Friday, July 12, 2013

Favorite Things Fridays: Craftwich Creations Hooks!

Last week I posted about my favorite "mass produced" crochet hooks. This week I'd like to talk about the wonderful world of Hand-Carved Wooden Crochet Hooks. In particular, those made by my good friend Monica, from Craftwich Creations. Back in 2011, I actually attended the Crochet Liberation Front retreat where Monica first learned to carve crochet hooks from pieces of wood. She took the skills she learned from workshops with Jimbo Pierce (of Jimbo's Front Porch), and has made them her own.

Rather than smoothing out all the variations in the wood, Monica works with the natural shape and texture of the woods she uses to create one of a kind hooks. Many are riddled with worm holes, or have a wand-like appearance. In spite of the natural appearance of the hooks, she carefully checks and rechecks the diameter of each finished hook to achieve exact sizing based on the standard hook sizes, making them easy to use when you need a certain size.

Monica makes a lot of less common, oversized hooks. I have a marvelous "U" hook she made from a worm-eaten wood, which is especially great for crocheting rugs with fabric strips and bulky mill ends from the local woolen mill.

She has also developed a technique for adding colors to the wood before she carves the hook. She even made me a beautiful blue "L" hook for my birthday last year, with just the right angle for my left-handed crocheting. Monica is a lefty as well, so she occasionally creates a hook just for us lefties, when the angle of the wood tells her it should be held in the left hand rather than the right.

I have 2 of her "J" hooks, one of her small pendant hooks in a dark wood (so I'm never caught without a hook!), and the light colored wood hook featured in my 1st book. Because I shoot all my tutorials left-handed, and have to flip them for the right-handed version, I love having a hook without markings that will turn out upside down when the image is flipped.

With 2 daughters named for trees, I put in a request awhile back for a hook made from the tree my first daughter was named for. Rowan wood is often thought to possess magical powers. Monica has finally found the right kind of wood, so I will finally have my very own magic wand (perhaps K or I?), to add to my collection of marvelous Craftwich Creations! I cannot wait to see the finished product!

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