Handmade Crochet Hooks

I was at a NYE party, playing ping pong in the garden of some friends (we also played table football and darts but it wasn’t a weird, sport based party and it’s not that relevant to the hook story at all). When it wasn’t my turn to badly flail a bat about, I wandered into the workshop/garage that’s in the garden. Spying tools, bits of wood and things made out of the wood, I dared to ask if I might have help to create a handmade crochet hook. Don’t you just love the idea of making a tool by hand, that is in turn, used to create handmade things?! I’d seen lots of beautiful wooden hooks on Instagram so I knew it could be done. You can look for hashtags like #woodencrochethooks or #crochethooks and they pop up.

It was just a fleeting request rather than a full on conversation, nevertheless, a couple of weeks after New Year, the first hook turned up.  Several weeks later, after lots of going back and forth with design ideas we felt confident that we had cracked it. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe how many different shapes, lengths, angles, types of wood we went through to learn what came out best! During this process, I got to learn about woodwork, and Paul (whose hobby is woodwork) learned a bit about crochet. I think we’ve both learned where our strengths are. This is what we’ve worked out: I’ll stick to crochet and he’ll stick to woodwork.

However, it’s quite addictive and I do like to try new things. I break a lot of sticks trying to make the perfect hook, I’ve broken myself too (blisters! ouch! knife cuts! ouch!).  I really should leave the hook making to Paul though. I’ll play with wool.

handmade crochet hooks waiting to be finished off

And so, that is how we became Kirk & Roger, a little side line for us both. It’s really good fun!

It has been a while since I’ve worked with someone else. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed it. It’s good to discuss ideas and see how new ventures come out of those discussions. It hadn’t occurred to me that we could sell the hooks we made, that was Paul’s idea. I was just thinking of myself and my own hook collection, which to be honest, isn’t much of a surprise!!

Turned crochet hooks

We both have different favourites when it comes to the hook designs. I like whittled ones and Paul likes them turned. This is good because it means there are lots to choose from. I don’t see why we need to restrict it to one or the other. They’re completely handmade so it is impossible to make the same hook twice. Whether it’s whittled, turned or a bit of both, each and every one is unique.

We’re learning that smaller sizes are the most popular but they’re trickier and more time consuming to make.

This is apple wood being turned on a lathe.

The wood we use is locally sourced. Sometimes directly from our own gardens here in Devon. The very first whittled hook was made from the quince bush that grows in my garden.  Apparently quince is a good choice as it’s very hard. An Insta friend called Sarah saw this and we arranged a meet up for tea and cake (we might not have had cake actually, but perhaps we ought to have done). She very generously brought along a car boot full of quince for us [your hook is being made, Sarah!]. I believe it’s the same for most fruit trees, so it’s a good job we also had a bag of apple tree branches donated.

These things take time, you can’t use green wood so we’ve been waiting for everything to dry out a bit. Now that this is happening we’re working on a new batch of hooks that we hope to have in the Etsy shop in a couple of weeks or so.

The turned ones can be made from reclaimed bits of furniture and such. Where possible we will recycle materials to give them a new life.

Each hook is made by Paul into a mostly finished hook, it is then passed to me to crochet with. I’ll decide what needs to be done to make it the best it can be, I then pass it back for tweaking, sanding etc. This process happens at least twice because we want each hook to be perfect. Once that’s done, there are a minimum of three coats of stuff called tung oil that get applied. The oil makes the hook smooth and it also adds strength. Phew! It’s quite a process!

What do you think? Like them? I love em!

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More pics below…

A secret advance peek at a photo shoot the hooks were sent on… more on that another day.
They didn’t make the cut.
Some early versions

x

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Granny Square Bag. Free Crochet Pattern & Video Tutorial

Only two weeks after the last crochet tutorial (an asymmetric cowl), here are two more! I know, bonkers!  But sorry, I’m flooding you with grannies at the moment, I swear I do have other ideas.

My YouTube channel is HERE.

This tutorial is based on a granny square bag I made a couple of years ago. The original blog post can be found HERE.  There are lots of details in that post that will be super useful. However, it is a slightly different  version. I’ve made this new one a bit less fussy.

There are two videos. The one above is how to put the bag together. The one below is how to make the Join As You Go Grannies. I start by making a granny square and then at the time stamp of 5.25 I begin to join them together.

Please see below for some accompanying pictures…

If you fancy supporting my crochet adventures, I would be utterly and completely full of gratitude. You can do this by supporting me on Patreon. I understand that you can make one off payments as well as signing up monthly, whatever floats your boat. Thanks ever so much!

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xxx

Z&R Crochet Podcast 55. Tidy Tidy Tidy

Welcome to Episode 55!  I’m pleased to say that I’ve been enjoying my crochet over the last couple of weeks.  I do hope you like the episode. As well as WIPs and FOs, I talk about Ravelry and their new policy. Cripes, it was tricky to talk about without getting passionate! I hope I was careful with my words; it really isn’t my area of expertise. I believe it’s important that it’s discussed though, so there was no way I was going to ignore the current issues.

Please go HERE to YouTube for all my videos or click on the pic above to go directly to the episode.

Links:

Knitcraft In the Zone

Free Market bag crochet pattern

Ravelry

RPG.net

Pitch up & Stitch up camping/crochet weekends. Check out Eleonora’s (Coastal Crochet) blog post about the weekend.

Asymmetric Granny Cowl free crochet pattern

Patreon. Your support means everything. I promise free patterns, I promise laughs, but I can’t promise them every other day. xxx

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xxx

Asymmetric Granny Cowl. Free Crochet Pattern and Tutorial.

It has taken an age but I finally found time to record a new crochet tutorial! Hurray! Thank you for being so patient with me. Video tutorials take a lot of time to put together so it’s very easy to drop it lower on the list when something else pops up. Please click on the picture above to go to the tutorial or HERE to my YouTube channel. Don’t forget my Free Patterns page too, that’s HERE.

If you would like to support my crochet adventures, which would surely melt my ice cold heart, please do so over on Patreon. Fanx!!! xxx

Materials & Notes:

  • One colour: 2x 100g (135m) balls of chunky yarn. I used Stylecraft Alpaca Tweed
  • Stripey version: 3x 100g (135m) balls of chunky yarn
  • 8mm hook
  • Written in UK terms (converting is dead easy, a UK tr is a US dc, that’s it!)
  • 3ch counts as a stitch (st/s)
  • I have a loose tension, go up a hook size if you don’t!
  • Scroll down for a “chart” showing colour changes and a it more info.

Pattern:

Chain 28

Row 1: 1tr in 4th ch from hook, miss 2 sts, *3tr, miss 2 sts; rep from * to the last st, 2tr in last st, turn.

Row 2: 3ch, 3tr in each sp along to end, 1tr in last st, turn.

Row 3: 3ch, 1tr in same st, 3tr in each space along to end, finishing with 2tr in last st, turn.

Row 4 – 24: Rep Rows 2&3 ten times and Row 2 once more.

Row 25 (increase row): 3ch, 2tr in same sp, cont as Row 2 to end.

Row 26: Rep Row 3.

Row 27: Rep Row 2.

Row 28 (increase row): Begin as Row 3, end with 3tr in last st, turn.

Row 29: Rep Row 2.

Row 30:  Rep Row 3.

Row 31 – 45: Alternately rep Rows 25- 27 and Rows 28 – 30.

Row 46 (edging): 3ch, 3tr in each sp along, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr) in corner sp, 3tr in each sp to end. Fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing.

Sew the short piece to the other end of the straight side (see chart below). Add tassels if desired! Voila, one seriously speedy granny cowl.

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Cheers! x

Zeens & Roger Crochet Podcast. 54. She Wasn’t a Ghost.

Hey! I hope all is well? Please click on the pic above to go to Episode 54 of my crochet podcast. This one is mostly me chatting about The Crochet Sanctuary because I went there last weekend! You can also go HERE to YouTube! That’s where you’ll find my channel. Ta very much. x

Links:

Ravelry Store – Flash sale 20% off until midnight on Monday . No code needed.

Stripey C2C bag

Patreon – Thank you for your support. I looooovee yoooooo! ;p

The Crochet Sanctuary

The Forest Valley Shawl

Tortoise blog post

Granny square bag pattern.

ZZ block blanket.

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ZZ Block. I updated the pattern to include row by row lists of the colour blocks.
3 Strikes!

xxx

Free Crochet Pattern: Granny Market Bag

As part of the Granny Crochet Along for this year (see HERE for Granny CAL info!) I’m making one of these crochet market bags. It’s one of my own designs, you might remember that it was published last summer in an issue of Olann And (find out more about this lovely online magazine HERE).

For ease, I thought I’d publish it here too. I’m attaching a 3 page PDF which you can download.  It is here: Granny Market Bag_ zeens and roger

Once I’ve finished my new version, I’ll come back and post a pic!!  😀

If you would like to support my crochet adventures, please consider supporting me on Patreon. It would mean the world. Thank you. x

Ok, I think that’s it! Enjoy your weekend. x

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The Grainbow Shawl. New Crochet Pattern!

This is the Grainbow shawl! If I may I’d like to tell you a bit about it…

Firstly, it is now available to buy on → Ravelry← and Etsy!! As usual I’ll pop a 20% discount as an introductory offer for the first two weeks. The final day to get the discount is  Friday 29th March 2019 (you don’t need a code).

Secondly, I am a little bit proud of the fact that it’s a pattern partnership with one of my favourite independent yarn brands, John Arbon Textiles! They very generously supplied me with some of their Knit By Number double knit to make the first shawl. Knit By Numbers (KBN) is 100% merino and comes in both 100g skeins and 25g minis. You can get it in 4ply too (I used it for Harvest Moon). They also sent some of their gorgeous Exmoor Zwartbles to try. The Zwartbles is earthy and sheepy (oh my, the smell is beautiful!). The KBN is super soft, and saturated in gorgeous colour. Two different wools make two (almost!) different shawls, thus showcasing the awesome ability yarn has to create completely unique looks. I hope to take both shawls up to Edinburgh next weekend for EYF 19.

Knit by Numbers 25g mini skeins

In the pattern there are two options for the shawl edging because I did my usual trick of not wanting to make the choice between two different ones. I don’t see the point in only offering one if two will work equally well, albeit in different ways. The main body of the shawl uses simple stitches, eyelets and touches of colour; creating a modern crochet accessory. You can turn it from contemporary to classic crochet by adding the pretty lacy border.

Another thing I had fun doing was pretending to be a model for half a day. The Grainbow Shawl had to look its absolute best so I asked my friend to take the pics (the modelled ones. The others are mine). It worked well for us both because he got to work with someone who didn’t know how to model (this is a good thing apparently because he’ll learn how to direct others by having bossed me about), and I got to see how a real photographer works! If you’re in the south west of the UK and need a snapper, he’s Paul Courtney Photography.

I couldn’t decide what to call this shawl, no ideas came. Instead of plumping for something half arsed, I put it out to my friends online . Over on Instagram I asked for names and the one that put the biggest smile on my face was “Grainbow”, which was suggested by My Chaotic Bliss (I’ll link as soon as I can but shock, horror! Instagram is down right now!). The name works for both versions, don’t you think? I was delighted when Kat also volunteered to test the shawl too. Maybe I should have called it Chaotic Grainbow?!

Kat wasn’t the only tester. Everyone who volunteered has made or is making some fabulous versions of Grainbow. I have so loved seeing the enthusiasm these guys have shown for what might be my new favourite shawl design (I think I said that about the last design too!). I’ve been a tester on many occasions myself, I know the effort that is put in and I’m forever grateful to those who want to do it for me. Thank you!!

You’ll be able to buy the pattern from the John Arbon website in the near future too. I’m thrilled that  quality yarn companies are embracing crochet design more and more, it’s very exciting to see it being taken seriously. Getting to be a little part of that and see others joining the party makes me very happy indeed!

If you make Grainbow please be sure to let me know. You can tag me on Instagram @zeensandroger and add your project to Ravelry. #grainbowshawl  Cheers! x

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Picture overload below…

  ;p