Comfortable Cork Crochet Handles
I was crocheting using my cork crochet hook during a slow stretch at a show and a woman rushed up, very excited. I get excited thinking I was going to make a sale. I was wrong. She was excited about my crochet hook.
Thinking about giving up
She told me she was about to give up crocheting because the skinny hook handle were hard to hold and hurt her hands so badly. But she thought my crochet hook just might solve her problem.
Several years later, the same women came to my booth and thanked me for explaining my crochet hook and sharing how to make it. She was still happily crocheting and able to work for long periods without a problem.
So What The Difference?
So what was so very different about my crochet hook and all the others in the world? It is the wine cork handles. Say what? Let me explain.
Projects made with wine corks drift in and out of fashion. But I always liked them and wanted to try making them but did not drink enough wine to have a good supply of corks. One day I found a bag of wine corks for an extremely low price at my favorite thrift store. I figured I could finally make some of those projects.
When I got it home, I started Googling cork projects and found one that was to cover a pen. I did not have any desire to cover pens, but the technique described had potential. My hands had started to cramp while crocheting and I thought that maybe I could put corks on the hooks. This turned out to be one of my best ideas. I now have corked covered crochet hooks in every size.
The Benefits Of Using Wine Corks
Wine corks are a fairly large and consistent size. Because of that when they are on a crochet hook, you do not have to curl your hand up to hold them. Wine corks are also lightweight so there is no appreciable increase in weight to the hook so you do not need to gripe it tightly. They may not be the prettiest, but they really solved my problem.
How To Make The Handles
Making the handles involves a fair bit of equipment, but it you don’t own it, maybe you have a friend who does. To make the handles you need:
- Drill bits in various sizes
- A hand drill or drill press
- Two corks per handle minimum, but it is best to have a bag of corks for trial and error
- Crochet hooks
- Match the handle of your crochet hook to the diameter of a drill bit. If in doubt about which one to use, go with the slightly smaller bit. You can always make it bigger, but can’t make it smaller.
- Drill a hole down the middle of the first cork. You should try to make the hole straight so that the hole is in the center of the top and bottom.
- Drill a similar hole in the middle of the second cork.
- Test fit them by sliding them on to the crochet hook. They should be tight and you might have to use some force to get them on. But if they are tight, they will not slip off. The two corks should line up in a straight line. Any curve in the corks could be uncomfortable.
- Repeat step 2 and 3 until you are happy with how the corks fit your hook
- Repeat steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 for the next size hook.
My suggestion is to start with one hook and crochet with it for a while to see if you like it. If it is something you like, do some more or all of your hooks.
If you want to make a set for your steel hooks, you only have to make one set. Steel hook handles are all the same size or it seems that way to me. So one set of corks can be moved from one hook to another as needed. It is kind of a one size fits all type of thing.
Polymer clay handles versus wine Corks
I do have customers who ask for polymer clay covered crochet hooks. I went on line and looked at what others were doing. There are some really beautiful crochet hooks out there. I did try making a couple of them. That effort only increased my admiration for the talent of those artists because these are not an easy item to make. I also found that when I got the clay up to the diameter of the wine corks, the hook became very heavy. So for now I will leave this item to those who have perfected making them and stick with my wine cork handles.
If you find that you are having a problem with holding the crochet hook for long periods, think about putting corks on the handles. It is an inexpensive fix and think of the fun you can have enjoying those lovely bottles of wine.