Crochet Supplies and Tools (for Beginners and Advanced)

Listing of useful tools, accessories and gadgets for your crochet hobby

If you are a beginning crocheter, just starting with your new hobby, you may be wondering exactly what tools and supplies you truly need, right?

There are tons of gadgets in the yarn realm (think Yarn Winder?) but do you actually need one?

Hint: If you are a true beginner crocheter, the only supplies you absolutely need to start out are some yarn, a matching crochet hook, scissors and maybe a pattern.

Balls of yarn in solid green, gray, yellow, orange, pink and turquoise. Crochet supplies

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For most people, I would recommend that you just buy your crochet supplies as you need them.

So, for instance, pick your first pattern to make and buy the yarn and the crochet hook you need for that specific project. Then you do the same for the next pattern, maybe add some inexpensive stitch markers and so on.

On the other hand, if you know you will be serious about continuing this hobby or you happen to have the extra money, go ahead and buy up all the things at once, if you want.

You may find my Crochet Abbreviations list and Stitch tutorials helpful!


Oh, and by the way, a Yarn Winder is a tool used to convert a skein or hank of yarn into a ball and it looks like this ….

The items on this list are in order of importance. The essential crochet tools and supplies are at the beginning and the optional accessories and notions are toward the end.

As mentioned above, don’t feel that you have to buy all of these items all at once. Everybody’s needs are different, so only gather the things that you actually need. Over time, you will probably accumulate all kinds of useful and optional gadgets.

a selection of different crochet hooks on a white background

Complete list of crochet supplies and tools:

YARN

Any kind of yarn can be used for crochet and the type you need depends on several different factors. Most importantly, what kind of yarn does the pattern require? That is the first place to look.

Once you know the weight of the yarn you need, there are various options. Some questions to ask yourself …

Do you want natural fibers? Are you allergic to wool or polyester? Does the crocheted piece need to be machine washable? What is your budget? Do you prefer designer, hand dyed yarn?

My favorite place to buy yarn is my local yarn shop. That is where you can find the newest styles and colorways as well as skeins produced by local farmers and independent hand dyers.

If you prefer to shop online, check out Knit Picks and Lion Brand. You can also find tons of one-of-a-kind hand dyed yarns on Etsy.

Tip: If you are a beginner crocheter, just getting started, stick with inexpensive, practice yarn that you can readily find at your local craft shop or big box store.

It may take a few projects before you know what you like to work with.

CROCHET HOOKS

Crochet hooks range in a wide array of sizes to work with the many thicknesses of yarn. Again, check your pattern for the size you need.

The hook size is usually indicated with a letter and number (US) and/or in millimeters (Metric). For instance, a 6 mm hook is equal to a J-10.

Green crochet hook showing the size J-10 6mm


Hooks also come in a variety of different materials ranging from wood, bamboo, aluminum, steel and plastic. Every crocheter has their own preferences and there really is no one-size-fits-all.

Personally, I find the softer wood or bamboo hooks are easier on my hands. Alternately, metal glides through the wool more smoothly than natural materials, making them a bit faster to work with.

Also, there are special Ergonomic Hooks which work well for anyone with arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Two crochet hooks with ergonomic handles

STITCH MARKERS

A stitch marker is exactly what it sounds like: an object that marks a certain spot in your crochet (or knitting) work.

This can be as simple as a piece of yarn in a contrasting color, a paperclip or little rings and clips specially designed for this purpose.

These days, you can find cute little designer stitch markers in fun shapes like mushrooms, leaves, sheep and more.

Four crochet stitch markers in the shape of sheep and four stitch markers in the shape of cows

Stitch Markers are helpful for a number of different things from keeping track of the beginning of a row, counting the rows and marking a stitch that you need later on in the pattern.

SCISSORS

Honestly, any decent pair of sharp scissors will work just fine. Some crocheters like to use embroidery scissors which are smaller and come in fun, vintage designs.

They fit nicely in a needle case which is important if you like to take your work with you in the car.

MEASURING TAPE

A measuring tape is useful when you want to crochet a sweater or hat for someone specific and need to know their exact size. This also comes in handy for measuring gauges and yarn lengths.


If you wish, you could use a basic ruler, however they can be cumbersome for measuring the circumference of a head, for instance.

Also, a measuring tape is more compact and can fit nicely into your needle case.

TAPESTRY NEEDLE

A Tapestry Needle aka Darning Needle is a large, thick sewing needle with a large eye. In crochet, you would use this for weaving in loose ends as well as sewing together two layers.

The large eye is necessary since you are threading thick yarn instead of sewing thread.

STITCH BOOK

Having a Stitch reference book handy saves you a lot of time when you come across a new crochet stitch in a pattern. So that, rather than having to search through a bunch of websites, you can go old-school and open a book!

Hint: when you are shopping for a stitch guide, read the reviews to see if it has the information in a format suitable for your needs.

Here are two of my favorite crochet reference books:

      

NEEDLE CASE

Once you start collecting a variety of crochet hooks and accessories, you will definitely want to get a needle case to keep them all organized and easy to find.

This can be a simple small bag with a zipper or a fancy compartmentalized case with individual slips for the hooks.

         

STORAGE BAG OR BIN

As you will quickly see, your yarn stash is going to grow very big and very fast! It seems no matter how many different types of yarn I have, I can never find the right one to fit my next pattern.

So, with more yarn, you obviously need more storage space. For my current projects, I like to use a large project bag that has a big compartment as well as smaller pockets for the various accessories or patterns.

For longer term storage of yarn, you will want to get a large plastic bin with a tight fitting lid to keep out any potential invaders such as wool moths.

Hint: If you do happen to get a wool moth infestation, this article has some great tips for getting rid of them.

     

BLOCKING MAT

If you are planning to crochet clothing items such as sweaters, vests, shawls, etc. where the shape is important, then you will need to “block” the finished item.

Basically, all you do is dampen the piece, lay it out on the blocking mat, pin it in place and allow it to dry completely. This “sets” the final shape and helps to keep it from stretching too much.

This is easily done with specially designed blocking mats. These thick foam squares fit together like puzzle pieces which makes them perfect for small as well as large crochet works.

ROW COUNTER

A Row Counter is a small mechanical or digital device that helps you keep track of your crocheted rows or stitches.

If you are into cell phone apps, you can download the free Row Counter App for Android or Iphone.

YARN BOWL

Yarn bowls are not only beautiful pieces of art but they are super helpful in keeping your ball of yarn from rolling away while you are crocheting.

White ceramic yarn bowl with painted cats and the text "Knitty Cats"

A hand holding a wooden yarn bowl

You can find beautiful, handmade yarn bowls made from a variety of different materials including wood, bamboo, ceramic, metal and plastic.

Hint: Yarn bowls are awesome gift ideas for anybody who loves to knit or crochet!

PATTERN BOOKS

These days, with free and paid patterns being available across the Internet, pattern books are not as popular as they once were.

Personally, I still love a great book and find it much easier to follow a written pattern.

And there you have my list of useful crochet supplies and tools for beginning to advanced crocheters.

If you have a favorite gadget or notion that I have not listed, I would love to hear about it. Just leave me a comment below.
Enjoy!

FAQ

What type of yarn is machine washable?

If washability is important, opt for synthetic and plant fibers or yarn marked “Superwash”.
Note: Make sure and read the label for specific care instructions.

What is natural fiber yarn?

“Natural fibers” refers to fibers that are not manufactured or man-made. These include your animal aka protein fibers (sheep wool, mohair, silk, alpaca, yak, etc.) as well as plant fibers (cotton, bamboo, linen, etc.)

What are the different yarn weights?

The ‘weight’ of the yarn refers to the thickness of the strand. This can range from “super fine” to “sport” to “dk” (double knit) to “worsted“, “bulky” and so on. This chart shows you the various sizes as well as common applications.

Various crochet hooks in different colors and sizes
Marketing images showing a yarn bowl, stitch markers and balls of colorful yarn with the title: Essential and fun crochet supplies

Crochet Supplies and Tools (for Beginners and Advanced)

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