"The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give it away." David Viscott

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Word About Crochet Hooks

I have three basic kinds of crochet hooks in my collection - wood, metal, and plastic.  Each has properties and traits that work well with some fibers, not so well with others.


By far the most expensive option, they are worth the investment.  Crochet hooks can be found made of bamboo, walnut, and birch in most commercial stores.  Wooden hooks are great as they retain the warmth of your hand, which is said to help those with arthritis.  They are strong and durable and not likely to break while you are working with them.  Wooden hooks are primarily size C/3 and larger.  I have found that they work great with most fibers, but not cotton.  For some reason, cotton tends to "stick" and not slide easily on the hook.


Steel hooks for thread and aluminum hooks for yarn are made by both Boye and Susan Bates, among others.  Be aware when choosing a metal hook that different manufacturers can have different sizes of the same hook, which can seriously affect gauge.  For example, as Susan Bates F/6 has a 3.75mm shaft while a Boye F/6 is 4.0mm.  Metal hooks can be found in almost any size up to K/10.  Most any store that sells crochet supplies will have them, so they are readily available.  They work well with all fibers.  Be aware that they can be bent out of shape, and it's not always easy to bend them back. 


These hooks can be white or a rainbow of colors.   They are usually less expensive than other kinds of hooks, but tend to break fairly easily, especially in the smaller sizes.  For this reason, I believe, they are only manufactured in yarn sizes.  The largest sized hooks, N through S, I have only ever seen made of plastic, probably due to the fact that it is so lightweight.  You may have to run a little sandpaper over it before you can use it as it will catch ANY fiber if it is not entirely smooth.

Choosing a hook for your project is as important as choosing the yarn.  You want the hook to work with you, not be fighting with you the entire way.  You don't want the hook to break halfway down a row, or constantly get snagged on the yarn.  With a little practice and patience, you will find what works best for you.

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