Wednesday 11 March 2015

All about crochet hooks

As a crochet tutor the question I get asked the most is: what is the right way to hold the hook? Well, there isn't one, the right way to hold a hook is the way it's most comfortable for you.  However, it's good to consider that the way you hold your hook depends on lots of factors: your muscle memory, the length of your fingers and shape of your hands. Before we explore ways of holding the hook, let’s familiarise ourselves with it first.

Point - This part of the hook is inserted into stitches, allowing it to easily slide into stitches you are working on. The point can range from very pointy to rounded.
Hook – used to hook the yarn and draw it through loops of yarn
Throat - shaped area that helps to slide stitch up onto the next part of the crochet hook
Shaft - part of the hook that the loop rests on while you are crocheting. This part of the hook determines the size of your stitches.
Thumb rest - indentation that allows you to rest your thumb on the hook.
Handle - The handle is the part of the hook that you’ll hold while crocheting

Let’s look at the two most common ways to hold a hook:

Knife Method – exactly as it sounds, you hold the crochet hook as you would hold a knife. Your hand will grip over the hook with the handle resting against the palm of your hand and your thumb, index finger and middle finger grasping the thumb rest.

Pencil Method - hold the hook as you would hold a pencil, your thumb and index griping the thumb-rest, middle finger closer to the shaft, and the handle is resting on the fleshy area above your index finger. 

I hold my hook like a knife. This is the way I have been taught by my mum as a child, when I picked up crochet hook again after years it was this way I instinctively held it. 

The way you hold your hook and yarn is completely your choice, as long as your stitches look as they should. However, if after a bit of crocheting your hands, arms or back start hurting then it is time to explore different ways. Why don't you experiment with the two different ways and see which one suit you best. 

Crochet hooks come in many different types and sizes. They are usually made out of:
Steel - come in the smallest sizes and are often used in fine thread.
Aluminium - come in broad range of sizes. Suitable for most fibres, allowing for smooth and quick crocheting.
Plastic - available in all the common sizes as well as jumbo hooks. Usually made out of hollow plastic.
Wood or Bamboo - available in all but the smallest and jumbo sizes. Lightweight and very good on your hands. Do avoid the smallest sizes with blunt points when you are working with thin yarns, as they do not pass easily through stitches.

I choose a hook depending on which fibre I want to crochet with. Fine steel hooks are perfect for crocheting fine intricate lace, like doilies and are perfect for working with fine cotton.
I always found wooden hooks perfect for working with alpaca yarns, mohair and silk,  and aluminium ones for wool, cottons and most other fibres.

Do apologise for the scratches on my hands, this is how my cats show me they love me :P

Anna x