Crochet Hook Sizes: Where Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better

Once you’ve decided to commit to this crazy new hobby, the next challenge you’ll be up against will be crochet hook sizes. You might find yourself at the craft store, staring at an entire wall full of hooks and thinking, which one do I pick? Never fear, we’ve got you covered. In today’s How to Crochet series, we’ll talk all about crochet hook sizes.

Crochet Hook Sizes

If you are purchasing a crochet hook, you are there for one of two reasons: you either have a project in mind that you are going to make (bonus points if you already have yarn in your cart!), or you just know that you need a hook and some yarn to practice these stitches and you’ve stumbled upon the tool aisle first.

If you fit into the latter category, congratulations. I am distracted by the yarn in the store. So much so that I typically take a detour just to twirl in the aisle like Maria in The Sound of Music. The yarn aisle is my happy place.

I digress, back to hooks.

Crochet Hook Sizes Explained

When looking at a crochet hook in a store, you’ll typically notice that the hook sizing is listed on both the packaging and grip of the actual hook itself. It will look something like this:

J/10-6.00MM

The manufacturers that produce crochet hooks have a standard way of displaying the sizing so that crocheters around the world will be able to know which size to purchase. Crochet patterns in the United States are often written using the letter or number system. For instance, a pattern for a scarf might call for a size J, or a size 10 hook. Whereas patterns in other countries typically go by millimeters, so you’ll see a pattern calling for a 6.00MM hook.

Choosing the Correct Crochet Hook Size

Choosing a Crochet Hook Size by Pattern

If you have selected a project to crochet and have a pattern handy, the crochet hook size will be listed near the top of the crochet pattern.

Choosing a Crochet Hook Size by Yarn Chosen

Another way to select a hook size without a pattern is to look at the yarn you’ve chosen for your project. On the yarn label, it will include a small icon that looks like the one below, displaying the hook size needed to achieve a specific gauge. This is particularly helpful if you will be creating your own pattern.

image of hook icon on yarn

This icon tells us that if we use a size 9 hook (I/9-5.50MM) we should be able to have 15 rows of 12 single crochet in a 4″ square.

What about the color?

I’ve often seen crochet hook packages where the hooks come in different colors and wondered if those had anything to do with sizing. The color doesn’t seem to be the same across all hook brands. I did a simple Amazon search for a size I crochet hook, and multiple colors appeared in the search from different brands. The color of the hook is definitely not something you should go by when purchasing a crochet hook.

How to size a crochet hook

If you have a hook set that is handmade, or perhaps handed down from a relative, but you have no idea what size it is, how do you find out the size of a crochet hook?

It’s a bit more simple than you think. Many of the brands that sell crochet hooks and knitting needles also sell a tool to check your gauge, and your hooks size. The tool contains holes, and when you slide your hook into the hole, you’ll be abel to tell which size it is by the corresponding number given.

Now that you know a bit more about hook sizes, which one will you be starting out with first?