Today I’m going to discuss crochet hooks, and review some of the hooks I own.
For the first few years of my crocheting life, I owned one hook, a grey metal 3.5mm hook of unknown brand, and I used it for everything. Eventually I invested in one of the sets of cheap hooks you can buy from China on Ebay. The 2mm-12mm hooks were made of coloured aluminium and the 0.65mm-1.75mm hooks were steel, and they all served me well for many years. They were smooth to use, and reasonably comfortable, although they did give me blisters and callouses after extended periods of crocheting. Gradually, over the course of a decade and three house moves, many of the hooks got mislaid and now I have only a few of them left in my crochet hook case (which is actually just one of those clear plastic pencil cases that cost 50p). There are probably others, lurking at the back of drawers and storage boxes around my home, but I haven’t a clue where.
For many years, I thought that the standard aluminium and steel crochet hooks I was used to were the only decent options available. I once made the mistake of buying a plastic crochet hook that had rough mould lines along its length which constantly snagged on the yarn as I worked. That put me off plastic hooks for life.
Last year, on realising that my dwindling crochet hook collection was missing a vital hook size for my project, I found myself perusing the hooks in my local Abakhan, which is a chain of haberdashery superstores with branches throughout Wales and the North West of England. I had planned to buy one of the basic grey aluminium Pony brand crochet hooks because they are only around £1 each and they do the job just fine. I discovered that the hook size I needed was out of stock, so was forced to look at the other options.
I looked at the Clover Soft Touch hooks with yellow handles but realised that they wouldn’t work at all with the way I hold my crochet hook. I have always gripped the hook very lightly with my fingertips, in a knife-ish grip, and rolled the hook between my fingers to manoeuvre it, rather than moving my wrist. There was no way a flat handled hook with rubber grips in all the wrong places was going to be comfortable for me to use.
The other option available was the range of Prym colour coded Easy Grip hooks, which have round, tapered, rubbery plastic handles and are much more suitable for my crochet technique. I was still sceptical about whether a hook with a grippy handle was really worth £1.50 more than a plain metal hook, but as soon as I got the Prym hook out of its packaging and started to crochet with it, I was a convert. I have since ended up buying four more of the Prym hooks in different sizes, and since I started using them I can crochet for hours – days – weeks – without developing any sore spots or callouses on my hands. They have been a revelation and now I use them whenever possible. The colour coded handles make it easy to grab the right hook size straight away, and mean that if the printed numbers eventually wear off the handles it is still easy to tell what size the hook is at a glance.
While I was browsing the Wool Warehouse site after Christmas, I noticed that KnitPro offer their Waves crochet hooks in 0.25 gradations, something I’ve never seen before. It was impossible to tell what shape the handles were in the website photos, but I took a risk and ordered a 3.25mm, a 3.75mm hook, and a boring 4.5mm hook (I had temporarily mislaid my plain aluminium one). When they turned up I found that they had handles made of the same rubbery, grippy type of plastic as the Prym hooks, but with a flattened oval profile. I do have to slightly alter my crochet technique to use them, and this means I have to twist my wrist rather than rolling the hook. I wouldn’t want to use one of these hooks for a huge project, because by the end of it I’d have wrist strain, but for small amounts of crocheting they actually work very well. If you are a crocheter who usually turns their wrist anyway, I imagine they would work perfectly for you. I don’t find them as comfortable to use as the Prym hooks, but they are comparable in price and come in the in-between sizes that Prym hooks don’t, so for me they are definitely a useful purchase and I would consider buying them again if I need any more unusual sized hooks.
I hope that this little ramble about crochet hooks might help anyone else who has a ‘roll between the fingertips’ crochet technique like me, because many of the crochet hooks that have flattened ergonomic handles are of no use to us at all!
How do you hold your crochet hook, and what styles of hook work for you?