So I’ve been debating how I’ve wanted to write this for awhile. There are so many of these lists out on the internet, some of them are more comprehensive than others. I’m going to attempt to keep this list somewhere between the simple and overly comprehensive.
There are 4 basic supplies I feel that every crocheter should absolutely have. Yarn, hooks, scissors, and yarn needles. There are other supplies, that I’ll get into later. Of those, a few are important but not absolutely necessary from the get go and the rest are, in my opinion, completely optional.
There are enough basics on yarn, that it will be getting its own blog post soon.
So at the most basic there are 2 types of crochet heads and 3 types of materials.
The hook heads are In-line and tapered. Note: One is not better that the other. Which head type you use is completely up to you. I’m partial to the tapered head, but I know crocheters who only use in-line heads. I do own both types. This photo, courtesy of www.dabblesandbabbles.com, show’s the visual difference between the two.
Material-wise, the majority of hooks are made from aluminum, wood or plastic. Very tiny headed hooks, meant for lace work, though they can be used for very tiny stitches, are made of steel. The aluminum hooks, at least here in the US, are either made by Susan Bates (In-line Head type) or Boye (Tapered Head type). Both of these can be found at most commercial craft stores. Wood hooks, usually bamboo or a hardwood and not as slippery as aluminum or plastic hooks and are best suited for slower crochet work. I own a set of rosewood hooks for this purpose. Plastic hooks tend to be in the larger hook sizes and I find them best for really young children who are first learning or when I have to fly somewhere as not all airlines approve of metal crochet hooks in carry-on baggage.
Hook sizing can get confusing since the US sizing is done with a combination of letters and numbers, and everywhere else does sizing in millimetres. The sizing in the US can also differ between manufacturers. The millimetre sizing however, is universal. Most patterns list the mm hook sizing rather than the US sizing, though there are some patterns that only list the US sizing. there are multiple hook conversion lists on the internet.
There is much more to hooks, but this is just the basics. If I get a request for it, I’ll write a whole blog post on the subject.
A good pair of scissors is a must. I use a standard sized pair, but a small pair will work just fine. Please make sure that these are sharp, as dull scissors can prevent a clean cut of the yarn and make it that much harder the thread in the ends once the project is finished.
A yarn needle is always useful. They make sewing in the ends so much quicker, and depending on what you are doing, assembling pieces together. Yarn needles are also referred to as tapestry needles and darning needles. They can be either metal or plastic and they are also dulled at the point, rather than sharp the way a regular needle is.
Now for the optional crochet things.
This one, I consider important, but not absolutely necessary. A book on crochet stitches. I own a few and I do consult them from time to time. I’m not referring to a pattern book, though those are good to have to (I have over a dozen at this point and I get new ones every few months). A good crochet book will have a lot of basic crochet stitches, with written steps, diagrams of the layout, and a picture of the finished stitch. My favorite in my collection so far is 500 Crochet Stitches: The Ultimate Crochet Bible.
Things that are optional:
A hook case. A case is good, if you only have one set of hooks, though if you have many sets, or a lot of hooks, anything that can hold them all in one spot works too. I have a friend that has all of hers in an old coffee can. I believe she’s about to find something bigger as the can can just barely hold all of hers that she’s collected over the years. I keep all of mine in an old pringles can, as I have long, Tunisian hooks (more on those in a later post) in my collection.
A tape measure. By this, I’m referring to a sewing tape measure. This is used for figuring out gauging, though there are a few patterns that I’m aware of that tell you to crochet to a certain length rather than until you reach a certain row number.
Stitch markers. Some people use these, some people don’t. They are great for keeping track of stitch multiples on large projects, or for marking where the next round starts if you’re doing amigurumi. I personally don’t use them for that. I do own them, but I use them to hold a stitch if I’m putting the project down for awhile, as I know the hook may fall out of the project, of the yarn may get pulled on, and thus removing stitches, before I get back to it.
Row/Stitch counter. I, personally, don’t use them. I know people that do, and they love them. I don’t care for them. They keep track of your counting for you, mainly so you don’t have to.
Crochet materials storage: How you choose to store you yarn and tools is entirely up to you. I have two 27 gallon totes, one holds my extra amigurumi supplies and that other holds all of the products I’m made for my Etsy shop. I have a third one for when that first gets full. My tools and odds and ends are split between a 31 bag and a cardboard box and all of my yarn is kept in a canvas bin that I found on clearance at Burlington Coat Factory with what yarn I am currently using sitting in a farmers market bag sitting on top of the aforementioned canvas bin. This set up works for me, but my needs will probably be different that yours. Experiment a little and find what works for you. If you have a whole room to dedicate to it, awesome. If you don’t, that’s fine. I have a little corner of the living room with my bins being stored in the dining area just so I don’t have to keep going to the garage.
I would add more, but I feel like I’ve probably written enough for the moment as is. Please let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll try to answer them as best as I can.
Stay safe everyone, Liz