When I first started crocheting, I wanted to find the best type of crochet hook for beginners. Do you know what I found?
The perfect crochet hook doesn’t exist…..
…..but before you switch off and think, why bother reading on, let me explain.
As a new crocheter, I came from the land of Knitting. I found the transition between knitting and crochet a little difficult at first. I really struggled with keeping a good tension. My stitches were all randomly shaped with some ending up too tight to work into!
There are so many different types of crochet hooks, curvy, plastic, foamy, metal, wooden, straight, etc etc that I think that what works for you is very individual and so there is no one perfect hook.
Personally I have a favourite brand now but that could be very different to yours!
If you’re searching for the best type of crochet hook for beginners, you may, like me stumble across the fact that there are “inline” and “tapered” hooks.
So Inline and Tapered Crochet Hooks – what are they and what is the difference?
Simply put, in one the hook is “tapered” and the other, the hook is “in-line” with the shaft.
When you are crocheting, you will make the stitches as the “throat” and slide them up the “shaft”. If the throat is thinner than the shaft, it will make it easy to make your stitches too tight! Easy beginner mistake!
Its hard to explain the difference, so here are some pictures! On the left (in blue) is an “inline hook” and on the right (in pink) is a “tapered hook”.
From the front, you can see that the inline hook is flatter than the tapered hook and the shaft and throat (where you will end up making your stitches) is the same width. The tapered hook, gets narrower as you get towards the hook.
It looks a little confusing from the side. The “inline” hook on the left (blue) looks like it tapers more, but as the width of the hook stays the same (front-view) it actually means that it stays the same width.
You can see better from behind that the “inline” hook stays the same width and the tapering of the tapered hook looks more pronounced.
Why is a tapered hook easier for beginners?
Why does one being tapered and one not make either the best type of crochet hook for beginners?
Well, because the “inline” hook doesn’t taper as you get towards the hook-end, I personally found that it much easier to keep even tension as a beginner.
I’ve learned that the first loop you make when making a stitch is the one which determines the size of that stitch. I’ve heard it called the “golden loop”. If you make that loop big, the stitch will be big and vice versa if you make that small, it will be small (and potentially in my case when I started out…too tight!)
Here is an example of the “golden loop”, first on a tapered hook. As you can see, due to the tapering of the shaft, it is very easy to pull too tight and make that loop small
Something about the shape of the inline hook makes it really hard to pull it tight. I’m sure you could if you tried really hard but it would be an effort…!
Because in the “inline hook”, the hook is in-line with the shaft, it is also easier to pull through the loops on the hook to make your stitch. I certainly found when I started out that crocheting using an inline hook made my crochet much smoother.
So, I want an inline hook, what brands are “inline”?
The main brand of inline hooks that I’ve found are “Susan Bates” hooks. Its not that easy to find complete sets in the UK but you can find the more often used sizes on places like Amazon.
Wooden hooks also tend to be “inline”, I think wood is too brittle to tapered! You can pick up a set of wooden hooks for relatively cheap. Here is one of my wooden hooks next to an inline hook. As you can see, they are a similar shape.
So if you are struggling with your tension being too tight, I’d certainly recommend having a go at using an inline hook.
Stop…what if I want to crochet for a LOOOONG time?
Before you run out and buy a new set of hooks, its worth saying that I find that crocheting using a thin handle tends to hurt my hands after a while…
If you are having the same issue and want something with a handle, the Furls Crochet hooks appear to be more in-line than tapered. It has a chunky handle and might work for you. They are a bit more expensive than your “normal” hook though so if you can I’d recommend trying before you buy…!
Because my hands hurt if I crochet too much using a thin handle, I have moved on to try different tapered hooks. I’ve written about finding the best hook for me here.
So, that’s the difference between tapered and inline crochet hooks. I hope this will help you to find the best type of crochet hook for you!