Loving the art of crochet and my favorite hooks!!!
Any day I have the chance to crochet is a very good day!!! I love everything about it… Shopping for the yarn, designing and creating new projects, the feel of the fiber in my hand and holding my favorite hook!! I’m not really sure what I have more of… a giant yarn stash or a large collection of crochet hooks! Over the years I have acquired quite a variety of hooks… I have every size made, a variety of brands, styles and different hooks made from different materials…
Here are just a few from my treasury…
As you can see I have several types… And this is just the beginning of my collection! I use all of my hooks from one time to another… Although I do have my favorites!! So, I was wondering about the history of Crochet Hooks… Where they originated, the different styles and what hooks are typically the favorite!
A Little Crochet History…
Some of the earliest written documentation about crochet comes out of Europe in the late 1700’s, but it is felt that some form of crochet was used much earlier and the origins go back to earlier art in Iran, China and South America. According to Wikipedia, the word “Crochet” is a French word meaning Hook. Many ancient Crochet Hooks were made from Bone, Wood, and Fine Metals. And some Archaeologists believe due to certain materials used to create some of the oldest crochet hooks, they would not have been able to stand up over time and we would not have record of those early Hooks.
As time has passed, Crochet hooks were more commonly made of metal, wood and plastic. Depending on area and economic standing, many crochet artists throughout history used their talents to earn extra money to help their families survive during hard economic times, while wealthy women in our history used Crochet Hooks made from fine metals and beautiful wood and some of their hooks were adorned with jewels and other expensive materials.
Modern Crochet Hooks
Today we have the privilege of having Crochet Hooks readily available! We can purchase a hook for less than the price of a gallon of gasoline or we can find some highly decorated or specialty hooks for much more. We can find them online or in our local craft stores. Some talented artist decorate them with beautiful polymer clay handles, carve unique hooks out of wood or we can even find crochet hook sets in an array of beautiful colors along with fancy cases to keep them all together. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the types of hooks available in our modern time.
Recently on my Facebook Page and my Blog, I asked fellow crocheter’s which hooks they were currently using and which type of hook they would most like to try. Metal hooks were the top choice for current use and at least 80% of my viewers were using metal hooks on a project they were currently making. Wooden hooks were the top choice for the hook they would most like to try. Personally I love wooden hooks and my favorite hooks are made from Palm Wood!
The Anatomy of a Crochet Hook
There is actually a lot that goes into a great Crochet Hook. So let’s break it down!
The Tip: As you can see, different hooks have many styles of tips. Some are more pointy, while others are rounded. This is personal preference, but a pointy tip can work better when your stitching is a little tighter or when you are working through a stitch that has several layers.
The Hook/Lip: This area can be very important in the ability to catch your strand of yarn and hold onto it as you pass it through a stitch. If the hook/lip area is too short or too rounded this can be the source of a lot of frustration!
The Throat: There are many styles of throats when it comes to crochet hooks, some have a more rounded shape and others are have more of a grooved area. Also, the throat can vary in length. I find that a more grooved, deeper throat works best for me; this style keeps the yarn in place while working more complicated stitches.
The Shank: When it comes to different hook brands, the main difference in shank areas is the length. Again, this is personal preference. Depending if you have longer fingers or more petite hands this area will be something you will want to experiment with for comfort. The fit of the hook in your hand will effect your comfort, especially if you crochet for long periods of time.
The Thumb Rest: This area is key to comfort while crocheting! You can see in the above picture the different styles of the thumb rest. Some crochet hooks have no area designated for a thumb rest, while others have quite a bit of contour. Without the correct fit for your hand, you may experience some discomfort if you crochet for long periods.
The Handle: The handle of a crochet hook is where many companies make their mark. Some use this area for decorative purposes, while others use it to make their hooks more ergonomically correct. Many crocheters’ find a larger handle (which can include the thumb rest) makes them more comfortable when crocheting for long periods.
Get a grip!
When it comes to holding our hooks, there are two styles to choose from. Pencil Style and Overhand/Knife Style. Either style is correct. I am an Overhand/Knife Style holder; this seems to be very comfortable. I have a sister-in-law that is a Pencil Style holder and she is a crochet whiz… Neither is faster or produces a better end result. It seems the way you learn is what determines your style.
There are three standard types of measurements for crochet hooks, Metric, US and UK.
For American sizing, steel hooks come in 0.4 to 3.5 millimeters or they are labeled from 00 to 16. Steel hooks are generally used for fine thread work such as doilies. Then you have the standard hooks used for yarn and heavier fibers, these are generally labeled with letters and range from B-S in the American market or by metric measurements they range from 2.5 to 19 millimeters.
For the UK the steel hooks are numbered starting with 6 moving to 00 as the size increases and for the standard hooks they start at 14 and move to 000 which is the largest hook. Most yarn companies list the desired hook size right on the yarn label which is very helpful for creating great projects.
Whatever hook you use… Happy Hookin’!!!!