April 24, 2013, 10:36 am
I have to admit, and it seems I am always admitting things on my blog: I am fascinated with sticks. Their usefulness and beauty is inspiring. Yes, you really just heard me say that. Sticks. The things little boys grab and they become swords and scepters in their hands. Sticks have been catching my eye for the last few weeks. Yup. Sticks just like this:
I played with them around the flower garden, and while their usefulness in gardening is fun...
Smooth, rustic, each one is unique. Rescuing them from the lawnmower, the birds and their nests, and good old rot, these four became friends of mine yesterday. I wasn't sure for what, if they had a purpose at all, really. They were just beautiful.
As I held them in my hands, turning them, feeling them, I realized that they were familiar to me. And then I realized- knitting & crochet is where I know you from! Ah, yes, these sticks in particular are crochet hooks in disguise!
I'm going to walk you through this entire lovely process, just incase the sticks in your yard start calling your name. Next thing you know they make friends with your yarn, and you're stuck! You've GOT to rescue them in and make them crochet hooks!
Stick(s) of choice
Carving Knife or pocket knife
Coping Saw (very fine toothed saw)
Fine grit sand paper
First, choose your stick. Keep in mind your desired finished crochet hook size.
Take your carving knife *NOTE: I am not responsible for you! You is responsible for you, so be careful with the knife & learn how to use it first!*
Using sweeping strokes AWAY from your body, strip as much (or little) bark off as you desire.
I really love this stick and wanted to keep some of the bark on the handle.
Second, Cut to desired length with coping saw.
Grasp it in your hand as if you are crocheting. Each stick has its own unique bend, feel it out and choose your length.
Next, take your fine grit sandpaper and use it to smooth the stick. I place my paper on a hard flat surface and rubbed my stick back and forth to get an even smoothing effect.
The results should be a very smooth-to-the-touch surface with no catches. I have knobs and holes in my stick as you can see, but nothing catches on my fingers (think YARN!) when I rub the stick.
Next, take your carving knife and mark where you want the mouth of the actual hook to be, like so.
Then, take your coping saw and- this is where power under control really comes into play- at an acute angle, evenly saw into your beautiful stick. Precision isn't king here, we're just looking for a sharp angle to be the mouth of our hook. Be careful not to eat too deep into the stick, just enough....
Next, use the saw, again, at an angle and eat in the same direction but shallower this time and meet your previous cut.
You will have something that is starting to resemble a crochet hook!
Alternate using your carving knife and sandpaper to smooth any jagged areas of the hook and refine the corners around the mouth of the hook and the top (or head) of the stick.
And actually, carving the head into a pointed shape really should have been done first. By doing it after the mouth of the hook had been sawed away means that it put more stress on the head and had a higher chance of breaking or snapping under the pressure of carving. To minimize this chance, I primarily used the sandpaper to go from the square head of the hook to the pointed head that you see in the pictures above.
The only step left is the varnishing. I chose a spray varnish (I am so not paint brushing varnish into that hook cranny!) and I'm not gonna lie, I haven't varnished mine yet. I might be thinking that it's curing or something, though I'm not. There is more than just crocheting, sticking, and blogs that go on in a day (WHAT?? I know. You 100% of the time bloggers amaze me, really.)
But basically, there you have it, your very own handcarved crochet hook! Knooks, knobs, bark & all. Ready for summer!
What do you think- are sticks beautiful OR WHAT?!
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I totally agree indeed the sticks are the most beautiful. There are many types of sticks not all are pretty and beautiful, I agree. I really do appreciate the entire post share here. All the sticks are quite nicely craved, good post.
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The main stride left is the varnishing. I picked a splash varnish (I am so not paint brushing varnish into that snare corner!) and I'm not going to mislead anybody, I haven't varnished mine yet. I may surmise that it's curing or something, however I'm most certainly not. There is something other than stitching.
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And actually, carving the head into a pointed shape really should have been done first.
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