Crochet hooks - for such a simple tool, they inspire endless debate, and often loyalty. Inline vs. non-inline, pencil hold vs knife hold vs whatever it is that person over there is doing - it's all good. You can buy them in any craft store, most little yarn stores, and even some major retailers... or you can make your own!
In any big box craft store in the US you'll find Boyes and Bates hooks, and often a few Takumi bamboo hooks as well. Occasionally you'll see Rosewood or specialty hooks, and depending on the store, the choices just keep expanding. You can get hooks that light up, hooks that are ergonomic, and hooks with interchangeable heads. And if you head over to etsy, there are people creating gorgeous handmade hooks. Not to mention the amazing Jimbo, who has a knack for making my jaw drop on every visit.
So what about making your own crochet hooks? I'll admit I haven't done it... yet. But Julia at Aberrant Crochet has been working on a Crochet Hook Challenge and it's very inspiring! Those are her amazing hands on the right, and here's her video on Crochet Hook Engineering:
Doesn't she make it look fun? Julia and Aberrant Crochet are awesome, so be sure to check out her site. And there are other great tutorials out there as well:
- Wiki-How has a really good How to Carve a Crochet Hook Tutorial, with great photos and some really nifty tips - like using a pencil sharpener to shape your ends!
- On Cut Out and Keep, there's a photo tutorial on making your own hooks from chopsticks! You won't get the bigger sizes this way, but great info to have in an emergency! The photos are a bit blurry, but you still get the idea.
- On Serendipity Crochet, there's a step by step tutorial on making your own hooks from dowels. Dowels are a great place to start because they are uniform and straight, and because they are so nice and long you can make your own cro-hooks and tunisian hooks too!
- If you've got wood turning or lathe experience, then making crochet hooks can get really fancy! On Turned Treasures there's an in-depth look at how to make wood turned crochet hooks. We're talking exotic hardwoods, baby... mmm.
- But if you aren't ready to wield a pocketknife, knife carver, or lathe just yet, you can still get creative with your hooks. Create your own ergonomic set by covering them with polymer clay! The tutorial at Sew I See! is the best I've seen, and her results are so pretty. Make sure to mark the size on the end as shown though!
UPDATE! The amazing Jimbo himself visited and left this link, to his own AMAZING day by day guide to making a crochet hook! Do yourself a favor and check it out!
I've got a big collection of hooks, but suddenly I'm wishing for something a little more beautiful. It's important to our enjoyment of crochet to pay attention to the tools we use - and how we use them! For wrist and hand health, it's good to have tools that fit our hands and feel good, as well as giving the results and projects we love. Making your own crochet hooks, or working with an artisan who makes them, is a great way to feel even better about the art of crochet!
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