All about crochet hooks

As a crochet tutor the question I get asked the most is: what is the right way to hold the hook? Well, there isn’t one, the right way to hold a hook is the way it’s most comfortable for you.  However, it’s good to consider that the way you hold your hook depends on lots of factors: your muscle memory, the length of your fingers and shape of your hands. Before we explore ways of holding the hook, let’s familiarise ourselves with it first.
Point – This part of the hook is inserted into stitches, allowing it to easily slide into stitches you are working on. The point can range from very pointy to rounded.
Hook – used to hook the yarn and draw it through loops of yarn
Throat – shaped area that helps to slide stitch up onto the next part of the crochet hook
Shaft – part of the hook that the loop rests on while you are crocheting. This part of the hook determines the size of your stitches.
Thumb rest – indentation that allows you to rest your thumb on the hook.
Handle – The handle is the part of the hook that you’ll hold while crocheting
Let’s look at the two most common ways to hold a hook:
Knife Method – exactly as it sounds, you hold the crochet hook as you would hold a knife. Your hand will grip over the hook with the handle resting against the palm of your hand and your thumb, index finger and middle finger grasping the thumb rest.
Pencil Method – hold the hook as you would hold a pencil, your thumb and index griping the thumb-rest, middle finger closer to the shaft, and the handle is resting on the fleshy area above your index finger. 
I hold my hook like a knife. This is the way I have been taught by my mum as a child, when I picked up crochet hook again after years it was this way I instinctively held it. 
The way you hold your hook and yarn is completely your choice, as long as your stitches look as they should. However, if after a bit of crocheting your hands, arms or back start hurting then it is time to explore different ways. Why don’t you experiment with the two different ways and see which one suit you best. 

Crochet hooks come in many different types and sizes. They are usually made out of:
Steel – come in the smallest sizes and are often used in fine thread.
Aluminium – come in broad range of sizes. Suitable for most fibres, allowing for smooth and quick crocheting.
Plastic – available in all the common sizes as well as jumbo hooks. Usually made out of hollow plastic.
Wood or Bamboo – available in all but the smallest and jumbo sizes. Lightweight and very good on your hands. Do avoid the smallest sizes with blunt points when you are working with thin yarns, as they do not pass easily through stitches.
I choose a hook depending on which fibre I want to crochet with. Fine steel hooks are perfect for crocheting fine intricate lace, like doilies and are perfect for working with fine cotton.
I always found wooden hooks perfect for working with alpaca yarns, mohair and silk,  and aluminium ones for wool, cottons and most other fibres.
Do apologise for the scratches on my hands, this is how my cats show me they love me 😛
Anna x

Mr.Spock mug cosy

Friday was a very sad day….. A true sci-fi icon has left us; of course I mean the legend that is Leonard Nimoy.
I’m not a trekkie, but I still vividly remember watching the original series with Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk and still to this day I was all too aware of just how iconic those characters had become. Although Leonard Nimoy played quite a number of other roles throughout his career including films such as ‘Invasion of the body snatchers’ and the more recent sci-fi series ‘Fringe’, to me he will always be Mr. Spock.
So in honour of the great man, I felt inspired to crochet this star trek themed mug cosy, perfect for popping round a mug of hot drink fresh from the replicator 😉
The colours I’ve chosen are also a nod to his original uniform: blue top with silver communicator badge.

Grab a crochet hook, some yarn, make a cosy and raise a mug of tea (or whatever Vulcans drink) to the great man.
ch – chain
ch-sp – chain space
dc (US sc) – double crochet (single crochet)
htr (US hdc) – half treble crochet ( hald double crochet)
tr (US dc) – treble (double crochet)
dtr (US tr) – double treble (treble)
trtr (US dtr) – triple treble ( double treble)
st(s) – stitch(es)
RS – right side
WS – wrong side
Oddments of DK yarn in blue and silver, I have used:
Rowan Handknit Cotton in blue
Rowan Cotton Glacé in silver
3.50mm (US E/4) crochet hook.
1 x button
Tapestry needle
With blue yarn make 13 chains.
Row 1 (WS): 1 dc into second ch from hook, 1 dc into every ch to end, turn.
Row 2: ch 1, *1 dc into front loop only of next st, 1 dc in back loop only of next st, rep from * to end, turn.
Continue repeating row 2 until work measures 24.5cm (or however long you wish the cosy to be).
Break off yarn.
Buttonhole band
With RS facing, re-join yarn to 4th stitch on last row.
Row 1: ch 1, [1 dc into back loop of next st, 1 dc into front loop of next st] 3 times, turn.
Rep row 1, 5 more times.
Row 7: ch 1, 1 dc into back loop of next set, 1 dc into front loop of next set, miss 2 sts, 1 dc into back loop of next set, 1 dc into front loop of next set, turn.
Row 8: ch 1, 1 dc into back loop of next st, 1 dc into front loop of next st, 2 dc into ch-2 sp, 1 dc into back loop of next st, 1 dc into front loop of next st.
Fasten off.
Communicator badge
I have used two strands of cotton glacé held together for the badge, as I wanted it to really stand out.  Cotton glacé is mercerised cotton, with weight in between DK and 4 ply, has a gentle shine to it which is just ideal for the badge.
With your silver yarn make 13 ch.
Row 1: 1 dc into second ch form hook, 1 dc into next 2 ch, 1 htr into next ch, 1 tr into next ch, [1 dtr, 1 trtr, ch 1, 1 trtr] all into next ch, [1dtr, 1 tr] all into next ch, 1 tr into next ch, 1 htr into next 2 ch, 1 dc into next 2 ch.
Fasten off.
Making up
Weave in ends.
Attach button to the cosy, placing it in the centre of 5th row from the start of work.
Using photograph as a guide, sew on communicator badge on the side of cosy, pulling it into shape as you sew.
If you wish; with tapestry needle and silver yarn (I held it double) embroider LLAP (Live Long And Prosper) so it would display on the opposite side to the badge.