Friday, July 19, 2013

Favorite Things Fridays: Polymer Clay Handled Hooks!

When I took on my latest book project, I knew that I would be crocheting non-stop for at least 3 or 4 months. Although I usually use my Boye hooks for work crochet samples, I knew that my hands would begin to cramp up if I did that much crocheting with my standard hooks.

Fortunately, I had recently met a lovely woman named Julia Hosack, from Zhu Zhu's World over on Etsy. She takes standard Boye  hooks (and Bates on request), builds up the handles with solid black fimo clay, and covers them with paper thin slivers of predesigned clay patterns. This is the best of both worlds for me, my standard Boye hooks with beautiful, lovingly handmade handles.

Julia often works on her hooks during our local monthly crochet group, so I have gotten to see the first part of the process in action. But she has her own secrets for baking and finishing them so that the finished product no longer feels like just plain baked fimo clay in your hand, giving a smoothness that makes them a delight to work with.

I have seen other fimo handled hooks where the clay only goes up to just below the thumb rest. But for me covering the thumb rest is the most important part. At one point in my marathon crochet adventure, I misplaced my H hook. I tried using one of my regular, smaller handled hooks, and my over-used thumb immediately locked straight, without the added bulk of Julia's handles.

On the other hand, some of her hooks have a more defined thumb rest than others. I am quite particular about how the hooks rest in my hand, and handled each and every hook she had when I was looking for a given size. But in the end, I generally chose the handles in my favorite blues and greens. I ended up with a full set of every hook from G through K, which I needed for the projects in my book. As well as 2 H's since I conveniently saw Julia at a craft show just after misplacing my first one. But I don't mind. After all, you can never have too many awesome hooks you LOVE to use!

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