Tag Archives: simplicity

Crochet Hook Review and Giveaway: The Crochet Dude Ergonomic Hooks by Boye

Every Sunday during National Crochet Month 2013, I’ll be reviewing crochet hooks.  Today’s post features the Crochet Dude ergonomic hooks, along with a giveaway for 6 hooks, courtesy of the Crochet Dude by Boye.

Last summer, I was the happy winner of a giant box of crochet fun through a giveaway on Robyn Chachula‘s blog.  One of the many goodies tucked away into this prize package was a Crochet Dude ergonomic aluminum crochet hook.

The hook that got me hooked.
The hook that got me hooked.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Boye hooks – I have a collection of sizes B through P in my hook drawer, and I even have several sizes of steel Boye hooks for cotton thread.  I prefer not to use an inline crochet hook, and so naturally Boye became my “go to” brand over the years.

But as crochet has become a bigger and bigger part of my life – and especially when I’m crocheting on a deadline – I’ve found that a solid aluminum hook can put too much stress on my hands.  In the last 18 months or so, when I start a crochet project I usually reach for a comfort hook.

After using Boye hooks regularly for over 20 years, I know readily what size hook to use with different yarns and can be pretty consistent about my gauge.  This familiarity was what excited me about the Crochet Dude ergonomic crochet hooks.

Each Crochet Dude ergonomic hook features the familiar Boye point and throat with a molded, soft handle covering most of the hook’s shaft.  The handle is squared towards the middle, has a flattened thumb rest, and then tapers down at the end.  Each size comes with a different color handle and the size in etched on the handle in both US letter size and millimeters.  These features allow you to quickly pick up the right size if you have a full set.

The Crochet Dude ergonomic crochet hooks provide cushioning and comfort while allowing me to use my preferred type of point and a tapered throat.  It’s  one of the most affordable comfort hooks on the market.  (The suggested retail price is $5.99 per hook.)

Like most comfort hooks, the shaft of the hook is mostly covered by the soft handle, so the Crochet Dude ergonomic hook isn’t ideal if you are doing certain dimensional stitches (like bullions or puff stitches) where you may need more space to keep multiple loops on the hook, or where a tapered shaft might make it easier to work the stitch.

My overall review: The Crochet Dude ergonomic crochet hook is a great, affordable comfort hook option for a crocheter who doesn’t need an inline hook.

Giveaway

When I contacted the nice folks who manufacture the Crochet Dude by Boye collection to tell them about my plans for reviewing the hook during NatCroMo13, they were generous enough to send along a prize pack of 6 different ergonomic Crochet Dude hooks (in US sizes B, E, G, H, I, and L) for me to share with one lucky reader.

Crochet Dude by Boye prize pack

This giveaway is open internationally.  Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, March 9, 2013.  

To enter:

  • Leave a comment telling me about what you would make if you won these six ergonomic Crochet Dude by Boye hooks.
  • For additional entries, like Underground Crafter on Facebook, follow Underground Crafter on Twitter, join the Underground Crafter group on Ravelry, and/or share a link to this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog.  (And then, leave a comment here, on Facebook, on Twitter, or in the Ravelry group letting me know what you did!)
  • One winner will be chosen at random.

Good luck!

Hooking at Vogue Knitting Live

This morning I dragged myself out of bed for day two of Vogue Knitting Live.  I don’t know if it was because of the cold weather yesterday or all the excitement from the event, but I was extra sleepy this morning.  I decided to wear the Irish rose choker I made myself last year.  I actually like it better with the button in the front.

You can see I have extra bags under my eyes this morning!

I was excited to see so many crochet hook options in the Marketplace.  Confession time: I’m a collector of crochet hooks.  In addition to a full array of sizes in the classic Boye aluminum crochet hooks, I also have a set of Denise interchangeables, a Tulip Etimo set, and a set of Eleggant hooks (reviewed here).  I also have a random assortment of one or two sizes from the Addi Swing, Laurel Hill Nam Oc, and Crochet Dude lines.  And, some lovely handmade hooks from Sistermaide.  (We could get sidetracked here so I’ll skip the list of my Tunisian crochet hooks.)  Anyway, I was on the look out for new (to me) and exciting hooks while I was in the Marketplace and I wasn’t disappointed!

The nice folks at Magique Enterprises are actually the first booth on the way into the Marketplace.

 

I love their egg shaped hook handle.

The Boye/Simplicity booth had the full complement of Crochet Dude hooks.  I won one in a giveaway last year and I like it a lot, so I may pick up another favorite size.  But I was most intrigued by the Crochet Master Plus.

I’m hoping they will have some samples I can try out today.

The Skacel booth also had their interchangeable set, Addi Click, on display.

One of my Tunisian crochet students at the Adult School of Montclair last year has this set, and she seemed to get a lot of use out of it.

Since a full set is out of my budget for this event, I am more likely to pick up a single hook or two.  The Knitting Ranch has a big selection of hooks at their display.

And in case you need a storage case, the della Q booth has a variety of lovely colors for their crochet cases.

It looks like you can get two hooks into some of these pockets.

I know I said I won’t buy an interchangeable set at Vogue Knitting Live… but who’s to say I won’t get another set soon…

Do you have a favorite interchangeable crochet hook set?

Battle of the egg-shaped crochet hook handles!

I first became aware of egg-shaped, ergonomic crochet hook handles some time last year while visiting the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.  If you knew me in real life, you would know that I’m somewhat… cheap.  I saw this ergonomic crochet hook set and my first thought was, “$24!  But I already have tons of crochet hooks at home!”  The set had a bizarre effect on me though, and after going home my mind kept returning to the hook handles.

I was also teaching crochet and knitting at Micheals during the time, and I discovered that Boye had a similar product, the Ergonomic Aluminum Crochet Hook Handle.  I decided to try it out with my employee discount.

My two best friends were nice enough to hook me up (pun intended) with my very own Eleggant Hook set for my birthday, and I later purchased some additional hook sizes.  (I should mention that it was cheaper to order the specific sizes and parts I wanted and to have it shipped to the U.S. than it was to buy the pre-packaged set with sizes I don’t really use.  This is how I convinced my cheap inner self to order the additional hooks.)

So today I present to you my reviews of both ergonomic, egg shaped hook handles.

Boye vs. Eleggant!

What’s included 

The Boye kit includes a hook handle of indeterminate material (my guess is rubber or plastic) which can twist off to open, as well as 8 “washers” to fit various sizes of crochet hooks.  The retail prices is $7.99.  Hooks are not included.

The Eleggant kit includes a wooden handle with metal adjustor, six modified crochet hooks (steel hooks in sizes 1.25 mm, 1.75 mm, and 2.25 mm, and aluminum hooks in sizes 3.5 mm/E, 5.0 mm/H, and 6.0 mm/J), and o-rings.  The retail price is $24.99CAD.  Alternatively, you can customize your own set by purchasing the handle ($15.00CAD), o-rings ($1.00CAD/10), and modified hooks in your favorite sizes ($1.50CAD – $1.75CAD each).

The verdict: The Boye kit seems less expensive, but it doesn’t include any hooks.  If you add the cost of hooks, then the prices are actually quite similar.

 

 

Small, color coded plastic washers are added to the Boye crochet hooks to create a snug fit inside the handle.

How it works

With the Boye kit, you attach plastic washers to each crochet hook.  The washers are a bit tough to get on because they are made to fit quite snug.  The washers are color coded so you have to examine the little color chart to figure out which washer goes onto what size hook.  After the washer is on the hook, you twist the hook handle open, insert the hook, and then twist the handle to close.  It takes some practice to position the washer properly so that the hook isn’t jiggling around in the handle.  A downside to this system was that once I put the washers on to my existing hooks, I didn’t have much interest in removing them.  They were really tough to get off around the point of the hook.  Since I was using my regular crochet hooks with this handle and there are certain types of stitches (e.g., the bullion stitch) that are difficult to work with the egg-shaped handle, the end result was that I have been using my Boye hooks less.

With the Eleggant hooks kit, you attach o-rings to the base of the modified crochet hooks.  Then you use the metal adjustor to tighten the handle around the hook.  I found these easier to use and since I have a dedicated set of modified hooks for the handle, I can pick it up whenever I feel like using an ergonomic egg-shaped hook without any impact on my other crochet tools.

The verdict: The Boye handle often leaves the hook jiggling around inside unless you place the washer very precisely.  The Eleggant hook handle occasionally snags the yarn at the join between the o-rings and the adjustor.  (This may be because I tend to move my stitches further down on the hook than other people when crocheting.)  Overal, I found the Eleggant hook handle easier to use and it feels more sturdy and snug than the Boye hook handle.

 

 

The Eleggant hook handle attaches to modified crochet hooks.

Other stuff

Feel: The Eleggant hook handle is made of wood and feels much better on the hands.  The Boye hook handle was almost instantly covered with cat fur and dust, and requires frequent washing.  Also, it tends to get “sweaty” when it is warm.

Durability: Again, I’d have to go with the Eleggant kit.  It looks and feels much more sturdy than the Boye handle and washers.

Ease of use: Honestly, crocheting with an egg-shaped handle takes a bit of getting used to.  With both handles, you would need some practice to get comfortable.

Customer support: The folks at Magique Enterprises are nice enough to share a video explaining how to use the Eleggant hook on YouTube.

YouTube Preview Image

There’s no such luck over at the Simplicity YouTube channel.

Hook selection: Both sets are made to work with the Boye style hooks.  But what if you prefer the shape of point and throat of another brand of crochet hooks?  According to reviews that I’ve read online, the Boye kit can be used with Susan Bates hooks even though they are not the same length as Boye hooks.  If you want to use a different type of hook with the Eleggant handle, you will definitely need access to tools which can precisely cut metal.  (I didn’t test this out myself because my only aluminum hooks at home are the Boye brand, which I prefer.)

Finding the right size hook: The Boye kit has color coded washers and if your Boye hooks are also color coded, that you can probably easily find the right size.  The washer, when positioned correctly, will probably cover the size information on the hook handle though.  As for the Eleggant kit, supposedly the hook size is etched into each hook.  When looking through mine, however, I’ve found that two don’t have the size etched into the modified hook.

The verdict: Overall, I prefer the Eleggant hook handle.  It feels sturdier, fits the hook more snug, and is smaller to hold in your palm.  In fact, soon after the second time that I washed my Boye hook handle, I gave up on using it.  Since I live with a cat, there is just no way that it can stay clean.  However, if you really need more access to a broader range of hooks, you may want to consider the Boye handle.