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I have a plan to write a post about the shape of crochet hooks, head styles, grip style, how they have changed a bit over the years and what all those options are good for. This… is not that post. In the middle of taking my pictures I realized I what I had was a different post and I should go with that. (And get back to the original idea sometime later because I still think that would be fun.)
I asked my friend Julia, aka Oldcrazyhooks, to bring me her collection of crochet hooks. Julia is a life-long crocheter and has the largest collection of crochet hooks of anyone I personally know. She approaches the craft with the perfect (I think) blend of serious study and light-hearted curiosity. I ask her questions and I value her opinion. I try not to pester her too much or too often. Don’t want to burn up my credit.
So there we were with this impressive collection of hooks spread out everywhere. I was in the middle of trying to get the lighting right and to get detail pictures of the all the different head styles when I realized that Julia, who certainly knows more about crochet then I do, was talking hooks. She was explaining why she liked certain hooks, why she didn’t like others, and what she looks for in a new crochet hook. Then I realized I should stop worrying about getting perfect shots with my camera and listen. And glean as much wisdom as I could so I could pass it on to you.
After all, when a serious hooker starts getting serious about hooks we can all probably learn a few things right? Right. So here is most (but not all) of Julia’s crochet hook collection along with her thoughts and impressions and critique. She is a over-the-thumb style crocheter. She holds her hook like it was a pencil. I threw some of my own thoughts in. I’m an under-the-palm style crocheter. I hold mine like it was a knife.
Psst… be ready to feel some envy. I do. If you don’t envy this collection then I suspect its only because you have a similarly impressive collection of hooks in which case I envy the heck out of you too.
Let’s start with the Furls. They are a source of local pride being made here in Austin by Harrison Richards. He makes luxury crochet hooks that come with an actual hand-health guarantee. Before he became uber-successful you would occasionally run into him at local yarn shops. So of course Julia has some Furl hooks.
She has an assortment of the hand-carved alpha series, a prototype for what became the Candy Shop series, and one hook that was custom made for her and her hand.
Julia’s thoughts: Yes. YES. They live up to the promises made and if you don’t like your hook for any reason, Harrison will make you another one. I wish I could get more.
My thoughts: The alpha series hooks are $79.99 each and they are the “cheap” Furls. That’s the only reason I don’t own a Furl hook. Or two.
ChiaGoo’s in the really big sizes. Most of the big hooks, the size Q and up, and hard to find. When you do find them, they are almost always plastic hooks. But ChaiGoo makes the big sizes in wood.
If you’re into big and chunky crochet, these might interest you.
Julia’s thoughts: I like big hooks and I prefer wood most of the time. They have the pointy head that all of the smaller ChaiGoos have. With these you don’t have to put up with a cheap hook just to hook it big.
My thoughts: I never crochet big and I think that size T hook is the coolest thing. Whenever I pick it up I want to say “Rawr!”. And they turned out to be cheaper than I expected. I may end up with one of these.
The Brittany Birch Victorian hooks are pretty. They come with a 100% replacement guarantee. If you sit on the thing and break it, they will replace your hook.
Julia’s thoughts: No. They are weighted heavy on the end and the hook is out of balance. They are nice and straight so I suppose you could do tunisian with them. But then why waste all that shaft with craved stuff?
My thoughts: I can’t use these at all. I fumble around and can’t get a grip. When I picked up Julia’s here and tried a little “air crochet” I managed to drop it.
Clover Soft Touch hooks have wide plastic handles with a rubber pad for your thumb.
These are sold individually (I don’t think they ever come as a set) in size B through J.
Julia’s thoughts: Like ’em. Use ’em. Wish they made bigger sizes.
My thoughts: I like these too. These are my fav’s for metal hooks. That soft touch grippy thing is in the perfect position for my thumb.
Addi Swing crochet hooks come in a stretched out S shape. Its an ergonomic design that relieves strain on the hands. The two colors help you easily see which size you’re grabbing for.
Julia’s thoughts: No. They do come in the big sizes but, no. They don’t work for my hands at all. Just no.
My thoughts: Ah… they are okay. They are hard to store but that is a minor concern. They are bit harder for me to get the knack of than the Clover Soft Touches but I’m sure I could get over that. I never have because…. the Addi’s cost three times as much. Shrug.
Tulip Etimo Crochet hooks are aluminium with a cushioned grip. They do come in the bigger sizes (up to K at least) with a unique throat design.
Julia’s thoughts: Love these. These are my new favorite metal hooks. The grip isn’t hard plastic. It gives a little under my hands. Want more of these.
My thoughts: I’d never heard of them before. So I looked them up on amazon, (you can find everything on amazon) and was surprised at the reasonable price, regularly about $10. I read all of there reviews. From what I can tell, these are in the market to compete against Clover Armour. And they seem to be winning.
Kollage square crochet hooks. These are aluminum hooks with a made-to-look-like-wood squared off handle. There is a curve for the thumb.
Julia’s thoughts: I thought they were cool at one point. But that’s not real wood. I never use these anymore.
My thoughts: I can’t find a link for these hooks. Kollage makes something similar, with a real rosewood handle that has more of a curved grip. I think these are discontinued. That’s probably for the best because when I played with them I found them to be just as clunky as they look.
Knit Picks Rainbow Wood crochet hooks are made with layers of laminated birch wood. They come individually or in a set with sizes ranging from E to K.
Julia’s thoughts: I bought these as soon as they came out. Back then they were my favorite wood hooks. They start out cold in the hand but warm up fast. The colors are cool but I won’t use dark yarn with these. I’m thinking I might need a set in that Caspian color.
My thoughts: I like these. I like the throat.head shape. The hook is wider and deeper that most and that lets me crochet a bit faster. If you have any experience with Knitters Pride hooks, these are exactly like those in every way (except they are a bit cheaper). I think the Rainbow color way is being phased out.
Caspian Wood Crochet SET, 8 sizes – $34.99
from: Knit Picks
U-nitt Bamboo crochet hooks are polished to a smooth finish not painted or lacquered. They are sold individually in sizes D through P and come with a limited warranty.
Julia’s thoughts: These are my walking-around hooks. I like them because they have the pointy tips and they start out warm in my hands right away.
My thoughts: To me these are like ChaiGoos. Those pointy heads are not what I’m sued to and I tend to split yarn. The finger rest would take a little getting use to, at least for me. But the smoothed-by-polishing is very nice and since it doesn’t rely on a lacquer coating I’d guess you don’t have to worry about lacquer wearing off. I checked the price on these and… I thought it must have been a mistake at first. They are a very economical choice.
I hope that was as interesting for you as it was for me. I’m a geek and I’m a geek who loves yarn tools. Playing around with this collection and listening to Julia’s thoughts and feedback was a fun time for me.
I think I may need that Chiagoo Size T hook.
I might need to try out a Etimo with the cushy grip too.
I’m looking forward to being rich and famous and having a whole set of Furls.
What are the Roving Crafters Buying?
When you make a purchase from one of my affiliates, I get a small commission. It doesn’t change the final price at all but it does help support this site and keep it free. Here is what some of my readers have bought (and a big thank-you to them!).
The Opinionated Knitter – $17.99
from: Knit Picks