Crochet is a fairly inexpensive hobby when you first start out. A basic aluminum metal hook will cost you a couple of dollars. A skein of yarn (cotton or acrylic) can be found at any box craft store in the $2-$5 range. Yarn and a hook is all you really need to get started crocheting. For a beginning crocheter, the investment is minimal, but once you’re “hooked” on crochet, you find that there are additional tools that you’ll want to have in reach to make crocheting more efficient and fun. Here are some of my favorite crochet tools that I’ve acquired during my 15+ years of crocheting which I find most essential when creating any basic or intermediate project.
Through the years, I’ve acquired quite a few different types and sizes of hooks. A majority of the hooks I own are Boye brand hooks. If you’re not familiar with Boye hooks, they’re constructed with a tapered throat and a “rounded to a point” head, which I find slips through loops easier, doesn’t catch ply strands like basic hooks, and allows me to crochet faster. Some people prefer the design of Susan Bates hooks which have an inline throat and cylindrical head. It’s all about your individual style and how you hold your hook that can determine which hooks are most ideal for you. I’m not here to dictate which is better, only providing information on which are my favorite. If you want to know more about the difference, benefits/disadvantages between some of the hooks available on the market and their hook anatomy, here’s some good blog posts that I’d recommend reading:
- Crochet Hooks – How to Choose the Right Type and Size by Sandy Huntress
- Guide to Crochet Hooks by Nerdigurumi
- All about Hooks by CrochetCabana
Besides the Boye hooks, I also have a few Clover Soft Touch hooks (2nd from the top in the above picture) which I like because they feel smaller in my hand (compared to the Boye which have longer shafts) and provide additional comfort when working on intermediate projects. I’d highly recommend Clover brand hooks if you’ve committed to crochet and find its something you’ll enjoy on a regular basis. Clover hooks tend to be a tad pricier (about $5-$7 a piece) than the standard aluminum hooks. The *Clover Amour Crochet Hook Set is quite popular right now, has ergonomic benefits, and looks fun and very colorful!
Earlier this year I purchased my first Furls hook. I’d been admiring them for a couple years but the price was way more than I could imagine spending at that time on a single crochet hook. They are praised for their ergonomic design, comfort, beauty, plus they benefit the user by relaxing the hand and wrist to produce more even stitches. Don’t believe me? Just read all the testimonials on their site. I loved the look of them and finally decided to get one of the Candy Shop hooks with some birthday money I received. When my Strawberry H (5 mm) hook came (the first one pictured in the above picture) and I held it in my hand, I felt like royalty! It is so elegant and beautiful. I love the way it feels in my hand and how it just glides through stitches without catching. The head and throat are a good blend between the Boye and Bates style hooks so it’s sure to please both parties. I’ve since purchased the Blue Raspberry F (3.75mm) and Green Apple J (6mm) hooks. I know I’ll probably have to acquire the whole candy shop collection in time and then start on their wood heirloom hooks. Seriously, I want them all!
For more specialized projects like big bulky afghans or rugs, you’ll need larger hooks that range in sizes N (9mm) all the way to S (19mm). These larger hooks make it easier to work with thicker, bulkier yarns.
Additionally, if you have interest in Tunisian crochet, you can purchase longer hooks (sometimes called afghan hooks) or interchangeable hooks with cables.
A yarn bowl makes a nice vessel for holding your yarn while crocheting. The pink bowl pictured above was a candle holder I re-purposed to be a yarn bowl. Furls has a lovely wooden yarn bowl that would accessorize nicely with their wooden hooks. If you’re inclined to use a yarn bowl while crocheting, you don’t have to spend much to acquire one. A plain bowl would work just as well. If you want to get creative, you can make one as well from a variety of materials or containers.
*Small thread scissors are a definite must have in my arsenal. I use mine for almost each and every snip. Any pair of scissors will do so long as they aren’t dull.
If pointy scissors are too dangerous to have out in the open while you’re crocheting (those of us with babies and toddlers know all too well the constant worry/paranoia that their kid is going to maim themselves with anything sharp they find), I’d recommend the *Clover Yarn Cutter Pendant. It can be worn on a chain around your neck or on a key chain hanging from your project bag. It can snip your yarn in a instant when needed and won’t harm little hands/fingers and certainly won’t poke an eye out.
As a woman on the go, I just don’t feel right when I don’t have a book to read or a project on hook in hand when I’m waiting in a doctor’s office or on my lunch break. I like to have one or two small projects with me wherever I go for that very reason. Sometimes the projects are small enough to just fit in my purse, but other times I like to carry them in a separate bag. I received a Thirty-one bag with my initials on it from mother-in-law a few Christmases back that I use. I find it carries quite a few projects. There are several pockets all around it to stash notions or hooks, or even some snacks that I keep on hand for my kiddo. I love taking it with me when we’re driving in the car someplace because it stands up on its own, keeps everything contained, and it fits nicely at my feet without being too bulky.
A project bag can be any container you see fit to take along with you while you’re on the go. I’ve got many canvas bags or reusable tote bags that I stuff yarn in. Even a simple plastic grocery bag works well to hold a project every now and then! Use whatever is most accessible to you.
These are essential whenever you’re working in the round. I hate to admit how many times I’ve decided to be lazy by not using stitch markers and have ended up frogging a project because I can’t recall where the last round left off. Take it from me and save yourself the trouble of working twice as hard on a project when you can simply use these from the get go. You don’t have to get fancy when it comes to stitch markers. I’ve used scrap yarn in contrasting colors as markers before. Just so long as its something that holds its place in the stitch, then it works as a stitch marker!
If you want to get a little fancier with your stitch markers than using scrap yarn, there are plenty of varieties available as notions at box craft stores, or handmade by others on Etsy. You could even try making your own (post forthcoming)! I made some beaded ones with jewelry pliers, clasps, and wire (as pictured above with the green, blue and yellow glass beads). Feel free to get creative!
Yep. You’re going to need a *darning needle for any crochet project you complete. Why you ask? Well, there’s these things called loose ends which are the one thing most of us crocheters love to hate. They don’t go away on their own. You have to weave them in your projects if you ever want to call a project finished. It’s a necessary evil.If you use a multitude of skeins or color switches on one project, then you’re doomed to be weaving ends in for all of eternity.
A yarn winder isn’t an essential tool for crochet, but I really enjoy making center-pull yarn cakes for use while crocheting. I purchased my *Stanwood Needlecraft Metal Yarn/Fiber/Wool/String Ball Winder from Amazon a couple years ago and found that it was super easy to set up and fun to use. I’ll admit to winding yarn cakes just for the entertainment of it.
I said that the *yarn winder isn’t essential for creating center-pull yarn balls because it’s entirely possible to make them without any special equipment. To do so, just wind your yarn from the skein around your thumb with the beginning tail of the yarn hanging down from your hand. Keep winding the yarn around your thumb (while making sure not to wind too tightly). As you wind and the ball increases in size, it helps to rotate the ball on your thumb periodically to keep the yarn even. Continue winding and rotating until all the yarn is wound and you should have a nice center-pull yarn cake as a result. Maybe not as nice as the one below made with a *yarn winder, but it will be free standing and pull from the center.
Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the goodies that I love to use while crocheting. Hope that you’re inspired to expand your tool collection and learn new techniques that will grow your love of crochet.
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