Get a Handle on your Crochet Hooks

comments (12) June 8th, 2008     

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LindaPermann Linda Permann, contributor
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I have quite an assortment of handles on my hooks.

I have quite an assortment of handles on my hooks.

Photo: Linda Permann

If you crochet a lot, you know that tiny hooks can cause your hands to cramp, and that bigger handles keep your hands happy. Large handles allow you to loosen your grip and prevent hand strain, but not all hooks come with them. Here are a few ways to enlarge the handles on hooks you already have and some tips on good hooks to buy.

Tennis Tape. I picked up this tip in physical therapy: Wrap the handle of your hook in tennis tape (or other sticky foam) as many times as necessary to obtain a comfortable size for you. Susie Ghahremani has a great tutorial: just substitute your crochet hook for her paint brush. (Warning: if you use this method and remove the tape, your hook will be sticky; try Goo Gone to remove the sticky residue.

Pencil Grips. Remember those cushy grips you used in grade school to avoid getting blisters? They also work well on larger hooks to keep your hands in check. Just slide them over the hook all the way up to to the thumb rest.

Commercially Available Grips (shown in blue above). This is the easiest method to make your hook comfortable, and you've probably seen me sporting these grips in more than one how-to post. Hook grips are sold at major craft chains and cost only a couple of dollars. They are tricky to get on and off (the process requires a drop of dish soap), so you’ll need to grab a few for your favorite hooks rather than try to change the handle every time you switch hooks. They cover the entire handle of the hook, so you may want to label the foam with the hook size for the sake of clarity.

Start out with Hooks with Bigger Handles. Some brands such as Clover make lovely “soft touch” hooks that are a pleasure to work with. A word of caution for those of you who follow commercial patterns: be sure to check the mm measurement of each hook before you use it, as Japanese hook sizes vary slightly from U.S. sizes. For instance, a Japanese G hook measures 4.5mm, but the US Standard G size is 4mm. Great news—Clover steel hooks are also now available in soft grip form.

Coats and Clark’s Susan Bates line also recently came out with bamboo-handled aluminum hooks. I haven’t been able to find them locally yet, but they are on my list; they look like they’d be really comfortable to work with.

Do you have any other tips for getting a grip? Or do you just want to commiserate over achy hands? If so, please share in the comments.

posted in: hooks, grips

Comments (12)

Januk writes: Hi there Linda thank you for sharing this information.

Posted: 7:02 am on June 5th
dejoda writes: Hi,

I started making my own handles from clay and as long as you do not put too much clay on the handles they are not heavy, stay cool in the sunshine when crocheting and my mum has some shaped to her hand that I made for her which she uses all of the time. She suffers from carpal syndrome but using slightly larger handles enables her to crochet as years ago.

Try using less clay and experiment. I get lots of wonderful comments and sell them on ebay and soon on Folksy.

Posted: 2:24 pm on June 2nd
Whistler225 writes: After looking at a bunch of the larger-handled hooks online, I thought I would try to do it myself. What I did was put a very thin coating of glue on one of my plastic hooks (to practice and see how it turned out), then wrap it with yarn. If you keep the wraps even and next to each other, they'll adhere to the hook. You can then coat the first layer of yarn again and wrap again, as many times as you need to make the handle big enough.... granted this covers the measurement on many handles, but for me this works and my aluminum hooks are color-coded anyway....
Posted: 4:02 pm on January 13th
LindaPermann writes: Annie- you might try your local yarn shop (if you have one)-- mine sells the blue cushion handles. They do seem to be a hard to find item!
Posted: 12:57 pm on April 12th
AnnieB3ct57 writes: Does anyone know where you can get those blue neoprene grip handles? We bought them at Ben Franklin craft store a year or two ago and they are no longer carried by them and I cannot find them on the web. Thanks.
Posted: 1:07 pm on April 11th
dmandy writes: They have them at this site
Posted: 10:36 am on February 26th
GrandmaJo1 writes: I use the pencil grips and love them! The gel type are better. If the needle is smaller than the opening take another grip and cut it long ways and shim it between the whole one & the needle. Since I started using the grips I cannot crochet without them. I love the idea of using dish soap.
Posted: 9:07 pm on July 19th
BlondeeisinNV writes: i found a tip for the hooks on a tv show with polymer clay. i did exactly what the instructions said, did it all. but boy howdy it is'nt quite the same as the tape or pencil grip, its mega-heavy. its so awkward being heavy that it actually makes my wrist ache, plus it's too hard. so much for that idea, don't try it ladies, i'm warning ya. lolol
Posted: 7:45 pm on June 16th
LindaPermann writes: wow, now I *really* can't wait till someone stocks them locally.
Posted: 5:38 pm on June 11th
Pepita writes: Anything that will make the handle soft and larger (and stay on) will work. Old foam curlers...probably on ebay as antiques, work pretty well. They have larger holes so I end up with the purchased kind for the little ones.

I wonder if you could spray that expanding foam stuff in a straw... You can see I can get myself into all sorts of messes.
Posted: 8:17 pm on June 10th
rosiesgirl writes: I have some of these new hooks, too, and I love them. I found mine at Hobby Lobby. I've been buying all the sizes I can get, and more than one of the sizes I use the most!! They are awesome!!!
Posted: 8:11 pm on June 10th
Lambslove writes: I have some of the new bamboo-handled aluminum crochet hooks and they are my absolute favorites. I have fibromyalgia and arthritis and these are a joy to work with!
Posted: 1:11 pm on June 8th
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