How to Hold a Crochet Hook
It was with abject horror that I learned my twin sister, Deborah Bagley, and I hold our crochet hooks differently. I know that sounds extreme. Why the shock? Our grandmother distinctly instructed us that there was a right way and wrong way. She taught us how to hold a hook properly; therefore, why would one of us knowingly hold it the wrong way?
Knife vs Pencil Hold
Crocheters generally hold their hooks in one of two ways: like a pencil or like a knife. Enter the twins: one of us holds the hook like a pencil, with the hook pinched near the head between the thumb and index finger resting on the middle finger and the back of the hook resting on the skin at the base of the thumb and index finger. The other holds the hook like a knife, overhand, with the hook pinched between the thumb and the pads of all the other fingers.
Pictured with the Quirky Crochet Hooks, Deborah (right) with the Here Comes Treble hook held like a knife and me (left) with the Granny Life hook held like a pencil.
Our Mother Weighs In
Our mother was there when we learned how to crochet. I thought perhaps she could help correct the misguided sister. When I asked her if she holds her hook like a pencil or a knife, my mother’s answer was—both ways. Really? How is that possible? I watched her crochet and, sure enough, she starts her stitch with a pencil hold, pauses, and adjusts her hand to finish the stitch with a knife hold. Her unique style gives her a looser gauge, but her stitches are uniform and her projects always turn out great.
The Right Way to Hold a Crochet Hook
Since my mom did not tilt the scale toward one way or another, I decided to do some more research on the right way to hold the hook. I am a little bit competitive, so while knowing which of us is right is not really that important, I still had to know.
I found my answer in the article “Know Your Craft: Know Your Hands” by Julia M. Chambers from Interweave Crochet Spring 2014. She explores 6 of the most popular holds in detail, including variatons on the pencil and knife options. And both holds are acceptable. In fact, whatever way feels most comfortable and natural is the way you should hold your hook.
Our Grandmother Settles the Debate
Knowing that there is no right or wrong way to hold the hook, it shouldn’t matter to me that my sister and I hold our hooks differently. But out of curiosity, I did give my grandmother a call to find out how she held her crochet hook. She was an avid crocheter most of her life, stopping only when she lost her eyesight. Her answer? Drum roll, please . . . like a pencil.
Yahoo! Drop the party balloons! I hold my hook the right way and my sister is wrong. Okay, so it still doesn’t matter, I tell myself. All it really means is that I hold my hook in the tradition of my grandmother. And to be perfectly honest, I sometimes hold my hook like a knife; particularly when I’m crocheting the loops stitch or Clones lace.
It’s fun to see how others hold their hook and compare notes. How do you hold your crochet hook: like a pencil, a knife, or some other way? Leave me a comment below.
Yours with the pencil grip,
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