How Your Choice of Crochet Hooks Can Influence Your Gauge

Two Hooks of the Same Size Produced Two Squares of Different Sizes

Crochet Hook Differences -- Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hooks vs Boye Crochet Hooks
Crochet Hook Differences -- Both of These Crochet Hooks Are Size H / 5.00 mm, Yet the Squares I Crocheted With Them Are Not the Same Size. Let's Explore the Reasons Why. Photo Collage and All Pictures © Amy Solovay, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

The same crochet pattern with the same yarn and the same size of hook should produce the same gauge, right? While that seems logical, it doesn't match what can happen in real life. Here is an example of what happened in this scenario, with the result being two squares of measurably different size.

The Accidental Crochet Hook Gauge Effect Test

I was working on making an afghan out of different crocheted squares.

A couple of my latest squares turned out to be two different sizes. I used the same pattern to make them, and the same exact yarns. Since the squares are different sizes, it will be a challenge for me to join the squares together. This is not good.

Two Hooks - Same Size, Different Manufacturers

The problem came about because I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing when I grabbed the crochet hooks I used to make each square. One square (the one shown on the right) was made with a Boye crochet hook, size H / 5.0 mm. At some point, my Boye hook was tucked in a bag somewhere and I grabbed a different hook, a Clover Soft Touch hook, which is also a size H / 5.0 mm hook.

If you take a look at the photo collage posted above, you can see that these two hooks are very different. The only common element is the size. Everything else about these hooks is different. The heads are shaped differently; the handles are different shapes, and are also different thicknesses.

These differences might not seem like a huge deal, but they were enough to affect my gauge. For me, the Soft Touch hook resulted in a looser, more relaxed piece. The square I made with the Boye hook is denser.

Two Squares - Different Sizes

The square I crocheted using the Boye hook is about half an inch smaller than the square I crocheted with the Clover Soft Touch crochet hook.

Both my stitch gauge and my row gauge were affected. The smaller square is also quite a bit thicker than the larger square.

Lessons to Learn - Never Switch Hooks During a Crochet Project

  • Once you've started a crochet project, be sure to keep using the same crochet hook you started with.
  • Note the brand, model, and size of the hook you are using at the start of a project. Keep a record of it in case you lose the hook. You want to be able to replace it with the same exact hook. One quick way to do this is to take a photo and email it to yourself with further notes.
  • If your crochet work is consistently too tight, or too loose, try crocheting with hooks made by a different manufacturer to see what effect they may have on your work. You can also try different hook sizes as well.

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