Have you ever experienced pain while crocheting? Maybe you’ve been in an afghan-crochet-Netflix-marathon and suddenly found that your wrist and hand was aching from holding the thin crochet hook for too long. The good news is that there are tools you can use that is ergonomic and may help injuries from occurring while you’re crocheting.
In this article we’ll be looking at ergonomic crochet hooks and other tools, and lighting that can be used to create an ergonomic crochet spot where you can work away to your heart’s content. (If you do have an injury already, be sure to see your health care practitioner and stop crocheting for a few days to let your body heal.)
Ergonomic crochet hooks
As this is your main tool for crocheting, having a crochet hook that is comfortable to work with is of the utmost importance. As you can imagine, performing the fine movements that are necessary for crochet multiple times with an uncomfortable or not well-formed tool can soon lead to repetitive strain injuries (RSI).
(To find out which exercises you can do to help prevent RSI, read our article on knitting and crochet exercises.)
What to look for in ergonomic crochet hooks
Ergonomic crochet hooks may all look similar, but as soon as you try some of the different brands of ergonomic hooks, you’ll find that some of them suit your hand size and method of crocheting much better than others.
When you start out to find your perfect ergonomic crochet hook, it’s worth investing in a few different brands at first. For example, get the size hook you work most with from different brands and try make swatches (or dishcloths!) with each.
Once you’ve found the brand that works the best you can then invest in a full set or build your set up as you go along.
The different types of ergonomic crochet hooks
When you have a look around your local yarn shop or online, you’ll see that there are marked differences between different brands’ ergonomic hooks.
For example, some of the crochet hooks, like this Susan Bates Silvalume one, has a long tip and quite a short handle.
On the other hand, the Clover Amour crochet hooks have much longer handles and a shorter tip sticking out from the handle. Knitter’s Pride Waves (sold in some countries as KnitPro) has about the same length of handle and tip than the Clover Amour.
Clover’s Soft Touch ergonomic crochet hooks seem to fall in the sweet spot of length of handle versus length of tip. The handles are also flatter than other brands, which means that some crocheters will hold these more easily than the round ones.
Then there are also the curved-style ergonomic crochet hooks, which have a different grip to them altogether. There is the Addi Swing ergonomic crochet hooks, which is probably the most well-known of the curved ergonomic hooks. However, if you find that the Addi crochet hooks are too thick for your comfort, but you like the curved style, you can have a look at this set from Katech, which is also curved, but doesn’t have such a thick handle.
However, if you would like to use some ergonomic crochet hooks but don’t want to invest in a bunch of new ones if you already have a collection, you can look at the handles which you can buy separately and just affix to your current crochet hooks.
The first of these handles are Susan Bates’ Comfort Cushions for crochet hooks. These rubber handles act like a sheath for your non-ergonomic crochet hooks and can be switched from hook to hook. It’s therefore not necessary to buy a handle for each of your hooks (unless you have a lot of projects going at once).
The second of the handles are specifically made for individuals who suffer from arthritis already and need a more substantial handle to hold. This handle, the Boye Ergonomic Crochet Hook Handle, can also be switched between hooks. It fits from size B (2mm), which means that you’ll still be able to work with crochet thread or lace weight yarn even though you need a larger handle to hold. This handle may also work for individuals with illnesses like EDS and fibromyalgia who struggle with pain in their hands.
Crochet hooks aren’t the only tool to look at when it comes to working ergonomically – you can also look at your notions to make crocheting easier.
Other ergonomic crochet tools
Yarn needles and needle threaders
The first tool we’re going to look at, is yarn needles. It’s not something you often think about (until you need to weave in ends!), but having yarn needles that are suitable and a breeze to work with can be difficult to find.
If you’re always struggling to find the eye of a needle – or find a needle with an eye large enough for yarn – look no further than the Knitter’s Pride Wool Needles set.
This set of three needles don’t have your everyday eyes, but an “eye” consisting of a loop that is large enough to use with yarns of different weights. Perfectly designed for weaving in yarn ends on your work; these Knitter’s Pride needles are a must-have for crocheters. They are also a lot easier to work with at night – or in instances when the light is less than optimal.
If you’re working with tapestry needles, however (for example if you’re working with lace weight yarn or crochet thread) threading your needle is done a lot easier by using a threader. And just look at this beautiful needle threader by Clover.
Ergonomic cushions and pillows
Because the vast majority of us are sitting down when we are crocheting, it’s important to note what your posture is doing while you are crocheting. For example, are you sitting up straight, or are you hunched over your work?
To ensure that you don’t get any injuries from sitting in an incorrect posture for too long, you can make use of ergonomic cushions, like this one by ComfiLife or this one by Restorology for your back.
Many crocheters also find that supporting either one or both arms with pillows (especially when working on large projects) leads to a very comfortable position to work in.
Sitting in a comfortable and ergonomic position is not only important to keep injuries from occurring, but also to help with injuries that you may already have.
Set an alarm or timer on your phone to ensure that you get up and stretch at least every forty minutes. This stretching time is also the perfect time to do your hand exercises to keep injuries from occurring.
Lastly we’ll have a look at the lighting that you need when you’re crocheting. Although good daylight is the best to crochet by, you can also make use of daylight light bulbs to get the same effect in the evening.
Ensure that your workspace is well-lit to keep from getting eye strain or working in a hunched position as you try to see what you’re doing or try to read the pattern that you’re busy with.
Do you have any other tips to keep you crocheting without getting RSI or other injuries? Let us know!