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New crochet pattern: Boreal hooded coat

Tired of winter ?

My new hooded “Boréal coat” – named after its pretty Noro colors reminiscent of northern lights – is sure to light up any bleak snowy day, and bring a smile to anyone you meet.

As usual it’s crocheted in one piece from the top of the hood down.

A textured edging gives it character for a totally unique look.

This pattern is available on Etsy & Ravelry

at a DISCOUNTED PRICE until Feb 4th 2017 (during launch of the french “Guerre des mailles” on FB)

TECH:

  • includes 5 sizes XS-XL
  • Noro “Kureyon” yarn
  • 6 mm hook (or size needed to achieve gauge!)
  • 12 pages of detailed instructions + step-by-step photos & tutorials
  • you may sell your finished coat, please credit my name & pattern

Price: $5 (will revert to $8 after Feb 4th)

 

 

Yes, I’d love to hear about Sylvie Damey’s next patterns !



2016 is now officially over… time to look back on a few of my personal favorites makes over the year.

This is only a limited selection.. but you can already tell there was a lot of shawls involved (totally new for me ! I hardly ever made shawls before, and just couldn’t see the point.. until I stumbled upon the concept of asymmetrical shawls), & not many elfin hoods … just one in fact !

But I’ll certainly try and make up for this in 2017: if you’re on FB you may have caught a glimpse of a new design I’m working on, involving yummy Noro colors and a super long hood :-D

Left column, from top to bottom:

– “Konk Kerne” shawl, pattern by Barjolaine

– “Dancing Marguerites” shawl, by Sylvie Damey

– “Ariane” cardigan by Peggy Grand & “Dancing Marguerites” shawl by Sylvie Damey

– “Summertide” shawl by Tricia Jones


Center column:

Léontine” hooded jacket, by Sylvie Damey
Right column, from top to bottom:

– Pull “SaperliPOPette!“, de Sylvie Damey

– Chapeau de soleil “Funshine“, de Mamachee

– Châle “Badiane“, de Sylvie Damey

– Chaussons “Babouches“, de Sylvie Damey

And when it comes to workshops and occasions to meet fellow crocheters & crafters, 2016 was also another great year ! Dozens of crocheters tried the 13 ergonomic crochet hooks from my “magic box” during shows and yarn festivals, we knitted, crocheted and made pompoms during weekly free workshops at our local library, we crocheted “sweaters without a pattern” during 2-days workshops… and I created a “100% Crochet” collaborative ebook including patterns & tutorials from 15 french crochet designers. So much fun … and a great personal achievement with tons learnt in the process !

 

And now what’s up for 2017 ?

As I mentionned earlier, I’ll try and publish more “elfin” designs this year, as I know it’s a big favorite of most of you..  and I’m pretty sure you’ll love the one I’m already working on ! :-D

Workshops will continue locally and at craft shows here in France (Creativa-Grenoble & Lot et laine festival).. and I’d like to figure out a way to work with more people on a daily basis, as the downside of this amazing job is that it can get pretty solitary sometimes.

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Finally, to start the year on a positive note & Thank you for your amazing support, how about a special gift from me to you ?

   

The Rosebuds top is my first ever design published in a magazine (UK’s “Crochet Now” last fall) ! Woohoo. More than anything else, this was a gift to myself as I’ve always dreamed of seeing my designs published in crochet magazines despite several submitted ideas refused by my fav’ US crochet mag.

Some of you will probably recognize the general shape of my super popular “Roselette top”, made by over 200 crocheters on Ravelry… But this one is just a classical plain vest, with no back-opening. A pretty textured ribbon marks the high Empire waist, while long stitches make the skirt both interesting and super quick to make. Crocheted with aran-weight yarn, the pattern includes 5 sizes from 6 months to 4 year-old.

To get a FREE copy of this pattern today (and until Wed 11th Jan 2017):

  • head over to the Rosebud pattern’s page on Ravelry
  • put the pattern in your cart (buy now)
  • use code “MERCI” in the coupon-code box
  • and Whoosh, the price will magically become zero :-)

Enjoy :-)

Yes, I’d love to hear about Sylvie Damey’s next patterns & articles !



2016 Xmas presents

This year I crocheted colorful hats with pompons for my brother & his family who live on a warm island and are not usually equiped for our chilly winters…

& then I made more hats for the local family too, so there would be no one left out :-)

Btw, this orange hat I made for my SIL ? Made it to match the handbag I made her 5 years ago: same orange/turquoise mix of colors, and same turquoise lacy trim !

Also, she kinda claimed my new “Konk Kerne” shawl thru FB… So glad to be able to gift her with something I knew she’d truly value and cherish :-)

 

Nothing beats bright colors to get through the winter…

At the beginning, there was this superb yarn in yummy shades of blue and green, and my brand new Jimbo’s hook I HAD to try since it promised to be amazing (which it totally is).

A tiny swatch proved those 2 were made to work together … but browsing through dozens of pattern to find THE right one, making a true swatch and taking all sorts of measurements ? No thanks, just thinking of it made me tired already.

What to do ? Grab my go-to innovative method to crochet a sweater in ANY size using ANY yarn of course :-)

So a SaperliPOPette sweater it was: so easy to just follow my own instructions (and marvel at their ingenuosity, hehe) for each step, following the natural steps of my morphology and see the sweater come together pretty quickly with this aran-weight yarn..

Just a few minor modifications on the pattern though, as I wanted to make it suitable for the low temperatures of our Alpine winters, and be able to wear a coat on top of it (which proves complicated with boxy sweaters). So I made narrower sleeves, with alternated plain and openwork rounds. (details on my Rav project). Oh and I left out the Puff sts from lower body.

 

TECH:

Yes, I’d love to hear about Sylvie Damey’s next patterns !



My “Konk Kerne” shawl

A few rays of sun today, perfect occasion to show you my new “Konk Kerne” shawl by french designer Véronique Chermette/Barjolaine.

A very light and airy shawl, featuring this superb lace pattern designed to imitate the fishermen’s nets from Concarneau in french Brittany.

Mine looks smaller than the original, probably because of my yarn choice: a big cone of super thin mohair-like acrylic blend in this color I love.

The small amount of wool in it also meant I couldn’t block it as agressively as another yarn. Oh well, I still love it as it it !

 

TECH:

  • pattern: Konk Kerne shawl by Véronique Chermette
  • yarn: thin mohair/acrylic blend, by la filature de Saint Lièvin (french spinning mill)
  • hook: 3 mm Etimo Rose
  • mods: none

Summer’s gone…

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Summer’s gone… and I finally retrieve the pics from my phone: A sunhat crocheted using the “Funshine” pattern by Tara Murray / Mamachee.

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Surprising at first how she uses the “wrong side” of the hdc as right side of the hat, but I end up really liking that look !

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And still in the theme of summer: this is the “Summertide shawl”, designed by my talented friend Trish Jones.

That frilly lace is ever so pretty !!!!!

5 ways to earn money with your crochet

Is crochet the first thing you think of when you wake up ? Can you spend hours lost in crochet books and magazines at your local library or newsagent ? Crochet books and more yarn are the only thing you can think of when asked what you’d love for your birthday present ?

Fear not, you’re not alone. And being really passionate about something is actually a good thing !

But what if, instead of feeling guilty about the size of your stash or amount paid on a luxury skein of yarn, you could actually MAKE MONEY with your crocheting talents and thus boost your self-confidence.. and maybe even buy a few more balls of yarn !

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Here I’ll offer 5 ideas and ways to  make the most of all the various skills you use daily while crocheting and gathering information about your favorite craft. With many different options, I swear there should be at least one you’ll be highly qualified for !

1/ Sell items you are crocheting

So you love the act of crocheting, and cannot sit somewhere without a hook in your hand ? And you’re thinking of selling your finished objects ?  This is a great option to sell your original work, or items made with crochet patterns allowing the sale of FOs (more on that below).

  • You need to LOVE crocheting, because that means you’ll be crocheting a lot ! Just think about it : what if dozens of people fall in love with your hats or sweaters, and you have to crochet tons of them, one after the other ? Will you still enjoy it ? If the answer is YES, then go ahead, this is the perfect direction for you !
  • Crocheting away whatever takes your fancy is nice, but if you crochet to sell, you’ll need to listen to your customer’s needs and desires. It’s a balancing act, not always easy to find the right mix between crocheting samples to show what you can do, and waiting for custom orders to avoid having huge stocks of unsold items.
  • Selling yes, but at which price? This is one of the most frequently asked questions ! I think the main question is which value do you want to give to your work ? Because it’s true most people cannot afford to buy a handmade sweater sold over $150. But maybe you’re not targeting the right people then ? The value of your handmade items, crocheted with love and care, may not be appreciated by everyone, and that’s ok ! Just keep looking, but don’t sell yourself cheap.
    Personnally I don’t usually sell finished sweaters, yet when customers ask specifically for one I’ll ask around $130-170 + cost of yarn & postage. My “right price” is usually the price I’d be excited to make another one for. On the contrary, if I feel angry while crocheting for a fee, that means I didn’t ask enough for it :-)
  • Or maybe you just want to sell items to cover the costs of the yarn, and don’t mind not being compensated for the time and skill involved in crocheting it ? That can be ok too. Just be fully aware of your choices, and why you do it.
  • Once someone ask for a custom order, you could start crocheting right away.. But you surely don’t want to buyer to have cold feet. To avoid this unconfortable situation, ask for a deposit before you start crocheting (maybe a third, or half of the total). I know it’s tough, but you’ll be glad you did it !
  • Where can you sell ? Each case will be different. I know friends who only sell through word of mouth, friends and friends of friends.. others will sell on local craft shows. Or you can start an online store on one of the selling platforms such as Etsy, and/or write a blog or facebook page.. Follow your heart and do what sounds most natural for YOU: if you hate spending hours on a computer, starting an online shop may not be the best place to start.
  • Make sure you sell only original work (no copies of “popular styles”), or use crochet patterns from designers who allow the sale of finished items : such as my crochet patterns for instance !
  • My top tip: To find your ideal customers, make sure you don’t target crochet fans: they can crochet and will usually only think that they could do it themselves ! Instead, target people who don’t even know that it’s crocheted but value the time and skill needed to produce handmade goods, and love artisan work !
  • Your action plan: Make a list of items people often compliment you on. Crochet a few samples, and think about the price you want to sell them for. Then take photos, and start spreading the word via any way you can think of: email your friends and family, and ask them to forward it to any people they think might be interested… Start a blog/shop/facebook. And ask around about local craft shows, and even sign up for one !  I can’t promess you will sell tons, but the direct contact with potential customers will give you invaluable information for your budding business !

2/ Write articles and tutorials about crochet techniques

Do you love discovering new stitches and techniques, invent new ways to make things ? How about sharing your experimentations with others and earn money while at it ?

  • This is perfect for you if you love the technical aspects of crochet: reading stitch dictionnaries and technique blogs…
  • To start your own blog, you don’t to be already an expert: simply be open and honnest about it, and share openly your experiments and discoveries with all the other “beginners” who want to learn but may not have enough time, or your skills !
  • Among other skills, you’ll need to write good copy and take great photos to illustrate your tutorials: pictures make all the difference in the impact of a blog post !
  • You can also write articles and submit them to magazines, both in printed or digital format. Think of your favorite magazines, and try to find their contact info to pitch an article ! As one of my favorite saying says, “if you want something you’ve never had, you have to try something you’ve never done” ;-)
  • Making money with it: it’s easy to add affilate links to a blog for all the materials used in your tutorial. Amazon and Etsy, to name a few, offer affilation programs which will give you between 5 to 12% of the sales made through your links. Oh, and if your article gets published in a magazine, of course you’ll get a flat fee for writing it.
  • If you’re publishing on your own blog, some blogging platforms allow you to display advertising and getting paid for it. However, do think about it long and hard: do you really feel comfortable giving all power to somebody else to choose which kind of ads will be displayed on your blog ? Will it reinforce your credibility or weaken it ?
  • My top tip:  To sell well through affiliate links, you’ll need to write amazing articles and tutorials, and gain the confidence of your readers. So that they want to support you and give back for your hard work.
  • Your action plan: Start by making a list of themes you’re really interested in, and which could make great articles. Work on the content, experiment, research what others have written on the subject (or don’t, if you want to avoid being influenced by others and stay original at all costs), take pictures while you crochet.. and start writing ! Do not pressure yourself, the article may not be perfect right away.. but ask your best crocheting buddies for honnest advice on how to improve it. If you don’t have a blog yet, create one (there are tons of platforms. I use mostly WordPress, or blogspot). Finally, go ahead and publish your first article !

3/ Create and publish your own crochet patterns

Do you love to crochet without using patterns, and crochet your own original creations ? How about writing down patterns for those, seing others crochet what you’ve created… and making money for that on top !

  • To start with, there are two options: you can either publish free patterns, and make money for instance through affiliate links for the materials needed (see previous section),
    OR publish paid patterns. Which is what I’ll focus on here, even though many aspects would be applicable to both types.
  • Publishing and selling your own crochet patterns is great because patterns will sell even while you sleep or are away on a vacation, but it’s also hard because it involves a huge panel of skills to make it work.
  • Selling crochet patterns involves much more than simply crocheting and writing down your notes: you’ll also need to take beautiful pictures to make your pattern really appealing to most, maybe do a lot of maths if you want to included several sizes in your pattern, network with testers to check that your patterns are error-free, spend time on updating your shop(s) and blog when you release a new pattern.. and of course, promote, promote and promote ! Which can totally be fun and a great source of networking with your fan base, but takes a lot of time.
  • Once your patterns are written down, you’ll need to sell them. Or course you could simply post a picture, and let people send you check or paypal you the money to “buy” the pattern. But you’ll probably loose a good portion of your potential customers if you do not simplify the buying process, and make it secure (who knows if you’re not going to keep their check, and never send anything in return?). Therefore, I highly recommend opening a shop on one of the online selling plaforms, such as Etsy, Ravelry or Crafty to name a few.
  • Yes they will keep a small % on each sale, but it’s highly worth it IMO: the transaction is secure for both parties, send the pdf as soon as the payment went through, and will even find you a few customers on top of everything else !
  • One thing I love about this pattern writing business is that because the patterns are digital (pdf), you have no printing & shipping costs for every extra sold copy. So yes, you could sell your patterns directly on your blog, sell only a couple here and there and pay no fee on your $10 received by personal checks.
    OR you could see the larger picture, sell to a much wider audience (international even!) thanks to paypal and other card payment systems, be able to handle large volume of sales, and generate 20 times that amount, even if that means paying a fraction of this in fees: you’ll still earn tons more money at the end of the month !
  • Before crocheters buy your patterns, they’ll have to know they even exist in the first place! To do that, share pictures and stories on your blog/facebook/instagram. Create relationships with people who like your style, network with other crocheters, and start your own email newsletter to stay in touch with the “fans” of your work. (can you guess I’m currently working on an ebook on the subject? :-) )
  • My top tip: Don’t try to “sell” your patterns, but rather try and explain what makes them special.  Communicate with the crocheters who appreciate your work through an email list, a Facebook page or Instagram account: it’s the best way ever to get instand feedback on which pictures attract more interest on a new pattern for instance, or whether a new pattern generates interest and might be worth advertising it …
  • Your action plan: Browse through your past original creations and see which one gathered the most enthusiastic comments. Would it be easy to explain how you made it ? Maybe you even kept notes on how you crocheted it ? Otherwise, make a second sample and this time write down every single row/round. And take pictures of the different steps. Then write down the pattern, including those step-by-step pictures. Make sure you use the standard crochet stitches, and think ahead: people from outside your country may buy your pattern, so be sure to include measurements both in cm & inches. Once you’re done, find a few crocheting buddies ready to test your pattern and make sure it’s easy to follow and has no error. Your pattern is now ready for posterity !

4/ Become a blogger influencer:

As a blogger influencer, you’ll be sharing your opinions about crochet related products, and write reviews of crochet books, crochet patterns by indie designers, yarns… and any other new product you may think is usefull for a crafter !

  • If you love to write, are always on the lookout for new and better things, have respected opinions among your peers.. then that might be the perfect option for you !
  • You can write reviews and articles about a large variety of products and services: crochet books and magazines, yarns, crochet hooks, but also services: blogging platforms, services for bloggers, online softwares to create crochet charts or edit your pictures.. the sky is the limit !
  • Making money with it: The easiest way is to use affiliate links, such as  Etsy which offers an affiliate program to earn a % of all sales of crochet patterns by indie designers you might recommenf for instance (Hey, you could recommend my crochet patterns and make money out of it !). For books and magazines, of course Amazon has a popular and easy to use affiliate program. Each crochet magazine you might recommend usually has affiliate links, such as Simply Crochet Mag. And when it comes to yarn and crochet hooks, there are litteraly TONS of sites offering affiliate programs, including for instance Knitpicks, Annie’s craft store, Joann, Wool and the gang.. Just google “affiliate program + yarn + crochet” and you could find your favorite store has one too !
    My top tip: To write interesting blogs, you’ll need to be very careful to write ONLY about products and services you are truly passionate about. Even if that means sometimes the commission on every single sale may seem tiny. If you start writing only about things that could bring in large commissions, your readers will know it and loose interest. On the other side, if you manage to gain their trust, you never know how much a review written with all your heart might bring in if it suddenly gets viral !
  • Your action plan: Start out by observing during a couple days all those things which make your crocheting day fun, and the reason you you love them so much. That could be books you refer to often, magazines you cannot wait for, newsletters you love to read (hey, if you want your readers to trust you, recommending also things you don’t make money on is a must!), yarns you  keep crocheting again and again because you love them, and hooks you crochet with day after day…  Make a list: those are the things you’ll want to write about first, because they are the ones you’ll be truly passsionate about. And there’s no better way to “sell” something than loving it passionately ! Take good pictures, start writing your first articles, and research the affiliate programs that could work with the theme of this article and your personal values. And hit the “Publish” button !

5/ Teach crochet

So you love crochet, enjoy following patterns (or not) and exploring new techniques, … and most of all, you like to share your passion with others ? You are patient, organised, have good social skills, and most of all you are superpassionate about crochet ? You could start teaching crochet ! That could be workshops for kids, or maybe adults.. Beginners classes, or expert sessions: everything is possible !

  • If you already have a network of people interested by crochet, and most of all, a studio or dedicated room, you can simply offer crochet classes directly. Otherwise, you may visit your LYS, local library or Community youth club and Arts center and ask them about the possibility of organising crochet classes.
  • Afraid you’re not qualified enough for paid classes ? Start out by offering free classes to friends to gain confidence in your skills and teaching abilities: then ask them what you could improve to make your class even better. We all started out this way !
  • One thing to pay attention to, if you organise a workshop around another’s design pattern, is to ask permission to the designer first ! Also, if it’s a paid pattern, make sure each crocheter buys their own copy. Organising a class using somebody else’s pattern and distributing everyone a photocopy is just NOT possible !
  • How much should you charge ? Of course, we all tend to start by charging not much. But as soon as you gain confidence about your teaching skills and the contents of your classes, make sure you get a decent hourly rate, including the time you spent on preparing the class, and your taxes !
    I’m in France and I’m not sure how much difference that makes, but to give you an example I tend to charge 25-35 €uros per person for a 3 hour workshop, with a minimum of 3 people attending the class.
  • My top tip: To be recognized as the local “crochet expert”, it also helps to organise various events around crochet: it could be free Stitch and Bitch nights, yarn bombing actions, or even free crochet classes for kids in your local school. That’s a good way to network with people involved in crafts or local authorities…
  • Your action plan: Think about your specific skills and things you’d love to teach. Would you rather work with kids, or teach adults ? Organise beginner classes, or master classes for experienced crocheters ? Do you want to offer weekly classes, or one-off workshops ? Make a list of classes you’d like to teach, and prepare a rough synopsis of the contents of each class. Then start asking around, either to your list of contacts or to your LYS/library  which will already have their own list of contacts: let’s teach crochet !
Are you ready to start ?
What will you do, how and why ?
Let us know in the comments !
  backWhite 6 pulls Fini2r
Leontine4 Atelier fleurs au crochet Shawl2 Bobines

Yes, I’d love to hear about Sylvie Damey’s next articles & patterns !



Back to work

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Holidays are over, would you believe I hardly touched my hooks for about a month and a half ? No crochet, too busy to read, swim, rest and spend time with friends and family…

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I did wear a lot my newsest crochet shawl though, the beautiful “Lizard shawl” by Jasmin Räsänen: a bold mix of airy filet and heavy textured ridges. And it’s a free pattern too ! Amazing.

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As usual, I combined several strands of thin coned yarn, and vintage light pink cotton. Oh, and I added a picot final edging, just because. What can I say ? I love it, and have worn it all summer.. and still do today !

* * * * *

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Now it’s time to go back to work. And even though I didn’t crochet much, I still played with ideas and made several mini swatches for future shawls during my last week away.
Now is the time to check if what worked out on my mini-sample also works when crocheted full-size..

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Of course, it includes flowers… and glitter yay !

To be continued (…)

Yes, I’d love to hear about Sylvie Damey’s next patterns !



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Summer is nearly there, and occasions to meet other crafters are everywhere. Two weeks ago we went to the “Musée du tisserand Dauphinois” (a local weaving museum) to demonstrate how we spin yarn. Claire and Heike brought their spinning wheels, and I spindle spun some Gotland which was easier to spin evenly on a spindle.

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It was fun to see the slightly dissapointed looks of some when they realised we didn’t use antique wheels and raw fleece ;-)

Yep ! Now we have access to much more modern equipment, and that’s part of what makes spinning fun ! We took turns to explain how fibers are stretched and twisted to make yarn. Then plied..
Heike even showed the mayor and founder of the museum how to use hand carders !

One lady brought us her own spinning wheel to see if it could actually work. A beauty ! Yet, after trying and looking at it from evey angle we realised the 2 legs supporting the flyer and bobbin were actually mounted in reversed position. Bummer ! Still, that was fun.

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And of course we took some time to visit the beautiful museum, showing all sorts of old machines (and newer ones too, they’re just not so pretty!) to process the silk the Canuts used to weave with.
So very interesting !

 

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And this week-end, it was crochet time in Grenoble during the “Puces de couturières” (kind of Crafter’s flea market).

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A good occasion to bring my magic box with all the crochet hooks to test and chat with crocheters : some of them had already preferences but discovered new ones, others had no idea there were so many different ones, or thought the only difference lay in the shape of the handles…

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Other kind crafters dug into my huge stash and helped making room in my studio ;-)

Such markets are also a great occasion to meet “for real” crocheters I usually exchange only emails with: Hi Mrs C., it was great to meet you !

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Puces11 StashR

Next to me was my friend Heike and her pretty hand-dyed HeikeMade yarns, and Kromski spinning wheels.

 

Oh, and that yarn you’ll ask ? Well, at 2€ per cone/hank, I just couldn’t help it. Imagine: Noro and Holst Garn yarns !! :-P
And some pretty  crochet books to add to my collection too.

 

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Next time: Let’s meet in Bretagne on July 9/10 !! I’ll be at the “Fibre aux Fils” fiber festival, still with Heike. See you there !

 

Yes, I’d love to hear about Sylvie Damey’s next articles & patterns !



Are your wrists sometimes sore from crocheting ?
You inherited a collection of old plain hooks  and now you’re dreaming of enhancing your stash with pretty colorful hooks ?
Or maybe the yarn sometimes snag into the head of the hook, and you wonder whether you could find more efficient/precise hooks ?

Last weeks we started to review 5 different brands and types of crochet hooks and ergonomic hooks: ADDI swing and colors, CLOVER soft-touch and amour, KNITPRO waves, and I shared the results of my tests along with 2 fellow crocheters to make the review more objective and thorough.

Then we tested more hooks, with the PRYM soft and ergonomics, TULIP ETIMO rose, SUSAN BATES silvalume .

Deepest thanks to all the brands who generously sent hooks for us to test (with no influence on our results): ADDI crochet hooks- PRYM crochet hooks – CLOVER crochet hooks – JIMBO’s front porch  crochet hooks – TULIP ETIMO crochet hooks

First, here’s a reminder of the specifis of all 3 crocheters who shared their opinions in this test, along with some info on each of us:

 
1/ ConfitureAlaMure, crochet designer and crochet teacher: ” I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Crocheting helps me start moving around in the morning.
I’m a thwarted left-hander.  I learned to crochet with my right hand, but it’s my left hand with bring the yarn and stitches under the hook. My right hand hardly moves in the end.
The comfort of the handle is my own most important criteria in choosing a hook. I will always prefer a comfortable grip of the handle over a super precise head. I don’t really mind unraveling a stitch that wasn’t caught right, but I need to have a good hold of my hook. And if it’s pretty, that’s even better.
However, I always pay attention to adapting the right hook to the fiber I’m using. I will only use bamboo hooks for mohair or lace, nver for cotton or wool. To crochet with cotton yarns, you definitively need a hook with a steel shaft, or it’s just impossible. Cotton needs to glide over the hook, when mohair needs to be held back “
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2/ Lu. – “Left-hander, suffering from osteoarthristis and issues with her thumbs and wrists, she started to crochet 2 years ago (..) and favors especially bamboo, wood and ergonomic handles. “
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3/ And me… Sylvie Damey. – “Left-hander, holding my hook with a knife grip. No real joint issues, yet sometimes my wrists feel a bit rusty. In those cases, I’ll try to alternate the “working hand” even though my hook always remain in the right hand.
I crochet mostly sweaters, and as such, I’m always looking for speed and efficiency. If the yarn tends to snag or if I have to pull each loop through one-by-one, I just loose patience instantly !
My most important criteria on a hook is thus the precision and efficiency of the head of the hook. All the rest comes after.

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And now, here’s what we felt while trying each of those hooks… This time, we’re reviewing JIMBO’s front porch hooks + the FURLS odyssey & candy shop +
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Crochet hook JIMBO’s front porch hook

TECH: Each hook made by Jimbo is made of wood and ENTIRELY sculpted by hand. He usually picks pieces of wood on his property and hand carves a hook out of it. I highly encourage you to read about his process and all the work involved on his blog.

Weight of a 5 mm hook: 25.6 grams

Length: 18.4 cm

Average price: between $30 and $60, as they are auctionned on Jimbo’s blog


Pros:

1/ Beautiful hook and an impressive head ! So happy I discoved this hook

2/ Most excellent. Amazing lightness and grip in the hand, perfect hold of the yarn. I was expecting it to be heavy but the handle is very light, and thick. This is surprisingly super confortable especially for somebody who has arthritis. I love this hook which would definitively by my everyday crochet hook wasn’t it for the high price !

3/ An incredibly precise and efficient head. The handle is perfect with the ultimate thumb-rest. This hook is even more amazing when you know it was made all by hand…

Cons:
1/ The handle is too big and the hook stand at its end unbalances slightly the hand. It’s really too bad because otherwise it’s really great to hold in your hand. The effort towards perfect esthetics took away some of the comfort…

2/ The price takes away all my desires to buy one..

3/ The stand at the end of the handle is a bit heavy and feels like it unbalances th ehook. It’s a shame because it would be just perfect otherwise. (but Jimbo is so nice he was very keen to hear what we thought, and might change that on future hooks..)

In ONE word this hook is:
A very beautiful object – A must – Amazing

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 FurlsOdyssey1 FurlsOdyssey2

Crochet hook FURLS odyssey

TECH: head and shank in metal. Handle is in slick resin, looking like piano keys, very elegant.

Weight of a 5 mm hook: 36.7 grams

Length: 17 cm

Price: 30 $ + shipping from the US

Pros:
1/ Hem… it’s pretty ^^ Metal glides well.
2/ Decent grip of the yarn
3/ It’s a beautiful object and crochets nearly without any glitch (and I’m picky!). Crocheting with this hook is for me like a moment of pure bliss, appreciating each and every stitch I make with it.

Cons:

1/ I don’t like the fact that the groove is very shallow, with hardly any lip to hold the yarn. The shank gets wider as it meets the handle. It’s pretty but doesn’t help keeping even stitches. The weight of this hook is unbelievable (so heavy!). So dissapointing, I would have loved to love it…
2/ The looks, the price and the heavy weight of its handle.
3/ It’s a bit heavy. I made a sunhat with it, but I’m not too sure I could crochet a full sweater because of how heavy it is. Also, it’s expensive, esp. with shipping from the US when you live in Europe.  AND my gauge is looser when I crochet with it. When I measure the shank with my hook-gauge, both my Odyssey hooks seem about 5 mm above their stated size. I read somewhere a lady had the same issue. Is is because of the design of those hooks, or a problem with their sizing ?
In ONE word this hook is:
Both pretty and dumb ! – Dissapointing – Beautiful

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Finally, I was the lucky winner of a hook on Moogly’s blog a few weeks ago. It was too late to include it with the other hooks for my fellow testers, but here’s already my own thoughts on it:

FurlsCandyShop1FurlsCandyShop2

 

Crochet hook FURLS candy shop

TECH: This hook is made of resin, with several coats of glitter paint on top. Each size of hook is a slightly different design and a different color.

Weight of a 6 mm hook: 19.2 grams

Length: 14 cm

Average price: $50 + shipping from the US


Pros:

Despite its flat head which looked scary at first (I feared it would not poke through stitches properly), it crochets rather smoothly. The handle is short, with a large “tummy” which rests nicely inside my palm as I hold it as a knife.

Cons:
The price !! 50$ for a hook made out of resin sounds out of proportions to me. And the tiny flimsy box it was sent into looked a bit cheap, would certainly would be dissapointed if I had bought it at this price.

In ONE word this hook is:
Cute but outrageously expensive!

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+ read also: 

Test of the  PRYM Soft & Ergonomics, TULIP ETIMO Rose, SUSAN BATES Silvalume crochet hooks

Test of the high-end FURLS Odyssey, Candy shop crochet hooks, JIMBO’s front porch hooks

+ Coming soon:

Anatomy of a crochet hook, and criteria to take into account when choosing the right hook for YOU

Yes, I’d love to hear about Sylvie Damey’s next articles & patterns !



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