Want a free 9 pc ergonomic hook set (express shipping), MasterClasses to learn to read any pattern and 10 premium patterns? Click here to learn more now.
Crochet designer Lorene Eppolite offers valuable tips and tricks for choosing yarn weights and hook sizes for various crochet projects.
One of the greatest things about crochet is that you don’t need a ton of materials to get a project started. In fact, it may be the most streamlined craft around! All you truly need is yarn, and a hook is very helpful.
Understanding yarn weights
Of course within that brief supplies list, you have a few options. Yarn is available in a range of fibers, from natural to synthetic, and can even be made from recycled matter. Crochet hooks are also made from several types of materials, such as wood, aluminum, and plastic.
Once you determine the fiber you want to use for your crochet project, you’ll need to consider the weight of the yarn. Yarn comes in weights 0 – 6 : the smaller the number, the thinner the yarn.
Every 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 threadwork, doilies)
- #1 = Superfine / Fingering / Baby weight (for baby layettes, socks)
- #2 = Fine / Sport weight (for lightweight sweaters, shawls, baby items)
- #3 = Light worsted / DK weight (for sweaters, shawls, gloves)
- #4 = Worsted weight / Medium / Aran (for thicker sweaters, blankets, outer wear, scarves, hats, mittens, gloves, home decor)
- #5 = Bulky / Chunky weight (for jackets, chunky scarves, cowls, hats, blankets)
- #6 = Super bulky weight (for heavy jackets, sweaters, blankets, very thick scarves)
Of course you’re not limited to these projects, and it can be fun to experiment with different weights once you’re 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.
Choosing between hook sizes
Along with weight, yarn labels will also give a recommended hook size to use with the yarn. You can go 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, whereas using a larger hook will give more drape and movement. Smaller hooks 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 = 3.75mm
- G = 4.0mm
- G+ = 4.5mm
- H = 5.0mm
- I = 5.5mm
- J = 6.0mm
- K = 6.5mm
- L = 7.0mm
- M = 8.0mm
- N = 9.0mm
- P = 10.0mm
The hooks most commonly used with worsted weight yarn are 5.5mm, 6.0mm, and 6.5mm. A lot of 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 lower quality, and more costly yarns are better quality, but this is not always the case.
It’s important to factor in the size of your project when you’re calculating the total cost of the yarn that you will use. For example, if you’re setting out to make a large blanket, you’ll likely want to go with a more affordably priced yarn because you know you’ll need more than a couple skeins.
If you’re selling 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 what yarn and hook to use, but it will become second nature once you have followed a few patterns and experimented with different yarn weights and hook sizes.
What is your go-to yarn or hook? Share in the comments section!