Boye Crochet Dude Ergonomic Aluminum Crochet Handle Review

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When I heard of Ergonomic hooks the first thing I thought of was people with arthritis or carpel tunnel limitations.   That is until a recent student with I teach suffering from arthritis made a comment that she wished she would have gotten her ergonomic hooks about ten years before she needed them. She stated that maybe it would have prevented her hands from becoming so bad. To be honest, there is no way of really knowing if it would have helped or not, but her comment got my mind to considering her warning.

I mean, it is true I really do not need the speciality hooks to help me at this season in my life, because crocheting has not become painful to as of yet. Still an ounce of prevention……

Although sometimes my hands get tired or stiff, but it’s not really on the painful chart from 1 to 10 yet. However, I have been crocheting for over 30 years and it could happen. God is willing, I would like to crochet up until the day I go home to be with the Lord. So when I decided I wanted to invest in the Boye Ergonomic Aluminum Crochet Handle I had two things in mind;

  •  First, I did really want to buy new hooks, I have been using the same Susan Bates hooks since the beginning of my crochet journey, and to be honest I like them still.
  • Second, was for more for preventive measures, to help take some stress off of my hands, while they are still into good condition.
  • Lastly, this device allowed me to change my present hooks into Ergonomic hooks without a huge investment, on Amazon it is $7.27.

As you read my review, please keep in mind I do not have the test of time behind me, I have only been using Ergonomic Aluminum Crochet Handle for a few days. Only about a year or two down the row will tell if the handle has any staying power and I will repost then.

When you first buy your Ergonomic Aluminum Crochet Handle be careful when opening the package because you will need the chart and instruction on back.

The rubber washers do not have markings on them, and the color of the washers did not match the color graph in the instructions. However, it was easy to match the hole size to the appropriate hook sizes.

I have two suggestion for future use concerning these washers;

  • Using a fine point permanent marker one could write each size on the washer.
  • Or if you have your hooks in a zipper pouch where you would not loose your hooks, one could just leave them on the hooks. I opted for leaving the washers on my hooks.

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Pro’s:

  • If you have a tendency to set your hook down and forget where you put it — this will make it much easier to find.
  • The handle has a rubbery feel to it and really helps with the grip.
  • Because of the size, it will become harder to lose my hooks in the side of chairs
  • You can update your hook to ergonomic ones with relatively small investment.
  • The larger handle does help to reduce stress while providing comfort & support to your hands while you work.

Con’s:

  • They will take some getting used to, especially if you’ve been crocheting a long time with just hooks. I did notice that my stitches loosened up. But the longer I used the handle for crocheting I did eventually get back to normal tension.
  • Every time you change hooks you will have to replace the hook in the handle. This was not a problem for me. However, I did read in a few other reviews where crocheter’s brought a few extra handles to save them from having to deal with this.
  • I have noticed that it does attract lint and dust and hair easily.
  • If you lose the washers, the handle becomes useless.

Room for improvement:

  • Although this is the perfect size for my small hands, I think that Boye should make a small and a large size. I believe if you have large hands, this might not help relieve the pain as much. (However, I am not a doctor and could be mistaken on this point)
  • Boye – if you are reading this, might I suggest one for steel hooks. I would happily invest in a handle that would fatten up my steel hooks handles without rebuying them all.
  •  I wish it came with some sort of case for the washers. As important as they are to the device, I think there should be some way to keep them contained.

My hooks are Susan Bates, and I have not had problems with them fitting or moving or slipping on me. I placed the washers with the large size facing toward the hook.

So my final opinion on the Boye Crochet Dude Ergonomic Aluminum Crochet Handle is that it is adequate, but there is some room for improvement. That being said, I am personally happy with the handle and believe that the few negatives that I mentioned would not be enough to stop me from enjoying the advantages of the handle. I am really glad I received one and will more than likely recommend it to all crocheters that I encounter along my crocheting journey.

If you have purchased a Boye Crochet Dude Ergonomic Aluminum Crochet Handle I
would love to hear what your thoughts and/or experiences have been. Please share and help other crocheter’s to make a better informed purchase.

Until next week, keep those hooks flying.

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Annie’s Hook & Needle Club – Kit 44 – Santa Pillow

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Im gonna mess up some calendars today since I know this project is a little later than the appropriate season. Most people in May talk of spring or Mothers day. So maybe May is a good month for a my review on the Santa Pillow which was the 44th kit that I received from Annie’s Hook & Needle Club. This was a gift I crocheted for my mother last Christmas, so it was a gift at least for my Mother.

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It was one of the larger kits that I have received having five different colors skeins, off white (5 Bulky weight), and red yarn, off white, peach and black all in 4 worst weight. Because it is a pillow, the kit also came with two 3/8 black buttons for the eyes and Polyfill stuffing.

Although there was only one speciality stitch -the single crochet, and only a few basic stitches, the chain and single crochet stitch, the pattern was marked as intermediate. This would be a challenging pattern for someone who was new to the craft. To be honest there were a few spots in the pattern that made me sit down and take a break with a cup of tea to mull over the instructions.

The pattern is done in several pieces, sewn together and then stuffed. There are a few times you will need to crochet holding two strings of yarn together, but I have done that in many patterns and once you get a rhythm going that should not be a problem. The problem I did have was around the hatband, I had trouble really understanding what the pattern was calling for. It might just be my limited knowledge or it could have been the way the pattern was written. To be honest only time will tell through others followers comments. Either way, I finally just did my own thing to finish the project in time for Christmas. So my hat band does not match the pattern instructions.

Other than this one area I enjoyed the kit. The yarn was the perfect hues for the projects and was very easy to handle. I loved the fact I got to make a pom pom, for I do not do many projects that require that skill.

My mother loved the present and every one thought it was very cute, but to be honest I can never really see myself reaching for this pattern again. So because of the difficulty I had in following the pattern and the yarn coming in marked labels I am rating this kit a 7.

If you have received this kit yourself, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Or maybe share another experience where you finished a project, but it was more forced then enjoyable.

Until next time keep those hooks flying.

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Lion Yarn Gift Box – Part 2 – Penelope Yarn Review

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I have really been enjoying working with the yarn box that Lion yarn has given me. The box came with a skein of Rewind (Marbles), Penelope (Zeus), Flikka (Grape Jelly) and last but not least, two cakes of Mandala baby (Rainbow). One way to this crocheter’s heart is a box full of new yarn that I have never had the pleasure to work with.

I already posted the review on Mandala last week, but the next yarn that caught my eye was the Penelope Yarn. This yarn has a few very unique things that sets it apart from the others. First, it comes in a knitted chainette ribbon. When you examine the label you will discover the end piece taped to the outside, so that when you pull on it you will unravel the chainette and can crochet or knit with it.

Second; all the yarn is named after characters in Homer’s epic poem Odyssey. The names are as follows:
Odysseus – Poseidon – Homer – Scylla – Siren – Zeus – Calypso –
The hank of yarn I received was Zeus.

Penelope yarn is 75% wool/ 25% polyamide. This also seems to be a very fine yarn and it seems to be a very study yarn that would wear well, although not very soft.

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Because of time I chose to make two tea wallets, I put the left over yarn up for I plan on buying another hank and crocheting some socks before next winter. According to Lion’s each hank has enough yarn to make an adult pair of socks.

Pro’s
459 yards of yarn in each hank
The pre determined strips made a lot less work in crocheting with less ends to sew in and I did not have to change yarn color to obtain the strips.

Cons
If you are making socks, it would be almost impossible to make the strips match exactly.

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When you first start working with the yarn -you can tell it is a little wavy. It took a few minutes to get used to the tension.

I would strongly suggest that you take the time before you start your project to roll the yarn into a ball. It was much easier to work with.

The colors were beautiful and I really enjoyed working with Penelope yarn. I can honestly recommend this yarn as a wonderful yarn to use if you are wanting to crochet socks, shawls and fingerless gloves.

I personally, am anxious to finish up a few projects and get started on a few pairs of socks. After looking through my wardrobe I saw I was in need of some socks. Because of the inspiration of another crocheter on Instagram I have decided to crochet a few pairs this summer instead of making a Shopko run to buy some.

If you have worked with this yarn or, would like to one day, please share. Would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences concerning Penelope Yarn.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.

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Annie’s Hook & Needle Club – Kit 59 – Pocket Place Mats (with Puff Stitch Tutorial)

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When I first joined Annie’s Hook & Needle club I never imagined I would still be posting reviews on them six years later. However this past April I received my 59th kit. Wow, time flies! At the beginning of this year I stopped receiving kits every month. I am being skipped on the months where a previous kit that I have already got is sent. However, I still occasionally receive a new project.

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April’s kit for me was Pocket Place Mats. The kit contained one skein each of jute and tangerine fine sport yarn. Enough to either crochet or knit two place mats with a little twist. They each have a pocket added to hold your silver ware and a napkin. The cotton/acrylic yarn was easy to crochet and I thought the color combination was very eye pleasing.

I decided to crochet the foundation row using a Japanese foundation. I believe it helped to crocheted the edging more evenly. The foundation row kept puckering up on me, which is unusual, so I finally crocheted the initial chain with a larger hook and then went back to the smaller one to crochet with that the project calls for. This seemed to fix the problem.

I would also like to suggest that you make sure you take the time to gauge. Although the pattern required a G hook, I had to go up to a 7 to obtain the correct gauge.

The place mat pattern created the always popular ripple -using the stitches of the chain, half double, and half double decrease. On the pocket you will need to have mastered the puff stitch, which helps to add a little texture.

When the place mats lay completed before me, I had to admit I was really happy with this kit and could see myself pulling the pattern out for a repeat. If it was not for the fact that the yarn came with unmarked labels (which will make it impossible for me to repurchase this yarn) I would have given it a perfect 10. The pattern was very easy to follow and being at an easy skill level made it a perfect project for relaxing and just enjoying crocheting. So all of this being said, I am rating this kit a 9.

For those of you who have never worked a puff stitch, I have added a small tutorial.

Puff Stitch Tutorial

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Step 1: Yarn over and insert the hook into the stitch in indicated stitch.

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Yarn over again and draw through. There will be three loops on the hook.

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Step 2: Repeat two more times. Each time adds 2 more loops to the hook. There will be 7 loops on the hook.

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Step 3: Yarn over and pull through all loops on the hook.

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Congratulations, you just made your first puff stitch.

If you are also enrolled in Annie’s Hook & Needle club, I would love to hear your feedback. I cannot state that I have enjoyed every kit, but I must say I am glad have joined. The kits have helped push me to new areas and on to projects I more than likely would not have tried. I am for any avenue that a crocheter can use to help them push themselves to new levels and more confidence in their abilities. What are some of the things you have tried to improve your crochet skills?

Until next next time, keep those hooks flying.

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Annie’s Crochet Afghan Block of the Month Club – Kit 3

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When I am trying to decide whether or not to join a crochet club, the biggest concern for me is what will the club provide? How can it increase my passion for the art, within the value of our dollars. My personality has a hard time committing to spending money on the unknown. The crochet clubs I have joined have made me learn to die to certain personal doubts, but at the same time I decided to start a blog to help enlighten other crocheters to what each club I participated in have to offer. So even if you do not agree with my opinion of the club and its projects, at least you will have all the required information to make an informed decision for yourself.

This club first drew my attention because it is advertised as just 30 blocks, so at three a month I am thinking this one will run its course in a year. Secondly, I love learning new stitches, I have always been attracted to dish clothes and sampler afghans that would help enlarge my stitch knowledge without committing to a large project.

The third kit from the Annie’s Crochet Block of the month club spotlighted the chain, the single and double crochet stitches. By using them in different sequence I worked up three very different looking blocks. Annie, should you ever read this, it would be great to give each block a name.

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The first was a slanted, closely woven stitch mark at an easy level.

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The second one was a more open lacy stitch pattern which was marked at the level of beginner. The easiest one of the three to master.

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The last one was also marked at a easy level. On this one I might suggest that you keep your instructions close by. The pattern is an easy one, however it might be confusing to a crocheter that does not have a lot of experience.

Last week I was recovering from the flu, I was at the stage where I was not sick enough to be in bed, but not well enough to be out and about. It was so nice to just pop in the accompanying DVD that had tutorial for each square and have three small easy projects to work on. At least by the end of the day, I felt like I accomplished something. Kristi Simpson is the Instructor that took me through the instructions to complete block 7, 8 and 9.

The yarn was Premier Everyday, #4 worsted weight in cappuccino. This club has helped me to appreciate the merits of this yarn more and more. Not only is it wonderful to work with, the colors are bright and eye catching.

I know I mentioned some of these tips earlier but it never hurts to repeat them, especially the first one.

1. Make sure you keep all unused yarn, as it will be needed to finish afghan.
2. I like to keep my squares in 1 gallon zip lock bags. A year is a long time and I do not want to lose one of the blocks, or get them dirty. You can fit 6 in each bag with plenty of room to spare. Also this way I can keep them in order.
3. If you are someone who is trying to learn to read crochet patterns. This is a good club. In the DVD they take you through the pattern, row by row. First they explain what to do, and then they demonstrate what the instructions are saying.

So at the end of this post I have nine blocks completed and am looking forward to the next twenty-one. I am hoping as it progresses that the blocks will become a little more challenging.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.

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Lion Yarn Gift Box – Part 1 – Mandala Yarn

May 1st not only brought in a new month for me, but with the help of the post office I also received a free box of yarn. Lion Yarn generous gave me five skeins of yarn in exchange for a review on each.

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When I opened the box I was delighted to see a skein of Rewind (Marbles), Penelope (Zeus), Flikka (Grape Jelly) and last of all, two cakes of Mandala baby (Rainbow). The colors of the Mandala was so bright and beautiful I found them irresistible, so I started with them. This was also a special treat for me because ever since I saw the yarn being used by a novice crochet student, I knew I would one day work it into a colorful project.

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After looking at the colors for a few minutes I decided upon a new shawl to wear to church on this upcoming Mothers Day. After this long, very cold winter, I am looking forward to the hues of spring. I chose a pattern Double Hug Shawl from the Prayer Shawl crochet pattern book. Because the color ends and begins are pre-determined and beyond my control, I chose a simple granny square pattern.

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I discovered that I love this yarn, it is a #3 weight, which made it perfect for a spring shawl, and also for baby clothing or lighter afghans. The yarn was great to work with and has a nice drape.

Although Mandala yarn has a gradual transition of one color to another, there were a few noticeable spots of wrong color.

If you are looking to buy this yarn I would like to make one suggestion: One of the cakes I received started with purple the other with red. So make sure the one you buy is starting with the color that you desire for the beginning of the project you are crocheting.

Pro
Less ends to weave in
590 yards per cake of yarn which means that two were enough to finish a shawl.
It takes the stress out of matching colors.
Easy to work with.

Cons
Because you cannot not control where the color ends, you might be switching colors in the middle of a row.
I personally wished it had a brighter shade of yellow. The shade that was picked was more of a green yellow then a yellow.

I can easily recommend this yarn and am looking forward to using it again. I am thinking of trying it next possibly in a baby afghan.

Until next time keep those hooks flying.

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Learn to Crochet Amigurumi Online Class

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As I mentioned in another post early last fall, my daughter requested crocheted animals for my grandchildren as gifts. Not really having a lot of experience with this type of crocheting I searched for helpful tips that I knew could help. I wanted to make sure that the animals would withstand children playing with them, in other words I wanted them child proof, yet fun and desirable .

Having received several e-mails on this class, I chose the one from Annie’s Crafts, Learn to Crochet Amigurumi. Once I purchased the class, it was mine to keep and I have access to it now whenever I need. The class instructor is Michele Wilcox.

In this class I crocheted four adorable animals, a pig, a duck, a frog and a fox. The patterns themselves are adorable and the class is marked for beginners.

Pros.

I really loved this class. It was fun and had very clear and easy to follow instructions. The video for the class was very well done. The camera angles were perfect for seeing how to execute the stitches. Thank you very much.

The detail in the clothing is what set the animals apart form other patterns that I have seen. From the pocket on the pigs overhauls to the flower on the fox, I was delighted with details.

There is a pattern for a small afghan that you can make for each animal. I made a matching one with the left over yarn for each one in different colors. So my granddaughters would know which one went with which animals.

Michele Wilcox gave me a lot of little tips and pointers to ensure that my animals would come out nice, and that they would be safe for little hands.

The best part is because each animal require less then a skein of yarn I was able to crochet all four animals with using only my yarn stash.

Cons…

I would highly suggest you watch the video as you crochet and follow the patterns. I found a few areas in the patterns that did not match the video instructions. I opt for video over the written instructions for the pig ears.

The pigs ears were different in the video vs. the written instructions.
The curl on top of the duck was not mentioned in the video

I also wish they had put chapter divisions in the video instructions for each animal. It would have made it easier to go back and rewatch a step I needed more help with.

Conclusion…

If you know someone who would love to know more about crochetings animals, this might be a class you would enjoy. The instructor makes the class enjoyable and is very helpful to show you the tricks to help you have the desired success you may not have considered. The patterns themselves are cute and the children were eager to play with them. I received so many comments from my friends on the animals, that it encouraged me to continue on to the other animals. I would, without hesitation, not have trouble recommending this class.

Until next week, keep those hooks flying.

 

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