A little while back, I shared with you my search for the perfect yarn.
Well, once I found my dream yarns, I started thinking about the vast array of crochet hooks out there. Especially as my favourite hooks were starting to get a bit loose in the handle and the handles became slippery with use. I wanted to find a new type of hook I would be happy with. Then, a seed was planted by a tongue in cheek suggestion that I test hooks after my yarn test and I couldn’t leave it alone.
So, I put it out there that I wanted to borrow hooks and I was lucky enough to be loaned and gifted a huge range of hooks from all over the world. I purchased a couple too. Thank you if you were one of the many who sent their hooks to me
All hooks tested were either purchased by me, loaned or gifted. This is purely my personal opinion, based on my specific hold and preferences. You would no doubt have different results and opinions if you tested these hooks.
So what did I do? As you know, I like to do things methodically. I tested 19 different hooks and made the same 5 round solid granny square with each hook. Each square was made with the same variety of yarns – all from my yarn test and were different compositions. I used cotton, acrylic, bamboo/cotton & wool. Yes I mixed them in the same square. Rebel ain’t I I rested between each test square to make sure I could gauge tiredness equally.
I gave each hook a score out of 10 based on comfort of grip, ease of inserting into stitches, smoothness of shaft, hand tiredness, sore spots etc. There was a certain amount of “getting used to” each hook. I think the square I made gave me enough of an insight into whether I could become accustomed to each one or not.
I wont bore you with all of my notes, but if you want them, you can download my full study here : Crochet Hook Test Results By Shelley Husband aka Spincushions Dec 2013
Look, at the end of the day, each and every hook was functional enough to crochet with. If I had to, I could use the lowest ranked and produce good work. But we are talking about ideals here and what feels good. So here are my worst and best.
Worst hook ever made (in my opinion) was the very common Birch Aluminium hook with round plastic handle. I scored it 4 out of 10. I found it impossible to hold comfortably in any grip. I could use it, but I literally could not wait until I was finished and could send it back – sorry Kim!
Best hook? A lot of hooks scored 7 & 8. A few scored 9 like the Knitpro Waves sent to me by the absolutely wonderful Marianne of Marrose Colourful Crochet and Crafts. (Please click that link if you love crochet – totally fabulous I promise). The ones with super smooth shafts like the Tulips and Clover Amours were right up there too.
One scored 9.5. That was the Clover Soft Touch. The only reason I took half a point off was the colour. As Heather who loaned it to me said, it’s very much like earwax! I chose it as my best as it is closest in handle shape to my much loved bamboo handled hooks with the added bonus of a really super smooth shaft that means I can hook even faster.
So I have added some Clover Soft Touch crochet hooks to my Christmas wish list.
There are a few things to note about my test. Not all hooks I tested were the same shape up the business end. These small changes can make a huge difference to your crochet.
Plus, the list of what I tested is by no means exhaustive. There are a lot of other hooks out there I’d love to try. Like Furls They are just beautiful. One day I might just buy one. Look how pretty they are.
Also, since starting this test, I have become aware of the huge variety of ways people hold their crochet hooks. It has a huge bearing on what hook is right for you. The grips fall into 2 broad categories – knife grip and pencil grip, or to be a bit more creative, you could be a chef or an artist. There are some who crochet like they are knitting. Also, within each main hold type, there are many ways folks hold them differently. I used most in this test both pencil and knife grip. Some naturally lend themselves to one grip or the other, while others work easily with either grip. Most of the time I am an artist, but I do get my chef on when I use large hooks. Search #iholdmyhooklikethis on Instagram and you’ll see the variety I am talking about.
If you want to see exactly how I hold my hook to see if my test results will be of use to you, check out this video I made showing how I hold my yarn. (that’s a whole other topic)
So there you go. I know what type of hooks suit me best. I hope my ramblings will be of some use to you too.