Friday, 15 October 2010

I made these for my wife ... ...

My wife has recently started to crochet again, but she only has small hooks (some of which came from freecycling) so I decided to make her some new ones from wood, I've used various types of wood, and I am also experimenting with other types of wood.
I know it would have been easier to just buy some, but where's the fun in that, and besides isn't it better to make an effort now and then ?

Here's the first one I made -

It's pretty basic.
I basically carved it from a piece of wood I had pruned from one of the trees in our garden (it was birch I think) I used a stanley knife to do it, I know it's not perhaps the best tool to use, but it suited me.
Why bother some might say ? well it's simple really I made it as a gift for my wife, I sanded it, made sure the hook part was smooth so as not to catch on the wool, I then used some linseed oil on it, and then waxed it with a lavender scented wax to make it extra smooth, she has used it and she says it works well.

My point I guess that in today's way of doing things people don't do a lot of this sort of thing any more, when it comes to birthdays and such like we tend to just go out and buy things, which let's be honest doesn't require much effort, you just go to a shop hand over some cash and there you go, you don't even have to wrap present yourself either, some shops do that as well.

It's a shame really, this small wooden crochet hook means more to my wife (and to me) than a bought one ever could, why ? because I took some time out from the things I wanted to do so I could make something special for my wife for no other reason than I could, it wasn't for her birthday or any other special occasion, I just did it, and it's not like it took me days and nights of carving either, all in all it took about four hours (split over two days)

I have made two more since (one was more for show than anything else) and they have taken less time because I know how to get the hook part right now, this is what took most of the time, it has to be right or it won't work properly.

Here are the tools I used to make all of the crochet hooks - 

A strange mix ?
Perhaps not the most practical of things to use for this, and in case you are wondering the funny wire thing next to the saw is another saw, it's actually a pocket saw I use it when I'm out when I find interesting bit's of wood that have fallen off trees, or indeed fallen trees, I don't cut down anything specifically for these projects, the purple thing is a very fine sanding pad, gives a great smooth finish to wood.
The needle files helped in getting the hook part right, and after that I used sand paper to get it as smooth as possible, my wife says that the wool doesn't get caught up, which is good, means I got it right :-)

Here are the others I have made - 

Two of the hooks are made from the same bit of wood, the curly one is actually a piece of willow from one of our twisted willow trees, I just thought it would be fun to try and make a hook out of a bit of it, it actually turned out pretty good, and oddly it is quite ergonomic, it fit's quite well in the hand, and yes it is usable too :-)

Here's a picture of my wife holding the curly hook - 

As you can see it kind of curls round her hand.
It may not be the most practical crochet hook ever, but it was a bit of fun, below are some more pictures of the ends of the hooks, the hook part is the hardest bit to get right in my opinion.

More pictures - 

The first hook.
The willow hook, the smallest hook of the three.
The largest, this one is 14mm, for chunky crochet.
As you can see I have changed the hook slightly on each hook, and I'm also working on a fourth hook at present, it will be more decorative than the others, I recently bought some small carving chisels for this and other projects, very good, and they give more scope for designs.
My wife wanted the larger hook for chunky crochet, like woolly hats and such like, I measured each hook with my vernier callipers to get them accurately sized as some patterns require a specific size of hook.

All in all it was good fun, and it gives you a great feeling when you make something with your own hands, and we should do more, we should make the effort for our loved ones, make a card instead of buying one, craft things are cheap and it's not hard to do, if you need pointers you can google card making, or hand made crafts, have a go, who ever you make the gift for will love it, and it may not be shiny and polished, and precision made by some robot controlled machine, it will be unique to you, a one off, never to be repeated in the same way again, and that's part of what will make it special for who ever you do it for, they will know that they are the only person who has one quite like that, and seeing the smile you get from doing something like this is priceless.

If you want to make your own crochet hooks then here are some pointers - 

Find a straight-ish piece of wood, not too thick, it will take forever to get it to the size you want, I've so far used, birch,cherry,willow and even a bit of ivy.

Use a sharp knife, a stanley knife is good, or a craft knife, but be very careful these types of knife will cut to the bone, I know I've done it more than a few times over the years.

For the hook part I use a saw to make a 45 degree cut, put the wood in a vice or clamp it to a flat surface, it doesn't need to be exactly 45 degree's as long as it's close, I have drawn a small diagram.

Diagram -

Another dubious diagram :-)
Once you have got this far you can start shaping the wood, you may want to look at pictures of crochet hooks to get the rough shape of the hook, but that's about it, and as long as you leave an inch or two at the hook end smooth so that the wool doesn't get caught up you can put ever you like on the other end, do a google search for hand made crochet hooks for inspiration and to see how others have done it.

Thanks for reading.


  1. I love making things for ppl. A few years ago I crocheted a shawl for my mother. It took hours and hours and hours. To the best of my knowledge she's never worn it :(

    On the upside I crocheted a shawl for a friend for her wedding and she loved it :)

  2. absolutely brilliant post :)

  3. Thank you for the comments, I've always enjoyed making stuff with my hands, and it's even better when you make it for someone else.

  4. Love 'em.
    I'm going to have to get one of those wire saws.

  5. I got it from QD actually, I dare say you could get them from other places, army surplus stores, maybe even places like milletts, it works really well, keeps you warm on a cold day too ;-)