Monday, April 11, 2005

Question from Reader: Hook Size

JoAnn asks: Does hook size really make a difference when you're crocheting?  I'm crocheting with Homespun and it's really tight.  Is it me, or the yarn?

JoAnn, I understand that you're new to crocheting, and I think you have an excellent question!

Yes, hook size matters. When we purchase our fiber to crochet with, we should look at the yarn label. Many are now giving the information of what the yarn manufacture suggests we use, but you can usually bump the suggested size up or down a size depending upon how tightly or loosely you crochet. The key is to match the gauge suggested by the pattern you intend to use.

If the yarn label does not suggest a hook size, then look at the suggested knitting needle size.  Take that metric size and apply it to the crochet hook -- again, you can bump it up or down a size depending upon your tension.  Still, though, it's important to match the gauge suggested by the pattern.

Now if you don't want to get into gauge right now and would rather concentrate on just making stitches, then I suggest making a few squares all with the same fiber.  With each square, use a different sized hook.  What you'll learn is how the hook will either make a very dense fabric (hook too small), or a fabric that has a very open, possibly softer drape to it (using an oversized hook).  The fun here is to experiment and see what develops.  Have fun with it!  J

1 comment:

btownknitter said...

Size matter to the gauge:
I recently made the Martha Stewart "Coming Home Poncho" and I was on gauge with the needle they called for, which was the suggested needle on the pattern.  After completing the project I was unhappy with the size yet a friend had made the same poncho with a larger sized needle "Q".  I really liked her version better.  SO I started another poncho using her sized needle only to find out with in 3 rows that I crochet looser then her.  So back to the drawing board on making it bigger then the "N" hook and smaller then the "Q" hook with homespun yarn.

Regarding suggested needles on the packages I have noticed and it is just my personal experience that if you do the gauge that the wrapper says you will see that some brands are not neccassarly on guage with the package.... I have made it a habit to always try to do a gauge of the yarn that I purchase if I am going to be creative and make something off the top of my head... I hope that makes sense... BEST gauge I know of is 21 Chains, sc in 2nd chain from hook and in the rest of the row, chain 1 (count as first sc), sc in the other 19 sc.  continue for 10 to 20 rows.  Then get a good gauge ruler and measure center of the work 1inx1in and now you have a more accurate gauge.