If you’re just learning to crochet, there are several questions you should ask yourself before buying supplies for your first project. Determining what size crochet hook to buy will depend first on whether you’ll be working with yarn or thread.
What Size Crochet Hook for Yarn?
Crochet hooks used with yarn may be made of aluminum, plastic, wood – even bamboo, and are identified by either a letter (B through S) or number (1 through 16). The larger the number or letter, the larger the crochet hook.
Yarn comes in several weights, or thicknesses, and knowing which yarn you will be using will help determine which hook size is best for your project. Most blankets and afghans are made from 4-ply worsted weight yarn, which is a medium weight, heavier than sport or baby yarn, but not as thick as bulky. If you’re still learning basic crochet stitches and not following a pattern that calls for a particular hook size, one of the middle sizes, perhaps H, I or J, should suit your needs.
Once you’re hooked on crocheting with yarn, you might find a kit of several of the more widely used sizes of crochet hooks to be a better deal. Plastic hooks are the cheapest, but aluminum are more sturdy. Crochet hooks carved from wood or bamboo are strong and the natural fiber is a good choice for someone with arthritis.
What Size Crochet Hook for Thread?
If you’ll be crocheting with thread such as is called for in doily patterns, you will be looking at steel hooks with very small heads. As with yarn, there are varying degrees of thickness to crochet thread and that will determine which hook size you should work with. Steel crochet hooks used for thread are identified by a number, ranging in size from 00 to 14. Thread thickness varies from size 3 to 100 and the larger the number, the thinner the thread.
Very fine thread and a tiny crochet hook are difficult to work with, so a beginner to thread crochet should start with something with a little substance. The widely available size 10 thread and size 6 or 7 crochet hook is a good choice for a beginner to thread crochet. Remember that if you choose a hook and thread size other than what your pattern calls for, your completed project will be larger or smaller, and may also be distorted.
If you’ve completed a few small projects with thread and are comfortable that you’ll be doing more, you may opt for a kit containing several different size crochet hooks to have on hand for various projects. Kits are available that contain six steel crochet hooks with the most popular sizes from 0 to 10.
Note: All crochet hook sizes listed are U.S. sizes.