Why are crochet hooks made from different materials? Is one kind of hooks better than others?
Whatever the material, all crochet hooks are basically the same shape. The thickness of the shaft determines usually the size each stitch will make, unless you use a ergo dynamic hook.
The most widely used hooks are made from aluminum, which is light weight, strong and smooth and hence very practical to crochet with. They are durable and you can use them all your life, since they do not wear out.
Plastic hooks are only advisable as large sizes hooks to use with very thick yarns. The small sizes become brittle and break easy. They might cause blisters on your fingers as they rub your skin as you work.
Steel hooks come in the smallest sizes, because they are excellent choices when you work with small threads. The tip of steel can be cast very delicate so you have a more accurate “catch” with the tiny hook ends on thin threads.
Wooden hooks feel good on your hands as you work, however they are not as durable as other hooks and even though hardwood is use, they will wear out with prolonged use. Sizing of the hooks is not always accurate and you might have to experiment to get the correct tension. olden hooks are slightly longer than any standard aluminum size.
Bamboo hooks are great to work with, since they are durable and smooth, easy on you hands and depending on the project do not give you much fatigue in your hands.
Ergo-dynamic hooks are great on your hands. However they are not created all equal and you might want to buy just one first to try out, how you can work with them. The larger handle lays “fitted” into your hand and you can even pick up speed, once you are used to the feel of the motion.
Whatever material your hook is made of, remember that the hook size recommended is based on average tension. If you crochet tight, use a larger hook. If you crochet loosely use a smaller hook, so you have the gauge come out properly.
The hook tip is also according to your preference: Different companies make different tips on their hooks. Some are ingenious to hold your yarn in place. Great for a beginner. Other crochet hook makers design their hooks, so you can be fast, while even others goal with their design is evenness and balance, kind of like a universal use of the hook. When you purchase a hook it is best to know what you want to crochet and what type of artist you are.
In my case I have hooks from different companies. I use Susan Bates for all thread work, because the point on the tip of the hook is easing smoothly between the stitches and you can be fast AND accurate at the same time. I use Boyle hooks for bulky yarns, because they have a good hold on the yarn as I work. I find that Susan Bates large hooks slip off the yarn easier, which means you have to recapture it and that takes more time to complete your work.
There are many companies, who make great hooks now and it is really an individual thing to find the correct hook as you are special and your work is unique.
The hook sizes are a cause for confusion
There are basic types of hooks: Standard, Afghan and double hooks.
The Standard hook is the most widely used. A standard hook is 6 ” long. Some standard hooks have tapered ends, which is helpful for tight tension. others have blunt ends.
The Afghan hook is 12 ” long and has a knob on one end, since your stitches remain on the hook , similar to knitting, your stitches will not slide off at the end. You use this hook for Tunisian crochet, which is also called Afghan stitch. it is worked a little different than your regular crochet, since you use more stitches at the same time , versus with standard crochet you deal only with one stitch at the time. In working this fabric you produce a pronounced right and wrong side
The Double or Cro hook is 14 ” long and has one hook on each end. You produce double faced crochet fabric, also will have a right and wrong side. Mostly this hook/needle will be used to work with many colors at the same time, or have distinct different patterns back to back.
Crochet hook sizes:
There are English and US measure, which makes things even more confusing. Most everybody measures hook size by metric scale now. What is measured is the shank diameter of the hook unrelated to what the hook is made of.
Steel hooks range from the smallest/ tiny size 15 to size 00. Mostly used for crocheting thread.
Aluminum hooks sizes range from B to K. Wide range of materials can be used from sports weight to bulky homespuns.
From O to S other materials are used such as plastic. You could work string, rope or rag strips with those sizes.
The hook you would use is depended on the material you work with, your tension tendency. Patterns and yarns usually come with suggestions as what hook to use. Go with that suggestion until you get a feel between your tool and what you try to ackomplish. Sometimes by just changing the hook size you make an entirely different piece or size garment.
But whatever you do, do not be intimidated by all the technical things. YOUR project is your very own project and not to be compared, since it is one of a kind.
What to do, when the hooks hurt your hands. This will help you with fatigue:
and also let me know what else you like to know about crochet.
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