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:


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?

Boye Aluminum Crochet Hook

The Boye aluminum crochet hook was the very first crochet hook that I ever owned, so of course it is near and dear to my heart. This post is not sponsored by anyone. I purchased these hooks on my own, and wanted to provide an honest review of them to my readers who might be looking to purchase their first crochet hook. I’ve included my affiliate links below if you’d like to purchase one of these hooks from Amazon.


About Boye

Boye is a brand name owned by the Simplicity Creative Group. You may recognize the Simplicity name, as they also produce sewing patterns and other popular brands in the arts and crafts industry. Boye has been producing and selling crochet hook sets since 1917 in America. Boye was originally known as Boye Needle, founded in 1906 and entered the marketplace in the sewing industry. They originally created a cabinet to house needles, and other sewing accessories for sewing machines. You can find out more about the history of this brand by visiting the about page for the Simplicity Creative Group.

Crochet Hooks: Review of Boye I/9 5.25-5.5mm

Boye currently sells steel, aluminum, and plastic crochet hooks. The very first hook that I purchased was a size I/9 5.5mm aluminum hook to match the requirements on my medium weight yarn label. One thing that I’ve noticed recently is that the Boye hooks being sold have 5.25mm as the hook size (a bit smaller than the one I originally purchased). This number is the metric diameter for the hook. So far, the small difference in size hasn’t made much of a difference in the crochet patterns that I follow, however it is something to note when you are purchasing a hook.

Boye hooks have a rounded head, which I’ve always found to be very comfortable to stitch with when I make crochet kitchen items, baskets, and blankets. These hooks don’t have a pointed end, however I’ve not found that to impact my work in any way, as I feel that the pointed head is more convenient for a closer, tighter stitch.

The throat on these hooks are tapered, rather than inline. Since this was the type that I learned with, I find that this type of throat tends to give me more speed when I’m working on projects now.

Another visual comparison is that the shaft is longer than some of the same sized hooks in different brands. Personally, I like this feature. It allows me to comfortably hold more yarn on my hook when I perform advanced stitches.

There is one thing that I will recommend when using a Boye hook. The butt of these hooks typically have a point. I hold my crochet hook much life a knife, with the butt of it resting in my palm. With this type of hold, after a while the point begins to rub against my hand and cause some discomfort. So, if you opt for this type of hook, I strongly recommend either purchasing the version with the ergonomic handle already on it, or purchasing some to slide over the end yourself.

Overall, I highly recommend these hooks. They were great to learn with as a beginner, and they provide me with good speed and accuracy as I become more advanced. The hooks last and are very easy to store.

Where to Purchase

Boye hooks can be purchased at Walmart, JoAnn Crafts, Amazon, and many other retailers both online and near you. To purchase on Amazon, please navigate using my affiliate links below: