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Today, we’ll tackle the essential tools for every crocheter, and the good news is that these are often quite affordable.
In Search of Essential Crochet Tools
A Set of Crochet Hooks
During the 2015 Knit and Crochet Show in San Diego, I sat beside a student with a full ergonomic crochet kit during a class on designing shawls. I had the benefit of a few minutes to try one of the hooks during the class. 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 spend some time 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 actual review that I provided 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 it to be one of the best tools for my crocheting and crafting projects! I can adjust the flexible arm to move the light into the best position for my project. The structure is lightweight and easy to move 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. The model in the photo is a newer model with a clip to hold instructions in place. What a great idea!
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 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 (made in Japan) that looks very similar to the one I use and has the button-push retraction, along with many positive reviews. I have not used this specific product, but I do have several of the Clover brand products and trust their brand.
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. Even with this much-needed functionality, I like a pretty bowl for my yarn. Fortunately, there are hundreds of beautiful yarn bowls available through Etsy.
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 3″ blade), lightweight pair of scissors with a double loop handle. For my yarn crafts, I’m all for comfort and look for scissors with soft grips. The product recommendation in the photo is similar to what I’ve used for the past dozen or more years. I like that this particular product can be used with ease whether they are held in the right hand or left hand. Price? Yes, a set of three for about $8.00 (as of February 2018).
Design your own tote bag to haul your belongings in style at Zazzle.com! This roomy tote is available in 5 sizes to fit all your crocheting needs. I prefer the large, two-color bag. It is about 13″ X 18″ and has the deep bottom gusset at just over 5″ deep from front to back. Constructed with sturdy 12 oz. 100% cotton canvas and available in a selection of color combinations. Machine washable.
Versatile, trendy, and durable, this custom crochet tote means you’ll always have your crochet projects with you and look good as you travel. I have several of these tote bags and love the quality of the Zazzle products and imprints.
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 and they sometimes break after just a few uses and consider those packages as disposable items that I’ll toss when they break. For that reason, I prefer the pretty stitch markers that I can source on Etsy.
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.
Drop me a note and let me know!
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