I hadn’t been crocheting long when I realized how much it hurt my hands. My fingers ached, and sometimes the tip of my thumb went numb. Despite my mother’s insistence that it was because I was holding the hook, and the yarn, wrong (and in the wrong hand), I knew it was because traditional crochet hooks are not ergonomically correct. Especially when crocheting tight fabrics in single crochet, like in amigurumi, there is a lot of pressure exerted over just a tiny area of the hook’s handle.
Enter the Clover Soft Touch crochet hook. Isn’t she a beauty? With a nice wide handle to spread out my grip, I don’t feel that I’m squeezing it too tightly, like I did with the traditional model. And when I’m spending a lot of time crocheting (like I did while watching the Olympics), I can definitely tell the difference in the way my fingers feel the morning after.
Now, a long-time crocheter (like my mom, who is resistant to change under the best of circumstances), may not feel the need to fix what isn’t broken. She claims that the bone in her finger has a groove in it right where the hook goes, thank you very much, and doesn’t need any newfangled crochet hooks to make afghan after afghan (after afghan). But since I’m new enough to not be crotchety about my crochet, and I tend to make things with a tighter stitch, I’m happy to let the Soft Touch keep my finger bones groove-free.
If you hold your hook like a pencil, and not like a dinner knife, I can see where this hook may not make a huge difference in your grip, because you’re used to having three free fingers anyway. But I’m a dinner-knife-grip kind of gal, and I can’t say enough good things about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve found some things I don’t like too. In fact, let’s get to that part of the article already:
- Wide handle to spread out pressure from fingers
- Hook head is more like the Boye than the Susan Bates (crocheters know what I’m talking about, and if you’re not a crocheter, I bet you’re pretty bored right now), and I like it better.
- The finish on the metal is kind of, frosted maybe? Sanded? Not shiny smooth like other hooks, and I think the yarn slips easier, which I like. My mother hates it, as I’m sure you would have guessed.
- All of the hook sizes are the same golden yellow color. That’s annoying, because I can’t tell them apart without reading them, and I’m lazy. They make the soft touch handles in different colors for their plastic light-up hooks, so I don’t know why they didn’t carry them over to the metal ones.
- I was going to say that they don’t make them in those teeny tiny steel hook sizes where they’d be REALLY useful, but they do, so never mind.
- Oh my word, they’re spendy. They cost $4.50 MORE a piece than the Boye hooks. Ouch.
I suppose you’d like to see a project that I made with the Clover Soft Touch crochet hook. I’m sure the future owner of this blanket would like to see it too, before he heads off to college… if I could just get it finished! (he’s only a month old, I have some time…)
One super soft green blankey for baby James:
Yarn: Sensations Angel Hair Light Green (exclusively at JoAnn’s)
Stitch pattern: linked triple crochet
Clover Soft Touch hooks are available online at Amazon.com and directly from Clover. They retail for $6.50 each, but I think they’re worth it. I see now you can get them as a gift set with a handy storage pouch, or just the pouch by itself, which looks like a good stocking stuffer for me, just as soon as I finish crocheting the stockings. Ahem.
So have you made the switch to the Clover Soft Touch hooks, or are you keeping it real with the old-school Boye and Susan Bates? Leave us a comment and let us know!
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