Thursday, December 1, 2011

Crochet's Unsung Heroes

It is true; I've been joy riding several new crochet hooks, not just the one I mentioned over Thanksgiving break.  What's up with that?  I suffer from HAS: Hook Acquisition Syndrome!

If this 1800s crochet hook could talk, what crochet adventures would it tell us?
It was during all this giddy-glee of playing with new crochet hooks that a thought started repeating itself to me as I worked each new stitch, each new project:

"Crochet Hooks are the unsung heroes of our craft."
Think about it.  When we see a project, in person, or pictured online, we want to know:
  • if not an original pattern, then who designed it? 
  • is the pattern for free or for sale?
  • where can a copy of the pattern be obtained?
  • can it be made/altered to fit me?
  • what is the skill level: beginner? Intermediate? Advanced?
  • what yarn was used?
  • how much yarn is required?
  • what size hook was used?
Did you read anywhere above "What hook was used?"
   Did we learn if the hook belonged to your great, great grandparent?
      Did we learn if the hook was hand-turned from a descendant of Moby Dick?
         Did we learn if the hook brought you pleasure with each stitch it helped you create?

No, sadly, we usually don't share these kinds of details, do we?  We, do, however, usually hear when a hook breaks -- I've been known to accidentally kill a hook or two in my time (linky).  And we usually hear the woes of missing hooks, too (linky).  But what about the crochet hook that was pressed into your hand as a distraction when a loved one was in the hospital.  Or the hook you bought to make your first crochet chain.  And what about the hook that helped wrap an adorable baby with a crocheted blanket you crafted with your own two hands?

All I'm saying is, that without our crochet hooks we'd be pretty much limited to finger crocheting.  (Doable yes, but try making a dainty doily with sausage fingers!)  Let's give a little praise to the hooks we love to use; regardless if it was mass-produced or hand created, I'm betting there's a story behind it.  And I, for one, would love to know about it!  :)


Mmatilda said...

I have made my own hook! The reason was I was not satisfied with the hooks I had bought. I needed one that would work well for slip stitch crochet, and it just happened to work well for all crochet! Pictures in my blog. I made it from a stick of juniper. And I am very proud of it!

Akua Lezli Hope said...

I join you in offering praise for my hooks and i thought i was a bit askew
when i considered including what hook
I used in my pattern instructions.
Only in the last five years, after decades of crocheting, have I explored
technique-specific and handmade hooks and what a difference this has made to the tactile joy of creation. It's an evolution in self-understanding to be able to articulate what length and hook design aid the process. Yes, let us
praise our tools!

Trina said...

Hello Dee,
As i was reading this blog i sat here and thought about my first hook. And After the tears were gone i was able to tell my story. My grandmother got me my first hook. It was a blue Boye size G. I got the hook when i was eight years old. I would use that hook on every project i did. Most of the projects i did was make bed doll dresses. I h ad used it so much that the color was wearing off on one side. That is still my favorite think to make. Then one day i found myself in a wheelchair after i fell down my stairs trying to stop someone from breakin into my house. I was in the chair for about a month and all i could do was crochet. So there i was stuck on a hide-a-bed day in and day out using my beloved blue hook. Then came the day that i was ablr to get the casts off and be out of the chair. A friend of mine took me to the doctor as my now ex-husband cleared up the hide-a-bed and removed it for the house. I had reminded him to check and make sure nothing got lost in it as it was getting put up. I got home from the doctor and walked upstairs for the first time in a month and was so happy to be able to sleep in a real bed. The next day I go and look for my hand-made hook case and its no where to be found. I asked my ex if he made sure nothin was in the couch and he said no. After doing a complete search of the house i can to realize that my hooks were still in the couch that was now at the dump and gone forever. Even my beloved blue hook. After that i had a very hard time crochetin. I would think about it and start to cry over my lost hook. So many tell me its just a hook, but to me it was more then that. I have started back up but well never forget my first hook. Thats my hook story. said...

Trina, I'm so sorry your first hook love is gone, however you are so right -- you have the beautiful memory of your grandmother giving it to you and that's something no one can ever take away from you.
Thank you for sharing your story,