MORE New Hooks!

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What’s this?  Even more new crochet hooks?  Well…these hooks are not new.  These hooks, bought however long ago, are basic aluminum hooks, sans embellishment of any sort.  They’re wonderful, balanced, smooth hooks and they really do the job.  My hands, however….

No big deal, just some arthritis, the bane of any needleworker, be it crochet, knit, embroidery or weaving.  The hands love a little grip, a little padding.  With crochet hooks, this is an easily-accomplished endeavor.  You simply add a grip to your old hooks, and give them new, ergonomic life!

I did this once before, where I added Sculpy eraser clay handles to a batch of old hooks.  They work well, and the best part about using polymer clay to form this kind of hook grip is that you can form it to your exact grip.

Now, I’m using wool.  I’ve fashioned a half dozen hooks (so far) with felted wool grips, and they are marvelous.  They’re soft, warm and supportive, and I got the wool onto the hook in just such a fashion as to be able to see what size hook I have.

No, they’re nowhere near as cool or decorative as the beauties I got from Dot Dot Smile, and I wouldn’t even attempt to do what Kelli has sent me.  Too much tiny detail!!!  For me, it’s the simple, the utilitarian.  I make them colorful…and comfortable.

To make these hooks, I measured enough roving to amply cover the end of the hook, spreading it out past the end of the hook just a little, and making a bit of a pillow around where I wanted the handle to have a grip.  The more wool you wrap around the hook, the thicker your grip..and the longer it will take to felt.  

I dragged out an old bottle of washable fabric glue,  Aleen’s, “OK To Wash It,” and smiled when I shook it and it was still good.  I simply opened up the bottle, and dipped the handle of the hook into the glue, stopping  just short of the finger grip where you can read the size of the hook.  You can dip, or apply the glue to the hook with a small brush.  

I let the excess glue run back into the bottle, then stuck the beginning end of my pre-measured length of roving into the glue.  I wound the roving around the hook, loosely shaping it into a handle. When it was suitable, all edges covered and puffy, I put it aside for 24 hours to let the glue dry.  The drying step is not optional!

Now, here’s where I got to choose, needle felted, or dry felted?  I chose both.  I needle-felted the wrapped wool into usable grips,  jabbing my needles in and out of the wool until the roving became fabric.  This needle-felted step is one that I consider optional.  If you want to do this, and you don’t have felting needles, you can easily skip this step and go right for the hot, soapy water.

My needle-felted hooks came out perfectly usable, but I wanted a denser,  smoother fabric grip.  I further felted the wool in hot, soapy water by wetting, soaping, and rubbing in between my hands, with my thumb and fore finger, with finger tips, however it worked to make the dense wool grips I now have on my hooks.  I paid special attention to the end of the hook so that it would felt properly without having the hook jab its way free of the wool.  I rinsed and rubbed, going back and forth between hot water and cold, to further shock and felt the wool, and finally wound up with these great hook grips.  If the “hook” end of the wool came unglued during the felting process, I added a tiny drop of glue and worked it in with my fingers, securing it smoothly to the hook.  

Here’s the last step I took.  I stuffed all of my wet hooks into the dryer with an old towel and let them roll around in there until they were dry.  The heat and agitation of the dryer further felted the wool handles, and they came out of the dryer ready to use.  This is a purely optional step.  You can let your hooks air dry, as I am with the last of mine right how.

One hook needed a lot of wet felting.  That was the hook that I didn’t needle felt first.  For that one, I started felting with the hot water and soap, and rather than rub right away, I squeezed and patted, squeezed and patted, until the wool told it me was okay to start rubbing.

I must have been in a hurry to have that hook, because that’s the one I started felting without waiting for the glue to dry!  Of course, if the glue is still wet, it isn’t going to stand up to hot water!  So, I carefully finished my hook, got it dry, and slipped the cover off the hook.  I re-glued the hook, and carefully slipped the cover back on.  No problems from there on!

I think they came out colorful and cool.  I know they came out soft and ergonomic, treating my poor creaky hands to a layer of comfort.  

CameraZOOM-felted hooks 01

See that blue one in the middle?  I needed that hook!  You can see that I have a very tiny Feets started, and that hook, as I took the picture, was done with needle felting only.   It works!  I have, since, wet-felted that hook, and it is air-drying now.  (The incredibly tiny Feets got transferred to a different hook…you’ll meet him as soon as he gets stitched.)

Like these grips?  You can do this!  All you need is a little wool roving, a little fabric glue, and a little time and energy.  

Have fun!

 

 

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4 responses »

  1. I started that picorial las night, now letting the glue set. Tonight, when Chris is home, I’ve already told him I need him to man the cell phone camera while I felt the handles. Hmmm…Video tut?

  2. Of course you can! As a matter of fact, I’m starting to felt some handles onto a few old thread hooks, and working a pictorial as we speak! It isn’t going to happen today, as I not only have to let the glue dry before I go into the felting phase, but I need another set of hands on that cell phone camera when I felt. I plan to go through the entire process, from gluing to wrapping, then onto needle felting, then onto wet felting and finishing…BUT also, from wrapping, directly onto the wet felting, for people who don’t have needle felting stuff laying around.
    Where to get roving? Any sheep farm…Ebay…Amazon (not a bargain)…most hobby/knit stores, like Joann, Hobby Lobby, AC Moore…they all have little packs of needle felting roving on the shelves. I plan to post links to a couple of good sources for roving.

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