*Please note: This is not a sponsored post. This is just my personal opinion*
When I first began crocheting in 2003, I randomly selected a Boye crochet hook when I bought my first skeins of yarn. Yes, I seriously bought only one hook. It was an I-9 (5.50mm) and it was light blue. I lost that hook many times over and continually replaced it. There are no less than 20 Boye I-9 hooks randomly stashed around my house to this day. Of course, over time I learned that yarn comes in all sizes and so do hooks. I have purchased a few sets of assorted sized Boye hooks over the years as well. One year, my husband bought me a set of hooks ranging from too small for my eyes to even see the hooky part to slightly larger than my trusty I-9. They were not Boye, but they were the tapered neck type. For 13 years I crocheted with the taper style, and honestly had no idea that I was missing out on anything.
Then December of 2016 came. A friend of mine connected me with a friend of hers whose hat design had just gone viral, and she needed extra hands to help fulfill the hundreds of orders she had received. The hook needed for this hat was fairly large, 9.00mm. I used my Boye hook and created a sample hat to make sure I was following her pattern correctly. The hat was freakishly small. I tried over and over again, but no matter how loose my tension was, that hat was never going to fit on an adult human's head. The lady I was helping out loaned me her 10mm hook, which was a Susan Bates hook with a Bamboo handle. I loved how it felt in my hand, but it made a gigantic hat! I ran to the craft store and found a Susan Bates 9.00mm hook and made another hat. Bingo. Susan Bates, with her inline neck and mysterious yarn-grasping abilities, the same size hook used when designing the hat pattern, was the only hook capable of creating the hat. It was then that I observed the Boye 9.00mm hook was actually slightly smaller than the Susan Bates! Not a lot, but apparently enough to make the sizing of the finished item significantly smaller.
I have recently given myself the gift of upgrading all of my hooks to Susan Bates with the Bamboo handle. Shortly after my Amazon package with all of my hooks arrived, I heard about Susan Bates Soft, so of course I had to buy a couple sizes of those. I like to switch it up so my hand doesn't get bored! Fun fact: my Bates Bamboo I-9 is slightly larger than my Bates Soft I-9. I asked my husband for a measuring caliper for my birthday, and he laughed. The price on those just to see how many fractions of a millimeter these hooks are off is a bit much. Maybe a birthday field trip with my hooks to the auto parts store to do a little measuring just for fun?