As you can tell from reading my blog I love to crochet. I love to take yarn and create something I know someone is going to use and enjoy. It doesn’t matter what it is – blanket, scarf, household item. I like making the things. Most of my projects have gone to family members like the window scarf.
I’ve talked about yarn which is key and I’m sure there will be more yarn posts as I keep crocheting. Currently I have some velvet yarn I’m looking forward to working with.
Hooks are the other tool I use with my crocheting in. Crochet hooks are set in two categories – steel and aluminum. Steel crochet hooks are not like steel I beams. They are the tiny small hooks used for doilies, thread, floss and other small yarn / thread projects. These come in sizes (in the US) 00 – 14. The higher the number the smaller the hook. I don’t work with them often as they hurt my hand. Today I discovered they have some hooks which are ergonomic. They are on my ‘to buy’ list to try out.
The aluminum crochet hooks are for all your other projects. They typically come in sizes from B to S though some letters are skipped. I’ve never seen an O or R hook. The larger ones are usually L, M, N, P, Q, S. B through J are the typical ones used with. B is used for things made with baby yarn.
I’ve crocheted since I was twelve – that’s over forty years. I started with Susan Bates Crochet Hooks. These are good quality, sturdy hooks which don’t bend or break easily. I have several sets ranging in size and have multiples of G, H, I, J. G and H are the two sizes most commonly used (at least by me). Typically I use a worsted weight size yarn with these sizes. This means scarves, hats, mittens, shawls, and anything you make with a medium weight yarn.
Along with the aluminum hooks, Susan Bates has Crystallites Acrylic hooks. These are the bigger hooks typically L through S in some combination. Now these hooks are for the larger yarns like Bernat Blanket Fleece, Premier Serenity Chunky, or other bulky sized yarn. I own a few of these Crystallites hooks. They are good but get dinged up a bit after long term use. These hooks and this size yarn are great for scarves, blankets, and so on. The nice thing with using the bigger yarn, the project works up really quickly. So a blanket made with worsted weight yarn will take much longer than one worked with a bulky yarn.
Recently I was gifted with a set of bamboo crochet hooks. These are really lightweight but still have the smaller handle. They feel flimsy but work nicely. I’d consider them as reliable as the Susan Bates hooks. Full disclosure, I haven’t used them much because I’ve gotten the ergonomic crochet hooks.
Over the last few years, I’ve seen the hooks with stuff on the handle making the handles thicker. Now for some reason when it comes to crocheting, I’m a stick in the mud. I’ve always done something a particular way and that’s “the way” it SHOULD be done. I’ve come to this realization recently when I got smacked by an afghan I made for my daughter. I learned I still have things to learn. This makes crocheting even more exciting to me. Most of the fancy hook handles I saw were more decorative than useful. My thoughts on them is I don’t want to hold a mermaid in my hand when I’m crocheting for hours. The odd shape will dig into my hand.
I’ve had arthritis since I was 14. Now my hands were not the joints this affected so no problem. But in the last few years, I’ve noticed my hands are slowing down. Holding the smaller hooks has gotten more difficult. I get crochet arm, shoulder, back – think tennis elbow but instead caused by crocheting too much.
My daughter encouraged me to try one of the hooks with the larger handle. We were craft shopping and I was looking at them. It started a discussion and my stubborn – I’ve done this a particular way for years kicked in. She rarely lets me get away with this and convinced me to buy one.
Holy mackerel! I worked with it reluctantly and realized my hands didn’t hurt. I could crochet longer and faster. This is always a good thing. I have two sets from Joann’s with a wooden handle which I love. I looked on their site to give you a link but couldn’t find a link which makes me worry because I think I might want a few more of a few select sizes.
Once I realized I liked the ergonomic hooks, I got another set from Amazon. This sent has a rubber over the handle which is smooth and built up to help with the soreness I usually get from the slimmer hooks. These hooks are lovely and sturdy. I like the pliable handle. The one complaint I have is I like a longer hook size, these have a little shorter hook part. I’d rather then handle part were a little shorter and the hook part a little longer.
Ultimately, you have to buy one or two of a brand for your hook, try it, and see if it fits your hand. Even if you’ve been crocheting for a long time like me, don’t hesitate to try crocheting with a new style of hooks. Try them and see what you think.
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