A viewer told me recently that she used Clover’s Yarn Guide as a way to keep her tension while crocheting. I was incredibly intrigued since the way I usually keep tension (see the video below) hurts my hand after awhile.
I promptly purchased one and gave it a try.
The Yarn Guide is intended to keep different colored yarns separated for working stranded knitting, but seeing as how I like to repurpose things, I was ready to change this into a tension keeper.
My first try included just laying the yarn through two of the posts and trying to crochet.
As you can see by the picture above, the tension created was… none.I couldn’t even make a stitch this way. I had to figure something else out.
I then realized that I had four posts to work with on my Yarn Guide.
The photo above shows how I hold my tension when I work projects where I need tight stitches. I wrap the yarn three times around my first finger and I get very tight tension and it keeps my fingers from hurting as much (see the video below for more info).
So I thought about wrapping the yarn around the guide for more tension.
Here I laid my yarn (back to front) in between each of the four posts. There was good news and bad news with this revelation.
The good news:
It worked. The yarn kept good tension and the yarn guide helped with my previous problem of having my circulation sometimes cut off with the three finger wrap. Having it wrapped around the plastic kept it loose enough to keep the circulation just fine.
The bad news:
The plastic itself. The wrapping caused the already pinching plastic to pinch even more. So I traded good circulation for annoying pinching.
Then two separate viewers had some good ideas.
1) Wear a band aid around the finger you put the Yarn Guide on with the padded part facing down. This definitely helped, but still not great. If I could create the tension without wrapping the yarn, this would all but eliminate my problem. Insert viewer number 2.
2) Weave the yarn between the posts instead of wrapping. The photo above shows the weave. This created just enough tension that I didn’t need to wrap the yarn.
If you want to try this, make sure the tail is on the left and facing back and the working yarn is on the right coming out the front.
Using the yarn guide as a tension keeper is something I will use in the future. Mostly for projects when my hand becomes tired from my normal tension holding. The pinching was greatly reduced when I didn’t have to wrap the yarn, but was still there. Putting on a band aid every time I need to crochet doesn’t sound too appealing.
Do you have a Yarn Guide? Have you ever tried using it for a tension keeper? Let us know your thoughts or ideas below. Be sure to check out the video below as well. It will show how the Yarn Guide works with different thicknesses of yarn.
If you’ve been following along on the blog, you know that I’ve been lusting after the Clover Amour Crochet Hook . I finally broke down and bought 6 different sizes, and I wanted to share what I’m loving about them and what the jury’s still out about.
1. The Colors
I love colorful things, and having each hook size in it’s own candy colored hue is visually appealing to me. This was the number one reason why I bought these. I usually choose decor items that make me smile (hence my cow taking a shower bath print), so when I can find pretty and practical things it’s like an awesome twofer.
2. The Length
If you notice in the picture above, the Amour hook is slightly longer than the Soft Touch — not only in body length, but in shaft length as well. Having the longer shaft really helps on those stitches where you do multiple yarn overs or keep multiple loops on your hook as you work (ie. my 5 DC bobble).
3. The Hook
The actual hook is of course the most important part of the whole thing. If it doesn’t push through stitches easily and grab yarn without splitting it or get caught on it, nothing else would matter.
When I crochet with the Amour, I can’t tell a difference between it and the Soft Touch. If you like the point and grab of a Soft Touch you will not be dissapointed by the Amour. It slides easily through any yarn and is not too pointy at its tip, so you won’t split yarn easily nor stab yourself when you need to help your hook through a tight spot.
4. The Handle
The elastomer rubber handle is very comfortable to hold. Like the Soft Touch it has a wide base that is easy to hold. I want to say that the little dark brown soft spot on the Soft Touch is the same material the whole Amour hook is made out of, but don’t quote me on it. However, if you’re wondering what the handle feels like, that is what it is closest to.
Jury’s Still Out On
1. The Handle
Yes, I like the feel of it, but I’m worried that the rubber’s texture could change over time. If it is made of the same material as the soft spot on the Soft Touch (say that 5 times fast) then I know that the rubber will hold up because I’ve been crocheting with the Soft Touch for years with no change in it’s texture.
However, with the larger surface area, I don’t know if oils and other crud that comes off of my hands could alter it down the road. I’ll keep you up to date with any changes that show up (if any) as I keep working with them.
2. The End of the Hook Handle
The rubber extends about a half inch past the rigid hook interior of the handle, so you can actually bend the end of the handle.
I worry about this because my kids have an uncanny knack of knowing exactly how to break anything they put their hands on. So I might give them one of the hooks just to see how much bending power they can put to it and see if the end breaks off.
These two last points are of course going to be found out with time, but overall I love these hooks as much as the Soft Touch. The wonderful colors and softness of the handle make them edge above slightly. As long as the the two above concerns don’t ever pan out, then my new go-to hooks (when I inevitably lose one to my hook gremlin) will be the Amour.
I also made up a little video with the comparisons above (and show how bendy the end of the hook is). You can check it out here.
If you’ve been using the Amour please let us know what you think and if you’ve had any problems with the handles.