The 2 Crochet Tools I Can’t Live Without
When it comes to crochet, the first thing most people think about is yarn. Everyone knows that a crocheter has yarn all over their home in WIPs, just because skeins, the notorious “I bought this because it’s pretty and don’t know what to do with it yarn”, the “I forgot I had this” yarn, and everything in between. While I can attest that I probably couldn’t live without yarn (I could but it would be sad!), I also can’t live without two of my hands down favorite crochet tools. So today, in honor of National Crochet Month and Worship of Tools day, I wanted to talk about the two best crochet tools I own and why I absolutely love them.
I know when most people talk about “tools”, they think of the old tool box in the closet (or in our household’s case, a red tote bag because apparently we are only partially adults) that desperately needs to be organized. Why is there a bouncy ball in here? When’s the last time we used a bouncy ball? Anyway, the word “tools” usually brings to mind hammers, screw drivers and random nails you don’t need but can’t get rid of because what if you do need them later?
But Worship of Tools day doesn’t just have to be about hammers and home improvement. Tools are anything you use to make the job you’re doing easier and more productive. That’s why I’m writing this whole blog post – These are the two best crochet tools that I “worship” and make my crocheting life so much easier.
1 | The Yarn Ball Winder
The tool that has been an absolute game changer for me is my yarn winder. My husband is also breathing a sigh of relief, as this tool has taken him out of enlistment as “yarn baller”.
My mother-in-law purchased this absolutely glorious, wooden yarn winder for me for Christmas from Etsy. This has honestly been one of the best crochet tools I’ve ever owned. I am so beyond appreciative of the thoughtful gift and how it has changed the amount of time I spend literally rolling yarn into a ball.
This specific yarn winder is hand crafted and made of maple. I’m a big fan of basically anything made of wood, so this takes the cake (makes the cake?). It uses a hand crank (the “wheel” you see in the picture above) to twist the shaft around which spins on an axis to create perfect yarn cakes. It comes with a detachable table clamp so you can use it quickly without the clamp or clamp it to the table for a real yarn caking session.
After some research, I found that the Etsy seller of this model also sells replacement parts, including the belts which will definitely see some wear and tear. Having access to replacement parts for a hand crafted item is so, so important. I will note, though, that this yarn winder has been going strong from day one and has caked nearly my entire stash with zero issues or need for replacements so far.
Speaking of caking my entire stash, I must mention: This yarn winder had an adjustable size limit. I know, I was overwhelmed with joy, too. A lot of the yarn winders on the market are a “one size fits all” size for smaller skeins, which is fine. But what if I wanted to roll a Lion Brand Pound of Love mega skein into a mega cake?
This yarn winder laughed at the “challenge” and made easy work of creating this massive yarn cake. Isn’t it amazing? I would have to say that this yarn winder is definitely one of the best crochet tools I personally own and would purchase again without hesitation.
But, let’s say that you’re not into spending your hard earned cash on a bespoke wooden yarn winder. Let’s be honest here – I’m not either. I probably wouldn’t have bought this one for myself and would have gone the cheaper route because I’m a pretty frugal person.
I had researched what yarn winder I wanted to purchase for months (yep, I’m that type of person) and had landed on this Knitpicks yarn winder and was just about to purchase it before my husband slyly said “Shouldn’t you wait until after the end of the year? It might be cheaper.” Isn’t he smart?
The Knitpicks yarn winder is basically everything my hand crafted wooden one is with a couple differences. Had I have not received a yarn winder for Christmas, I would have purchased this one so I want to list out what my pro’s and con’s were when I decided.
The first difference is that it’s hard plastic and created to be a little more compact. So it’s a great little addition that doesn’t take up too much room and is likely lighter in weight. I would count this as a pro, especially for those of us who live in smaller apartments.
The second difference is that this yarn winder will only roll skeins up to 100 grams or 3.5 ounces. If you generally only buy skeins of yarn that are smaller skeins or if you want to cake the yarn after using some of it, this is a great little winder. This, however, was a con for me as I frequently purchase larger skeins that are 6 or 7 ounces.
I found this yarn winder to be one of the best reviewed compared to it’s review amount, and to be generally an affordable purchase that would save me time and effort when organizing my yarn stash.
Regardless of whether you go with a fancy, hand crafted yarn winder or the more affordable yarn winder, I would highly recommended at least considering one of them. A yarn winder is definitely one of the best crochet tools I have that has sincerely changed my crocheting life.
2 | Crochet Hooks
Okay, okay. I know you knew this was coming! But seriously, how could I not talk about crochet hooks? They’re the most used and most beloved crochet tools. Let’s talk about the different levels of crochet hooks and how you can find the best crochet hooks to add to your tools.
When I started crocheting years and years ago, I had a set of the standard aluminum hooks you can pick up for pretty cheap at your local department store. Let’s be honest here, they got the job done but they certainly didn’t lend any help to my hands. Over the years, I purchased grips for pencils and put those on the hooks to provide some comfort (remember, I’m a frugal person) which definitely helped but still wasn’t right.
My beloved mother-in-law came to my rescue once again and gifted me this ergonomic set of crochet hooks. These hooks have hard rubber around the handles which did provide a lot of hand pain relief and stopped me from purchasing troves of pencil grips. They’re a great price for what you get – 14 hooks, plus a case, some stitch markers, tapestry needles and a pair of awkward scissors I never used.
These are definitely the hooks I’ve recommended to beginners who are starting out from square one and need a set to get started with. I purchased them for my best friend as a gift to get them started with something comfortable, and have recommended them several times. The rubber provides a bigger grip which really helps keep your hands comfortable and the added bonus of a few extras is always great, too.
But then something shiny and pretty caught my attention: The Furls Streamline Swirl hooks.
I put off purchasing a Furls hook for a long time because of the expense (remember, I’m frugal). I watched their pretty new hooks roll out and saw all the beautiful crochet hook designs, but couldn’t throw my money behind something that I wasn’t sure was actually going to make any difference in my life.
I saw their advertising that said “ergonomic” and “helps with hand pain” but I was dubious. How much could they really help when I already had these great hooks covered in rubber, which felt like an entirely different world than the aluminum with pencil grips?
After a nudge and prod from my husband, I bought one singular Furls Streamline Swirl in Cookies and Cream to test it out, fully expecting to dislike the hook.
I have to tell you, it was love at first stitch.
Since then, I have purchased an additional six hooks from them and am still slowly replacing my entire set with their hooks. What’s so great about the hooks? Let me tell you why I personally find them to be the best crochet tools for me.
- These hooks have inline tips, which means that the actual hook of the tool is sharper and, for me, holds the yarn better than the tapered hook which is a bit more rounded.
- They’re longer hooks – The Streamline model is 7 inches long! My previous hooks were much shorter and rubbed into the palm of my hand, providing discomfort. These hooks are long enough that they fit my entire grip and stick out the other side of my palm. This has been much more comfortable for me.
- Depending on your preferences, you can get heavier or lighter hooks. For example, the Odyssey hooks are heavier (1.5 oz) and the Streamline hooks are lighter (between .5 oz and .7 oz). I personally prefer the lighter hooks but I do love my Odyssey hook as well.
- These hooks are designed to be wider in the middle where the palm of your hand naturally sits. This makes it so you aren’t gripping your hand as tight as you would with other hooks and therefore helps with hand pain. You can read more about the ergonomic design of the hooks on my full Furls Streamline hook review.
I personally am now a Furls girl, and will likely always purchase a Furls hook when I need one. They’ve been sturdy, great hooks and come with great customer service. I have kicked myself a few times for not purchasing them sooner. They really changed the game for me with my hand pain and I couldn’t recommend them higher.
I’ll be honest here – I usually pick up a few of the Furls hooks when they’re on sale. I usually let my readers know when a Furls sale is happening, so if you’d like to know when those sales hit, you can sign up for my newsletter.
The Best Crochet Tools
When I sat down to think about my most used and most loved crochet tools, my yarn winder and my crochet hooks won with no fight. While I could sit here and talk about every crochet tool you might need, I felt that highlighting the two that really changed my crocheting life and providing options of both affordable and bespoke tools would be more worth while.
If you want to see my ideal list of all the best crochet tools you might need including scissors, cute stitch markers and sassy mugs, I have an entire list of gifts for crocheters that highlights my 26 favorites.
Speaking of favorites, check out these articles by some of my favorite crochet designers. In their articles, they’re also talking about what they feel the best crochet tools are, why they love them and how to take care of them.
Christine at Sweet Potato 3 loves her Mimmo Caddy.
Bernadine from Me n My Hook is talking about her favorite cotton yarn (yep, yarn is a tool, too!)
Christina at Creative Snuggly Designs is also talking about her favorite crochet tools.
Helen at Sunflower Cottage Designs talks about how to clean your crochet tools.
Cyndi from CroCynWithWine talks about her favorite crochet hooks.
Melanie Jane at Simply Melanie Jane talks about the best beginner tools.
Zenzali at Millenial Maker talks about the best crochet tools she never thought she’d use (but does!)
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