Crochet Hooks, Why Does The Entire Hook Change in Diameter even Though It’s Harder for Us To Hold?

Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

I am Michael Sellick, known online as ‘Mikey’, I am the founder and leader of The Crochet Crowd. I’m a ‘hooker’ at heart with the passion to crochet and play with yarn.

66 thoughts on “Crochet Hooks, Why Does The Entire Hook Change in Diameter even Though It’s Harder for Us To Hold?

  • January 29, 2014 at 3:42 am
    Permalink

    That is exactly the reason I was searching for ergonomic hooks and I found one brand that is just right for me: Addi ergonomic hooks!!! They are amasing!!!

  • January 23, 2014 at 10:00 am
    Permalink

    I consider myself a beginner crochet person in progress. There are not enough words to express my joy for Mikey! He is the BEST teacher!
    My comment is just my own personal opinion about Joann’s Fabric Shop. Some, not all, employees there are the “rudest!” Ask them a question, it’s like I’m bothering them. I try to avoid buying yarn from there, but, Walmart does not have the selection of yarn called for in some patterns.
    I would rather order on line to avoid rude employees.

    • January 23, 2014 at 1:32 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Sandi,

      I have found that to be true at the Jo Anns that I go to. Recently though, I came across two super sales people, so I’m hoping the feedback they have received is getting through to management! I used to dread going for something I really needed and resorted to buying online, but not so much recently. Lets hope for this to happen at all Jo Anns. 🙂

  • January 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm
    Permalink

    Your comments about hooks got me to thinking. My crochet hand(2 fingers) gets numb and i have to stop and rub them. Do you think the Tulip hooks would help me?

    • January 21, 2014 at 12:34 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Brenda. It sounds like you are holding the hook very tightly. I believe any padded hook would help you quite a bit. I tend to do the same thing. Tulips area awesome, but kind of pricey. For me Clover Armour works well. Clover also makes “soft touch” hooks. Which I haven’t tried, but they look soft as well. I like the Armour also because they are color coded. Hope this helps a little. 🙂

  • January 21, 2014 at 5:55 am
    Permalink

    The Furls hooks are just too expensive, especially if you use several sizes, at $60 and $70 each, that’s it a stretch and quite impractical. I am not going to pay $600 or $700 for 10 crochet hooks to cover the sizes that I need. I use the same Boyle and Bates hooks that I have had since the 70’s. Someone gave me a Clover hook, which is good. I have my grandmother’s doily making hooks, which are fine. Crocheters are all different and we should fine our own happy medium in regards to hooks, not all hooks work for all of us, that is why there are so, so many to choose from.

    • November 18, 2014 at 3:59 pm
      Permalink

      I disagree. I made the investment in a full set of Furls wooden hooks and they changed my life. I spent about $1300 in the end, but considering how much of my time is spent on this craft…it was well worth it.

  • January 20, 2014 at 10:11 pm
    Permalink

    I have quite the collection of hooks that I have acquired over the years, but the ones I always go back to are my susan bates bamboo handle aluminum hooks. Every time I try a new or different kind I go back to my stand by. They are in my opinion reasonably priced from $2.50 – $5.50, but I would have paid the $10 for them if that’s what they were priced. Each person needs to find what is comfortable for them and stick with it. Crocheting is supposed to be a way to relax, unwind, and in my case keep my sanity (haha) You won’t get those benefits if the only thing that happens is your hand cramps up and you’re uncomfortable.

  • January 20, 2014 at 9:36 pm
    Permalink

    There is a very cheap way to make cheap hooks easier to use– a pencil grip. They usually come in pack of 3-5 for under $3. If you have access to fun/wonder/rainbow loom you can make custom color ones out of loom bands. A 3-color 7-row one will fit on most looms. They work well on steel hooks and up through size I aluminum (I haven’t tried larger). The rainbow loom has open space between pegs so you can make longer ones. A 4-peg french knitter works also.

  • January 20, 2014 at 9:15 pm
    Permalink

    I like the bamboo hooks. After having carpal tunnel surgery on both hands the straight steel hooks really get my hands aching. One day i would like to try the tulip hooks.

  • January 20, 2014 at 8:47 pm
    Permalink

    For bought the cheap aluminum hooks and cheap yarn because I was just learning and didn’t want to spend a fortune if it wasn’t going to be something I would stick with. Now a few months later I am getting better and starting to look into other options. I am thinking I will upgrade my supplies as a gift to myself for my birthday this year. For low income folks which I am I see nothing wrong with starting the process of upgrading your hooks. Start with the most used hook and upgrade a new one every month or when finances allow.

  • January 20, 2014 at 6:03 pm
    Permalink

    I do agree that you get what you pay for. If I buy a really good yarn for a project, I find it hard to start back on the super saver yarn. I do like to have good tools to work with so, yes I would pay $10.00 for my most used hook sizes but I am blessed to be able to do that if I choose. Again, you get what you pay for.

  • January 20, 2014 at 5:52 pm
    Permalink

    As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. I like Boye hooks or any hook that has a rounded head. I bought one cushion “I” hook and I always grab the red Boye one. A cushion hooks seems shorter to me and I like length. Whatever floats your boat and I’m not ready to pay $10 for a hook, I’d rather put the $10 in my stomach or for yarn.

  • January 20, 2014 at 5:21 pm
    Permalink

    I have started using the clover hooks over the past year and they have helped with my hand pain quite a bit. I do know that some people put the pencil pads on their hooks and they get them in packages or several for a buck at the dollar store. Best of luck to you.

    • January 20, 2014 at 8:50 pm
      Permalink

      Great Idea. I think I’ll try that. My problem is always the slightly pointed end bothers me just because of hand positioning.

  • January 20, 2014 at 5:16 pm
    Permalink

    I fully understand what your saying Mikey , I am one who can’t afford, having said that I found that buying the cheapest, doesn’t always pan out , I used steel hooks for the longest time , and I still do from time to time! ( just bought a set ) as I was missing some of mine. and my hands hurt and cramp, even my elbows hurt ughh! I use a pencil grip on them helps a bit on the fingers.

    What I did find was Clover comfort hooks they can be a little pricey as a set ( which how I prefer too buy hooks) but I waited and wait and one day on Amazon they were on sale and I grabbed them! I luv them too bits . waiting and paying the little extra can pay off!

    my advice too people would be go online do your research, watch and wait and you will find something that works for you 🙂

  • January 20, 2014 at 5:13 pm
    Permalink

    got some with bamboo handles through either Herscherners or MaryMaxim..susan bates steelite; the tulip ones were out of stock at the time; but that s what I want to gift myself with next year. have found sometimes just switching hooks will help with the hand/wrist discomfort; that is why i have bamboo as well as plastic and aluminum. clover makes nice hooks of all kinds…got a furls but want get another one; don’t use the size I got enough to give it a real evaluation. now that’s pricey; but if it keeps me going..it will be worth it

  • January 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm
    Permalink

    How do you feel about Furls? I purchased one, very expensive, but I have to admit I really love it. Haven’t tried Tulip, but now I am thinking about it. I also use Crochet Lite hooks and have always liked them. Have a set of inexpensive bamboo hooks, they are just okay. And what about Addi’s? I have look at them but not sure about them as well. You have intrigued me to look into the Tulip Etimo’s.

    • November 18, 2014 at 4:02 pm
      Permalink

      I would stick with building your collection of Furls. I have a full set now and they are my most prized possession. It’s an investment, but depending on how much time you spend crocheting, it might well be worth it for you in the end.

  • January 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm
    Permalink

    I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a package of Sculpy clay and build the handles up on all my aluminum hooks. Best think I ever did. Before I baked them, I grabbed them like I hold them to crochet and just slightly put my finger impression in them. Then baked them. Now when I pick up my hooks, my fingers go to the correct spot for how I hold my hooks. Works great for me.

  • January 20, 2014 at 4:01 pm
    Permalink

    I use addi swing hooks here in the uk they range from £7-10 they are fab …!!!

  • January 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm
    Permalink

    I have several hooks that are ergonomically designed, including The Crochet Light (has LED light in the handle), it is light in weight and has a rubber grip, the Boye Ergonomic hook that you can interchange hooks sizes C thru K. The polymer clay can be molded to your grip, and I bought a product called “Dip-it” it is a rubber like substance that tradesmen dip the handles of their tools in to insulate from shock that can be dipped or painted on to the handle. Be sure to label your handles or you’ll need a micrometer to figure out what the hook size is.
    I damaged my hand (scraping carpet pad off of a concrete floor) some 20 or so years ago, and I cannot fully close my hand. I cut a 4″ length of yarn and knot it and slip it over my ring finger and loosely cradle the hook handle in it. If my hand is hurting a lot I will take a 2nd piece of yarn, make a slip knot to cradle the hook and slip my middle finger in that piece of yarn….it is crude looking, but it works for me. Happy hooking…where there is a will, there is a way.

    • January 20, 2014 at 4:31 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Janet…..I haven’t been able to get used to the Crochet Light hooks. I don’t know if it’s my eyesight or if I am using it wrong. Have you had success with them?

    • January 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm
      Permalink

      thank you; am going to try this

  • January 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm
    Permalink

    for years all i used were the metal ones, my husband got tired of me complain g about how my hands hurt after crocheting (hes a saint ) he made wooden handles for my hooks which were great, then i found the new ones with the rubber handles like Mikey uses They do make a difference and I’m fortunate in being able to buy them so easy on the hands .and wrist . Walmarts sells the crochet dudes hook for 3.97 and they are real nice they have the rubber handles

  • January 20, 2014 at 3:23 pm
    Permalink

    I have always padded my handles of all my hooks to my hand for comfort,a little gauze and medical tape does it just right 🙂

  • January 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm
    Permalink

    I started making Rainbow loom hook covers – they slide right over my hooks and are nice and cushy. I make mine longer than a pencil grip and make lots of different colors! Works for me!

    • January 20, 2014 at 4:10 pm
      Permalink

      What do you mean by a Rainbow loom and how do you use it? I hold mine like a pencil but the base of my thumb gets sore.

  • January 20, 2014 at 3:04 pm
    Permalink

    I use the pencil grips you can buy in the dollar store. I wrap the handle with duct tape to build it up a bit so the grip stays on firmly. The way I hold my hook, it tends to stick into the palm of my hand so I use 2 grips and have one hang off the back of the hook a bit to cushion it.

  • January 20, 2014 at 3:00 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you all for the advise !! I swear it was directed to me…lol …I have had a big project … Sports hats for the family… My hands are sooo painful !! Arthritis sucks…. First I will do the clay modification … And then look for sales on the others…hey Mikey stay true to yourself… Don’t worry about cranky people !!

  • January 20, 2014 at 2:46 pm
    Permalink

    This past Christmas my hubby asked me what I wanted and I immediately said “A nice set of crochet hooks”. He asks me this question every year and I know whatever I ask for (within reason) he will research until he finds the best based on reviews, etc. Usually this does not mean the most expensive though (surprisingly). He found that the best reviewed hooks he could find (for not only grip but also hook shape) was the Waves set by Knitter’s pride. If you buy the set it’s about $50 and you get 9 hooks and a nice case. I absolutely love them! They are more expensive than the generic hooks but they aren’t outrageously priced and they have definitely saved me time (the hook shape is much easier to maneuver through yarn) and discomfort, making my hobby much more enjoyable and less frustrating.
    Happy hooking!
    http://www.knitterspride.com/Materialwise-Details.asp?id=19&mcid=2

  • January 20, 2014 at 2:38 pm
    Permalink

    I absolutely love the Clover Comfort hooks. Like the Tulip hooks, the steel hook is set in a wider handle with a grippy where you normally place your thumb. I bought every available size one at a time, spreading the cost and making it easier to afford.

  • January 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm
    Permalink

    Your answer was very informative. My mother used the steel hooks for dollies and never had a problem. I tried one and it hurt my hand. My fix was I used the clay and shaped it to fit my hand then baked it. What s difference! I made a doily with ease, no pain, and the clay block will make about five steel hooks. Cost for the clay is about $1.49 to $2.50 so it is very affordable and You Tube has many tutorials on how to do it. Hope this helps. Good luck.

  • January 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm
    Permalink

    I mean singly lol not signally.

    • January 20, 2014 at 3:15 pm
      Permalink

      I just clicked on the Walmart link and now they do carry them singly, price range $6.94-$7.22 each, depending on size. Thanks for the heads up!

      • January 20, 2014 at 3:38 pm
        Permalink

        Awesome! Good catch Mary. 🙂

  • January 20, 2014 at 2:23 pm
    Permalink

    I find that if you hold your hook like a pencil the size of the end of the hook doesn’t matter, like a pencil or pen one size fits all, mostly. But,yes, if you hold it like a knife the size does matter, and the thinner hooks are uncomfortable.
    8

  • January 20, 2014 at 2:16 pm
    Permalink

    I will spend more money on hooks to have more enjoyment and less pain. Not everyone can do this but if you can budget in a better hook in your favorite size , the payoff will be so worth it. Keep crocheting and smiling.

  • January 20, 2014 at 2:06 pm
    Permalink

    I need an ergonomic hook for comfort. Interesting, the aluminum hook that I like least seems to be the one I can find, in our very rural setting, in the craft stores and thus available with the 40 or 50% off coupons.

    There is an egg shaped interchangeable handle that is an improvement but has design flaws that cause the hook to wobble loose and the frequent resetting of the hook drives me bonkers.

    For me, the answer is polymer clay handles. With a 50% off coupon, I can buy a package of common size hooks and two packages of polymer clay for right around $10 (I think less) and make custom handles.

    I’m not the most artistic soul in the world so they aren’t fancy – just two colors worked together in a marble fashion. I like to have the thumb rest covered with clay and countoured so I etch the hook size in the handle base with a pin.

    Works for me!

    ps Mikey, I love your teaching style and I love the fact you show us how to make patterns work. Yes, we should be familiar with the “old, traditional” ways and learn them if we want to but new ways are good too.

    If we stuck with the old ways, we wouldn’t be using food processors, mixers, blenders or microwaves.

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:56 pm
    Permalink

    I take the green flower tape, leaving about an inch or so at the hook end, and wrap the it around, starting thin and wrapping more tape around my hooks to the size that is most comfortable. I don’t use the flat part in the middle, so covering it up is not a problem.

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm
    Permalink

    I adore the Tulip Etimo hooks and use them almost exclusively. They are pricey at $10 each, but I have twice found 8-piece sets on Amazon for around $50, and recently on ebay scored a lot of 21 (yes, TWENTY-ONE) Etimo hooks, still in their packaging, for fifty bucks.

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:53 pm
    Permalink

    I am a firm believer that we deserve to use the best tools possible. If its something you love to do, why not splurge and get the nicer tool? If you were a full time mechanic, you wouldn’t use cheap tools, why cheap out on your crochet hooks? I am a knitter, too and I prefer to use the more expensive, well made needles over the cheapies at Walmart. Its my time Im investing so why not make it a pleasure? You wouldnt serve fine wine in a plastic cup, lol.Treat yourself!!!

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:52 pm
    Permalink

    My absolutely go to hook is the Tulip Etimo hooks. I just wish they came in more sizes. I have arthritis in both hands and there are days when I can’t crochet at all. $10 a hook, it’s worth it for me. Just put it on your Christmas list and soon enough you’ll have the entire set. I like the Boye over the Bates but I have both. Sometimes it just depends on what works for that particular yarn.

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:52 pm
    Permalink

    I agree with Ann Dennis, I also prefer the aluminum hooks. Mikey says it well, one cannot expect manufacturers/stores to sell there product at or below cost without a profit! If money is an issue, there are several ways to modify the handles of your less expensive hooks. Many ideas has been shared with photos on the crowds facebook page. From the ear plugs mentioned above to molding, shaping, and baking modelling clay, to wrapping in paracord; the possibilities are endless if one uses their creative imagination. Personally, I prefer the paracord wrap. I have several hooks with the larger handles in many ergonomic shapes (as I have nerve damage in both hands/arms), but my hooks that my son wrapped a paracord sleeve on is most comfortable for me! The weave of the paracord allows my hand to ‘breathe’ and get air.

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:51 pm
    Permalink

    For those of us that have difficulty with smaller hooks, grab yourself some polymer clay and make a handles for those hooks. That way you can mold the handle to your own hand size and the way you are most comfortable holding your hook.

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:45 pm
    Permalink

    I love the Eleggant Hook system…I can crochet all day long and my hand doesn’t bother me a bit. The original creator has sold the business to someone else, but you can still get them at knitdom.com. Price has increased substantially though.

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:45 pm
    Permalink

    Something simple would work.

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:44 pm
    Permalink

    Why not come up with an interchanable sleeve that all hooks would fit.

    • January 20, 2014 at 3:19 pm
      Permalink

      Boye makes one. You can get it at Michaels and Walmart.

    • January 21, 2014 at 12:54 am
      Permalink

      I’ve read some reviews about the plastic ones not holding up so I got this one:

      http://bourbj.tripod.com/

      I love it! I have a lot of arthritis in my fingers and can crochet for hours with this. Changing hooks is easy and quick. Highly recommended!

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:42 pm
    Permalink

    This last couple of years after discovering Tulip Etimo hooks I do not like any other. I am a senior and my hands get tired. My stitches are nicer looking and more even with My Tulip Etimos. I wait until I can catch a sale or on ebay.

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:40 pm
    Permalink

    I agree with all you have said. I have been buying the ergonomic hooks when I can spare a little extra and they make a huge difference. I bought my favorite size hook that I use most often, but then I have started a project that requires one that I don’t have so I am having to use the steel hooks and boy can my hands and wrists tell a difference. I have told my daughters that for Mothers Day I want a few other sizes of the ergonomic hooks. I think I will get my wish, if they want anymore of my crochet goodies that they get quite often. We will see what happens.

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:40 pm
    Permalink

    I have tons of hooks, probably about a hundred at this point (Mainly because I will lose a hook and have to buy the entire package of hooks for the one I need! LOL And then of course find the one I lost!) But anyway, because I have so many, I decided to start experimenting with grips. There is a kit you can get a WalMart that is for making erasers. I will wrap the stuff around my hooks, position my hand the way I crochet so it imprints my personal grip, and then I bake it. Tada….personalized hooks! And you can do about 20 for a few bucks! I also like to use polymer clay to pretty up my crochet hooks and give them a wider grip but I don’t do a personalized grip because clay can be a little dodgy and crack when you do that.

    • January 20, 2014 at 3:07 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you for the ideas! Like you, I have probably a hundred or so hooks, but you can always tell which ones I use the most by the worn spots on the hooks. I bought a package of the “hook grips” that Boye sells and I really like them for the steel hooks.

    • January 20, 2014 at 11:21 pm
      Permalink

      Does the stuff you use to make erasers add a lot of weight to the hook? I did the polymer clay on one and it just weighed too much…..I had more wrist-cramps with the clay than without!

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:37 pm
    Permalink

    This was a great read, and thanks for answering the Question that Cynthia asked. I know I for sure am one who has had that same question burning in my mind for some time now. It just happened that yesterday I decided to purchase a few of the ergonomic hooks hoping it would help as I’ve been Crocheting like a mad woman the last few months and noticing that my hand cramps up badly some days. I just happened to stumble across what I think is a good deal on Amazon for some Clover hooks and am very excited to receive these in the next week or two. Very hopeful that it will alleviate the stress I’ve putting on my hand. 🙂

    • January 20, 2014 at 4:20 pm
      Permalink

      I have the Clover hooks and love them. I bought mine before Tulip came out with their ergonomicially correct hooks. I might try the Tulip at some point, but I really do like my Clover hooks. I also have some beautiful wooden hooks that I love, but can’t use them with every yarn.

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm
    Permalink

    I use Boye Ergonomic Aluminum Crochet Hook Handle. You can insert any size/brand aluminum hook and the handle size stays the same! I never have any cramping or pressure blisters anymore 🙂

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004ALF72G

    • January 20, 2014 at 3:12 pm
      Permalink

      I use this too and I love it. Without it I wouldn’t be able to crochet for very long at a time.

      • January 23, 2014 at 3:41 am
        Permalink

        I use this too. Has really saved my hands and the pleasre I take in crochet work.

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:29 pm
    Permalink

    I have a set of Boye hooks with separate heads for crocheting fine threads they came in a case maybe from Annie’s attic not sure where i got them they are a dream to work with for finer yarns. They go from size 1 thru 14. The handle is a size H 5.0, millimeter.

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:29 pm
    Permalink

    It seems that money is the answer to everything. There are ways to make the hooks comfortable that doesn’t cost a lot, for example the person that used the ear protection foam plugs on the shank to have a better grip. I have to say that I hold steel hooks differently than I do the large ones, that nice flat oval on the hook works for me on the larger ones but on the steels I use that flat spot more as a fulcrum with my fingers guiding closer to the hook end. Obviously I can’t do this for long but now that I’ve seen the foam plug idea I’m going to try it.
    As for plastic hooks I will NEVER buy another one. I bought a package of brightly colored hooks thinking they would be fun to use and couldn’t get more than I/3 of an afghan done and the darn hook broke right at the flat place. Thinking it was just the one I started another project with another hook from that package and the same thing happened. I think of the five hooks only one is left and that’s because I refuse to use it. Wood is nice and I have some but when it comes to getting a lot done I lean on the aluminum hooks.

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:28 pm
    Permalink

    Dosent matter to me, the most important is how you feel using them, the most comfortable cheap or expensive, I still using my grandma and my moms hooks 😀

  • January 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm
    Permalink

    It is very hard to grip the small crochet needle.

Comments are closed.