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Make your own crochet hook, carve it, whittle it!


Recently I started experimenting with carving my own crochet hooks. It is difficult to get afghan (tunisian) crochet hooks that are wide enough or long enough. So with just a paring knife and some old 120 sandpaper, this was my first attempt at any hook :

Now, for my second attempt, I introduce, my new afghan hook !!

She’s about 10mm in width, and a massive 47 cm long !!! She’s not totally straight, but the width is even all along. I finished her off with 800 sandpaper so she’s actually shiny even before painting, and after a test run, the hook head is pointy enough and deep enough, and she works beautifully !! Super silky smooth too !

I’ve always wanted a wider and longer afghan hook, and I managed to whittle one out of a very long twig. The yarn on this hook is a super thick yarn :-) You see, with tunisian (or afghan) crochet, you must have a hook several sizes larger (in width) than your yarn. Since you can only get hooks usually up to 5mm in width, the yarn had to be very fine to prevent the work curling. Hooks any larger than this usually have to be ordered from overseas at great expense. A friend recently paid $65 for one after allowing for differences in the exchange rate, and also postage. (Note: Afghan (tunisian) crochet hooks must be long because the stitch is worked in two passes. The first pass holds all the stitches onto the hook, and the second pass takes them off, hence the need for a lengthy hook.)

She’s not yet totally refined. She needs a light coat of clear paint, and I’m wondering what to do with the end. I can either drill a little hole and put a cable in with superglue, or I can find a nice decorative knob to either screw in or glue on.

She’s longer than my keyboard !! The photo does the hook no justice. It is actually very smooth and has a beautiful grain.

I envisage that if I start using pre-manufactured dowels from the hardware store, I can have a longer and straighter hook, any width I want ! Basically as long as I want !! The question is: How long is too long?

16 Comments

  1. Jacqui says:

    I’m absolutely gob-smacked!!! Thant is so darn amazing! :-O
    Beautiful work, I love it’s rustic look!

  2. Sharon says:

    I look forward to meeting your new hook soon… and to picking up some pointers on how NOT to chop the heads off them :)

  3. cat says:

    I loved your hook and your idea so much that I just had to blog about it. Well done!
    http://cats-rockin-crochet.blogspot.com/2008/11/make-your-own-crochetextendable.html

  4. Karen says:

    Oh, I am inspired. What kind of tree did your twigs come from? The idea of a hook with grain delights me! We have arbutus here….hmmm. Thank you.

  5. Katherine says:

    That is really amazing, and I also have that problem of wanting a longer tunisian hook. Let me know when you start to sell a few! (ps I left you a question on the dreamcatcher pattern.)

    Just found this site this week and look forward to learning! Thanks from Chapel Hill,North Carolina!

  6. Jen says:

    WOW that is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I might try it… if I could even make time to crochet. Oh well… maybe some day.

    It looks great!

  7. karenbess says:

    Hi Christine,

    So that’s what you’ve been up to. Is there no end to your creativity? Did it take you very long? I spent most of today pruning a massive rose in my backyard and have a few pretty thick branches left over – I wonder if those could be whittled down to a good size. I was even saving a big one from a while ago, I thought I’d maybe whittle a walking stick from it one day but then my husband put it out with the garbage! Oh well, it’s one thing to think about, quite another to actually do it. Wow.

  8. admin says:

    Thank you everyone for your lovely comments !! It is the most amazing experience to carve your own hook – so satisfying ! It really comes down to just looking at a hook you like and following the lines on it. Experiment with twigs. If you get it wrong, just throw it away and start again! I might consider writing up a detailed tutorial soon :-) Sincerely, Stramenda.

  9. Karen says:

    My thought to carve myself a hook is still simmering – am wondering did you indeed use that paring knife shown in the photo for the carving? For some reason I am imagining a paring knife fine for whittling (away from you) but the need for a jack knife or ??? for carving where you would have to work toward yourself and use more control. Hmmmm. ???

  10. Jroberson says:

    easy solution for a stopper that I’ve found – a few rubber bands wrapped tightly around the end. Economical, easy, works! Lovely hook – hello, from Massachusetts!

  11. Sharon says:

    hey stra…

    I have tagged you with a meme over on my blog, if you are interested in participating :)

  12. Rebecca says:

    Wow!! I actually prefer the bendy rustic look – don’t use dowel! who needs a straight hook anyway!! Well done for solving your problem so resourcefully!!
    beckykate x

  13. whitewold says:

    For the stopper, how about putting a hole in a cork and gluing that on the end? :-)

  14. Shells says:

    Just love the hook. Dowel is a very good idea, it will give you a larger range for your hook sizes. Especially if you want to produce a few!!! But your bendy hook is fabulous and would make great presents! Thank you for the hint on the yarn size verses the hook size. I have been crocheting for over 32 years having started when I was around 9. I have tried many forms of crochet and decided to try tunisian when a customer at my shop ordered a hook. I gave up as I had matched the regular yarn size with the traditional hook size. What a pain!!! Will try again now. Thanks heaps! P.s; have you tried free form crochet? It’s soooo creative, no rules. Thanks for telling me about your site. I love it. Going to check out ravelry now. xxx

  15. Argeaux says:

    I’m glad to see someone else who enjoys making their own hooks.

    I’ve made a couple now and have some suggestions for those who want to try it.

    Use a hard wood. I’ve used wood that’s fallen from my eucalyptus tree and it works well. I’ve also found that working the wood while it is still a little bit green helps to stop it from snapping easily.

    If you don’t want to use a knife, I’ve found that a small saw or file, combined with coarse then fine sandpaper, can let you make a good shape.

    Finally, you don’t need to paint the hook to finish it off. Buff the finished hook with wood oil to create a naturally smooth surface (a wood turner suggested this to me and it works a treat). You can buy this at any major hardware shop.

    Regular crochet hooks that are made out of branches look even better when the lower part of the branch is NOT smoothed out, in my opinion. Of course this wouldn’t work so well for Tunisian hooks.

    Hope those hints help.

  16. Catherine Abbott says:

    Great idea, I would like to make a fairly long double ended hook, I have some holly drying out in the back garden, that might do :)

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