to see if you like the brand and then grow your collection from there. You may find that you like one style for a regular crochet hook and another when you work Tunisian.
EXPERIMENT and try new tools!!!