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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.