There have been some new crochet accessories, gadgets, and other tools on the market lately.  I’ve written about some of them.  However, I still prefer some of the older items that do the same work.  Here’s my Top Five List.  Please add your comments – pro or con – so we’ll all learn more about what’s available to improve our crocheting experience.

color grid color tool

Color Grid from kangaroodyer.com

I think my favorite new tool is the Color Grid that I reviewed here.  I’ve been playing a lot with it recently, finding new ways to combine yarns I already have in my stash.  As I’ve written before, color is not my strong suit.  I know what I like, but it seems to be the same thing over and over again.  With this tool, I’m able to explore a broader range of color choices and see how they will actually work together.  It has all the information a regular Color Wheel has – but more.  The clever way the grid is arranged allows me to know almost instantly how one color will look placed next to another.  This is very useful for me.

stitch markers

stitch markers

These are my favorite stitch markers.  They come in two sizes, with both the aqua and the peach in each bag.  I own a variety of stitch markers but find that these are the ones I always come back to.  They never snag, are very light weight, and can be easily worked with only one hand.  I have a small bag of them in my hook bag that goes with me everywhere.  You can find these Clover Locking Stitch Markers at your LYS as well as at the big box stores.

tulip etimo crochet hook

Tulip Etimo Crochet Hook

I am completely in love with these new Tulip Etimo Crochet Hooks!  They cost a bit more than other aluminum hooks, but they are worth every cent.  At least my carpal tunnel and my thumb think so!  When I crochet with one of these hooks, I have absolutely no pain.  I know how personal a choice a crochet hook is.  Our hands vary in size, our holds vary, some of us have longer or shorter fingers, etc etc etc.  I own or have owned one or more of every brand of hook currently on the market and plenty that are no longer available.  These are the best for me, hands down.  I am deeply saddened that the largest size is a J.  If Tulip would make these in larger sizes, I’d immediately purchase several in every larger size.  Immediately!

Beautiful square from Pinterest

http://pinterest.com/pin/126100858287856027/

For sheer inspiration or crochet dreaming, it’s hard to think of a better site than Pinterest.  I (and you) could spend hours there, just looking and dreaming and wishing and thinking.  This square is one I ran across recently.  While you might not always be able to find the original pattern source when clicking through Pinterest, you will definitely find plenty of inspiration.  I double dog dare you not to!

Urban Shells Crochet Scarf

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/urban-shells/people

Not just for inspiration, but also for pattern definition, help in determining alternative yarn choices, and rethinking how to use a pattern or finished object, I find Ravelry.com to be truly helpful.  Now, when I am contemplating taking on a new project, I am likely to check on ravelry to see who else has  worked up this project, what yarn(s) were used, and what the finished projects look like.  I’ve been able to solve a problem with a pattern simply by looking closely at someone else’s project.  It’s also helpful that many of our trusted crochet designers have a presence there and are willing to respond to inquiries.  I also use the site for inspiration.  Ravelry is also a site to learn what the latest crochet trends are.  Lots of information there and it’s all free!

The Urban Shells scarf pictured here is a pattern I’ve made several times.  In determining what yarn I wanted to use for it, it helped me to see some of the almost 300 versions of it that have been posted on Ravelry.  I was able to quickly and easily get an idea how the pattern would look worked up in a solid color or in one of my favorite variegateds.  Saved me a lot of swatching time, using the yarns I had on hand that I was considering using for the project.

 

 

By jd wolfe




Comments

8 Comments so far

  1. Reba Black on July 5, 2013 5:48 am

    Pinterest and Ravelry are my very fave places to browse through for patterns and usually can barely tear myself away!
    I love the stitch markers you show here and also use them.
    The Tulip Etimo hooks are nice for comfort with the padding, but I like Susan Bates hooks better because the hook end is more pronounced and for that reason, I stick to Bates brand. I’m waiting for Bates to make a nice padded hook!
    Love your patterns, Ms. Wolfe. I have one of your cardigan patterns that is just beautiful! Thanks! Keep up the good work!

  2. Ambar on July 5, 2013 9:22 am

    Is that scarf made by you?

  3. Mosaic Magpie on July 5, 2013 10:14 am

    I have heard of Tulip hooks before, but the price always kept me from purchasing them. If they are as wonderful as you say….the price would be worth no longer having aching hands at the end of a crochet session. Thanks!
    Deb

  4. jd wolfe on July 5, 2013 8:10 pm

    Reba,
    Thanks for the kind words about ‘my’ cardigan pattern. I bet you mean Carol Wolf at Wolf Crochet. So far, I have yet to design a cardigan, although I have posted links to plenty of them. My personal favorite to make is Kim Guzman’s Jiffy Jacket.

    jd

  5. Robyn Boling on July 6, 2013 10:32 am

    JD-
    *I am right there with you on the Etimo issue- I love these hooks, own all of the current sizes and would buy EVERY size from 14 steel to K L M N P Q S!

    *Ravelry….how many hours a day do I spend there? :-)

    *Pinterest=non-caloric eye-candy!

    *A tool I don’t have, but would be useful is a mm caliper. I’d like to able to accurately measure the antique hooks I have as well as the beads in my motley collection.

  6. Sheri *c* on July 7, 2013 8:40 am

    What an odd but an “OOOOO’S! I gotta have it and make it” type spiral (?) Motif! I believe that I have come across the tulip hooks but don’t dare buy! It’ll lead me on a domino effect of getting the complete set! Already, like many of you folks, I have lots of hooks, some left with shelved projects, so I get the same size AGAIN! I did come to find also, that most companies are not exactly “spot on” the circumference, matching another company’s hook(s), thanks to a Susan Bates “Knit-Chek” gauge. I am interested in making a tablecloth for my heirloom round dining room table. I’ll look for one of these hooks & give it a test, knowing that it’ll stay with the project when it gets shelved for awhile. I would hate to “borrow” the hook for another project! (Smile) Thanks! Sheri

  7. Linda Kennedy on July 14, 2013 1:36 am

    Just wondered why there are no pictures for each blog post for the crochet page. They are there on the knitting and sewing ones etc. Or is it me?

  8. jd wolfe on July 14, 2013 7:20 pm

    Linda,
    You don’t see the pictures on my blog??? They are there. I promise!
    jd

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