Get a Handle on your Crochet Hookscomments (11) June 8th, 2008
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.