As you all know by now I really enjoy crocheting. It's what I do to relax. A while ago, I tried my hand at amigurumi (the Japanese craft of crocheting small stuffed animals). It took me a little less than an hour to decide that amigurumi wasn't for me and then it took me a bit longer to realize why… it hurts my hands.
The little hooks that you use to crochet in this style are so tiny that you really have to get a good grip on them and I found my hands would cramp up. Let me tell you, there's nothing to stop your crochet momentum like hand pain.
Crocheters often have to deal with hand pain, especially in the midst of big projects that require more intense periods of work. The same repetitive motion can be hard on your fingers, wrists, and hands, often leading to carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, holding small crochet hooks tighly can force your hand into uncomfortable positions that contribute to hand pain.
A few weeks ago, I randomly came across a photo of someone holding a hook covered in what I presumed was polymer clay and I had my “ah-ha” moment – that's what I need to do for my hooks too.
I went to the store and bought a variety of Fimo packages in different colors along with a straight blade for cutting the clay. I rolled and twisted and rolled some more until I had some marbled designs that I was happy with, popped them in the oven and 15 minutes later I had beautiful and practical crochet hooks.
If you're hands hurt from crocheting, I highly suggest this easy modification that will make a world of difference for your hands. Also, don't forget to listen to your body, take breaks and move around – prevention is key to overcoming long term pain.
- Polymer clay in various colors (Sculpy, Premo, Fimo, etc.) *if you just want the functionality without the hassle of mixing colors, you can make things easier by just using one color.
- Straight blade or sharp knife
- Cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Crochet hooks
- Choose 3-5 colors of clay and knead the clay until it's soft and then roll the clay into little logs (I made them about 2″ long).
- Take all the logs and twist them together. Roll on a smooth flat surface.
- Fold over and twist again. Roll on a smooth flat surface. Keep doing this until you're happy with the design. *Be careful not to do it too many times or it will all just turn into one color – likely grey or brown.
- Roll the clay smooth and until it's about the width of a pen and about 4″ long. If you find your piece of clay has gotten too long as you rolled it out just cut off any excess clay so that you have it the correct length.
- Gently take the end of your crochet hook and with a back and forth twisting motion push the hook into the clay. Be patient, it goes in pretty easily as long as it isn't forced quickly. Keep going until you're almost at the end of the clay log.
- Now roll the clay with the hook in it on the smooth surface and taper the end closest to the hook. Feel free to trim a little from the end if it gets too close to the end.
- On the side furthest from the hook, gently tap against your hard surface until it's flattened.
- Ad a small circular piece of white clay to the end. This is where you'll write the hook size with a permanent market or use a stamp to mark the size.
- Place the crochet hook and handle on a cookie sheet that has a layer of parchment paper on it. Cook in the oven at 275 degrees F for 15 minutes (add a few minutes if it's thicker than 1/4″).
- Take out of oven, allow to cool.
Also, if you're new to crocheting and would like to take your crocheting to the next level check out some of my easy crochet patterns: Easy Striped Baby Hat Crochet Pattern, Moss Stitch Beanie Hat Crochet Pattern, the Boyfriend Scarf Crochet Pattern and Simple Shells Light Warp Crochet Pattern