If you thought there was a bewildering choice of hooks for crochet you are going to be even more overwhelmed when you start shopping for a Tunisian crochet hook.

a standard crochet hook

In crochet you usually have one stitch on the hook at a time. For most stitches this will be two or three loops but even with the taller stitches or textured stitches like bobbles it's unlikely to be more than ten. This means the shaft of the hook doesn't need to be very long to accommodate the loops and there is plenty of room on the hook for a handle, whether that be a flattened or widened section or perhaps an ergonomic grip. 

With Tunisian Crochet you normally have all the stitches of the row or round on the hook at one time, this means that the hook needs to be long enough to hold all the stitches. So Tunisian crochet hooks look like a knitting needle with crochet hook end.

 

With standard crochet hooks the choice is normally personal and to do with how you like to hold the hook and work, in Tunisian Crochet different styles of hook can be used for different types of patterns.

One hook or two?

Some Tunisian crochet hooks have hooks at one end and a stopper at the other. Some have hooks at both ends. Which you need depends on the project. Some styles of Tunisian crochet, including working very long rows or working in the rounds mean you always work in the same direction rather than back and forth on the rows so you will need the extra hook on the end to work the return pass in the same direction as your forward pass. As the hook will act as a stopper you can use double ended hooks for projects that don't require it too.

Straight or corded?

Like knitting, you have the choice of straight or flexible cords for holding the stitches. Which you choose will depend on personal preference and the project you are undertaking. Longer rows will need more room to hold the stitches so you may find a straight needle doesn't have enough space, cords can be different lengths to accommodate even the largest of projects.

Wood, metal or plastic?

As with knitting needles and hooks you will find that hooks come in a choice of materials: metal, plastic and wood being the main ones. The material you choose will be entirely down to personal preference. 

The shape of the hook

As with standard hooks, there is quite a variety in the way the point, lip and neck are shaped between brands. This will be a personal preference.

How do I know what I prefer?

To save expensive mistakes you can do a little research with your normal crochet hooks if you have a little collection. Just because you like a particular style or material of hook for crochet doesn't mean you will enjoy it for Tunisian crochet because they require different actions. But you can still use the hooks to test it out by working small sections of Tunisian crochet, short enough to fit on the shaft, to see what shape you prefer. 

Want to learn more? Why not join us in class!? Our course, Tunisian Crochet: Basics and Beyond, is an exploration of Tunisian Crochet techniques that takes you from first stitches through to following charts and patterns to create some gorgeous samples that build into a colourful cowl.

If you are ready to give Tunisian Crochet a try here are our selection of patterns and books that contain at least one Tunisian Crochet pattern

 

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