Friday, February 24, 2012

Dee's Felted PolyClay Crochet Hook

Manufacturer: Boye crochet hook -- adorned by me!
Type of Hook: metal hook size "H" with polyclay and felted roving
Own/Covet: Own
On the Hook: nothing at the moment

What I love about the hook:  is that I have not seen a polyclay and felted crochet handle together -- until now.  The idea to blend the two mediums came from when Linda of taught my CGOA Chapter members how to felt a handle onto our crochet hooks, and from some recent polyclay crochet hook purchases I've recently made (to be featured in an upcoming post!).

The hardest part of the project was rolling out the clay; I actually used 3 colors: hot pink, hot yellow, and a dark glittery purple.  The rolling of the clay repeatedly blended the colors into a murkey yet-still-sparkley purple.  I wrapped the clay around the thumb rest and added a little "swirl" on the very end of the hook and baked it based upon the clay's instructions.  That was easy.

Once it cooled, I put some elmer's glue on the remaining (exposed) handle of the hook and started needle felting the roving on (I have some more needle felting to do on it).  The little gems you see on the wool are actually stickers.  I don't know how long they'll stay on, but since this customization was an experiment, I thought, "hey, why not!?"

My new crochet hook may not be the most stunning crochet hook evahhhhh, but it does prove a point: crocheters can -- and will -- alter their crochet hooks for both comfort and ascetics.  I like the way the polyclay allows me to roll my hook, while the wool reduces the weight should the whole handle been dolled up with the clay.  This is something I look forward to exploring further in the future.  :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dee's Dowel-y Crochet Hook

Crochet hook I made in Nancy Nehring's class @ 2006 CGOA ChainLink Conference.
Manufacturer: Me!
Type of Hook: wooden; made from a dowel; size "L"
Own/Covet: Own
On the Hook: nothing at the moment; use mainly for  hand-crocheting chemo caps with bulkier yarns

What I love about the hook:  I love the natural feel of wooden crochet hooks.  There were CGOA conferences where Nancy Nehring taught the class on how to craft your own crochet hook, but they always quickly sold out - so imagine my delight when I got in her 2006 class!

For me, this class was more than about just crafting a crochet hook. It was more about self-discovery of what I like about the crochet hooks I use.  What I discovered in that class is that I like my crochet hook heads to be tapered, with a nicely shaped bowl, and slightly tapered neck that gracefully connects to the body of the crochet hook.  I also discovered Walnut Oil.  Apparently, not only is it good for consumption, but it is also great for conditioning wooden crochet hooks!

If you are interested in learning how to create your own crochet hooks, I have created a page here containing several "how to" links.  Crafting your own crochet hook is a journey well worth taking, even if you only go on the journey once, as I have thus far.  :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

NeedleLite Crochet Hook

Vashti Braha demonstrates her new light-up crochet hook at the
2006 CGOA ChainLink Conference.

Manufacturer: created by Mike, Roger and Bill of MrB Innovations / NeedleLite Crochet Hook
Type of Hook: plastic; lights up
Own/Covet: Own; size K
On the Hook: nothing at the moment

What I love about the hook:  Look into the archives of many online crochet groups from 2005-2006 and you'll see a surge in interest in crochet hooks that light up.  I don't remember posting anything on the topic, but I do recall being very interested. 

At the 2006 CGOA ChainLink Conference, I was in a crochet class with classmate Vashti Braha, who, after our break, came nearly bouncing in with glee with a new crochet hook from the Vendors Market.  (Yes, those are her happy hands pictured with her new NeedleLite crochet hook.)  Oh! I recall instantly coveting her new crochet hook - I had to have one for myself!  Unfortunately, the vendor who had them had sold out!

A few years later (in 2008 I think), while browsing trolling on eBay for crochet goodies, I found someone selling them.  Now I proudly own one.  What I like about the hook is that it is extremely bright ... great for when my eyes need a little burst of light when working with dark colored yarns.  I like the long neck and body - and that it has no thumb rest.  The button-cell battery is also easy to replace; and because it uses a button-cell, the hook is light in weight.  What I don't like, and it's just a minor thing, is that the manufacturer did not put their name on the hook.

These light-up hooks are more expensive than the Clover line of light-up crochet hooks (to be discussed in a future blog post), but I think, based upon the amount of light it produces, it is worth the investment. That, and the fact they're MADE IN USA!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Susanne's Ebony Crochet Hook

Manufacturer: Susanne's Häkelnadel aus Edelholz (translation: crochet needle precious wood)
Type of Hook: Ebony recycled from piano wood
Own/Covet: Own (several!) 
On the Hook: nothing at the moment

What I love about the hook:  A few years ago I purchased several of these crochet hooks from Webs yarn store, located in Northampton, MA.  (I have of yet to see them offered in other US stores.)  The hooks are created out of wood salvaged from a piano manufacturer in Germany -- I love this!

The hooks are light weight, and very smooth.  I love that the hooks don't have a thumb rest making it a great tool for creating narrow strips of Tunisian, or really tall linked crochet stitches.

I was unsuccessful in locating information about the hook creator, so I am unsure if Susanne is the company's name/crochet hook line (such as with Susan Bates' crochet hooks), or if Susanne is an actual person.  Regardless, the hooks feel nice, come from recycled material, have a nicely shaped head, and are reasonably priced.  Recommended?  Yep.  :)