So far we have taken you on a journey of learning about the basic tool of your craft, the crochet hook. Here we are on our third blog post in the series, I bet you didn’t think that there would be this much to know about purchasing the perfect crochet hook for you! We are breaking it down to show you what is out there and make sure that you are making an educated purchase. When you know what is important to think about you will be able to make a better choice for yourself. Today we are going to talk about ergonomic crochet hooks. Let’s continue to figure out what is the best hook for you.
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Over the years I have learned that we all get older and things don’t work quite the same way the did before. My hands get tired faster and I sometimes noticed fatigue longer than before. Many of us, in particular designers, fall into the project knitter/crocheter group. Many of us like to get as many projects done as we can in a short amount of time. Particularly around the holidays, I sure know that December 25th comes faster every year!
In order to keep us working our craft longer we need to think about how we use our bodies and tools to keep us working smarter. Before we talk about the hooks themselves lets talk about why we should consider getting an ergonomic hook.
I am sure that you have heard the term ergonomics before. We hear it tossed around at the office and now we are hearing it with our crochet. In its most basic form ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment.
When people talk about ergonomics at work they are talking about getting your body into the best position to be able to handle the tasks you must accomplish each day. This can mean the chair you sit in, the desk you work at, or even the way that you go through the motions efficiently. These are the same principles that we must think about when doing our craft. Knitting and crochet are two hobbies that require a lot of repetitive motion. We need to take care of our hands and our bodies as they are the tools of our craft.
With in Carson Demers’ Knitting Comfortably, The Ergonomics of Handknitting, he walks us through the three legs of ergonomics. Using a stool as a visual he says that each component of the stool is essential to its overall purpose and function. If you remove one of the pieces you no longer have a stool that is useful for sitting.
The Three-Legged Ergonomic Stool:
Let’s take it a step farther and see what Carson is talking about with his stool metaphor. Looking at the stool he feels that the seat represents our environment, this is the activity that you are doing, in our case crochet. (This also applies to knitting) Ergonomics allows us to accomplish our activity comfortably.
The legs of Carson’s stool are productivity, efficiency and safety. To stay comfortable we need to have our stool balanced while working on our projects. From the way that we hold our hook to the specifications of that hook will all make a difference in how well we are able to keep our three legs of our ergonomic stool balanced.
Ergonomic Crochet Hook Options:
As we have said before, there is no one hook for everyone. Try out some of these hooks and see how they work for yourself. Something that works for me might not work for you. There are many factors that go into selecting a hook. Remember the way that you hold your hook, the size of your hands and even the yarn that you are working will will impact the hook that you need for each project.
No matter what hook you select find something that gives you comfort. Even if you have no pain today we want to make sure it says that way over time. Start swatching and find the best hook for you!
Kollage square hooks are great ergonomic crochet hook option. I didn’t think that I would like them with the different shape but they fit really well into your hand. These are an inline hook but come with two head types. You can get them pointed or rounded depending on what project you are working on. The feel of the wood handle is warm in your hands but you still have the benefits of the metal tip.
Square needle decreases contact stress by giving your fingers a flat surface to rest on while knitting. This is different from a traditionally-shaped round needle, which forces your fingers to rest on a smaller, convex-shaped surface area, creating more tension.
Addi Swing hooks have a plastic handle and a metal hook. They come in two different sizes lengths, again giving you options depending on the project that you are working on.
These are not the best hooks if you hold your hook with a pencils grip in my opinion. Knife grip crocheters are going to find these to be much more beneficial. The shape of the handle just flows into your hand and follows the natural curve. No longer are you fighting against a straight hook.
No matter which hook you pick from Furls you will be selecting an ergonomic crochet hook. The differences in their hooks can be found in price point.
Alpha Series-This is the hand carved series of hooks from Furls, it is also the first Furls hook I tried. Furls took the time to research the measurements of our hands and the ligaments inside to develop the exact width of their hook. The tear-drop body shape of the hook fits perfectly into joint of our hand, providing maximum hand and wrist relaxation in all crochet grips. They also claim to have a fusion tip, that is a mix between inline and tapered.
Candy Shop Hooks-The theory behind these hooks are the same as the Alpha series. Candy Shop hooks are made from a PolyResin, not wood. After they are cast and hand smoothed they get a coat of automotive grade paint. Candy Shop hooks allow you to get the feel and benefits for the Alpha Series but at a lower price point.
Odyssey Hooks-One of the newer hooks that Furls has come out with is their Odyssey line. If I am being honest, these are my least favorite that they offer. Many people love these hooks so please still try then out if you like. These hooks are heavier than the others and don’t have the same feel in my hand. I prefer the ergonomics to the Candy Shop and Alpha series over these hooks.
NOTE: It was a small learning curve using these hooks for the first time until my hands got used to the different feel. As mentioned in other posts this could change the tension you normally have so be sure to swatch first.
Of all the hooks that we are talking about in this post these are the most expensive, but if they are what work for you they will be worth it. Remember you don’t have to purchase a full set all at once. Start with one hook and grow your collection over time.
Harrison Richards, the owner of Furls Hooks, has been on the podcast before to talk about the hooks and the business. Be sure to listen to their podcast episode for more information.
ChiaoGoo hooks are made with a bamboo handle. With the wood you will find that it is a much warmer feel in your hands compared to metal. These hooks are made to go down to the steel hook sizes and allow you to have a much more comfortable grip on the hook while you work on delicate projects.
I find these hooks to have a shorter handle and fit inside the palm of my hand compared to coming out the bottom of my hand. They are very lightweight and make it easier to work with a longer time since you don’t feel the weight of them.
Clover Amour hooks have a thicker thumb rest than traditional hooks. This allows you to grip the hook easier and fill more of your hand. It does not have anything that fills the pam of your hand as some of the other hooks do. They have a soft rubber coating on the handle to make the grip easier as well. I consider these to be a great workhorse line of hooks. They would be great for the beginner just moving on past the traditional Bates and Boye hooks.
Soft Touch Clover hooks are also nice. They have a flatter handle and a smaller grip. I find that these hooks are a little shorter in my hand than the Amours. They are another great reasonably priced option when you are moving out of the basic hooks.
Knitting Comfortably, The Ergonomics of Handknitting:
I recommend that you get a copy of Carson’s book to learn all about how to make your knitting and crochet more efficient. He has stretches in the book to help prevent injury and many other tips that will help you in selecting the tools of the trade. Carson was on the Yarn Thing Podcast to talk about his book when it first came out. Be sure to listen to his episode for more tips about finding the best tools.