Thursday, January 6, 2011

Question From Reader: Nuns Crochet Hook

I just came across an old wooden crochet hook, size K, with the name "Nuns" on the side. It must have belonged to my grandmother. Are you familiar with this brand? And do you know when it might have been made?
Marcia of Brookfield

Dear Marcia,
Thank you for the wonderful question! You have led me on a fun quest to learn more about your grandmother's crochet hook!  I have never seen a Nun's hook in person, so I was very intrigued!
Photo of Nun's Crochet Hook by Marcia.
Your crochet hook comes from T. Buettner & Co. Inc., well known for the "Nun's" branding, that was in business from the mid 1880s until its reported dissolving in 1960. The company was located in Chicago, Illinois, and specialized in the importing and manufacturing of goods for crocheting, embroidery, knitting, spool knitting and the likes.  Many companies, like the T. Buettner company, published their own patterns to help support the sales of their thread & yarn lines, so it is no surprise they also offered their own line of crochet hooks.

1926 T. Buettner & Co. ad for Nuns
"Boilproof" Embroidery & Crochet Cotton
The original owners, two brothers by the name of Emil and Ernest Buettner, seemed to have been immigrants from Germany; I am not sure why they came to America, but it is during the time period where there was a huge influx of Russian-Germans settling in that part of the country. The business was successful  to the point where they were able to hold dual residences in America and Germany.  (And their business took up three addresses in Chicago!)  Many of the items they sold from their American company reportedly came from Germany. As a side note, I noticed a lot of labels for their "boilproof" threads and yarns were stamped with "Made in Switzerland!"  

Your crochet hook is stamped with the letter "K;" this means that the hook was created for American use, regardless of where it was made.  If it were crafted for European use, it would have been stamped with a metric size. Unfortunately I am not able to figure out when -- or where -- your grandmothers Nun's crochet hook was created.   Readers, do you know more information about the Nun's Crochet Hooks?  If so, do tell!  :)
Websites to visit for more information: 

1 comment:

Sharla said...

I also have a Nun's hook but it is the one with the hook on one end and the other end like a knitting needle stop, sorry the name escapes as I just recently found out what type of work this was for! Mine is aluminium, tin or steel with England stamped on the other side and is size 3 thank you so much for your research on this brand I love this stuff!