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Crochet designer Lorene Eppolite offers valuable tips and tricks for choosing yarn weights and hook sizes for various crochet projects.
One of the great things about crochet is that you don’t need a ton of materials to start a project. In fact, it may be the simplest craft around! All you really need is yarn, and a hook comes in very handy.
Understand yarn weights
Of course, in that short list of supplies, you have a few options. The yarn is available in a range of fibersfrom natural to synthetic, and can also be made from recycled material. Crochet hooks they are also made of many types of materials, such as wood, aluminum and plastic.
When you have determined the fiber you want to use for your crochet project, you need to consider the weight of the yarn. The yarn comes in weights 0 – 6: the smaller the number, the thinner the yarn.
Each yarn has a weight listed on the label. Here are the different yarn weights and the ideal projects for each:
- #0 = Lace weight (for fine threads, doilies)
- #1 = Superfine / Toes / Baby weight (for layettes, socks)
- #2 = Fine/Sporty Weight (for lightweight sweaters, shawls, baby items)
- #3 = Lightweight worsted / Weight DK (for sweaters, shawls, gloves)
- #4 = Combed Weight / Medium / Aran (for thicker sweaters, blankets, outerwear, scarves, hats, gloves, mittens, home decor)
- #5 = Bulky / Bulky Weight (for jackets, chunky scarves, hats, caps, blankets)
- #6 = Super bulky weight (for heavy jackets, sweaters, blankets, very thick scarves)
Of course, you are not limited to these projects, and it can be fun to experiment with different weights once you are comfortable with a particular pattern, but these guidelines are great for beginners.
The most commonly used yarn is worsted weight, because it is right in the middle and is the most versatile.
Choice of hook sizes
Along with the weight, the yarn labels will also give a recommended hook size to use with the yarn. You can generally go up and down a hook size and still get a similar result.
Using a smaller hook will usually give your project a stiffer feel, while using a larger hook will give it more drape and movement. Smaller hooks will also produce a denser fabric, while larger hooks will have a more lacy effect on your project. You can check your gauge with a swatch to be sure.
Hook sizes are determined by letter and number. They are measured in millimeters. The sizes are as follows, from smallest to largest:
- F = 3.75 mm
- G = 4.0 mm
- G+ = 4.5 mm
- H = 5.0 mm
- I = 5.5 mm
- J = 6.0 mm
- K = 6.5 mm
- L = 7.0 mm
- M = 8.0 mm
- N = 9.0 mm
- P = 10.0 mm
The most commonly used hooks with worsted yarn are 5.5mm, 6.0mm and 6.5mm. Many people also use the 5.0mm hook with this popular yarn.
Yarn is available at all different price points. In general, less expensive yarns are of lower quality, and more expensive yarns are better quality, but this is not always the case.
It is important to factor in the size of your project when you calculate the total cost of the yarn you will use. For example, if you’re going to make a large blanket, you’ll probably want to go with a cheaper yarn because you know you’ll need more than a couple of skeins.
If you sell items, make sure you think about the price point of the final product so you don’t select a yarn that ends up eating into your profits.
There are many things to consider when determining which yarn and hook to use, but it will become second nature once you’ve followed a few patterns and experimented with different yarn weights and hook sizes.