Crochet Hook Snobbery: or why I now own two 5mm hooks for no reason.

Confession: I’m a crochet hook snob.

Other confession: I’m not even a fancy one.

Once I decided that I should give crochet a try, I went to my LYS and picked up a basic hook to use. As the wall was literally covered with different hook sizes and materials, I literally closed my eyes and chose a 4.5mm hook from a brand called HiyaHiya. I wasn’t disappointed. First off, it’s Aluminium – perfect for a person like me that will snap a bamboo or plastic one in half just out of sheer frustration over the craft. So already right there, I have a hook that will not succumb to my flimsy hands. (I mean, I’m pretty weak but I can snap those other ones easily.) Also one time I sat on my upright 4.5mm hook and ended up with a bruise on my ass so clearly if it can withstand that it can take anything.

Another reason why I love them: For the way the hook bends. Unlike another brand I tried which I will get into soon, the hook curves in softly, not sharply. It doesn’t snag or divide up my yarn while I’m crocheting. Case in point: I could not for the life of my find a HiyaHiya 5mm hook at my LYS and settled instead for a Susan Bates one that A) has chipping paint after like 1 use, and B) has a hook so sharp I couldn’t properly use it. It also hurt my hand a lot, something the HiyaHiya ones don’t do.

So I ended up doing all 5mm projects with my 4.5mm or my 5.5mm. And eventually I donated the Bates one to my knitting/crochet club.

And then a magical moment happened last weekend. I wandered back in my LYS and found that rare 5mm. It was seriously like finding a shiny Pokemon or something less nerdy. I picked that up, along with a 6mm, 8mm, and 10mm. Now I have a rainbow of these fantastic hooks and my collection would seriously be complete… if it wasn’t for the missing 7mm one. 😦

Also a 2mm, but how often would my worsted-weight yarned self use that? (Hint: never)

In conclusion: if it’s not HiyaHiya, I’m not using it.

So if anyone’s reading this, what are your favourite hooks? I demand pictures!

Have another book review, plus some pictures.

Hey, how about a book review to distract from the fact that I have 4 current projects going on and no willpower to complete them. In case anyone’s keeping track of them, they are:

  • The sweater. (Haven’t touched that other 10 inches in stockinette yet…)
  • A seed stitch cowl. (I did two rows today after forgetting about it for a few months, oops.)
  • The Dudester.. I ACTUALLY HAVE A PICTURE OF THAT. HERE YOU GO, LOOK AT THAT ASYMMETRY 
  • The Leyla Cowl. (Fantastic One-Skein wonders project, you can see an example of it here on Ravelry!)

That being said, let’s talk about the book I got the Leyla Cowl from:

Crochet One-Skein Wonders: 101 Projects from Crocheters Around the World

edited by Judith Durant

Amazon Link

Amazon Description: Finally, a One-Skein Wonders book just for crocheters! Edie Eckman and Judith Durant offer 101 great crochet projects — from jewelry and scarves to bags, hats, dresses, and home dec items — that each use just one skein of yarn. Whatever your experience level, you’ll find something here to delight you!

Level: Some experience needed – the usual sc, hdc, dc things, plus the ability and knowledge to do more (like how to make a foundation double crochet or magic loop)

My Thoughts: So we’re already familiar with the fact that I have a lot of yarn. More often than not, I’ll need 2 skeins of something and end up using a whole skein, plus like a literal fucking whisper of the other skein. I’m sure that’s how this yarn stash problem started. I was really happy to find One-Skein Wonders at my local, awesome book store. Finally, something to do with yarn other than leave it in the Jeffrey Campbell shoe box to metaphorically die.

What I immediately liked about this book is that it arranged all the projects by yarn weight, the options being from thread to chunky and everything in between. I pretty much jumped myself to worsted and went from there, bookmarking projects of interest with my little sticky tabs. A good sign is that I have around 10 that jumped out instantly as “good idea, I’ll do that” while doing this.  The projects themselves vary a ton, with scarves/cowls, hats, gloves, purses, jewellery, socks (!!!), baby clothes/accessories, home decor, amigurumi, and even a blanket. With such variety, I’m already thinking of gift-giving situations so I can make a bunch of this stuff. Each project has a couple of clear pictures to show it, material/hook/gauge specifics, step-by-step instructions, as well as any special stitches needed and diagrams.

I picked the Leyla Cowl to start off with since I recently bought a new 5mm hook and had a ball of beautiful yarn that fit the yardage. I almost bailed on this book – as in almost shut the book and threw it across my room – when I saw that it required me to A) do a foundation double crochet and B) join in the round. Let me tell you about these things: I spent almost an entire weekend trying to learn FDC and could not. I also attempted to join in the round without twisting at least 20 times that same day as well. Something was just not computing for me. HOWEVER, One-Skein Wonders has a really, REALLY helpful appendix with a glossary that finally made FDC not look like gibberish. Nailed it. Also nifty: there’s an abbreviation chart as well, since I had no idea what FDC stood for to being with… (for those of you still here, you’re probably wondering how I even use a crochet hook or knitting needles, yes? I wonder sometimes too.)

I’m currently on the last set of rows for the cowl, and found the row-by-row instructions easy to read and simple. I should also add I started this last night, so if they were really vague and complication I probably would still be at the “FDC 80” part. 🙂 The diagram of what each row should look like was really helpful as well, and I notice that diagrams are pervasive in the book, so super great for visual learners that need that additional information.

My one beef with the book is that the way aforementioned blanket pattern calls for 1000+ yards of yarn, so I find that stretching the “One-Skein” part of the title just a little bit.

Overall though, this is a really cute book with a bunch of awesome, easy to make patterns that just might help you unload that leaning tower of yarn you’ve amassed.