Welcome on day #15 of the 30 days blog project! Yesterday I badly needed to take a short break from it. You know, I don’t like posting any random content and I’d been quite tired in the evenings lately. Yesterday my mind just didn’t spill out anything worth blogging, I don’t like blogging just ANYTHING, just to blog. So I decided to let go for one night instead of sucking some content out of my fingers.
However, today instead I want to talk about tunisian crochet hooks.
Recently I had a conversation with the talented Anya aka @lcs_girl on Instagram about the characteristics of tunisian crochet hooks. Btw, Anya not only shows awesome pictures of her beautiful crochet squares and mandalas, she is also an avid pinner on Pinterest and you should definitely follow her ! As we were chatting about the pro’s and con’s of the various hooks that are available on the market, I realized that there are actually quite a few types of hooks to consider!
First of all – You all know that in tunisian crochet, you need to pick up all the loops on your hook on the forward pass before „binding off“ each stitch on the return pass. This picking up loops on the forward pass is the reason why you need longer hooks than in standard crochet, where you work one complete stitch at a time.
In earlier times, cabled crochet hooks didn’t exist. The rigid tunisian hooks, about 30cm long, were the first ones invented, apparently a mixture of crochet hook and knitting needle. As you can see, they all have an end button so that the loops don’t fall off the hooks.
As the crochet work on your hook is flexible by nature, you can push the stitches together. So even your rigid hooks can take a whole lot of stitches. But when you’re working on a large shawl e.g., you might want to switch to a system of cabled hooks, like from Denise, Knit pro, Knitters pride or Addi, that are longer and can take a lot more loops on its cord. Depending on the hook and hook system, the cords are either fixed at the hooked, or you have a set of interchangeable hooks and cords. You have different cord sizes to choose from, as well as some end buttons and connectors to make your cords even longer. Every producer of crochet hooks has their own materials and systems. Some needles are from plastic, some from wood, some from bamboo or aluminum. You can get thicker, less flexible cords like with Denise, or very thin ones like with addi or Knit pro.
Which one you prefer to work with is just a matter of personal preferences. I’ve been trying many of the different materials and sets that are on the market, and I can say that all of them have their pro’s and con’s. Some like slippery hooks from aluminum, some prefer the slight resistant surface of wood and bamboo which helps that your loops won’t fall off the hooks too easily. Some appreciate high flexibility and very thin cords, some prefer stiffer cables.
By the way: here’s a reason why I love the classic tunisian crochet hooks without a cable: Although it might take some practice to feel comfortable working with such a long „stick“ – in my eyes the rigidity holds the weight of the fabric better. You must not forget that other than in knitting where you have two hands in action, in tunisian crochet all the fabric’s weight has to be carried by one hand only . While the cable hangs down and pulls the fabric down with itself, a rigid crochet „stick“ can support your wrist carrying the weight of the crochetwear.
I think it is best to gather a variegated collection of different hooks over the time – at least some rigid hooks and some cabled ones. This way, you can change between the projects. And changing once in while helps your muscles and wrists to relax.Tunisian crochet in the round is a rather young invention. After closing the ring to start with in the first row, you continue working in spirals, with one side of the crochet hook and the first ball of yarn you pick up the loop of the next round until your hook is „full“ with loops. The you have to turn your work, and with the other end of the hook and a second ball of yarn, your work the stitches off. That’s what you need the second hook tip for.And there exists a variation of tunisian crochet in the row, which looks a bit different from the tunisian crochet I know and which is mostly used to create multicolored patterns. I haven’t tried it yet so I don’t have a sample to show you right now, but I know that you need 2 balls yarn parallel, one on each side, and you have to turn your work for the return pass. I promise to try and show soon!
Hope that little overview could help you finding the right hook for your next tunisian project! Tomorrow I will write some words on another aspect that you should consider when buying a crochet hook!