After breaking the end off the hook I was carving last Tuesday, I closed the night with my notes for a possible save.
My Wednesday morning started with preparing lunch for hubby and the kids. Thermos full of soup, tangelos and bell peppers for the kids. A salad with fajita chicken and turkey bacon for John. It all needed to be cooked up fresh as we are out of leftovers to send. It’s both good and bad. I like “planned-overs.” Makes lunch easier.
I was dead tired and grumpy once everyone was out the door, as I found myself gazing at dishes in the sink and only one cup of coffee left in the maker. grr… So I poured the last of the life blood, turned on a lecture, loaded the dishwasher and started some bacon for my breakfast. We’ve been 9 weeks on a gluten-free, 80/20 paleo/primal diet. And I never thought I’d say this, but I don’t miss gluten a bit.
It’s not exactly convenient, but I prefer a life cooking more from scratch than not. Being in control of my food, my diet, my own creations. It may not be as fast, but it sure tastes better and I feel better. And besides, the bacon gods smiled upon me (turkey-wise that is). Monday night I found buy-one-get-one on bacon! So there is plenty.
Hand carving hooks is much the same to me as cooking from scratch. The special romance between man and wood is not too unlike the one between stomach and skillet. Especially for this project, which is far from standard and holds a lot of memories from The Grandmother Tree. Quietly and carefully with control is all that will do.
I cut the end off the broken crochet hook and worked with it to round the end. At this part of the stick shape, there’s a slight bend, so the new rounded end was a bit stubborn against losing its boxiness. I also needed to be careful, because that slight bend was essential to helping me salvage a new crochet hook shape out of the broken stick. The envisioned lip lay just in the crook of that slope and I wanted to get it just right. Mess with it too much, and the shape would be sacrificed.
I work with it for some time and finally manage to eek out the shape I want. The top of the hook curves back and the curve assists the formation of the lip of the crochet hook. I want the bowl to be as generous as I can make it, without sacrificing the strength of the hook. And following the grain is the only way to do it with this piece.
Consistency Is My Biggest Pet Peeve
Wednesday is JT’s day at vision therapy. The office is situated by a creek, so it’s easy to sit on the side of the property and work. However, I was unable to spend time working on hooks this time and had to wait until I got home.
I polished on the shape some more and got a better hook head. However, in testing Grandmother Tree’s hook, I found that the slope of the curve was still inconsistent in the hook’s size as it shapes to the handle. This inconsistency is unfortunately not uncommon in wood hooks offered everywhere, handmade or otherwise. Right about here is where so many hook designs just stop and go to market. They have a hook shape, but they don’t have good hook design. And this inconsistency of sizing up the throat of the hook – at minimum – is one of my biggest pet peeves in hook design.
A hook that flares out from the head is only correct in size just at the head, not through the throat of the hook too. This inconsistency in the sizing leads to differences in your crochet’s appearance, because the top loop of any given stitch will always get stretched larger than it should be compared to the lower loops.
See what happens when a hook is not true to size from the head through the throat? The top loop (the one on the right will end up on top when the stitch is complete) is larger than it should be. This will change the look of the fabric this hook will create in its current condition. There should be consistency enough along the throat and/or shaft of the hook to at least keep all loops on the hook at the same size.
Grandmother Tree’s hook is currently two different sizes. The front half of the throat is size M and the 2nd half is size N.
This is not desirable – at all. And with the wood’s natural curve, I’ll need to get creative to get the precision I want without sacrificing strength. I have to consider the shorter length of the hook altogether and further the limitations that the curvature places on the length of the throat at all.
In order for this hook to function as a precise tool, yet preserve it’s shape, length and current strength, I will need an unusual design approach.
Stay tuned for the solution.