Handcrafting Inspired by the Ocean Breeze!

Handcrafting Inspired by the Ocean Breeze!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Tools of the Trade - Part 2: Crochet Hooks

There's nothing like staying home with a nice hot cup of tea on those cold and cloudy Autumn days, just like today! And to make it perfect, add a nice ball of wool and a crochet hook and you're set for the day! That's exactly what I'll be writing you about today: crochet hooks.

First of all, lets have a look at the crochet hook anatomy.

Anatomy of a crochet hook by Nancy Nehring @ Lace Buttons

There are lots of crochet hooks in the market. Different sizes, different shapes, different materials - metal, plastic, wood, coated, uncoated... As a crocheter with almost a decade of experience, I've tried my share of crochet hooks and decided to make a review of what I've learned over the years (and money spent).

I first learned to filet crochet using cotton thread and the traditional silvered metal hook. These were probably the only hooks that our great grannies ever knew and I still think they are the best to crochet with thread, as long as they are good quality stainless steel. If you have sweaty palms like I do, trust me, you do not want a crochet hook that easily rusts.

After I gained confidence with filet crochet, I ventured into the wonderful world of crochet with yarn and my life was never the same! I was amazed with the variety of things I could do and all the luxurious yarns I could work with (my savings were never the same either...). For this, I used steel hooks coated with plastic, the best two brands I tried being Pony and Prym. But these hooks, although being good, they look so dull... All crocheters love colour, don't these look much more appealing? Yes they do! Bright and color coded, a treat for your eyes. But the truth is, they are not a treat to work with. Because they are made of aluminium, they are cheap and light (and that's good), but you will find bits of unfinished aluminium where your yarn will most certainly be stuck. So annoying! Don't judge a hook by it's color!

After the brightly colored aluminium hooks disappointment, I decided to stick with my Pony hooks until recently I was finally ready to try something new again. My new adventure started with a bamboo hook when I was flying over to Australia. I thought that being wood it would a) not be seen by the X-Rays in the airports and/or b) if it was seen on the X-Rays, it looks much less threatening than a steel hook. I was also pleasantly surprised when using it: it's much lighter than the steel hooks and the yarn glides nicely. But still there is something I cannot explain that does not satisfy me.

In my quest to find the perfect crochet hook, and since I am an unconditional fan of Knit Pro birch wood knitting needles, I decided to try their crochet hooks. I was not impressed. The hook is really light, as you would expect from a wooden hook, the yarn slides beautifully, just like only Knit Pro Symfonie has accustomed us, the head is nice and just enough pointy to go through the stitches smoothly, but the lip is too low, making the thread guide too deep and gasping the yarn constantly.

Going back to colorful crochet hooks, what to say about Addi Swing Hooks! They came into the market claiming to be ergonomic turbo hooks. It is true that the yarn just glides away smoothly but the handle is all but ergonomic. It's a very very heavy crochet hook and it's probably ergonomic only for knife gripping crocheters. Being a pencil gripper, my hand feels tired and cramping after just a few stitches. It feels like I'm doing something wrong, that I am using it the wrong way. Big no-no to Addi Swing hooks.

Also on the ergonomic range, and because I am not getting any younger, I tried briefly the Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hook. It's a light hook (nothing compared to Addi's) but the plastic handle again feels very little ergonomic. It kind of stands in the way and hurts the side of my middle finger the way I grab it. This might be more of a user problem than a tool problem, it might be worth to give it another try.

So all in all, after all these attempts to find the perfect crochet hook, I must confess: there is nothing like my good old Pony crochet hook!

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