A Crochet Hook is a short needle (about 6″ long) with a hooked top and a blunted bottom. They come in various widths and materials.
For a great article about the anatomy of a crochet hook, check out this awesome post from Fresh Stitches
Crochet Hook Size is based on the width of the hook. In general, a smaller number is a thinner hook, and a larger number is a thicker hook. (For Steel hooks, lower numbers are bigger hooks.)
The Size needed for a project will depend on the weight of yarn used. A pattern will always include a recommended hook size, and then usually say “or size needed to obtain gauge”. This is because every crocheter is unique, and how tightly, loosely, and evenly you yourself crochet will determine the size of hook needed to get that gauge. For more information on Gauge, see below.
Crochet hooks are made in a variety of materials from plastic to steel to exotic woods, with the most common being bamboo and aluminum. The crochet hook composition doesn’t usually affect the pattern, and comes down to personal preference. I personally prefer bamboo but will sometimes use metal hooks with ergonomic handles
The other essential tools for crochet are few: a small pair of scissors or thread snips, a soft measuring tape, yarn needles, and removable stitch markers.
- Scissors: You will need a small pair of scissors to cut your yarn. (As with other crafts, measure twice and cut once!)
- Tape Measure: You will need a soft, flexible measuring tape to check your gauge, and sometimes to measure your work.
- Yarn needle (Darning needle): Yarn needles are used for sewing together knit panels, weaving in loose ends, and attaching tassels, fringe, and buttons. Often times a crochet hook will work just as well.
- Removable Stitch Markers: Stitch markers are utilized to mark sections of stitch repeats and borders. When crocheting, you want to be sure you can move your stitch marker around as needed. You can use safety pins instead.