Whether you want to make an afghan, a lace doily or a winter hat and scarf, you'll need the right supplies to do it. If you have never crocheted before, finding the right crochet supplies may be intimidating. Check your pattern first; crochet instructions will often specify the size of hook and type of yarn recommended to achieve a particular size or result for the finished project.
The word crochet comes from a French word meaning "to hook." There are approximately 30 different sizes of crochet hooks, made from materials such as plastic, wood, metal and ivory. The most common and affordable hooks are made of aluminum, plastic or steel.
Hooks made from aluminum or plastic are best for beginners and can be used with all types of yarn. Aluminum hooks are available in sizes B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K and N. The letters correlate with the hooks' sizes, ranging from 2.25 millimeters (size B) up to 9 millimeters (size N). Crochet hooks sizes P and Q are ½ inch and ⅝ inch, respectively, and are only available in plastic.
Steel hooks are smaller and are primarily used with crochet thread. Steel crochet hooks are available in sizes 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. The numbers correlate with the hooks' sizes, ranging from .85 millimeters (size 13) up to 1.75 millimeters (size 00).
Not all yarn is the same; some is better for knitting, while certain types are ideal for crochet. Crochet yarn ranges in size, texture and composition. The number of single yarns twisted together to form a strand of yarn is referred to as the yarn's "ply." The most common sizes are two-ply, three-ply and four-ply; however, not all yarn is labeled by its ply. If you are unsure, simply roll the end of the yarn between your fingers to separate the yarn and then count the number of strands.
Crochet thread is a particular type of thread, not the same used for sewing or cross-stitch. Crochet thread ranges from size 3 to size 30. The larger the number, the thinner the thread. The most common size of crochet threads are size 10, crocheted with a steel hook in size 7 or 8, and size 20, crocheted with a size-9 steel hook.
After the hook and yarn, a sharp pair of scissors is the next most important tool. The larger or more complex your project, the more you may find stitch markers or a stitch counter to be useful to track stitches and/or rows crocheted.