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Recycled Crochet Hook Holders
Submitted by Lynn from LadyWillow's TreeHouse at http://ladywilltreehouse.wordpress.com - LadyWillow Designs©
As a confirmed recycler, I have been reluctant to toss empty pens, mechanical pencils, and markers when they no longer fullfiled their original purpose. Also developed co-ordination problems with my hands when using metal hooks during chilly and cold weather. When searching online and eBay for unique and unusual crochet hooks, I discovered the idea of hook holders or covers, and decided to try making my own.
LadyWillow Recycled Crochet Hook Holders
LadyWillow "Fun" Recycled Crochet Hook Holders - one with plastic tubing
1. Gather empty holders - including ball-point pens, permanent markers, highlighters, felt-tips and mechanical pencils.
2. Separate Metal Tip from Plastic Tip holders.
3. Collect Hooks (Keep in mind that larger/wider hook shafts will require bigger/thicker holders.)
4. Locate Tools - sharp knife, small hack saw, and file(s). May also need some of the following - emery boards, diamond finger nail files or fine sandpaper; scotch tape; water based or permanent glue and stuffing - like aluminum foil.
5. Select a flat surface to work - such as a desk top or table.
6. Small container to hold loose parts.
7. Choose a holder - unscrew the sections and/or remove tip if possible.
8. Set aside the inside pieces - but don't throw away, especially the springs. These parts may help stabilize the hook inside the cover.
9. Test the hook by inserting from inside the cover body down through the tip end - but don't force it; should slip through with minimal pressure if the size is compatible to the tip opening. (see Example #1)
NOTE: Some holders may require sliding the hook shank into the tip end after modification, and some metal tips can be removed allowing the holder to be modified if needed. (see Example #2)
10. If the hook is good fit - try assembling the rest of the holder/cover for length. Assemble the rest of the cover. If hook is too short or loose inside the holder - try adding springs, other inside pieces or stuffing such as aluminum to secure the hook in place. If hook is too long - try a different one or consider cutting the end of the hook shank to the required length.
NOTE: Most metal tip covers only fit very small crochet hooks such as Size "A" to "E" and "0" or smaller.
11. Larger sizes and thicker hooks usually require bigger openings as the hook head won't fit through most metal tips. Plastic holder tips can usually be altered with careful handling.
NOTE: Trim plastic pen and marker tips with a sharp knife or small hacksaw, then sand to smooth edges. Be aware many plastics split easily so have patience. Remove small sections slowly and carefully. Don't be discouraged if the plastic breaks or splits - cut below the damaged area and try again.
12. If the hook sheath is too narrow or short to fit snuggly inside the cover, wrap with a few layers of Scotch Tape or fill interior with springs, extra parts or stuffing. The flat (thumb) space on most hooks can also help stabilize the hook, and it's possible to glue the hook in place unless you wish to keep the cover available for use with other hooks.
13. Be sure to leave enough length from the hook head to the tip of the cover to accommodate a variety of threads or yarns when working on projects. If the shank is to short it can interfere with creating the stitches. See Examples #1 and #2 for the length of hook shank that worked best for me.
When regular hook is too short - use recycled pen parts or stuffing to fill interior and stabilize hook - glue if necessary. Broken hooks work well with shorter holders.
Rather than trying to fit a specific hook to a favorite cover - keep a selection of empty holders and hooks in reserve to create the holders or covers. Be flexible and have fun.
Some hooks, like very large or very small sizes, may not work well with recycled holders, or a softer surface may be required, especially for cold, metal hooks. See the list below for additional ideas.
Custom Cover and Holder Options...
1. Crocheted and Spool Knitted Covers or Sleeves
2. Fimo or Polymer/Sculpy Clay
3. Plastic Tubes - such as oxygen tubing
4. Felted Covers
Visit LadyWillow's TreeHouse at http://ladywilltreehouse.wordpress.com for more recycled crochet hook resources and information.