2008-07-24

How to Add Comfortable Handles to Crochet Hooks

I ran across a video tutorial on how to add polymer clay handles to crochet hooks on Carol Ventura's Tapestry Crochet Web site. The handles help with the tight stitches required with tapestry crochet, but also eases the cramping and slipping I was experiencing with a plain hook. I even bought a set of bamboo-handled aluminum hooks, which work great, but they didn't come in the smaller sizes that I use for thread or tapestry crochet.

I thought you'd like to see how I've improved (in my opinion) Carol's technique. Carol inserts the bare hooks into a roll of clay. I've added some texture to the handles before inserting into the clay to allow for a more secure fit.

To document the process I used, I started with two hooks: an aluminum size K and steel size 1:






I used some glue meant to bond to metal (Liquid Nails is the brand I used, I'm sure there are others) and a short piece of #10 crochet thread. I didn't measure the thread, but you can see from the picture below, I didn't use much:





Lightly coat the handle up to the flat thumb rest with the glue and wrap the thread down and back the handle, leaving quite a bit of space between the wraps. You can go further, covering up the thumb rest, but you'll have to mark the hook size on the handle. Here are the hooks drying after coating with glue and wrapping with the thread (it only takes a few minutes to set up):




When the glue is wet, don't lay the hook down because it will stick to whatever you lay it on. If you use your fingers to spread the glue, be sure to wash off the glue immediately, because it really sticks quickly.

I added the polymer clay in the colors Gold and Burnt Umber to give the handles a wood-like look. You can choose your favorite colors. I've seen the handles with a lot more clay than I used, you can make the handles much fatter than these. Mine were made for my comfort. Be sure to squeeze the clay securely around the handle so the clay doesn't have any gaps. Here mine are ready for the oven:





Bake in the oven according to the instructions provided with the clay, and you've got some nice comfortably-handled hooks. I would have added another picture of the hooks after they came out of the oven, but they look the same as they did when they went in. They're nice and hard.

The pictures above have links to the larger versions, if you need more detail.

The clay I used comes in 2 ounce (56 gram) packets. Use your imagination to combine and mix colors to your taste.

I'm loving mine!

3 comments:

Janis said...

I've made these and they are a pleasure to crochet with. Just a couple of hints: I use a fine grit wet/dry screen cloth to finish them and take out any fingerprints or marks. Roll out a small piece of clay of a contrasting color and make a letter to indicate the size of the hook. Press this onto the back flat end of the clay. This way you always know what size hook you're using. :>)

Janis

Janis said...

Sorry, press the letter/number into the handle BEFORE baking.

Brandy said...

OMG! Thank you so much! I've have been struggling with hand cramps a lot recently and I know this will help! I'm bookmarking your page!
BTW, your hooks look great!