Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Brief Introduction to Crochet Hooks

A Variety of Crochet Hooks

Take a look at these throats and grooves to compare hooks.
Choose Your Hook Wisely
As with any task, be it building a house or constructing a ship in a bottle, a crafter must always choose the right tools for the task.  Crochet is no different. Different crochet hooks do slightly different jobs, and the job will go much more smoothly if the right type of hook is used.

Crochet Hook or Crochet Needle

A collection of crochet hooks: Tunisian, cro-tat, filet, jumbo, handmade, and standard
A Collection of Crochet Hooks
Crochet hooks, alternately called crochet needles, are available in several materials, sizes, and grips. Crochet hooks can be made at home or purchased online or in craft stores.  Some common brands are Susan Bates, Clover, Prym, and Boye, which each have their own unique hook cuts and handle grip designs.

The size of a hook is measured in millimeters, which generally also correspond to letters or numbers imprinted on the hook.  For example, the blue aluminum Susan Bates crochet hook pictured here is a 5 mm hook, which is also called an "8" or a "H."  These "regular" crochet hooks are extremely versatile tools and can be used for most crochet stitches.  Because they are available in so many sizes, they are used for yarns that correspond by ply or bulk. Simply check the label on your skein of yarn to see which hook size is recommended.

Tunisian Crochet Hook

Compare the Tunisian crochet hooks with the standard crochet hooks.
Tunisian Crochet Hooks are Longer or Corded
A Tunisian crochet hook, also called an "afghan hook," is much longer than a regular hook because stitches are cast onto the hook several at a time, then removed from the hook until only one remains.  The length of a Tunisian crochet hook can be the solid hook, itself, or it can be a flexible cord stopped at the end with a tab or button, which prevents the stitches from sliding off the end of the hook.

A Tunisian crochet hook is also sized by millimeters and gauged by letters and numbers.  The yellow Boye brand 5 mm Tunisian crochet hook, for example, is also labeled an "H," while the Susan Bates is labeled 10 1/2 US and 6.5 mm.

Tunisian crochet hooks, because of the length, are used only for Tunisian crochet because the extra weight and length can be cumbersome and unwieldy if the hook is being used for other types of stitches.

Crochet-Tatting Hook

A demonstration of the difference between a regular crochet hook and a cro-tat hook.
A Cro-Tat Hook for Crochet-Tatting Stitches and Projects
A crochet-tatting hook, or a "cro-tat" hook for short, is used for a special tatting stitch.  The head of the cro-tat hook is designed differently than either a regular or Tunisian crochet hook.  The special design allows the hitch-stitches that are cast onto the hook to be slid back over the head of the hook.  These types of hooks have less of a tapering at the head of the hook and a longer neck between the head and the handle.

The Prym hook in the photograph is a 1.5 mm hook and can be used with small, fine tatting and crochet cotton threads.

Crochet hooks can have ergonomic, interchangeable, glass, aluminum, plastic, resin, wood, ceramic, or polymer clay handles.  They can be long or short, flat or round.  They can be straight, curved, big, small, decorative, or handmade.  The project can be Tunisian, Bosnian, filet, double crochet, bioche, cro-tat, cro-hook, cro-knit, tapestry, or any number or types of stitches.  No matter the type of crochet project a crafter undertakes, there is a correct crochet hook for the job. The task will be all the more enjoyable and worthwhile if the correct hook is used.

Want to learn more about crochet?  Try . . .

my online course at Udemy!  You can use this link to sign up for a free Udemy account and take my complete beginner crochet course online for only $10.00!

Want to read more about needle crafts?  Try . . .

Lion Brand Yarn Ergonomic Crochet Hook Set
Tatting!  Susan Bates Plastic Tatting Shuttle with Removable Bobbin
Making Crochet Sushi Toys
Make Your Own Celtic Tatting Shuttle

Copyright Amy Lynn Hess.  Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.

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