Since I my first chain stitch I have used the same hooks. They have been cheap and I can’t even remember the brand! They were nothing special as I just wanted to get going but didn’t want to spend a fortune until I’d established if I could actually crochet or was any good. As I’ve grown more accustomed to my own style and method of crocheting I’ve learnt that whilst these hooks are perfectly serviceable the markings that show the hook size are right under where my thumb sits.
For most sizes and projects this doesn’t cause a problem but on chunkier projects I found there was an issue. As I’m using a different kind of pressure for these sizes the indentations in the thumb grip hurt my poor thumb. I tied to find a way around this firstly by crocheting a tube to fit over the hook (shown below).
This was a good short term fix but nothing lasted long. My sister suggested bamboo hooks and gave me a couple to try. They were smoother along the shaft but they caught a little in chunkier wools which I didn’t like as I felt this compromised the work.
Also, since my teenage years I’ve suffered from tendinitis. When I first started crocheting I was worried that the repetitive nature of the craft would be compromised by this. At the first sign of pain I would put on my trusty wrist strap and carry on. It never occurred to me to find a different and ergonomic hook…..until now!Fleabubs by Lala is an online store that sells lovely hand died yarn and colourful hooks called harty hooks. Now not only are these harty hooks beautifully made (just look at that handle!) but are ergonomic too. Since I experience most pain with the larger hooks I decided to try a size 9. I admit I was intrigued as I’ve never been convinced something as simple as a different shape could affect the pain I felt in my wrists. So I confess I went into this review more than a little sceptical.
The first thing that struck me was how heavy the hook was. It’s probably logical to someone who thinks that way (not me I’m afraid) but I have to say it did surprise me. However for a large hook with a weight I’m not used to it was surprisingly comfortable. I have unusually large hands for a woman (it’s a whole other complication/complex/story) and the hook fit very nicely, with my thumb in exactly the right place and the rest of my hand fitting in very snuggly to the smooth handle. It was as if the hook was made for me personally. I should say at this point that I use the pen grip for crochet as opposed to the knife grip.
With the hook itself being shorter I wasn’t sure if bigger stitches in larger yarn would be easy to work so I started off with some super chunky wool. I love the Sirdar Indigo super chunky yarn. I think the colours are fabulous but I’ve found it really difficult to work in the past so I thought it would be a good challenge for a new style of hook. With the the metal hook it glided through the difficult fibres and was also easily long enough for a triple stitch. I tried a double triple and it again worked well. My fear was unfounded yet again. So the harty hook passed the super chunky test. Now to try chunky yarn.
I love experimenting with different size hooks and yarn so changing size yarn with the same hook was nothing new to me. I often start a work and then restart with a different sized hook. I digress.
So the chunky wool loved this hook. With it being a smaller size it slipped over the hook effortlessly to the extent I was worried the whole work would unravel and fall off. But again there was no need to worry. The work produced was nice and compact but not too tight and it looked good too! It seemed that when put to the test this hook could do no wrong. Now I was used to the weight I loved it and was sad to go back to my old hooks when I needed to produce another work. Suddenly I understood that my hand had really wanted something like this hook and how much difference it made to how long I could crochet for. I’m not saying hands don’t need a rest, of course they do, but it was so comfortable I almost forgot my hands were working!
The hooks are also inspiringly beautiful. Holding something that nice looking in your hand whilst trying to produce works of beauty seemed to made the creative juices flow. Let’s be honest, there is nothing more depressing than wanting to create a beautiful blanket and having no inspiration and feeling grey yourself. The colour in this hook worked as a muse for me, although if all my hooks were that colour I would have a lot of blue and purple work!
Over all I found this harty hook very comfortable and so easy to work with. All suspicions and fears are gone and I’m converted to ergonomic hooks! This particular hook retails at £5.75 and can be found here. I look forward to acquiring many more in all colours of the rainbow and all sizes.
Now where’s that chunky wool….?