Crochet hooks are the main tool you will use in crocheting. Although basically similar, not all hooks are the same. There are some varying features that can make your crochet experience pleasurable or a hindrance and may be causing your crochet experience to become a discouraging exercise in your life. I am writing this blog to help make choosing a crochet hook a little easier, and I am just covering the basics of the anatomy of the crochet hook today hoping you find this post useful.
Let start by examining the crochet hook and the terminology associated with each part of the crochet hook anatomy. No matter which hook you choose there are five basic parts to a crochet hook. Each part has a role in making crochet stitches. Once you understand the function each part has to perform – it will make choosing your crochet hook easier.
The Head (picture above) of the crochet hook is used to catch the yarn and thread. It is also the part of the hook that pokes into the stitch and pulls the yarn through the stitch. If you examine your hook more closely you will see that your hook is either Inline or Not Inline.(picture below) An Inline hooks means the head of the hook is inline with the rest of the hook.(example Susan Bates) A Not Inline the hook is not inline with the rest of the hook. (example Boyes).
Now, moving on to the point of the head. (picture below) The Susan Bates has a more pointed hook while the Boyes is more rounded. I would like to state there is no right or wrong hook, when choosing Inline hooks or not, pointed or rounded, it is a personal decision based on your taste, likes and dislikes and comfort zone.
I have never read a pattern that requested an Inline or Not Inline hook, only the correct size. This should tell you that it is a personal choice. People are different with different needs, so the crochet hook has been designed to accommodate those differences.
This is when you need to play around with different hooks and determine which type of hook works best for you. When I have a new crocheting class I will bring both types of hooks to my class and let each student try both. This way they will discover early in there crocheting experience which hook will work best for their needs.
The throat (picture above) is the shaped section that guides the yarn or thread up into the working area. This groove is what catches your yarn as your pull it through the loop. The throat in some hooks are more tapered then others. If you are one of these crocheter that often snag or finds themselves splitting yarn then you might want to try a more tapered throat (example Susan Bates) but, on the other hand if you find your self constantly dropping loops or constantly popping your hooks out of your works you might wish to try a less tapered throat (example Boyes) (picture below)
Shank or Shaft
The Shank or the Shaft (both terminologies are correct) is the section that determines hook size. When you read the size on your crochet hook, for example H8/5.00 mm; this is telling you that the Shank is 5.00 mm in diameter of your hook. The diameter will determine the how large the finished stitch will be. (picture below)
Grip or the Thumb Rest
The Grip, or what some people refer to as the Thumb Rest is the section intended for gripping the hook with your thumb and index or middle finger. It is also the place you will find your crochet hook size printed. (picture below)
This is the end that is held by the crocheter. (picture below) Some handles are shorter or longer depending on what you prefer. These can also be the same size as the rest of the hook which is great for most crocheters. However in some case a larger handle (example Ergonomic Handles) would be more recommended for some crochets who suffer with arthritis or stiffness and pain in their hands after crocheting.
Now this is when you start experimenting and shopping around and finding out which hook works best for you. This does not mean you must go out and buy five different hooks of the same size. If you have friends that crochet with a different hook, politely borrow it for a day or two. Remember this is yarn sale season, I am always finding hooks at yarn sales and I am certain you will as well.
Finding the right hook will not only make your crocheting experience better but will also help you to crochet your best.
Until next time, Keep those hooks flying.