Hello everyone! Tara here—
If you’ve been thinking about learning Tunisian Crochet, one thing you’ve undoubtedly heard about is that you’re going to need new hooks.
And this is true, to an extent. If you want to make any project that’s wider than 4 inches, you’ll have to get a Tunisian hook. If you just want to see if you like the new technique, you can try it out on any straight hook you already have (ergonomic isn’t going to work for this one). You can make a small chain and test out Tunisian Simple stitch, loading your hook up with as many loops as you can fit on it. If you want to keep going, you can make a skinny scarf, or make several skinny panels and sew them together to make a larger project.
Something to keep in mind—you’ll want to use a large hook than your yarn recommends. All of the Tunisian stitches have a tighter yarn tension than regular crochet stitches and it will make your projects want to curl in on themselves. Using a larger hook helps counter that. If your yarn recommends you use a 4mm hook, you’ll want to use a hook that’s between 5.5mm and 6.5mm.
If you enjoy the technique and you want to be able to make a larger variety of projects, there are a few hook options to think about.
# 1: Straight Hooks
Straight Hooks are really great for beginners, and they’re what I started with. They come in a few different lengths, but the common length is between 10-14 inches. If you’re just looking to play around, you can grab a full set online for a few dollars to get a feel for what you’re looking for in a hook. With these sets, I definitely only recommend them as starter hooks to get into Tunisian Crochet. The most common you’ll find are metal and plastic, or resin. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, you can pick up some gorgeous bamboo straight hooks from ChiaGoo or Furls.
With straight hooks, you’re limited on the size on project you can make. Unless you want to make multiple panels and sew them together later, you won’t be able to make a larger project like an afghan. These hooks are incredible for scarves, hats (not worked in the round), and other smaller projects.
# 2: Interchangeable Hooks
Interchangeable hooks are the favorite of most crocheters. The interchangeable hooks give you the most options when it comes to making projects. With these, you can easily change the length of your hook, meaning you can make a mug rug or you can make a massive bedspread. You can even pick up a second hook of your favorite size and use it like a double-ended circular hook, which allows you to crochet in the round.
There are a lot of different hooks you can get, but the top 2 favorites are the Denise Interchangeable Hook Set, which is one of the cheapest on the market with the best quality of plastic hooks, and the bamboo set from ChiaGoo, which is the best bamboo set on the market. Both are easy to use and the cords lock on to the hooks, which stops you from worrying about the cord disconnecting in the middle of a row.
# 3: Hooks with Set Cords
Hooks with set cords give you that added length and flexibility that you wouldn’t get from the straight hooks. You could use these to make afghans, but, depending on the length of the cord, you won’t be able to make anything bigger than that. You would also have to deal with all of that extra cord while making smaller projects.
A lot of people love these because the cords are set, so you don’t have to worry about the cord not being connected properly and falling off in the middle of a row, which can be a problem with some of the interchangeable sets. With these, you can pick up the hook and start crocheting immediately. Check out Annie’s Craft Store to pick up a size K hook with a 24 inch cable!
# 4: Double-Ended Hooks & Double-Ended Circular Hooks
Double-Ended Hooks are a necessity if you have any plans of crocheting in the round.
With these hooks, you want to really think about the project you’re working on before choosing one. You can get straight hooks that are the same length as a regular crochet hook (about 5 ½ inches), which are perfect for small projects like leg warmers or mittens, or you can get straight hooks that are 10-14 inches long and work perfectly for most other projects in the round. Using a long hook for a small project can be difficult, though it is possible, and the same could be said about using a small hook for a larger project. Either way, using a hook that doesn’t fit your project is going to be a lot more work for you.
Double-Ended Circular Hooks are just two hooks that are connected by a set cord. They’re really great for projects like sweaters and other larger projects that you have to work in the round. The cord tends to get in the way when using these with the smaller projects, so I definitely recommend using this one with big projects.
Have you tried Tunisian Crochet yet?
– Tara Orchard, Editor of Crochet! Magazine
Need hooks? Check out Annie’s Craft Store!