A few months ago I was asked to test out the Sharp Crochet Hook. For those of you who have no idea what that is, it’s this really neat TINY hook that has a sharpened head to get through fabric.
Technically that means NO prepoking holes, which I thought was AWESOME!! Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to skip a step when working something like an edging? I was super excited to get the hook in the mail and even more excited to try it out.
I pulled out some different fabrics to work my edging magic on and it was pretty clear that the business end of the hook, while smaller and sharper than any of the rest of my hooks, was still not sharp enough to get through some of them–like denim–without a fight. Actually, it was more like a full on battle (and I’m sad to say that the hook won cause I couldn’t use it at all with denim. Maybe you’re thinking that the denim I have laying around is Kevlar reinforced motorcycle denim…but I assure you it’s your plain everyday wear jean stuff.)
I had the most success with the thin and lightweight fabrics, which really do love this hook.
After some more experimenting, I realized that the hook itself works well when using cotton thread–I have a bunch of size 10 so that’s what I used–but you can use regular yarn with it if you have a vice-like grip and basically strangle it to stay on the hook when pulling back through the hole. The thickest yarn I managed to successfully use it with was Red Heart Shimmer. Anything larger than that and you can forget grabbing it to pull back through the hole it makes. It will just split your yarn and make a mess.
I also found that the hook works at its absolute BEST when you machine stitch your fabric first and use cotton thread. It’s a snap to use if you sandwich two layers of fleece together and zig zag stitch around the border, using the holes that your sewing machine left behind to act as a guide.
Doing things this way makes pushing the hook through the layers easier because the hole is already started. Without that jumpstart, getting the hook through the fabric is downright painful. BUT…I think machine sewing first is sort of cheating, since the hook’s claim to fame is that you can use it straight from the package on fabric without prepoking holes, so I’m not exactly sure how I feel about that finding.
Once I’d finished fooling around with the hook and had a feel for what it could reasonably pull off, I decided to make something a little different than your ordinary crochet edging or zipper attachment. Those options, while useful to know how to do, aren’t very exciting to blog about. (By the way, you can probably find most bloggers who’ve tested this same hook blogging about how to crochet an edging on something like a pillowcase or tea towel or how to add a zipper to your crochet purse with this hook. If you really want to know how that works head on over to Google and a quick search will pull up bunches of those posts.) Instead, I pulled out some thick paper (the sort you would use to paint with acrylics on) and a Sharpie and drew and elephant standing on the beach.
What?? You saw me going there with this project…right?!!?
Once I was happy with my drawing, I grabbed some colorful yarn and my brand new sharp crochet hook and got to work!
About an hour into my project, I’d finished the wavy lines for the water but my hands were sore…I’d poked my thumb enough times that it was bruised and swollen…and I realized that there was NO way I would be able to finish using the hook and still be able to run a crochet business that depended on my hands to be able to crochet.
So I did what any of us would–I improvised! I grabbed my yarn needle and prepoked the rest of the holes and then used the same needle to finish crocheting. I didn’t really get to complete the whole scene (his face and the sun still need to get covered) but I did manage to get the majority of my drawing covered in yarn. In retrospect, I should have drawn something smaller because this little project ended up costing me the use of my hands for an entire week.
I loved the idea of a hook that made it simpler to crochet into fabric, but the idea that I wouldn’t be able to use my hands made me put this hook down for a while until I could try it once again. I never like to give up until I exhaust all the possibilities!!
My next project was decidedly smaller in scale but used the same surface stitching technique as in the elephant yarn painting. This time, instead of using paper, I used two layers of felt and some brushed acrylic yarn.
The end result is pretty adorable and would make the cutest teacher gifts, co-worker gifts, tree ornaments–really, this one is only limited to your imagination!
This time I managed to get through the entire project without poking my thumb once, but getting the hook through both layers of felt was impossible. It seems that the hook can only handle on layer at a time so it took a little longer because (you guessed it) I had to prepoke holes.
I think it’s adorable though and filling it with some really cute crochet hooks and stitch markers makes me want to make a whole army of these stockings!!
By the way, if you want to make one of these stockings yourself, head on over to Martha Stewart for all of the details and a printable template for these Mini Stockings.
Overall, this Sharp Crochet Hook is something I’d use in a heartbeat if using thin crochet thread to put an edging on a single layer of really thin fabric. It will put a really cute edging on socks, t-shirts, felt, curtain sheers, nightgowns, or even store-bought knit hats.
Final thoughts about the hook for me personally are that if it were sharper, able to poke through a double layer of fabric (or denim!) and able to better handle a wider range of yarn, I think I’d be a little more versatile for the average crocheter.
I also think that the hook itself is too small and thin for me to be able to use comfortably. Like most crocheters, I suffer from mild carpel tunnel and have to be very careful with how hard I push my hands. Using this hook took me out of the game for a week–which I really can’t afford. A sharper head to this hook would make pushing it through fabric a lot easier on my hands but since I’m not a blacksmith (I work with yarn–not metal), I have plans to cover the hook with polymer clay and try another project with it to see if a thicker handle makes pushing it through fabric easier.
If you’re interested in finding out more about this hook, or in picking one up to try for yourself, head on over to http://www.sharpcrochethook.com/ where you’ll not only be able to purchase and see a hook in action, you’ll also be able to find some free patterns to use with it!