Well friends, my world is full of exciting news. We had an offer on our historical home this weekend! So now we are officially on the road to becoming first-time home sellers. I’m not sure what kind of kink this may put into my blogging and hook carving schedule, but my goals remain the same. I am still carving and blogging about a new hook every week and I am still participating in the November NaBloPoMo. I’m doing it. Hell yeah I’m doing it!
Eeek! Please do cheer me on! (And wish us a smooth and successful house selling and buying process! The houses we were previously interested in have since sold, so now we have to find somewhere to buy!)
There should be consistency enough along the throat and/or shaft of the hook to at least keep all loops on the hook the exact same size.
So I left off yesterday with the photos demonstrating what a wedge shape design in a crochet hook will do to your stitches. In this case, Grandmother Tree’s hook was technically two different sizes in the throat. If I left the hook this way, the top and bottom loops of any given stitch made with the hook would be inconsistent in size.
However, due to the curvature and angle of the hook, I needed to not only come up with a way to create consistency in size, but also while striving not to sacrifice the strength or length of the hook. Or for that matter, sacrifice usability. We still need a comfortable hook. Doesn’t matter how precise the top is if it’s too uncomfortable and not shaped well enough to hold.
It’s somewhat difficult to photograph, but there is a slight twist to this wood with the hook’s curvature. After all it is carved from a small live oak tree branch and we all know they do not grow in a straight line in any direction. We still need a comfortable handle, and we need adequate room on the hook that remains consistent in size so our loops remain the same size as we work.
So here’s the design I came up with. Check it out.
By creating an impression in the throat at the top of the handle, and then narrowing the back and sides, I was able to create a consistent size all the way up to the handle slope and reduce stress on the top loop.
It’s a short hook, so there wasn’t a lot of room to work with, but I succeeded in my goals. Not only does the hook pass the sizing test up to the handle, but as you can see here, the loops on the hook are the same size – no stretching! There’s adequate room to work for most stitches that most crocheters will use. (For instance, I would not recommend this hook to make my Giant Halloween Spider Web, as there’s not enough room on the hook to make the special stitches.)
Now it’s starting to shine.
Now that the design issue is solved, it’s time for the finishing touches. I need to refine all the edges, double check the handle shape so it’s comfortable in the hand and put a buttery smooth finish on the hook. I use several different grades of sandpaper and diamond tip tools to do this. And though I do use some steel wool on occasion, I honestly far prefer not to use it. There’s some expensive stuff that I like much better instead and to me it’s worth it. The slick finish it creates for me is amazing and it doesn’t leave metal splinters in my hands. And since I intend not to use sealant on this hook and to leave it “al natural,” I really want the best buff I can get. Towards the end of this process, I start using a piece of soft felt to hold the hook as I polish. And it’s about time for me to find a nice piece of cloth to wrap the final product in.
Stay tuned! Final photos and the silent auction is next!