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3 things to know about steel crochet hooks, sizes, handles

“What are steel crochet hooks for?” I get asked that a lot. When crochet students rifle through a box of crochet hooks they come across the thin, steel hooks with tiny heads. Steel crochet hooks are used for crocheting with thread (often called thread crochet). That’s how all those lovely doilies you see were created. Nowadays, people make all sorts of fun stuff by crocheting with thread. If you’re interested in thread crochet, there are 3 things you need to know about the steel crochet hooks you’ll be using.

The Sizing is Different

Steel crochet hook sizes are labeled differently that standard crochet hooks. While standard crochet hooks in the U.S. have a letter name like D or H, steel crochet hooks have a number name. 0 hooks are larger than 1 hooks that are larger than 2 hooks and so on. The larger the number, the smaller the hook. The tiniest steel crochet hook I’ve worked with is a size 14.

Millimeters are Still the Best

Thread crochet is really popular in Japan. Because of that, you may find steel hooks in the store that are sized differently. For example, I have two steel crochet hooks labeled size “12”. But one of those hooks is 1mm and the other is .6mm. That’s definitely not the same. This is why I always recommend looking at the millimeter size on the hook. Just like with regular crochet hooks, that’s the best way to figure out the size.

steel crochet hook sizes

Handles Matter

When I crochet with thin steel crochet hooks my hand can start to hurt from grabbing the thin handle. I much prefer steel crochet hooks with comfortable handles. There are a variety available from Etimo and Clover. It is more comfortable to crochet with the larger handles. If you want to stick with your steel hook you already have, you can buy foam tubes that slip on the handle to make it larger and easier to grab.

You can buy steel crochet hooks at any major craft store or at your local yarn store as well as online. There are a wide variety available so you’ll be able to find the ones that are just right for you. If you’re interested in thread crochet, watch my video explaining thread sizes.