Saturday, June 15, 2013

When Life is a Zoo: Giraffe in a Tree Crochet Hook

Giraffe "Hanging On" crochet hook, inspired
by the image created for the Wellington Zoo's
"Celebrate Chimp Week" promotion

Manufacturer: LemonadeShop (on Etsy)
Type of Hook: wooden hook cleverly adorned with clay giraffe, size "H"
Own/Covet: Own
On the Hook: Nothing at the moment.

What I love about the hook: During a time in my life when I feel life is a zoo, I have found humor to be, aside from crocheting, one of the greatest stress relievers life has to offer.  So I thought, why not combine both humor and crochet -- combined with my fascination with giraffes --  to lift my spirits?  For this, I turned to Heather of The Lemonade Shop and asked if she could take the 2006 Wellington Zoo's promotion image that has been floating around the Internet and custom create a clay rendition.  Since I use my fingertips to "twist & jut" crochet hooks to create my stitches, as with the metal/Boye Capt Jack Sparrow hook, I also needed the hook's thumb rest covered so I could comfortably crochet.  Heather did not disappoint!

For the record, giraffes cannot climb trees.  Neither can hippos or zebras.  However, you can see all three images that were created for the zoo's celebration here.  Funny, right? 

Along with the fantastic hand work Heather put into creating my little "chimp" giraffe, she also cleverly distributed the bulk of the weight on the "bottom" of the hook.  As I practice my "twist & jut" motions with the hook, the weight rotates nicely -- and it is absolutely hysterical to watch this giraffe "hold on" for dear life!  :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

2008 Limited Edition CGOA (Brainsbarn) Commemorative Hook

2008 CGOA Limited Edition Commemorative Hook by
Manufacturer: Brian & Anne of
Type of Hook: 2008 limited-edition, CGOA Commemorative hook, carved from the exotic fine-grained, lightweight hardwood, chakte kok (Sickingia salvadorensis) with a cloisonne bead; size I.
Own/Covet: Own
On the Hook: a pullover that will be featured at the 2012 Stitches East show for

What I like about the hook:  Part of the fun in attending the Crochet Guild of America's Conferences (formerly known as ChainLink, now part of the Knit and Crochet Show), is in collecting the limited edition crochet hooks, such as the one pictured above, crafted by Brian of  This hook is very-much like the other Brainsbarn hooks I have featured here: they are light-weight, with a nice long neck (great for making tall stitches, or short rows of Tunisian crochet), and have a nice, smooth finish.  I find this hook a joy to work with.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Knitters Pride Interchangeable Tunisian Hook(s)

Test-driving Knitter's Pride Interchangeable Tunisian
Hooks while shopping at Webs Yarn Store.

Manufacturer: Knitters Pride
Type of Hook: lightweight wood
Own/Covet: Covet
On the Hook: test-drive sample

What I love about the hook:  I like the weight and size. I also like that the cables lock in nicely (they screw in). If you were to invest in 2 sets, I don’t see why you couldn’t connect a second crochet hook and do ”Crochet on the Double” or add a knitting needle and do ”Portuguese Knitting.” (In thinking about this, I don’t see why this wouldn’t work for the Denise Interchangeables…)

During my test drive, I did have problems with one hook “sticking” a bit, but that could be easily remedied with a bit of conditioning (using wood balm/oil). I didn’t buy the set -- I was hoping to buy just one hook/cable combo and give it a more rigorous workout in the comfort of my home before deciding if I want to buy the entire set. Unfortunately they didn’t have the single hook/cable available for purchase in the store, but they do have it available for ordering through their website,  I don't know if the single Tunisian hook comes with the cable, and if so, how long it is.  Once I glean this information I'll update this post and order me one taking this hook off my Covet List and onto my Own List.  The hooks are made in India.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Daystar Crochet Hook

Daystar Crochet Hook by Katherine Kowalski

Manufacturer: Daystar by Katherine Kowalski (on Etsy)
Type of Hook: "Tortoise" dyed hardwood, size J
Own/Covet: Own
On the Hook: Scarf using extended hdc stitches, blending two unlabeled yarns together.

What I love about the hook:  This Daystar hook is one of my longest "regular" sized hand-turned crochet hooks.  On average it is about 1/2" to 1" longer than the rest of my collection; if I had a larger hand, I might not have noticed this. I find the extra length adds a smidge more weight to the back end of the hook -- however, I'm willing to overlook this because of the fantastic length of the shank (the part just after the hook's neck, and right before the hook body begins to flare for holding).  The elongated shank allows me to make beautiful stitches requiring multiple yarn-overs without becoming stretched out by the thumb-rest area, and the finish is silky smooth so the yarn just glides!  The hook is a pleasure to use!

For those looking for Graydog Crochet hooks, imho, Katherine's hooks are about as close as you can get.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Capt Jack Sparrow Crochet Hook

Capt Jack Sparrow crochet hook, inspired by the
Pirates of the Caribbean movie series.

Manufacturer: LemonadeShop (on Etsy)
Type of Hook: Boye hook cleverly adorned with clay, size "H"
Own/Covet: Own
On the Hook: Nothing at the moment, but Capt Jack Sparrow did enjoy coming about to hand-crochet some chemo caps for young buccaneers in need. (Caron's Spa yarn is great for chemo caps!)

What I love about the hook: As a huge Johnny Depp fan, and of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, having the character of Capt Jack Sparrow testing his sea legs with the rapid yarn overs required for crochet stitches, I found crocheting with this hook to be a lot of fun. 

Shiver me timbers, one of the great things I liked about working with Heather (the clay designer for this brand of hooks) on this custom design, is that she was able to smoothly wrap the "ocean" around the thumb rest of the hook, tapering it into a smooth join around the mizzen of the hook (that's pirate talk meaning "middle") so I can freely twist the hook between my fingers with each stitch I create.  (I'm not a fan of thumb rests because I rotate the hook with my fingers).  Heather did a great job with the tiny details, complete with some pirate bounty, and sword!   And, although not pictured, Heather even gave Capt Jack Sparrow a cute bumm too! I'mjustsayin'...

I found that the weight distribution for this hook-decked-out-in-clay is no different than some of my jeweled beauties by other hook makers. It is comfortable to use, and ready to take on more amazing yarn adventures. :)

Friday, May 04, 2012

Sistermaide Crochet Hook

Dynamo pint-sized crochet hook by Sistermaide.

: Sistermaide (on Etsy)
Type of Hook: hackberry wood, size "J"
Own/Covet: Own
On the Hook: scarf for donation using short-rows of Tunisian stitching (original pattern)

What I love about the hook:  The hook was recommended by a participant on Ravelry in the Crochet Liberation Group.  I had never heard of this hook maker before, so being a fan of collecting crochet hooks I decided to give one a try.  Even though the length (5 1/4") was listed when I purchased it from the Sistermaide Etsy shop, I didn't give it much thought until it arrived in the mail.

Wow; this is one of the shortest crochet hooks (aside from steel hooks) that I own.  I wasn't sure how I would like it until I took it out for an official test drive.  What I've found is that this little hook is like a sports car -- it wants to go! Go! GO!  lol

Even with its slight taper, I am enjoying creating short-rows of Tunisian stitches with it; the head shape is perfect for "bar hopping," and the length fits comfortably in my palm.  Did I mention that it is lightweight too?  I like that!  And I'm looking forward to hand-crocheting more projects in the future with this pint-size dynamo crochet hook!  Thanks for the recommendation "OGirl."  :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dodo's Design "Twisted" Crochet Hook

Dodo's Design "Twist"

Manufacturer: DoDos-Design
Type of Hook: wooden, size "J"
Own/Covet: Own
On the Hook: nothing at the moment

What I love about the hook:  In 2006 and 2007 unusual crochet hooks seemed to have been the rage-- for me they still are -- imho, if you were shopping for hand-turned crochet hooks, this would have been the time to collect some of the more ornate ones hand-crafted in modern times!  Dodos Designs seeming came from out of no where, hosting a variety of different styles delighting crocheters.  I'm lucky to own several and will show more in the future. This particular hook with its see-through twisted carving was one of the most sought after styles (I think I still have battle scars from heavy eBay bidding; lol).

The Dodo hook was sold through eBay, and was mentioned in the August 2006 issue of Talking Crochet.  They had a booth at the 2006 CGOA ChainLink / Knit & Crochet Show, and in 2007 they would be selected as the Commemorative Crochet Hook for the CGOA's Hook Collector's group.

Unfortunately their website,, went defunct in 2008.  It is unknown why they stopped offering their crochet hooks & knitting needles made of exotic wood, ox horns and bones.  My memory says that the hooks were manufactured in India, but I have no concrete evidence (at the moment) of this.   On Phootsy's website are images of how the hooks were created:

Unfortunately, for me, their hooks were heavily coated with a shellac varnish taking away from the natural wood feeling I enjoy so much, so I don't use them often.  However, their unique designs are what hooked me in collecting them.