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Discover the essential and Best Crochet Tools
Crochet begins with a hook and some yarn, but these essential crochet tools will make your hobby time more efficient and enjoyable. In some articles on this website, I recommend crochet books and crochet patterns that have enriched my crafting journey. Today, we’ll tackle the essential crochet tools as I explain why some of these are my absolute favorites, and the good news is that these crochet tools are often quite affordable.
Essential Crochet Tools
Yarn or Crochet Thread
Crochet yarn or crochet thread is an essential tool for any crochet project. Buying yarn is an enjoyable activity that is often at the very beginning of the project creation cycle. Shopping for the perfect color and texture can brighten your mood and bring the idea into clear focus, even before the first chain stitch. The perfect yarn transforms a ho-hum project into a masterpiece of art, so it is undoubtedly worthwhile to spend time selecting the best yarn for your particular project.
I use many different brands of yarn and highly recommend these suppliers:
During the 2015 Knit and Crochet Show in San Diego, I sat beside a student with a full ergonomic crochet kit during a class and she let me try one. The kits were available on the market floor at the Athena’s Elements & Yarn booth, so I just had to check it out!
I was delighted to visit with Grace Smith, the owner of this business. She’s an energetic US Navy spouse, building a business while assigned to the San Diego area. During our discussion, Grace gave me a sample of Athena’s Elements 7.0mm & 8.0mm Crochet Hooks to “test drive” and provide a review. This product is no longer offered since she’s changed to the American letter sizes and offers a complete set of crochet hooks for a very affordable price.
The review I posted on Amazon:
I’ve been crocheting for many years but have never tried the ergonomic hooks. I received this pair of hooks for free to test drive and provide this review. My initial reaction was that the ergonomic padding was too close to the end of the hook, and it did take about 20 minutes of crochet time to adjust to the tighter throat/shaft area for the yarn. After that adjustment period, I was impressed at how even my stitches became and that my hands were comfortable with the thumb rest and the length of the hooks. I really enjoy using these and will be upgrading to a full set soon!
Let’s shed some light on the subject. For several years, I’ve been using the OttLite 18-watt Easy View Floor Lamp with a magnification arm. I am a big fan of the OttLite products and consider these among the best tools for my crocheting and crafting projects! I adjust the flexible arm to move the light into the best position for my project. The structure is lightweight and easy to transfer to different places in the house for my sewing machine projects, my dining table projects, and my comfy “in the reclining chair” projects. This is one of the best investments in my crafting and eyesight. The light is bright, but not harsh. The magnifier arm is a lifesaver on intricate projects.
Let’s be honest, you can pull the measuring tape from the sewing center and put it into double duty as your crocheting measuring tape. And that’s a very economical approach – good for you! What’s important is that you crochet to a gauge measurement and ensure a proper fit every time.
Yes, every time. I often grab the closest ruler or my sewing tape while crocheting at home, but I keep (always) a spring-loaded measuring tape in my “go bag” for when I’m crocheting at medical appointments, in airports, during hotel stays, and otherwise away from my usual environment.
The measuring tape in my go-bag was a giveaway at a CGOA conference and has a Lion Brand logo on the side. What I like most about it is how I can press a button on it for retraction – no twisting and turning and no jumbled measuring tape mess!
I found a similar one manufactured by Clover with the button-push retraction which is so convenient. You can also go for the whimsy of a cut crocheted animal to hold your tape measure. These are available in a variety of designs and add a bit of fun to the crochet experience.
Yarn bowls are trendy for crocheters and have interestingly formed an intersection between yarn crafting and woodworking. Yarn bowls are available in different sizes, colors, and shapes. As a beginner, you may select a yarn bowl based on its visual appeal.
However, as you become more skilled at crocheting, you will find that a yarn bowl is an essential tool for your hobby. For years, I dealt with tumbling and knotted crochet yarn while my skeins bounced off of my lap and around the room.
The yarn bowl protects the yarn while creating a less chaotic environment for pulled just the yarn I need without unnecessary distraction, which makes the yarn bowl an essential crochet tool. Fortunately, there are hundreds of beautiful yarn bowls available at a variety of prices.
While there may be scissors in every room of your home, having dedicated scissors for yarn crafts is not only a timesaver but ensures a nice sharp cut every time.
Features to look for in yarn scissors? I like a compact (less than 4″ blade), lightweight pair of scissors with a double loop handle. For my yarn crafts, I’m all for comfort and look for scissors with ergonomic grips.
For transporting crochet projects, this beautiful and functional tote bag is a winner! The style is elegant with sturdy canvas and detailed construction. The zippered sections protect your hooks and other essential crochet tools and prevent the accidental situations where items fall out during the rush of the day between medical appointments, banking, and shopping. It’s important to have everything secure and this tote absolutely delivers on the necessary features.
Stitch markers are essential tools for your crochet kit. They can be used to mark groups of stitches (like every tenth stitch in a long row of hundreds of stitches) or to mark the beginning of a round, or even a color change. Patterns sometimes indicate to insert a stitch marker by using the abbreviations “pm” (place marker) and “sm” (slip marker).
The most important thing to know is that you must use markers that can be removed from the crocheted item. The closed stitch markers, often used for knitting, cannot be used for crochet. Look for markers with a clasp or an open end to slip on and off of the crochet project.
Another caution is that stitch markers can be purchased by the dozens from many online retailers – made of plastic and very cheap (a few dollars for a dozen or more). I’ve had negative experiences with these as they sometimes break after just a few uses and consider those packages as disposable items that I’ll toss when they break.
For years, I only thought of tapestry needles for embroidery and needlework projects. Then I discovered some tips and tricks for finishing ends and I no longer avoid those last few stitches. My crocheted items look more professional, because, well, they are.
Tapestry needles are now in my essentials toolkit for crocheting. Using a long tail of yarn, these needles “sew” that yarn end into the crocheted stitches. This process creates a firm “backstitch” to eliminate unraveling while hiding the ends of the yarn inside those other stitches. My recommendation is this set from Lion Brand Yarn for less than $5.00 (as of February 2018). If you are shopping locally for these, look for a blunt end or needles that are designated for yarn work.
Yarn Ball Winder and Swift Set
A yarn ball winder is used to transfer yarn from the skein to a ball before use. This process allows you to inspect your yarn for knots or weak points so you can fix them before you start working. As an added benefit, any tangles are resolved before you begin the project and that frustration point is eliminated.
A yarn swift generally attaches to a table or workstation and is a useful tool if you purchase yarn in hanks. The yarn swift spins in a circle while you transfer the yarn to a ball with the yarn ball winder.
And that’s my roundup of the essential tools for crochet and other fiber arts. I hope this provided some ideas for improving your crochet hobby. Do you have other recommendations?
Drop me a note and let me know!
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