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Tuesday Tip: Back-Up Crochet Hooks

Happy Tuesday, crafters!

If you work a project (or a series of projects) enough times, you might start memorizing how the pattern starts or know right away the size hook you need. Personally, I make all of my hats with a size I9/5.5mm hook, whereas all of my little princesses are made with a size D/3-3.25mm hook. The size I hook is perfect for my hats because it gets the sizing just right, and the size D hook is ideal for my amigurumi patterns because the stitches I get with it are small enough to keep the polyester filling inside the part I’m crocheting.

So when I sat down to work on my pattern for Mulan, I pulled out my size D hook and started to crochet away, no quibbling over hook size necessary.

The problem with the size D hook is that because it is so small and thin, and because the stitches in my amigurumi patterns are so tight and close together, the pressure put on the hook in the past year has caused it to bend with use over time. And then a few days ago…

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Let’s just say, this was the perfect topic for today’s Tuesday Tip:

Keep a back-up of your most-used hook sizes, because you never know what might happen.

Maybe you’re like me and like to crochet on the go. Need a hook at home and in your tote bag? Might as well keep one in each spot!

Or, maybe you’re like me and make tight stitches and aren’t too nice to your poor aluminum small-sized crochet hooks. Better get a back-up, just in case.

I am super glad that I had a spare size D hook. Where I live, the closest craft store is almost an hour’s drive away, and while the local buy-it-all-here store does have some crochet items, they only carry the most basic sizes (like my favorite size I, for example). I am glad that I didn’t have to drive an hour out of my way (plus an hour back!) on a weeknight to purchase a replacement hook. Because I had my back-up hook, I was able to continue working on Mulan with very few interruptions in my progress.

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I was able to venture into the city over the weekend and stop by my favorite local yarn shop, Paradise Fibers, where I purchased a Kollage square crochet hook in size D/3.25mm. I have absolutely loved using it (it feels so natural to hold in my hand), but here’s something to keep in mind if you’re considering switching from aluminum to this particular brand: the metal part of the hook does not go all the way through the wooden handle.

I found this out when it popped out shortly after I started using it.

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The good news is that you can easily glue it back in with most kinds of glue (Mr. M. is particulary fond of model railroad adhesives, so mine is now snug as a bug). I don’t know if mine was wobbly from the get-go due to some factory error, but it’s plenty easy to fix, as opposed to my now two-piece aluminum Boye hook.

But after the re-glue, it is so sturdy–I don’t think I’ll have any more problems with it from now on!

I’ve definitely learned my lesson: keep back-up hooks handy at all times!

Perhaps it’s time to give my poor aluminum hook a proper burial. We had a good two years!

Happy hook shopping,

– Alex

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