Before learning to crochet, it is important to understand crochet hook sizes and the many differences that exist from company to company and country to country.
Understanding the Sizing of Crochet Hooks
Crochet hooks are measured by the thickness of the needle. They can be manufactured or hand crafted in many different sizes. Generally, sizes are measured in fractions of an inch or millimeters. There are several different systems in place for determining the sizes of crochet hooks based on numbers and letters. When crocheting, the crafter needs to match the correct needle size to the thickness, known as ply, of the thread.
Variations in Crochet Hook Sizes
Many crafters that are new to crocheting are often overwhelmed when they first see all of the choices of crocheting hooks available. Crocheting hooks from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom all have different sizing methods. In addition, there are variations in the sizes of the crocheting hooks based on the material used, the style and the manufacturer.
There are many conversion charts for crocheting hooks available on the Internet to help understand the size differences that exist. The following are several of the conversion charts available:
- An easy to understand is offered by Purple Kitty Yarns. This chart converts metric size to both United States sizing and United Kingdom/Canadian sizing.
- A similar chart but displayed in a different manner may be easier for some crocheters to understand can be found at Crochet Treasures.
- A crochet hook conversion chart for steel hooks is offered from Nezumi World.
- On the Knit Buddies website there are conversion charts for the following:
- Aluminum and plastic hooks that include sizing from US, US Clover, U.K. and metric
- Bamboo hooks that include US Clover, U.K. and metric
- Steel hooks that include US, Susan Bates Steelite, U.K. and metric
- A chart that gives thread size and the correct metric size crochet hook to use can be found at Crochet Australia.
- Hugg Emms Collectables offers several conversion charts that include specific manufacturer conversions.
- Plastic and aluminum crochet hooks converted from US, English and Continental (millimeters) including Boye, Susan Bates and Brittany wooden crochet hooks.
- Steel hooks converted from US, English and Continental (millimeters) including Boye and Susan Bates.
- KCG Trading Limited offers the following conversion charts:
- Yarn thickness or weight conversion chart for U.K., USA and Australia/New Zealand
- Crochet terms conversion chart from U.K. and USA
Helpful Tips and Resources
- Generally, when crocheting with thread use a steel hook. Aluminum, plastic and wooden hooks are used with yarn and thick thread.
- Specialty crochet hooks include:
- A cro-hook is used for making double sided lace.
- Tunisian or afghan hooks are used to make a stitch that looks similar to knitting.
- A cro-tat hook is used for a combination of crocheting and tatting.
- Travel hooks, also known as double ended hooks, have two hook sizes, one on each end.
- The crochet hook known as a crochet fork, maltese crochet and the hairpin lace loom allows the crocheter to make a specialized stitch of looped lace that has a row of crochet stitches running down the center.
- Jiffy lace needles are actually jumbo sized knitting needles with a crochet hook on the end. This hook is used to make broomstick lace.
- Crochet N More offers excellent sections on understanding the abbreviations used in crocheting, basic crocheting stitch instructions and a stitch conversion chart. There is also helpful information, links and resources for the left-handed crocheter.
- Free Form Crochet is an excellent website devoted to crocheting without a pattern.
The conversion charts that are given for crochet hook sizes are meant to be a guide. Because every crocheter has their own style and gauge of crocheting, hook sizes often have to be adjusted to get the correct size stitch. Use the charts as a starting point to find the needle that is the right one for your crocheting project.