meta content=' knitting, crochet, spinning crafts, storage, yarning4asmile ' name='description'/> Yarning4ASmile: A Deeper Look in the World of Crochet Hooks

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Deeper Look in the World of Crochet Hooks


Recently I hard the urge to get back crochet. When I started my fiber arts journey in 2013 I started with crochet, however lately I have really enjoyed knitting.

As I was planning out my next crochet project I began gathering what I would need. I grabbed my hook, the original Boye US 8 5.00mm that started it all. When I taught myself to crochet I had put clay on the clays making them fit in my hands but the added clay made them heavy. I actually could not crochet for long periods of time because my wrist and hands would start hurting. I think this is why I pulled away from crochet and leaned more towards knitting for so long. It made me think... I have bought nicer Knitting Needles and have really discovered what a great quality tool can do for my craft... why haven't I upgraded my crochet hooks??


I set out to find information for me, for you and for all looking for it. Today I will be reviewing several type hooks for you. I am going to give you the good, the bad and the just plain ugly. Let me first start off by saying these are my opinions unless I stated someone else commented when I took them to different groups for test driving. A big thank you to Addi for sending me their brand to review. I also want to mention that hooks are like needles its a preference thing. What I may love, you may hate and what bothers me may make your heart sing. I also want to point out I am a tall 5.11 woman who has big hands. I am right handed and I hold my hook like if I were to hold a knife. The bottom of my wrist to the tip of my middle finger is about 7.5 inches and my hands are 3.5 inches at the widest part. My test project is the blanket called Sophie's Universe by Dedri Uys


First lets look at the hooks we will be reviewing.



Left To Right: Addi Nautra Bamboo Hook, Addi Swing, Addi Aluminum, Addi Color Hooks, Knitters Pride Aluminum Silver Hook, Tulip Etimo, Clover Amour, Yarnology, Standard Boye, Boye Rubber grip.
~~Note all of these are a US 8 5.00mm EXCEPT the Knitters Pride it is a US K 6.5mm
General Info: Please note all weights, lengths were done on my sale and an x-acto metal ruler. All thoughts and Opinions are my own and have nothing to do with the manufacturers of the hooks. For their specific measurements please reference their companies sites.
Addi Aluminum This one weighs about 7 grams and is 14.5 cm long. It is shorter than the Bamboo Addi from above. Comparing it to the Boye it is short than the Boye too. Its head is a wee bit bigger than the standard Boye but smaller than the Bamboo Addi. The Addi Aluminum is also more of a Boys shaped head. The aluminum used is a lot slicker than the Boye but there is differences in the lay out. In the photo below you can see the Boye aluminum, Addi aluminum and the Addi Bamboo up close and personal. Notice the difference in the location of the thumb rest. I much more prefer Addi's thumb of the aluminum to the Boye thumb rest placement. The Addi aluminum has has the raised 5 in the thumb rest one one side and the word Addi on the other.

Boye Aluminum The one that has been around since the dawn of time. The Boye weighs 7 grams and 15 cm long. This hook can be found everywhere big box stores, your grandmothers house online you name it. Boye aluminum hooks will run about $2-3. A set of 6 will cost you under $10 with Prime on Amazon see it here. My blue Boye hook is very grabby. The thumb rest sits back more on the handle than the Addi aluminum. Again I am not a fan of skinny hooks, they cramp my hand and this is the kind I put clay on. The problem the clay makes it considerably much heavier and therefore can lead to hand fatigue.

Addi Bamboo Natura The lightest of all the hooks weighing in at about 2 grams. This hook is 14.9 cm long. It retails for about $15.18 on Amazon and can be found here.  It is one of the smoothest bamboo tools I have ever held in my hand. The wood is a beautiful light bamboo with darker streaks. The head is a tad more the style of a Susan Bates hook but not as much of a deep throat the Bates hooks have. The throat is flatter than the Boye styles. The entire rest of the handle is one width. The size is stamped on and just lists the mm size, 5 mm I personally have a hard time with hooks with out some width to them. They cause my hands to cramp trying to hold them. 


 


Addi Swing is the coolest to look at of the all. It grabs your attention with is unique shape. Addi Swing hooks can be bought from some local yarn stores or different online retail stores. It retails right now for $14.99 from Annies Catalog  (I looked on Amazon and could not locate the single hook, Amazon does have a set that can be found here.)  The handle is composed of a hard plastic (the white) and the color coded rubber. Each size has a different color for easy grabbing. The size is made into the handle. I thought I would hate this one but after holding it I really like it. The only down fall I can see it the length of the shaft. The top of the plastic/rubber handle to the tip of the head is about 3 cm. This one was the one that got the most attention when I posted it in the knitting group and at knit night. However like I mentioned the conversion of the length of your "working area" on the hook came up. I think if this had a longer shaft this would be an amazing hook for the blanket I am working on. However this blanket has many cluster stitches and as you can see in the photo below with the worsted weight yarn the last stitch is not on the shaft where it is supposed to be sitting and this cluster barley fits. I think still love this hook though and think I will get a lot of use out of it on other projects. Not to mention I really love how it fits in my hand!


These are all four of the Addi's together. You can click on the photos and they will get bigger.

Update: Addi replied with this when I asked them about if the Swing and Colors were the same aluminum and finish :  yes, they are except for sizes 7mm and 8mm Swing. Those are high pressure dicasted with finish

Addi Color The Addi Color is 15.5 cm long and weighs about 12 grams. From the top of the plastic handle to the tip of the head it is 3.9 cm. They Addi colors are color coded to add in ease of grabbing the size you want fast like the Addi Swings. The Addi Colors can be found in local yarn stores and online. Annies has the Addi Colors right now for $7.99 each.  The set can be found at Amazon for under $64.00 They are a nice length in my hand but I do not love the hard plastic make up of the handle, but its not too bad in my hand. The handle is a hard plastic ribbed brown and the bottom is hard plastic white ribbed on one side and smooth on the other. I was surprised to discover that when using it you can not really feel the ribbed texture. There is a number 5 raised in the plastic. These are smoother than the other aluminum's but not as nice in the hand as the Swings to me I think its the handle, I just enjoy a softer handle. Would I turn down a set of these nope, but they are just not favorite but they may be yours! I still suggest them especially for people with large hands like myself.


Knitters Pride Aluminum Silver These can be found at local Yarn stores and online. They are comparable to the other Aluminum's but not as slick as the Addi's color. It weighs 11 grams and is about 13.5 cm long. The shaft is 4.4 cm from top of the rubber handle to the tip of the head. I found some on Amazon but for this size it is $10.99 prime. I would order the Addi color over this one. I found mine at my local yarn store Yvies for under $4! Just so you know my local yarn store Yvies will ship things in the US.  The problem I have with this one is it seems like the hooks should have been made longer.  It just feels short in my hand, (again I have big hands). My mother in laws loves this one its a step up from the traditional aluminum she is used to but she can crochet longer due to the bigger handle. This example for this review is the only one that is not a size 5 mm. This is a 6.5 mm also known as a K. The Knitters Pride is smoother in the aluminum shaft than the Boye but not as smooth as the Addi. The head is similar to a Boye but more boxy. 

Boye Rubber Handle The Boye rubber handle weighs 17 grams making it the heaviest of the all and is 15 cm long. The top of the rubber to the tip of the head is 4 cm. This one I found at my local Walmart for about $4. The handle is orange and I want to say the other sizes had their own colors. I know my local Walmart had them in a set for about $20 with a case. However these are the heaviest hooks so I would try one before you commit. Also not the nicest feel in your hands, the handle has seems on the sides of the rubber that you can feel in your hand. There is also the word Boye that is raised in the rubber about where the joint is on your thumb. I find this very uncomfortable and it rubs on my thumbs The size is stamped on the rubber with ink so it could wear off in time. The ease of getting to these make them great for beginners. Everyone has a Walmart close to them. The aluminum shaft though is not smooth. They are smoother than the Yarnology pink one but not as smooth as the knitters pride or the Addi's.

 

Yarnology  from Hobby Lobby retails for $3.49. The hook is 16 cm from tip to tip and weighs 14 grams. The length between the rubber and the tip of the head is 4.2 cm. The handle is a rubber, the aluminum shaft is grabby... In fact this is the most grabby of them all!  The handle is a smooth rubber. There is however this very strange raised bump on the handle that sits under my thumb. When I used this hook I could feel it and after a few stitches it began to bother me. The head is very similar to a standard Boye but a bit rounder at the tip and a bit wider. It does have a flatter throat than a standard Boye but not as flat as a standard Susan Bates. It is longer than the Rubber handle Boye. 


These are all the solid Rubberized handles together. Please note like I mentioned above the Black Knitter Pride on bottom is a 6.5 mm K where the others are all 5. mm US H.




Tulip Etimo The Etimo weighs 9 grams and 13.7 cm long. The Tulip Etimo's retail for $50 Pime on Amazon.com and like the Addi's they come in a nice case.  Etimo's have a similar head to a Boye but its a little flatter. I love the gold finish but the handles are all the same grey color. The sizes are a sicker on the handle. The Rubber handle is so smooth and soft. It is my favorite handle texture of them all. The shaft is super smooth as well. The top of the rubber handle to the tip of the head is 4 cm. They are very popular with others crocheters but I do not like them. Every single time I try to use it my hand cramps. I think because the raised bump at the tip of the rubber handle makes the handle feel a lot shorter in my hand. I wanted to love this set but for me they are a no go. You can see in the picture below it looks so small in my hand. Please remember there are many people that are crazy over this hook.... just not me. 



Clover Amour The Amours weigh 12 grams and are 14 cm long. The area between the top of the Rubber handle to the tip of the head is 3.9 cm. The Clover Amour can be found on Amazon with a case for $49.97 and without a case for $40 prime. When I got my set I go the one with out the case and then I order this case for my hooks.  Before I got the Addi hooks to review I would say this would be my favorite. I love how they are color coded and have a wonderful smooth shaft. The head is a little cross between a Susan Bates where the top of the head is a little flat but also a little like a Boye. The rubber handles are very similar to the Etimo's but do not have that bump that makes me crazy. I really enjoy the Amour set and from what I have heard others that have these love them too. 


    






The Low Down
I took all these to my local knit/crochet night. I sat them on the table with strips of the same kind of yarn slip knotted on each one. I sat back and watched. The most popular to be picked up and tried was the Addi Swing. The common remark about it was the length of the shaft. The most negatives came from the Yarnology and the Boye rubber handle. The one most of the attendees owned was the standard Boye or Susan Bates. The ones that one the standard aluminum were interested in the comparison of the Addi aluminum to their classic ones. The Etimo was said to have that pretty gold shaft but the bump in the handle turned a few off. The Favorites were the Addi Swing and the Clover Amour. I noticed most of the attendees used the knife hold. People were drawn to the colors for easy identification.

My Thoughts

~My top two Addi Swing (just wish that shaft was longer) and Clover Amour
~The smoothest in order:
Etimo and Clover are tied, Swing and Addi Color tied, Knitters Pride and Addi aluminum are tied, Boye Rubber cover handle, Boye aluminum, yarnology and Addi Bamboo
~ I will be using the Clover Amour, Addi Swing or Addi color for now on. I love them soo much and love the colors for easy identification.

I hope my reviews helped you gather some information and will get you to step outside your comfort zone and try a new hook. You may be surprised and find one you love. Next week I record a little video showing how I hold the hooks and how they look in my hand. I hope you sign up for emails when I post or check back soon.

Happy Crocheting and Crafting! 
#Clover #Addineedle #addihooks #Skacel #Boye #yarnology #Hook #Crochet #KnittersPride #tulipetimo #review

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