As a lifelong crochet artist, I know what type of hooks I like. I often spend many hours a day crocheting and I want a hook that feels good in my hands and makes my work easier. When Shawn started carving crochet hooks, we worked together to create hooks that are easy to use, match guage and feel good. Yep, I'm spoiled!
He is a talented artist, so his hooks are beautiful to look at - but more importantly to me, they work well.
Lately, between the store and classes, we have been working with many people who want to crochet, but are having trouble with their hands, wrists or elbows. Shawn created his square hooks to help people who are experiencing pain when they crochet. The square shape sits easily in their hands allowing their fingers to relax around the hook. It seems to help many people continue crocheting.
As word gets around about Shawn's Laffing Horse crochet hooks, people are asking him to carve bigger hooks (up to P like the one in the pictures now), longer hooks (22 inch!) and hooks to solve problems. He is now working on an afghan hook in the larger sizes that will help eliminate thumb joint pain. We are trying making one side flat, so that no matter how you hold your hook, you thumb has a resting spot. I'll let you know how it works.
This search for the right hook or the most comfortable to crochet has led me to consider how people hold their hooks and other factors that go into the process of crocheting. My grandmother taught me to crochet. I've been crocheting close to 40 years now and my hands and wrists don't bother me from crocheting. (They do give me some trouble with heavy lifting, a legacy from my days as a mail carrier!) Part of that is because I crochet loosely, with a light tension. That helps keep my hands and arms relaxed. But I also think the open-handed, under-palm way I hold my hook helps make crocheting easier.
I was trying to explain that to someone who has been having trouble with finger pain when crocheting. It can be quite a challenge to help someone with a craft over the phone. So I thought I'd try posting pictures. Boy, this is an awful long caption for some photographs!