How Do You Match A Crochet Hook To Your Yarn? - Darn Good Yarn

How Do You Match A Crochet Hook To Your Yarn?

Written by Kate Curry

Have you ever found the perfect yarn - of course you have! Before you get working on your next project, you’ll need to know what hook to use with your new dream yarn. But…how do you match a crochet hook to your yarn?

Before you find the perfect hook to match your yarn, you need to know a little bit about yarn weights and crochet hook sizes.

Understanding Yarn Weights

Yarn weight doesn’t mean the actual weight of the yarn - it’s referencing the thickness of the yarn strands. Yarn weights will be categorized by numbers, with the smallest number (0) being the thinnest type of yarn (lace) and the largest number (7) being the thickest yarn (jumbo).

A chart of all the yarn weights to the type of yarn needles and hooks that should be used with them.

These numbers are used to sort yarn between these 7 weights of yarn. These are where we get the categories of lace weight, sport weight, worsted weight, and more!

Understanding Crochet Hook Sizes

Crochet hooks, rarely called crochet needles, come in dozens of sizes and can be made out of plastic, metal, resin, or wood. When referencing crochet hook sizes - we’re talking about the thickness of the hook itself, not the length of the hook. The larger the hook, the thicker the hook will be - sounds about right!

A row of multicolored acrylic crochet hooks are lined up by size on a white background.

In the USA, we organize crochet hooks by letters, with the further down the alphabet you go, the thicker your crochet hook will become. So a B hook will be smaller than an E hook. In Europe, crochet hooks and needles are organized by metric measurement or by number. These different measurements can sometimes confuse crafters. There are tons of crochet hook conversion charts online that can help you out!

A USA crochet hook B/1 is also called a 2.25mm or a UK 13. Talk about confusion! No wonder there’s so many conversion charts out there!

Check The Label

Before you make too much trouble for yourself, check any tags on your yarn. The majority of yarn will come with a tag that will tell you what the recommended hook and needle sizes are for that specific type of yarn.

A purple, black, and white yarn tag for some of our worsted weight silk handmade yarn.

If for some reason there is no tag with hook info, take a picture and reach out to the yarn maker for help.

Read The Pattern

Did you buy a kit that comes with the yarn? Check the pattern, the necessary hook size will be included in the directions, most likely the materials list.

A crochet hat pattern is printed out and laid on a white table alongside a pair of scissors, hooks, and needed deep maroon red yarn.

Use A Gauge Tool

There are a ton of cool gadgets out there that can help you with your hook hunting! There are  yarn weight gauge tools that can be found online, just like this cute little guy!

Eyeball Your Yarn

An old eyeball trick I was taught was to lay the yarn side by side to a few crochet hooks. The hook should be a little thicker than the yarn, but not by much. They should almost be the same thickness. This is one way to eyeball your yarn and guess which hook best matches the yarn.

A swatch of blue and navy yarn being worked up using a metal and red gripped crochet hook.

Test It Out!

When in doubt, test it out! Do a few rows, or even better, a swatch. Once you start working the yarn, you will be able to tell if the hook you chose is right! Not sure what to look for? I’ve got you covered!

Three different yarn swatches of different sizes, made out of the same bright pink, white, and blue marbled yarn.

These three swatches are made out of the same worsted weight silk yarn, same number of rows, and same amount of chains. (7 rows of 12 double crochets)

The smallest, to the left was made using a 3.75 mm hook is 2"x2". The 'correct' sized swatch in the center, was made using a 5.00 mm crochet hook is 2 1/2" x 3". The last, and largest swatch, to the right, was made using a 8.00 mm crochet hook is 3 1/2" x 3 1/2".

What Happens If My Hook Is Too Big?

A closeup image of a loosely made swatch of pink, white, and blue swirled yarn.

If your work is all loose with floppy chains, your hook is too big. When making this, it was hard to find my stitches, they were so floppy!

What Happens If My Hook Is Too Small?

A closeup image of a tightly made swatch of pink, white, and blue swirled yarn.

If your work is too tight and it’s hard for you to work with the yarn, your hook is too small. I ended up getting a cramp by the time I finished this swatch - each stitch was so tight I had to push the yarn pretty hard.

There’s No Yarn Police Here!

With fiber art, like all art, there really is no right or wrong. As long as you are comfortable and happy with how your WIP is looking, then you’re using the right hook with the right yarn!

A ball of thin, blue yarn is being worked up on a shiny metal blue crochet hook.

Meet the Author

Profile picture of the author, Kate Curry, wearing a dark red Nanda Poncho sitting on concrete stairs in front of brick wall.

Kate has been on the Darn Good Yarn team since 2018.

They have their degree in Creative Art Therapy & Psychology - and like crafting and animals a little too much.