5 Essential Crochet Tools for Beginners

One of the things I LOVE about crochet is it is one of the most inexpensive hobbies to have. You can make beautiful and intricate things by hand on an incredibly small budget. But, when you start looking around online or at craft stores, it can get super overwhelming with all the crochet tools and supplies available. Take heart – there are literally only 5 essential crochet tools for beginners – and 2 of them you will have lying around the house already!

Crochet hooks image

1. Crochet Hook

I have a particular passion about finding the best crochet hook for your style. This would include how you hold your hook, the type of projects you typically do and if you have any pain or health concerns. But these are things that will work themselves out as you go along, so definitely don’t worry about them right away. If you want to become an absolute Crochet Hook PRO, you can download and ready my free ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CROCHET HOOKS from my resource library – a 17-page downloadable PDF that goes through absolutely everything you will ever need to know about the incredible hook.

But for starters, I recommend buying one of the many affordable crochet hook sets that come with all the common hook sizes. I recommend choosing from a basic aluminum set or an ergonomic/comfort grip set with aluminum heads. The emphasis here, is to choose a hook with an aluminum head (versus plastic or wood) which will give you a better experience as a beginner since the yarn moves more freely on an aluminum head. Here are two inexpensive sets I would direct you to that include ALL the crochet tools I recommend for beginners, minus the yarn, for UNDER $15:

Aluminum Crochet Hook Set
Ergonomic Crochet Hook Set

If you’d rather just go for ONE hook to begin, start with a size 5.5 mm, also called I-9. This will match well with a worsted/medium weight yarn (which we will talk about next). Single hooks are also quite inexpensive, starting at $3 or $4. But, if you also need to acquire the rest of the tools (stitch markers, scissors, etc), I recommend just going with one of the above sets since you get the whole shebang together.

2. Yarn

Yarn and crochet hook come in at a tie for 2 of the 5 most essential crochet tools for beginners. You cannot make anything, of course, without these two. If you really get into crochet, or any fiber art, it’s highly likely that yarn will become a sub-passion because it is the material that brings your project to life! There are endless colors and so many different fibers and blends of fibers. It does become really fun as you get to know yarn and all the many different ways to choose the best yarn for your project.

BUT FOR STARTERS…

Go for a WORSTED weight yarn (also called MEDIUM weight, with the number 4 on the label), in a color that you LOVE. Choose a fiber that feels nice to you. Start it all off right by choosing a sustainable yarn which fortunately are more accessible these days. I’d recommend you head to a hobby store like JoAnn Fabrics, Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Walmart. You will find yarn at any of these stores.

It’s vital that you choose the right weight of yarn matched with the correct crochet hook size. My recommendation for beginners (as stated above when we talked about hooks) is to choose a hook size 5.5 mm with a worsted/medium weight yarn. When you’re just starting out, stay away from textured yarns or really thin, smaller weighted yarns.

Scissors Image

3. Scissors

Any scissors will do, but just make sure they’re sharp! I recommend a pair of small scissors that are designed for fiber or sewing. I love these detail scissors by Singer. I also use these Fiskars scissor snips which are amazing and quick because you can just grab them and snip your yarn – you don’t even have to poke your fingers through any holes! Of course, feel free just to start with the scissors you have laying around at home. Any scissor will work, but as you crochet more you will be super thankful for a small, SUPER SHARP pair of scissors.

Tapestry Needles Image Essential Tool

4. Tapestry Needle/Darning Needle

You will need a tapestry needle for weaving in your yarn ends at the beginning, end, and within your project. These needles come in plastic and steel. I like steel because they’re sturdy and don’t bend. These are the ones I use but it really doesn’t matter. Mine came with some crochet hook set I got ages ago and I’ve never had to buy more. These are not standard sewing needles – they are much larger and have a large eye opening for threading yarn through (versus skinny thread). Again, the sets I recommended above when we talked about hook sets, come with tapestry needles as well.

Stitch Markers Image Essential Tool

5. Stitch Markers

Finally, the last essential crochet tool is stitch markers! Stitch markers will keep the place you left off at when you set your project down for the day. They will mark the beginning and end of rounds and rows. They will keep your place as you count stitches by tens or twenties or whatnot. You must have stitch markers.

I love the locking plastic kind because they don’t fall off your project like the non-locking kind. This is one of the two items I referred to as a tool you may have lying around your house because you absolutely don’t have to buy special stitch markers. You can use: safety pins, paper clips, or a small strand of scrap thread that you can thread through your project using your crochet hook. I use these plastic locking stitch markers which commonly come with crochet hook sets, or that you can buy separately when you need more (like when you have small kids that like to play with them!!).


I hope you’ve found some relief after reading this and realizing there are literally only 5 essential crochet tools for beginners! I’ll have a separate article on fun, optional gadgets that I love and use but are absolutely not necessary. I’ll link to that post when I have it completed!

As far as finding a pattern that you want to try, there are TONS and TONS of free patterns online that would be perfect for beginners. Don’t invest a bunch of money into books or paid patterns until you know you are comfortable with crochet and are willing to spend a bit of cash on it! You can find a collection of free patterns in my resource library right here, as well.

All in all, crochet really is a super inexpensive hobby and one that is well worth trying! So to wrap it up, I’ll include the links again to two great starter kits that come in under $15 and will give you all these essential tools minus the yarn:

Aluminum Crochet Hook Set
Ergonomic Crochet Hook Set

Happy Hooking!

This post uses affiliate links. If you purchase through one of the links in this post, I may receive a small commission on the sale. This in no way affects your cost and I ABSOLUTELY only provide links to items that I use and love myself!!
Crochet Hook Size Conversion Chart Featured Image

Crochet Hook Size Conversion! Now!

A, B, C … 1, 2, 3. Does finding the right crochet hook size ever make you feel like you’re back in Kindergarten again? I can smell the crayons and feel my scratchy nap-time beach towel beneath me! (PS – who has a Kindergartener that STILL TAKES NAPS?)

You may or may not already know about my mild obsession with crochet hooks. I believe that becoming an expert in understanding crochet hooks is certainly worthy of some type of advanced certification. If you want to consider yourself CERTIFIABLY PRO in the study of the crochet hook, be sure to download my free Ultimate Guide to Crochet Hooks in the Resource Library. You will never have another question about this most revered crochet tool.

But I digress.  Back to our alphabet and numbers.

I’m 99% sure you won’t ever have to take a test on your crochet hook conversion knowledge. But if you ever do, I hope it’s open book. So, I have created a Crochet Hook Size Conversion Chart so you will never have to worry about this again.

This conversion chart includes metric sizes from 0.75 mm through 19.00 mm and includes conversions for METRIC, US, UK and JAPAN. I mean, COME ON – the art of Amigurumi was ROOTED in Japan – they certainly deserve to be represented on a common crochet hook conversion chart. Can I get an AMEN?

I’m sorry if you’re one of the few that uses a crochet hook smaller than 0.75 mm. You have eyes like the owl and you are my hero. I didn’t include those sizes on my chart and they only include 6 hooks sized only for Metric and Japan. Just for you, here they are:

METRIC / JAPAN
0.40mm / 24-lace
0.45mm / 23-lace
0.50mm / 14-lace
0.55mm / 13-lace
0.60mm / 12-lace
0.70mm / 11-lace

You’re welcome.

Click on the image below to download the Crochet Hook Size Conversion Chart quick reference card from our Resource Library and sleep easy tonight.

Crochet Hook Size Conversion Chart Infographic
Anatomy of a Crochet Hook Featured Image

The Anatomy of a Crochet Hook

It’s time for “the talk”. The anatomy talk. The CROCHET HOOK anatomy talk.

You’re new to this relationship – the hook-mate relationship. You’re curious. You’re intrigued. You may not have even told anyone else that you’re exploring this new territory – this CROCHET thing. You want to feel it out – to do a little exploration – before you fully commit.

But first, some small talk. That’s where every relationship begins, is it not?

Finding your perfect hook-mate is like finding a treasured friend. I don’t mean to de-value human friendship. Let’s be honest, your hook doesn’t have a warm, soft shoulder when you need somewhere to cry. BUT you will probably be spending A LOT of time with your hook-mate, so you must first know if you are compatible. And to test the intricate figure of compatibility, you must first study it’s anatomy.

Today we’re talking about the anatomy of the crochet hook (in case you didn’t catch that already). You’re just dipping your toe into the world of the hook here – not to be mistaken with a full, deep-dive into the various styles of each part, what they’re for and all the things to consider based on your personal style. If you’re SO OVER the small talk and ready to take your hook-mate relationship to the next level, you’ll probably be wanting to read this Ultimate Guide to Crochet Hooks.

So, let’s get this party started!

I’m going to break the hook down into 6 parts: tip, lip & mouth, throat & neck, shaft, thumb rest, and handle. The first 3 parts mentioned (tip, lip & mouth, and throat & neck) make up the HEAD of the hook. The latter 3 parts (shaft, thumb rest and handle) make up the BODY of the hook.

I have created a Quick Reference Card outlining The Anatomy of a Crochet Hook. You can find it in the Resource Library by clicking on the image of it below. From there, you can save it to your computer, print it, or simply look at it larger and closer. You’ll want to reference it as we go along.

The Anatomy of a Crochet Hook QRC Infographic

THE HEAD

THE HEAD The Anatomy of a Crochet Hook Graphic

Point/Tip:

The tip of the hook is also referred to as the point. This is the part that gets pushed through your crochet stitches. The tip can be more pointy or more round. Pointier tips are easier to push through stitches, but they can split your yarn if they are too sharp.

Lip & Mouth

The lip is what snatches your yarn after you push your hook through a stitch and “yarn over”. The loop then gets kept in the mouth as you pull the hook back through the stitch. The shape of the lip affects the shape of the mouth. It can be either more angular or rounded.

The mouth is also referred to as the bowl or the groove. The shape of it is directly affected by the shape of the lip. If the lip is more angular, the mouth will be more pointed. If the lip is more rounded, the mouth will also be more rounded.

Throat & Neck

The throat & neck guide your yarn into the working area. The loops are held here as they come on and off the hook. Based on how many loops you have on the hook, they may gather down towards the shaft. The throat can be either inline or tapered.

THE BODY

The Anatomy of a Crochet Hook THE BODY

Shaft:

The shaft of the hook is also referred to as the shank. It partners with the throat & neck to hold the loops being worked. Loops will slip up and down this area as you are working your project. The shaft plays the critical role of determining the size of your stitches and is what the size of a hook is based upon (4mm, 7mm, etc). Depending on how you hold the hook, and the length of the shaft, you may also be grasping this area off and on while working your project.

Thumb Rest:

The thumb rest is also referred to as the grip. Not all hooks have a notable thumb rest. If there is one, it is designed to be a comfortable and obvious place where you hold the hook between your thumb and index or middle finger. The thumb rest may be a flatted area of the hook or made obvious by some type of padding like silicone, rubber or foam pad. If a hook is considered ergonomic, it is because of a specialty thumb rest and handle.

Handle:

The handle is the single largest and longest part of the hook. This is the part you hold. It rests inside your palm if you use the knife grip. It will rest on top of your forefinger if you use the pencil grip. The handle and the thumb rest are what determines if a hook is ergonomic. It provides stability as you work your project. The handle can be shorter, longer, thicker, thinner, plain or decorative.

VOILA!

Now that you understand the anatomy of a crochet hook, you are well on your way to finding your perfect hook-mate match! When you’re ready to take this getting-to-know-you phase of your relationship up a notch, be sure to check out my Ultimate Guide to Crochet Hooks. It is accompanied by a downloadable PDF document that will provide you with anything and everything you want to know or need to know about how to find your perfect hook.

Happy Hooking!