Did you know that crochet hooks have names for each and every part and feature on them? What seems like an innocent cylindrical object with a hook on one end actually is full of subtle curves, recesses, and other parts that make for a sophisticated yet simple tool.
Above I've labeled the most basic parts of a crochet hook...just like us, a crochet hook has a head and a body. The green hook shows starting at the tip top, the point (where one inserts the hook into the work), the throat, the shank or shaft, the thumb rest, also known as a "pad" or "grip." And finally, the handle.
Upon closer inspection, you might notice the throat area of some hooks is flatter, that is called "inline." Some have a more smoother transition, which is referred to as "tapered."
As you can see, crochet hooks have the same or similar basic parts, but there are subtle differences in the shape/size/depth of some of the parts and materials used to make the hook. In the picture above, the hook on the left is a metal/plastic combination with a rubbery thumb grip, the middle hook is wood (birch), and the green one on the end is metal (aluminum).
These materials are pretty common, here's a list of some other materials you may find (either new at a store or older at an antique shop or online):
- Wood (some examples include birch and walnut, some are simpler, some are more ornate with hand turning and carvings for example)
- Bone or Ivory (Vintage/Antique)
- Nickel Plated
Some have ornate beading, some light up, and so on! There are crochet hooks available that can be wonderful pieces of functional art.
As you can see in the photo below, some hooks are shallower or deeper, some come down farther in the front like the one in the center does, and so on. This is really a personal preference and depends largely on your working style...the way you hold your hook and how you manipulate it while working a stitch. My recommendation is to try a few different styles and see what you like best.
Speaking of preference...I wanted to mention handles too. As seen below, handles can take many forms. Some can be more ornate with carving, curvature, or beading. Some are ergonomic, like the Clover J hook seen below, and are amazingly comfortable. However, I think you can get some serious mileage out of a basic metal hook like the one below in green, and a very economical choice too.
So fellow crocheting friends, I'd like to ask you...what hook(s) do you favor and why? I would love to hear your thoughts! Happy crocheting to you!