Yep, working on some surprises for ya! Oh, I haven’t forgotten our series of crochet hook design discussions, it’s just taking longer than I’d like. It’s taken me a few days to complete this one, but here it is. Let’s just say my new camera birthday present hasn’t been as user friendly as I would like.
Anyway, check out the video, let me know what you think, add to the discussion and stay tuned for supplemental articles later this week.
Catch ya on the up-swing!
So it’s been a busy week, but check it out! My Crochet Hook Challenge was featured on The Moogly Bog! Thanks much to Tamara for the feature of my video on Engineering a Crochet Hook. Check out her great article on Making Your Own Crochet Hooks! Jimbo and I are both mentioned. The Moogly Blog features a lot of patterns and wonderful articles for both knitting and crochet.
Also thanks to Kathryn Vercillo for featuring my Crochet Rumination article about “The Shape Of Crochet Hooks” in her most recent edition of Crochet Link Love on Crochet Concupiscence. Kathryn writes extensively about the latest happenings in crochet. So if you consider yourself a serious fan of crochet and you’re not yet on her subscribers list, or following her on Twitter, well then you should be. She will get you in touch with more crocheters and crochet related news than any other one stop shop outside The Crochet Liberation Front. And y’all know my love for the CLF, so check Kathryn’s blog out!
Mrs. Maplesworth Is Done!
And it’s time to share details and put her up for bid. Bidding begins at $5 with free shipping! You have nothing to lose, so thanks for your bid! (See bidding details below.)
To recap, here’s the first video introducing Mrs. Maplesworth’s design:
Here are some closeups of this particular design. Note the angle of the throat to where it drops back for the bowl.
This hook is hand sanded to be consistently a size “J” all the way through from head to tail. This photo was taken near the middle stages of making it.
Mrs. Maplesworth is made of maple and is about 5 3/8″ long.
Here’s a closeup of the shape of the lip. Note that the head is minimally messed with so it remains the same size as the throat and shaft for consistent work.
Here you see the throat angle back into the bowl, just slightly. This is a helpful design when pulling a loop through several other loops.
And here is the latest video showing off her polish! That shine comes from an hour and a half’s work just polishing alone. This hooks is unfinished, as I did not seal it with anything, but it is super slick, and super highly polished by hand, which imparts its own kind of protection.
Silent Auction Bidding – How This Works:
If you’re new here, please read the previous posts about my crochet hook challenge and subscribe to my blog. It’ll be a lot easier to stay on top of things that way!
Please email your bids ($5 increments) to Worx@PixieWorx.net with “crochet hook auction” in the subject line. The auction will run from now until Thursday November 1st, ending at 11:59 pm Central Time. This will allow me a chance to get your hook in the mail before the end of the week. Any tied bids will be settled in favor of the earlier entry. I am including free shipping for this auction within the US. If you are international, I’ll pay what it would have been for shipping in the US if you’ll pay the difference. Payment accepted by Paypal. Let me know if you have any questions!
The inconsistency of the shaft and work space issue is exactly what gripes me about many hooks being sold on the market today, and it’s present in wood hooks as well a metal. When I give lectures/demos about hooks, I talk about this. That widening of the shaft causes a lack of consistency in the stitch loops, which besides causing strain on your hand, also causes changes to your stitch appearance.
I don’t know why this is happening in hook-making today, but I suspect it has to do with the time involved in making the hooks and in the case of metal hooks, strength. (And perhaps lack of knowledge?) So many of the older hooks I find are just better made. The quality of the metal is better. My favorites metal hooks have hand-machined and cut heads. The shafts are strong and they will flex, not snap or permanently bend like modern hooks will.
And you know what it reminds me of? How good knives and swords are made. Good knives and swords are strong and will flex with pressure, but not break. And especially in miniature crochet, we put a lot of torque on those hooks.
Perhaps part of all this points to the possibility that metalsmithing and true metallurgical knowledge is not what really goes into our metal tools anymore?
What about you? I’m intrigued to know. What quirks do you notice about crochet tools that get under your skin? And what can we do about it?
Meet Mrs. Maplesworth - aka A Technical Discussion About Using Dowels To Make Crochet Hooks
The first silent auction for Grandmother Tree’s crochet hook (the first of my challenge series) is already underway. You can check out the final photos and view the bidding here.
I’ve been working on a new hook this week to be released for next, but I haven’t had a lot of time to take photos and blog about it. I’ve found myself calling her “Mrs. Mapleworths.” :) I’ll let you guess on the reason. Stay tuned for her story coming soon!
But since we’ve talked a bit about crochet shape and anatomy, I thought I’d show you a video I made about one of the features I like to engineer into my hooks sometimes. It’s a smooth slanted end that makes a great tool for picking out stitches that I want to work with. Sometimes I find that the actual hook of a crochet tool is itself not always conducive to isolating a part of a completed crochet stitch I want to put another stitch into. Hooks are great for creating stitches, but not always the best tool for isolating loops after the stitch/fabric has been created. Sometimes I don’t want to use a whole “bar” to put a stitch into, I want to use only part of that bar. (It does create a different look.) For that reason, I sometimes use this slanted end feature to help isolate a loop I want to use without distorting the rest of the crochet fabric around it. It’s an easier way to do what I want, without disturbing the structure I’ve already created.
So check it out and see what you think! If you find it interesting – please share!
Are you aware of other discussions about crochet hook engineering or do you personally have comments on designs you wish you had in a tool? Please let me know!
One of my favorite hooks, made by WoodByC. Its handle is made from lapis and petrified burl, complete with a tiny quartz crystal that formed in one of the cracks in the burl. (sigh) Someone sat on it at a show. And I don’t work with stone and wood fusions. I misplaced one of the pieces for awhile. Hopefully I can get it mailed to her now and see if she can repair it.
You will find me here teaching crochet and talking about crochet hook design. Might even demo making crochet hooks out of chop sticks.