We’ve all heard it: Size matters. And you know what? It’s true, friend. Hook size matters!
Size DOES matter, when it comes to crocheting and knitting, that is. In fact, it makes all the difference in the world. Both your hook size matters (or needle size in knitting) and your yarn size matters when it comes to how uniform and professional your items turn out.
Why Hook Size Matters in Crocheting and Knitting
Hook size matters
There are all different sizes of crochet hooks. Some are so itty bitty you can literally crochet with sewing thread. Others are so large you could almost use them for a walking stick. For those bigguns, you might as well use your arm.
Hook sizes are measured either by their letter in the alphabet, or by their size in millimeters starting with the smallest. I personally use the letters, but that also depends on where in the world you live.
Where in the World, is Carmen Sandiego? Hee hee!
In Europe, I understand that millimeters are used more often, while here in the United States we tend to use the alphabet. Same size technically, and the gist is the same just whatever suits your fancy.
As you can imagine, the size of your yarn makes a difference in which hook you’ll want to use as well. If you have a very large yarn, you’ll need a very large hook. A very small yarn? You’ll need a very small hook (unless you’re wanting it to have a loose, open and airy weave).
Yarn Size Matters
There are six main sizes of yarn.
Starting with a size 1 which is very thin, to a 2 which is a little bit thicker, then a 3 and 4 of “worsted weight” yarn. Size 4 is the most popular yarn size. This is the “average” thickness of yarn you’ll find when you visit the yarn store, and what a good percentage of patterns use. Size 5 starts to get a little thicker (considered bulky) and size 6 is known as super bulky.
The bigger the yarn, the larger the hook size you’ll need to use (and the larger the finished product will be as well). In the photo below, I used the exact same pattern with the exact same yarn. Same number of rows, same number of stitches. Exactly the same. The only difference? Hook size!
The first (smallest) was made with a D (3.25 MM), the next was made with a G (4.0 MM) hook, the next size up was made with an H (5.0 MM) hook and the largest was made with an I (5.5 MM) hook. Isn’t that interesting?
If you are wondering why I am making so many hats in these sizes, they are for donation to my local NICU. I have the pattern listed here on Heart Hook Home, and if you’d care to join me in my donation effort (or if you want to experiment with hook size) these little hats work up in about 10-15 minutes. Easy peasy, and a great way to understand both tension and why hook size matters.
More crochet tips:
Use Industrial Clips for Yarn Bobbins in Crochet and Knitting
Finger Burn? You Need a Finger Cuff for Crochet
9 Tips for Traveling with Crochet
The Difference Between Knitting and Crocheting & Master Your Tension
How to Soften Economical or Scratchy Yarn
16 Ways to Save at Michaels