Starting a new hobby is so exciting! There are so many possibilities ahead and endless projects to get started! Crocheting is a wonderful craft and hobby to learn. You can relax on the couch and create some great patterns and pieces. The craft itself is fairly affordable and you can work on your own time.
If you are looking at starting crocheting, you need to make sure you have the right gear. Using the wrong materials, such as the wrong size crochet hook, might make your beginner crocheting experience uncomfortable and might stop you from wanting to continue.
You need to know the right materials and tools to have, and finding the perfect crochet hook for yourself is so important to ensure you enjoy your crocheting experience.
You can’t just pick up any crochet hook and get started. Some are easier to start off with than others, and with time and experience, you will be able to start using other hooks.
Learning to crochet is the first step, and being comfortable when doing so is a major bonus, so here is how to choose the right hook, crochet hook recommendations, and how to start to get you on your way!
The Parts of a Crochet Hook
Learning to crochet means learning about your crocheting tools. Without understanding your tools properly, how could you expect to master a craft? While a crochet hook seems like an incredibly simple tool, you should still take some time to learn about its different parts. This could make life easier for you when deciding which crochet hook would be best for you.
Head and Throat – The head on the hook catches the yarn, and the throat is the section just below it which guides the yarn up the hook. There are two types of hooks – a tapered hook has a round head which is not in line with the other parts of the hook, and an inline hook which is made with a flatter throat and a deeper hook that falls in line with the rest of the hook.
Shaft – The shaft or the shank, is the section just below the throat which is the part of the hook that determines its size and how big the finished stitch will be. If the crochet hook is a size H8/5.00mm, this means the shaft is 5mm in diameter.
Grip and Handle – The grip is the part of the hook where you rest your thumb. The handle is the end of the crochet hook where you hold the tool. The grip needs to be smooth and long enough, if it is short and bumpy it could become difficult to crochet with. Many people who suffer from pain in their wrists choose an ergonomic handle which is longer and more comfortable to use, usually with a rubber grip.
The Best Starter Size Crochet Hook
Crochet hooks come in many wonderful shapes and sizes. The different size hooks are used on different projects, to create pretty, thin lace shawls to thick, chunky blankets.
The size of the crochet hook you use is dependent on the size yarn you are using and the project or pattern you are following.
It is advised that beginners use a medium size hook, which is known as a size H or a 5mm. The hook itself is large enough, allowing you to see the individual stitches as you are going.
Using a worsted weight yarn also helps the stitches be easily visible; letting you see the stitches you create and learn to recognize the different stitches.
Using a smaller hook will make it difficult for you to see individual stitches which you create and you will battle to identify the spaces where you need to work the stitches into.
A hook which is too large in size will create stitches which are too loose, and you will battle to identify the individual stitches and spaces as well.
Once you have learned to crochet and are confident in finding the stitches and understanding patterns, you can move across to other crochet hook sizes, to suit different patterns and yarns.
It is also a good idea to learn the different ways that size is labeled on crochet hooks. This will stop you from becoming confused when looking for a hook, and can better help you understand patterns and find a size that suits you and your project best.
Letter sizing – Letter sizes are represented by different letters of the alphabet, and the further along with the alphabet you go, the larger the size of the crochet hook, with B being smallest and Q the largest. This labeling is most commonly used in the United States and isn’t necessarily found anywhere else.
Number sizing – Numbers often correspond with the letter sizing on crochet hooks. The size B corresponds with the number 1 and continues from there. These aren’t always exactly accurate, as G corresponds with the size 6 but H corresponds with the size 8, so 7 doesn’t have a letter match. But once again the larger the number, the larger the size of the crochet hook.
Millimeter sizing – When it comes to measuring crochet size, measuring in millimeters is the best way to do so. Number and letter sizing can slightly differ from brand to brand, but measuring in millimeters is always the same across different crochet hooks, making it the most reliable form of measurement.
Crochet Sets For Beginners
Many avid crocheters invest in crochet sets. These are sets which have many crochets hooks in different sizes, usually kept safe and neat in a carry bag. They are really handy to have, but are they a good buy for beginner crocheters?
Good, worthwhile crochet sets can be quite expensive. Buying one at the beginning of your crochet journey might not be a great idea. You can’t be completely sure yet if you will really love crocheting, and it might be a waste to spend the money on a crochet set only to find out that this hobby really isn’t for you.
Obviously, if money isn’t an issue then there is no problem with buying a crochet set, it won’t put you back or stop you from learning how to crochet.
They can be really handy down the line, you don’t have to search in shops for a particular size crochet hook for a project or pattern, as you will more than likely already own the hook in your crochet set.
If you are going to purchase a set, choose one with a wide range of sizes, from very thin hooks which can be used to weave in ends and for thinner yarns, to wide hooks which can be used for thick, chunky yarn to make winter items.
Choosing The Best Crochet Hook Material
Along with different sizes, crochet hooks also come made from different materials. There is a surprisingly large range of different materials to choose from when it comes to a crochet hook.
Most of it comes down to personal preference, but they do have slight differences between each other than can make your crocheting experience more enjoyable, such as material and design.
Bamboo hooks are a wonderful option for those who have experience crocheting, but not necessarily for beginners. They are eco-friendly, which is a huge bonus, and are light and warm in the hand.
This can really help those who battle with arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, who experience pain and irritation when crocheting (be sure to stretch). However, bamboo is not as smooth as aluminum hooks. The stitches and yarn tend to get slightly stuck on the shaft instead of sliding over it.
This can become quite frustrating and disheartening for a first timer. Rather treat yourself to bamboo hooks once you are comfortable crocheting.
Aluminum hooks are a great choice for beginner crocheters. They are cheap and the yarn glides smoothly over the aluminum shaft. The only problem is that aluminum hooks can become uncomfortable to hold over a period of time, and are easy to slip out of your hands when working a project.
Acrylic hooks might look really lovely, but they tend to break easily. They feel really nice to use and do help to crochet easily, but they have a shorter shelf life than the other types of crochet hooks, so it would depend on how you treat them and how you crochet to see if they will work for you or not.
Aluminum hooks with grips
There is the option of aluminum hooks which come fitted with a comfort grip handle. These offer you the best of both worlds. The aluminum shafts make it easy for the yarn to glide over, with no friction, but the comfortable and warm grip allows you to hold and work the crochet hook for extended periods of time without it becoming uncomfortable.
Much on deciding what is best for you when it comes to crochet is trial and error. Take these recommendations, go on different advice from friends and take the time to figure out which crochet hook is best for you.
The Best Crochet Hooks For Beginners
There is such an incredibly wide range of crochet hooks to choose from, the choices are seemingly endless. While some might see this as a good thing, it can become really overwhelming for a beginner who is just looking for an easy crochet hook to use to practice with.
Taking size, shape, and material into consideration, here are the top 5 crochet hooks available that are perfectly suited for beginners in crochet:
1. Clover Blue Amour Crochet Hook
This is an ideal crochet hook for beginners and has been engineered to offer the best performance a crochet hook can.
It is incredibly smooth and lets you crochet easily, with the yarn sliding effortless over the metal head, while the elastomer handle makes crocheting incredibly comfortable and stress-free.
The different size crochet hooks are told apart by their handles, which are color-coded for easy identification of size.
This particular needle is 4.5mm, which is a size 7UK (or US H/8), with a blue handle and is a great size for beginner crochet learners.
Overall, it has an optimal hook shape and makes crocheting easy and enjoyable. Amour means love, and you will love this crochet hook!
2. Susan Bates Bamboo & Aluminum Crochet Hook Set
If you are a beginner looking for a crochet hook set, this is ideal. This set from Susan Bates includes 14 different size crochet hooks that are both bamboo and aluminum.
Smooth metal is perfectly combined with the benefits of a smooth and elegant bamboo handle. The aluminum hook makes crocheting easy, with the yarn smoothly gliding over the metal.
The bamboo handle is light and warm in the hands and makes extended crocheting a breeze.
The different sizes included in the set are B-1 (2.25mm) C-2 (2.75mm) D-3 (3.25mm) E-4 (3.5mm) F-5 (3.75mm) G-6 (4.25mm) 7 (4.5mm) H8 (5.0mm) I-9 (5.5mm) j-0 (6.0mm) K-10 ½ (6.5mm) L-11 (8.0mm) M-13 (9.0mm) and N-15 (10.0mm).
It is a wonderful beginner set that you are sure to use again and again as your love for crocheting grows.
3. Knitters Pride Waves Aluminum Crochet Hook
This crochet hook has a single aluminum side with the hook, and the other side has a soft feel handle. This hook is a size J/10, which is 6.0mm; it’s a little longer than the more standard sizes (like an H/8), but that may be just what you need as a beginner.
It is an innovative crochet hook that has been ergonomically designed to be comfortable being used over hours of crocheting, without any stress or pain caused by over-use.
The handle is smooth and gentle, and is perfectly suited for those who battle with arthritis, and is even absolutely fine for beginner crochet users. It offers a comfortable experience which will do well to encourage you to learn how to crochet further.
The hook is perfectly sized and comes attractively finished. The silver color of the hook makes it easy to see stitches, even when using darker yarn. The precision engineering means you can obtain an accurate gauge when crocheting, which is an absolute must!
4. Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Single Ended Crochet Hook 6.5mm
These crochet hooks are made with beautifully dyed wood. The wooden surface warms up quickly in the hand, making for a comfortable crocheting experience. The collection of crochet hooks comes in a variety of colors and sizes, all sold separately.
The wood surface is polished and smooth with tapered points, allowing the yarn to glide over the surface easily and effortlessly. The pointed hook helps go through stitches and pick up stitches easily, which really helps those who are learning how to crochet.
Overall, the hook is sturdy and long-lasting and allows for long hours of crocheting. While the hooks are sold individually, it is a great brand to create a crochet collection out of overtime.
5. Knitters Pride Aluminum Gold-Tip Crochet Hook
For such a beautiful looking crochet hook, this Knitters Pride hook packs a punch in performance as well. It is a single ended crochet hook with the hook end made from gold anodized aluminum and the bottom made from a soft feel handle.
The length of the hook and handle in total is 13.5cm and the hook size is H (5.0mm).
The smooth handle has a gentle grip which is ideal for all types of crocheters, beginner to experienced crocheters.
It is a perfect size hook and the attractive design makes it really desirable. It is perfect for beginners as the hook works well with all yarns and the stitches are easy to see, no matter the color yarn being used.
Precision engineering ensures that the hooks are the accurate gauge, meaning your projects will turn out perfectly.
The best of both worlds are combined in this crochet hook, a soft, ergonomic handle perfect for extended crocheting and sore wrists, and a smooth, aluminum hook for easy gliding of yarn and easy identification of stitches. It is a great hook to buy in different sizes to build your set.
The Right Yarn for Beginners
Hook size doesn’t only matter when it comes to the hook being comfortable to hold in your hands, but also depends on the weight of the yarn that you are using. The weight of the yarn you decide to use will be the biggest factor in determining what size crochet hook you use. For a beginner, a worsted weight yarn is the best to use. Here is a breakdown of the different size yarns available:
Sock/Fingering/Baby – 2.25mm-3.25mm
Sport/Baby – 3.25mm-3.75mm
DK/Worsted/Light – 3.75mm-4.5mm
Worsted/Aran/Afghan – 4.5mm-5.5mm
Chunky/Rug/Craft – 5.5mm-8.0mm
Bulky/Roving – 8mm and larger
Remember also that choosing a lighter yarn makes it easier to crochet, as you can see the stitches more clearly, with darker colors being harder to see. Also, for beginners, it is better to use an acrylic or wool yarn to start with, as it offers slight resistance and is just easier to work with.
When choosing a yarn to crochet with, you need to decide on the yarn fiber you are going to use. There are so many different options, but these are three of the best options for beginner crocheters.
Wool – Wool is great to practice stitches. It is pretty resistant and is really forgiving if you make mistakes. It is easy to unravel and to reuse again without much hassle. Just beware of any wool allergies as this could result in a really uncomfortable experience for you!
Cotton – Cotton is inelastic and is slightly more difficult to crochet with than wool, but it is perfect for specific types of projects. It holds its shape well and is perfect for crocheting in the summer. It is lighter than wool and with some practice becomes easy to work with.
Acrylic – Acrylic is possibly the most popular fiber around. It is available in a wide variety of colors and is really affordable as well. Just be careful when choosing a very cheap acrylic yarn to crochet with, cheap acrylic yarns tend to split easily which could make it really frustrating for you. Acrylic is probably your best bet to start off with when learning how to crochet.
Tips for Crochet Beginners
• Look at the label of the yarn you are using to determine the correct size crochet hook to use. If you are purchasing yarn for your first project, choose a worsted weight yarn as these usually recommend a 5.0mm hook.
• There really is no right way to hold a crochet hook, but there are two basic styles that can be used. You can use the Over-The Hook position so that the handle rests against your palm as if you are holding a pencil, and the hook being grasped just over your thumb and index finger grip. The Under-The-Hook position has you holding the hook like it is a spatula, your hand placed under the hook and your thumb and forefinger resting on the thumb rest.
• Make test swatches of the first pattern you will attempt to make. You will be able to test your tension and it will let you practice the stitches you need before attempting the pattern.
• Youtube will be your best friend when learning stitches and new terms. There are some really great videos available online that slowly and easily demonstrate stitches and how to accomplish the different aspects of crocheting. These can be a really great help for beginners who don’t have access to crocheting classes.
• Start with simple patterns. There is no point trying to learn how to crochet on a difficult pattern that even advanced crocheters would have a tough time doing. Start simple with a scarf or winter hat and you can improve your skills from there.
• Use light colored yarn to learn with. The light color yarn is easier to see when crocheting and you will be able to tell individual apart stitches easier. Leave darker yarns for when you are more comfortable with crocheting.
• Take it slow. There is no need to rush through your crochet projects, especially when you are starting out. Rushing can cause dropped stitches and split yarn, which could then cause frustration and you not enjoying crocheting!
Crochet Hooks for Beginners
Choosing the right crochet hook as a beginner is one of the most important steps to ensuring you have an enjoyable, easy crocheting start that will lead to a happy crocheting hobby!