The Anatomy of the Crochet Hook

Crochet hooks are the main tool you will use in crocheting. Although basically similar, not all hooks are the same. There are some varying features that can make your crochet experience pleasurable or a hindrance and may be causing your crochet experience to become a discouraging exercise in your life. I am writing this blog to help make choosing a crochet hook a little easier, and I am just covering the basics of the anatomy of the crochet hook today hoping you find this post useful.


Let start by examining the crochet hook and the terminology associated with each part of the crochet hook anatomy. No matter which hook you choose there are five basic parts to a crochet hook. Each part has a role in making crochet stitches. Once you understand the function each part has to perform – it will make choosing your crochet hook easier.



The Head (picture above) of the crochet hook is used to catch the yarn and thread. It is also the part of the hook that pokes into the stitch and pulls the yarn through the stitch. If you examine your hook more closely you will see that your hook is either Inline or Not Inline.(picture below) An Inline hooks means the head of the hook is inline with the rest of the hook.(example Susan Bates) A Not Inline the hook is not inline with the rest of the hook. (example Boyes).


Now, moving on to the point of the head. (picture below) The Susan Bates has a more pointed hook while the Boyes is more rounded. I would like to state there is no right or wrong hook, when choosing Inline hooks or not, pointed or rounded,  it is a personal decision based on your taste, likes and dislikes and comfort zone.


I have never read a pattern that requested an Inline or Not Inline hook, only the correct size. This should tell you that it is a personal choice. People are different with different needs, so the crochet hook has been designed to accommodate those differences.

This is when you need to play around with different hooks and determine which type of hook works best for you. When I have a new crocheting class I will bring both types of hooks to my class and let each student try both. This way they will discover early in there crocheting experience which hook will work best for their needs.



The throat (picture above) is the shaped section that guides the yarn or thread up into the working area. This groove is what catches your yarn as your pull it through the loop. The throat in some hooks are more tapered then others. If you are one of these crocheter that often snag or finds themselves splitting yarn then you might want to try a more tapered throat (example Susan Bates) but, on the other hand if you find your self constantly dropping loops or constantly popping your hooks out of your works you might wish to try a less tapered throat (example Boyes) (picture below)


Shank or Shaft

The Shank or the Shaft (both terminologies are correct) is the section that determines hook size. When you read the size on your crochet hook, for example H8/5.00 mm; this is telling you that the Shank is 5.00 mm in diameter of your hook. The diameter will determine the how large the finished stitch will be. (picture below)


Grip or the Thumb Rest

The Grip, or what some people refer to as the Thumb Rest is the section intended for gripping the hook with your thumb and index or middle finger. It is also the place you will find your crochet hook size printed. (picture below)


The Handle

This is the end that is held by the crocheter. (picture below) Some handles are shorter or longer depending on what you prefer. These can also be the same size as the rest of the hook which is great for most crocheters. However in some case a larger handle (example Ergonomic Handles) would be more recommended for some crochets who suffer with arthritis or stiffness and pain in their hands after crocheting.


Now this is when you start experimenting and shopping around and finding out which hook works best for you. This does not mean you must go out and buy five different hooks of the same size. If you have friends that crochet with a different hook, politely borrow it for a day or two. Remember this is yarn sale season, I am always finding hooks at yarn sales and I am certain you will as well.

Finding the right hook will not only make your crocheting experience better but will also help you to crochet your best.

Until next time, Keep those hooks flying.


About crochetwithpassion

I have been certified through the Craft Yarn Council both in teaching and Instructor. I also have been teaching people to crochet for over fifteen years. This is what I will be doing through this blog. In the Crochet Master Class there are 18 projects. Some of the projects will be familiar to me such as Hairpin Lace; Tunisian Crochet; Filet Crochet; Double Ended Crochet; painted Crochet; Aran Crochet and Irish Crochet. However there are several in the book that are new and have peaked my interest and that includes the following: Woven Crochet; Tapestry Crochet; Entrelac Crochet; Fashion Crochet; Tassels; Bullion Stitch; Overlay Crochet; Bead Crochet; Bruges Crochet; Free-form crochet and Wire Crochet. Since Crocheting is a time consuming craft I will only be posting once a week. If you are like me and love to crochet but would really like to challenge yourself to go beyond what you are now doing, come along with me and move to the next level. Although the actual patterns will not be posted (copyright law) I will take you through each project and go through the process of each one. This is not a blog about free crochet patterns or selling crochet tools. What I would like to do is take you with me on the journey through this book as I learn and crochet each of 18 projects. I will attempt to crochet each project in the book, and in the process recording in detail my progress and the problems I encounter along the way and the process I went through to accomplish each project. I am hoping that you will not only learn from my experience but that it will inspire you to push yourself to the next phase in your crocheting skills. Until next time; keep those hooks flying.
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23 Responses to The Anatomy of the Crochet Hook

  1. Di says:

    Great post!

  2. Vanessa says:

    Great post! Personally, I prefer the Susan Bates hook (though I have both). I like the pointier end and the deeper groove. I never really knew why there was a difference and your post clarified it! Thanks for all of the very useful info you always post!!!

  3. I am so encouraged that you both found the post useful. I also personally prefer Susan Bates, but I use the hooks for years before I knew the reasons why. However, my daughter prefer Boyd’s hooks. This is always the first thing I discuss whereever I have a beginning Crocheting Class. Thanks again for the kind words.

  4. Pingback: Crochet basics – know your hook | UK Crochet Patterns

  5. Angherux says:

    Waoo!! Excellent Post!! Thanks *^_^* I’ll translate the information to teach some friends!

  6. I am so excited that you all are enjoying the post. Thanks for all the kind words.

  7. Vashti Braha says:

    I found this post thanks to Mel, who recommended it in the International Freeform Crochet Yahoo Group. She’s right, it’s great!

  8. I am so glad you found my blog benefit ion. I have never heard of your group, I will check it out. Thanks for the encouraging words and happy crocheting.

    • joebrunosplace says:

      I prefer a bates style hook. For some reason I tend to snag the yarn when pulling thru a stitch when using a Boyes. I’ve started making my own crochet hooks out of various kinds of woods. There’s something even more special about crocheting a blanket with a hook that I carved myself. I guess I need to make my own yarn and pick my own cotton and then my projects will totally be 100% made by me 🙂

  9. Pingback: Crochet Basics: How to Choose the Best Crochet Hooks

  10. Hello!

    That is such a nice clear explanation of basic hook anatomy! Would you mind if I link to this post on my (very new) blog, StringThings Winnipeg?

    I am writing a post about my hooks of choice (knitter’s pride wood and steel sets btw) and rather then go through explaining just why the head and throat of my hooks make me so happy, it would be great to be able to send folks to your admirably written article.

    I am really enjoying your blog, thanks for sharing your expertise!

    All the best,

  11. Pingback: A Perfect Day, A Perfect Hook, A Perfect Book, And A Piece Of String. – StringThings Winnipeg

  12. Loretta fendley says:

    Where can I order a blunt rounded hook.

  13. Boyle hooks seem to be more rounded. Susan Bates have a sharper hook.

  14. Kimberly says:

    Why would the end of the handle have a point? The opposite end from the hook.

  15. The hook side is the one that is either pointed or rounded.

  16. Marybeth says:

    So many places omit the explanation of parts of the hook yet reference it in discussing basic crochet. Thank you for your thoroughness! I am in the beginnings of CYC certification and am starting to teach the basics. Found your blog today, perfect timing! Thank you.

  17. So thankful you enjoy my blog. I hope you enjoy teaching as much as I have. I have taught at local parks, senior homes, high school, our church and at the moment at our local college. If you enjoy teaching, you will discover lots of avenues to help inspire new crocheter’s. Good luck with your certification.

  18. Soozcat says:

    I used to just root around in my mom’s junk drawer and pick up any crochet hook I happened across for a project. I didn’t understand why sometimes my projects would just fly along and other times I’d seem to catch the hook on every stray bit of yarn. It finally came down to understanding the difference between hook styles (and sizes). Personally, I work so much better and faster with Susan Bates hooks than with Boye hooks because of the inline style, but that’s just me.

  19. Thanks so much for sharing, it is a personal preference – the best way to know what you like is to try different ones.

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