Never make New Year's resolutions. That was my resolution this year. That tautology pleases my grad-school-shaped mind. It is Escher-like, sending me in constant circles. Which since that is my natural state, apparently, it fits me well.
I had decided (resolved?) to use stashed yarns for a while for projects. I had resolved to limit my fiber arts-related buying. Elizabeth was made from yarn newly purchased for the project, but that was last fall. I labeled the patterns in my Ravelry queue (the patterns waiting in line to be knit) with a yarn in the stash. The problem though is when I find a new pattern that requires a different yarn. So I have to break the habit of looking at patterns.
Uh huh. See the last post, about the Painted Wool vest. Oh, and the lap afghan. But really, the next knitting projects all connect to stashed yarns.
There has been consumption of another type going on, that I have to stop. Since I started crocheting, I need crochet hooks, right? Crochet hooks are cheap, at places like Joanns or Michaels. And I like the hooks on the basic Boye or Susan Bates hooks you find there. What I don't like, though, is how thin the handles are. And for British patterns like the one I blogged about here, I needed to find a 3mm hook. Weirdly enough, most US crochet brands do not offer a 3 mm. They jump from C/2.75 to D/3.25mm, leaving a gap that is noticeable if you are trying to get gauge. That 3mm is really needed (by me anyway) to use fingering weight yarn, a nice light yarn that is great for this climate. So (not realizing that two brands selling in the US had started offering 3 mm -- Hiya Hiya and Addi Swing --They are labeling them as C/D 3 mm), I found this lovely thing on Etsy:
Folks who work with polymer clay have been adding handles to the basic crochet hooks. This Etsy seller is in Australia, where 3mm basic aluminum hooks are common. So I bought it, and love working with a handle like that.
So I began looking for other crochet hooks with handles, buying sizes I need to try out different styles and brands. Susan Bates now makes a new crochet hook -- steel with a bamboo handle, so I bought one of those in size F/3.75. I like the handle, have my doubts about the hook. Knit Picks makes lovely hooks out of laminated wood, so I bought some of those in larger sizes, but discovered I want a handle on those as well. I tried one of the new Addi Swing needles, touted as perfect for preventing repetitive stress injuries (common with the motion of crochet):
I made the mistake of looking on Etsy for crochet hooks, and found this beauty: a D/3.25 with a polymer handle:
Bought it. And I began reading about how to add polymer clay handles myself to those basic Boye and Susan Bates hooks. I don't know how to make those beautiful millefleur handles, of course, but I could manage solid ones or polka dots. But you have to bake the polymer after shaping it, and you have to be careful of fumes, and I found myself reluctant. So instead I found some Crayola (!) Model Magic. It is a plastic (i.e. polymer) clay of some kind that hardens if you let it air dry. So I tried it, and ended up with this:
I modeled the size on the yellow-dotted one. They looked very plain, so I rolled them across a corrugated cardboard notebook cover for some texture. I did this last night, and today I am not sure if they are going to retain some give or if they are not completely dry. I think it is going to work really well. And cheap.
But now I have to figure out how to store all these hooks. The ones with the larger handles do not fit in my basic case, which is this beautiful thing:
So at the moment the ones with the large handles live in my old double-pointed needle case, but they don't fit in the slots with their mm measurement. Sigh. Oh yeah, the lime green and blue handled hooks on the right? Another try, and hooks that I like: Clover Amour. I like them a lot, but at about $8 a hook, kinda pricey. So I was glad to come up with a way of modifying my simple aluminum ones. And I may sew a case with wide enough slots for my fancy-handled hooks.