Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Crochet Hook Sizes

If you look at a modern crochet hook, most likely the hook will have 3 things on it - other than the name of the company that manufactured it. These three things are a letter, a number, and a mm size.
These are the 3 common ways to designate hook sizes. Some companies use all 3 designations, some only one or two.
What can get confusing is that there is not a standard measurement for hooks. So one company's hook may have the same letter as another company's hook, but the mm size is different (i.e. an N in one company may be 10mm, in another it may be 9mm). That small difference may be just enough to alter your gauge. If a pattern calls for an N hook, and the designer used a 10mm N, but you use a 9mm N, your gauge may be off enough to really make a difference in the finished product. And you'll wonder why - you did use the hook that was called for. If the pattern doesn't list the mm size for the hook, it's really not your fault. If the mm size was listed along with the hook letter and the number, then you should make it a point to pick a hook based on the mm size. Crochet patterns should list mm sizes. Letters and numbers are fine for the hooks, but the mm size is the most important thing! If you remember that one little thing, you'll be way ahead!
One more thing to remember - some older hooks may have different mm sizes than newer ones from the same company. So, remember, the best thing to look for in a hook is the mm size.

Here are the commercially available size of hooks:
B-1, 2 mm or 2.5 mm
C-2, 2.75mm
D-3, 3.25mm
E-4, 3.5mm
F-5, 3.75mm
G-6, 4mm
G-7, 4.5mm
H-8, 5mm
I-9, 5.5mm
J-10, 6mm
K-10.5, 6.5mm
L-11, 8mm
M-13, 9mm
N-15, 10mm
P-16, 11.5mm

These are the commercially made hooks. There are other sizes, made by independent hook companies.
I hope this helps those who are confused by the variety of hook sizes and designations.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Missing from your list: 7 mm. This is a standard measurement and is produced by commercial hook makers.
It's only the US (and some producers who aim only at this biggest of all markets), who ignore this vital size which bridges the gap between 6.5 and 8 mm hooks. Frustrating....
JacqBrisbane (Ravelry)

Anonymous said...

Our craft is crying out for a better gadget to measure our hooks with. The callipers I have found are awkward and not very accurate (could only fin one at local garden centre (in Qld). The knitting needles gauge ruler doesn't work. Would Someone please create a hinged gauge ruler!
JacqBrisbane (Ravelry)

Marty Miller said...

Thanks for pointing this out!
Marty

Towsoner said...

So, what would an N hook be used for?

Marty Miller said...

An N hook, whether it's a 10mm or a 9mm hook, can be used to make whatever you want. If you want lacy fabric, and are using worsted weight yarn, you can use an N. If you want tight fabric, and are using bulky weight yarn, you can use an N. You should make a gauge swatch first, with the hook and the yarn that you want to use, and see how the swatch feels. Make sure your swatch is at least 6"x6", or even bigger, to get a good feel for the fabric you are making. If you want a lacier fabric, use a bigger hook. If you want a tighter fabric, use a smaller hook.

Anonymous said...

I'm crocheting a chuck style hat that calls for 9mm M hook, I don't have that one! Can I use N 9mm?

Marty Miller said...

As long as your hook is 9mm, it doesn't matter what the letter designation is. The important sizing info is the mm size. So yes, you can use an N 9mm hook.

michelle thomas said...

Thank you so much for your help:)

michelle thomas said...

Another question...Ive been crocheting hats for children & adults. I've copied a few charts on sizing hats/beanies but they always seems to turn out smaller than I intended, what can I do different? I have two hats I need to crochet the first one she measured her child's head at 30" around & the second 15" around. How can I make sure they'll fit properly? Thank you in advance for your help.

Marty Miller said...

I wrote an article for the Interweave Crochet Accessories Issue, 2010, about just this - how to make a circle into a hat. And it has just been republished, in a new ebook - A Step by Step Guide to Crocheted Hats. You can find it here: http://www.crochetme.com/blogs/crochet_daily/archive/2012/10/29/learn-the-secret-of-crochet-hats.aspx
The article (Circle into Hats) should answer all your questions, and there are 5 hat patterns included in the ebook. Or, with the article, you can design your own.
Hope this helps!

michelle thomas said...

Thank you've been a great help! Fixing to go check it out now:) Thank you again

Susan M. said...

I have a pattern that calls for a h hook. All I have is g. What must I do to make the pattern turn out right while using the g hook? thanks.

Marty Miller said...

The first thing you should do, to find out what would happen if you use a G-6/4mm hook instead of an H-8/5mm hook is to make a swatch. If your pattern says that the stitches (and rows) should measure 4"x4", make your swatch at least 6"x6", and measure the stitches and rows in the middle. If you have more stitches than you should have, you can try to crochet looser. If you have fewer stitches than you should have, you can try to crochet tighter. Make another swatch, and measure again. If you have the right amount of stitches, then you're fine.
One other solution is to check your yarn. You might want to work with a thicker yarn to get the same number of stitches. But - depending on what your pattern is, this might not work for the pattern. The "drape" and "feel" of the material might be different. Another solution, if this is a pattern that has sizes, you could try to make a larger size. Your gauge will probably be smaller, though, so the larger size will really be a smaller size. Again, the fabric might be different than the fabric in the pattern.
The best thing to do is to swatch with different hook sizes, until you get the right measurements. That way you'll know that the fabric you're creating is the same fabric as that in the pattern.

Susan M. said...

The patterns says to chain some many stitches and tie off. Then make another chain so many stitches. I am not sure how to make sure I have chained enough.

Thanks for your help.

Marty Miller said...

As you are making your chains, just count each one. If the pattern says "ch 8", then, don't count the chain on the hook, but count each one after that, as you make it. When you get to 8, that's enough. Then cut your yarn, and tie (end) off.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I got so confused by the different letters. Now I know just follow the mm size !

meliespy said...

Hi! I just purchased 2 hooks, N & P and I just noticed they are both 10mm. Does this mean they are basically the same? Which hook should I return?

Marty Miller said...

Yes - if they are both 10mm they are the same. Look at the hooks - one is probably an in-line hook (the neck, right before the hook part, is straight) and one may be a tapered hook (the neck tapers from the shaft of the hook to the top). If you are going to return one, decide which shape hook you are most comfortable with. And then return the other one. Or keep them both. One can never have too many hooks! :-)

Meri Louise Noyes said...

I bought a M and N hook today and they both say 9.00 mm how can they be the same??

Marty Miller said...

Different manufacturers use different letters on their hooks to designate the same mm size. In the US, there are 3 ways to "name" a hook size - the Number (i.e. 15 or 13, or 6, or 10.5 or whatever) the Letter (i.e. N or M or H or whatever) and the mm - (9 mm, 10 mm, etc.). The most important designation is the mm size, because the other 2 designations are arbitrary - so one manufacturer's M hook may be the same mm as another manufacturer's N hook. That's why you can find an M and an N hook that are both 9mm. They're both the same size, no matter what the letter of the hook is or the number of the hook. It does get confusing, but just look at the mm size to make sure you're using the hook size called for!
Hope this helps!