Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Learn to Crochet - Hook and Yarn Choice

Learn to Crochet - Hook and Yarn Choice
By Fiona J Sloss

Learning to crochet can be a remarkably simple process once you have taken the first step and selected your yarn and hook. This simple guide will start you off on the right track with straight forward advice on selecting the best yarns and hooks for learning to crochet.

Most important, is to choose a crochet or knitting yarn that you'll enjoy working with. When you're just learning to crochet, a DK (double knit or worsted in American terminology) weight cotton yarn in a light colour is recommended by most crochet experts. This yarn will be smooth to work with and will create loops and stitches that you will be able to see clearly. Cotton fibre holds the stitches well, doesn't tend to stretch and is relatively easy to block and finish once you have finished your crochet project. As well as pure cotton, there are great ranges of mixed yarns, particularly cotton and bamboo. Try something like King Cole Bamboo Cotton DK which comes in a great range of colours, has a smooth surface and isn't prone to splitting. For a slightly finer weight yarn (4ply or sportweight), the DMC Natura Cotton range is recommended.

Once you have really developed your crochet skills, experiment with the finer crochet threads if you like to work on delicate lace projects. There is a whole host of crochet specific yarns on the market, but you can crochet with anything yarn-like, even strips of old plastic bags, garden twine, wire or fabric! (For these kinds of "yarn", a plastic or aluminium hook should be used. Anything made of natural material such as wood or bamboo is unlikely to be strong enough for the job.)

After choosing your crochet yarn, you will need a crochet hook. Crochet hooks range in size from 0.5mm to 25mm and beyond. They come in a variety of materials from plastic, to steel, to bamboo and rose wood. A good place to start that will keep your initial outlay to a minimum while you are learning is the Pony Crochet Hook range; but if you want to treat yourself, then the colourful wooden Knit Pro Crochet Hooks are a delight to work with.

For DK (worsted) yarn, choose a 4mm hook while you are learning to crochet. As you gain in experience, you can try different hook sizes to change the tension of your work. You can also check the band from the ball of yarn that you are planning on using. Often, it will show the recommended knitting needle sizes only, but as a general rule, the yarn will crochet up well in a hook size which is 0.5mm smaller than the recommended knitting needles. By way of example, the band on the King Cole Bamboo Cotton DK recommends using 4mm knitting needles. So if we subtract 0.5mm from 4mm, we get to the 3.5mm crochet hook.

When you're starting out, the only other things you will probably need are a good pair of sharp scissors, a tape measure and a making up needle. Once you get going, there's a whole range of other tools including stitch markers, row counters, blocking pins and knitting clips, but save investing in those until you know crochet is something you're going to pursue as a hobby.

You can keep up with all my latest projects, beginners' crochet instruction and adventures as a new mum on my blog at or visit us at for all of your knitting, crochet and sewing needs.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank You For Leaving Me A Message! Happy Crafting :)