Wednesday, September 18, 2013

All the pretty crochet hooks

With crochet, we create beautiful pieces for our family, friends, ourselves and even for donation.  But the beauty isn't just in the work we create, it's also in the tools we use.  While aluminum or plastic hooks are most often used today, there are others made from carved wood or that have clay handles and are little works of art all by themselves.

Antique Victorian Steel Hook with
Mother of Pearl carved handle.

When people first began to crochet, hooks were made from metal, wood, bone, ivory or whatever material people could find that could be carved or formed into a hook.  Sometimes, the hook itself was made from one material and the handle made from another.  

Today, people are still making beautiful crochet hooks.  If you go to Etsy and type "crochet hook" into the search, you'll see dozens of choices including wooden crochet hooks, aluminum or steel hooks with polymer clay handles, and even ones with molded figures on the end.  You could spend hours gazing over all the hooks on the many pages of results.  Believe me.  I did and it's taken me two days to write this post because of it.
Furls Fiberarts
Wooden Crochet Hooks

The type of project you're working on may help you determine if you use a hook made of something other than aluminum or plastic.  If you're using fine, delicate yarn, you may want to use a fine, delicate hook, maybe a rosewood or an antique bone hook.  If you're making something with multiple strands of yarn or a rug where you're using thicker material, then a large wooden hook may be what you select.

Some of my favorite crochet hooks to gaze at are wooden ones.  There is quite a selection on Etsy from ones that look like magic wands to ones that are shaped from twigs and retain their curves and imperfections.  The fanciest wooden crochet hooks I could find are by Furls Fiberarts.  While expensive, these hooks are simply exquisite.  You can customize your hook by wood type and size.  The finished hooks are definitely something to dream about.

Octopus Crochet Hook from
The Lemonade Shop on Etsy
You can find your standard aluminum and plastic hooks from manufacturers like Boye, Susan Bates, Clover, and others.  Some even make hooks from rosewood or bamboo.  Clover, Knitter's Pride and Boye's line of Crochet Dude hooks are ergonomic to help ease the stress put on your hands while you stitch.  Any of these will get the job done, but some of the hooks people are making by hand are what catches the eye.

There are crafters making fun crochet hooks with figures on the end out of polymer clay.  This is a fun gift idea for your fellow crocheters.  Others are covering the handles with clay to make the hooks more ergonomic.  The designs are so pretty that you can't help but take notice.

Ed Jenkins Maple Crochet Hooks
Two of our members have shown us their larger wooden crochet hooks.  The Bagsmith carries maple hooks crafted by John Higgins of Ohio.  He makes both regular crochet hooks as well as Tunisian hooks 16" and 22" long each in sizes N, O, P, S and U.  Ed Jenkins of Oregon also makes maple crochet hooks, Tunisian hooks, and Tunisian Flex Hooks in sizes L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U and V. 

Then there are those hooks made out of glass.  The Knitting Glass Guy crafts some beautiful hooks as does Michael & Sheila Ernst.  They are gorgeous, just gorgeous.

The Knitting Glass Guy
Crochet Hooks

So if you have some of these beautiful hooks, how can you store them or show them off?  RParishWoodworks on Etsy created a 28 hook stand for displaying these little works of art.  It's one way to keep these tools out so you can look at them.  He also sells handcrafted crochet hooks.  Finnish crocheter Pirjo Sinervo has a free pattern posted where you can crochet a little cover for a small flower pot or even a mason jar would work.  Anything you make to display your hooks is a great tribute to the tools.

I could go on for hours.

Handmade Wood Crochet Hook
Display Stand from
RParishWoodworks on Etsy
While many of these hooks are pricey, you don't need to purchase them to appreciate their beauty.  You may want to pick out a couple of your favorites and hint to the gift givers in your life if they're looking for ideas for your birthday or the holidays.  Or, you could stash the change you get when you purchase yarn and save it for that one special hook you'd like to have in your collection.

No matter what kind of hook you crochet with, take a little time and enjoy the beauty of the tools themselves, both the practical and the ornate.  These simple, elegant tools bring a little magic into the hands of the crocheter holding it.

Pattern for the Storepotti by Pirjo Sinervo
(Pattern in Finnish, but has many pictures that you may be able to use as a guide or chart in making it.) 


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