Welcome to The Gingerbread Bunny! I'm Sarah, a textile artist specialising in crochet and felt based in Wigan in the North-West of England.

On my blog, you can find my day-to-day craft adventures and tutorials.

You can find details of my work for sale and workshops on my website - www.thegingerbreadbunny.co.uk

Saturday, 27 April 2013

#4KCBWDAY6 - Tools of the Trade

Today is day 6 of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week and today's task is to write a post all about the tools of our trade.  I'm going to share with you my thoughts and feelings about the humble crochet hook!

A selection of my hooks
Hook It!

A poor workman blames his tools, sothey say, but actually the tools we use are extremley important in our craft. The right hook in crochet can allow us to crochet quickly and smoothly and to enjoy the project we are working on.  Choose badly, and we can end up cursing, trying to unsnag bits of yarn and generally end up frustrated and annoyed. 

Now I have acquired a complete mismash of crochet hooks - various sizes, materials and makes of hook. I have metal, wooden, plastic, teeny tiny, enormous, Pony, KnitPro and Clover to name but a few.  Some I love and some I hate.

My favourite hook has to be the Clover hook.  The particular range I use are the soft touch which have an ergonomic handle which makes them really comfortable to hold, especially improtant when, like me, you are doing a lot of crochet often for long periods of time.  The hook part is a brushed metal which is smooth allowing for easy movement with your work and no snagging. It is also slightly pointy making it great for pushing into those small, tight stitches when making items like amigurumi. I am slowly acquiring a collection of Clover hooks and, when purchasing a new hook, this is what I tend to buy.

The Clover Soft Touch
My least favourite hooks are bamboo.  I know that people rave about bamboo hooks and needles but I just don't get it.  Yes they are pretty but I find them really difficult to work with and that the yarn 'sticks' to the hook.  The only exception to this is the wooden KnitPro hooks (the very pretty multicoloured ones) which I can work with but only with certain yarns and only the larger sizes (they have a rounder head than the Clover hooks and I find them easier to work with when I'm crocheting loose items). I did have a 3mm KnitPro wooden hook which I snapped within 10 minutes as it was so thin and couldn't cope with, what is obviously, my Hulk strength!

I have thought long and hard about how I choose a hook to purchase. Here are my 3 things to consider when choosing a crochet hook:

1)  Comfort - to enjoy any craft it needs to be comfortable.  Nobody wants to do something that hurts them.  Try out different hooks before commiting to purchasing a whole set.  It is worth borrowing a friends hooks to see if they work for you or just purchasing a different type of hook as needed until you find the most comfortable for you.

2)  Price - Honestly, this does matter.  I have been guilty of buying a whole set of hooks on EBay, from some far off land, for what I thought was a bargain price (infact, I've done this twice!)  On both occasions I have received hooks that are poor quality and un-usable.  That isn't to say that bargains can't be found - I have had amazing hooks from charity shops for 50p each that I will never part with as well as the odd free hook in a magazine which has been great.  It is, however, worth investing a little bit of money in a decent hook that will last you and make crocheting an enjoyable craft.

3) Appearance - I am guilty of being drawn to the pretty shiny purple hook or the beautiful multicoloured KnitPro hook.  I am a bee (see #4KCBWDAY1 post) and so naturally am attracted to the shiny things in life.  However (and this is a good however) do not buy a hook just because it is pretty!  Some of my prettiest hooks and mere ornaments, displayed in jars in my craft room because I just can't use them.  The hooks I use the most are probably the least attractive to look at but they get the job done!

The very pretty KnitPro hook - but I rarely use it!

It is definitley worth reading reviews of hooks (like this post) and talking to other crocheters about the hooks that work, and those that don't, for them.  But remember, always choose the hook that works best for you, your hands will thank you in the end.

Do you have a particular tool that you just can't live without?  What are your favourite hooks or needles to work with?

Until tomorrow,

Sarah x

1 comment:

  1. I was also sucked in by pretty KnitPro stuff. The knitting needles are *okay* but nowhere near as good as ChiaoGoos. Steel is definitely better for me! I am going to start doing a bit of crochet (the Happypotamus!) so I will make sure I go for Clover!