Craft · My other ramblings

Branching Out-Polymer Clay Crochet Hook Handles

You know when you see something on Pinterest and think ‘that’s a good idea’? Well, that was me a couple of weeks ago. I’d seen polymer clay crochet hook handles and mentioned it to a friend who very kindly gave me some of her polymer clay to play with. I had images of beautiful swirls of colour marbled together when I saw the blue and green together, reminiscent of seeing planet earth from space.

Once I’d got over the excitement I looked at a few videos on YouTube and got cracking. I didn’t use any particular video, more a mash up of several. It was a bit of a brave move to use clay, as apart from a few simple pot demonstrations to children in school, my last forays into using modelling materials were in school. Probably more memorable for my poor art teachers than me, as they attempted to coax out my cack handed modelling skills. We were meant to be making beautiful vases. My ‘vase’ still has pride of place 20 years on as a small bin in my mum’s living room. Anyway, I digress, the point is 3D art isn’t my strong point (neither is 2D for that matter!)

The process of softening the clay was quite therapeutic and, surprisingly, within my limited modelling materials skill set. I rolled 2 sausages, one blue and one green, before twisting them together. I could cope with this bit as it was just like using playdough, and I did that all the time when I taught in EYFS. The next step was chopping up my now twisty sausage and applying it to the chosen hook. Easier said than done, especially when it came to rolling it to make sure it was smooth. As I rolled, the clay separated from the hook and made a sort of floppy collar rather than a tight fitting handle. I removed the clay and started again, still using the same piece of clay. At this point the colours were beginning to just mix rather than marble. (If I was on the Bake Off I’d have been told it was overworked and sent home!) 

If you squint a bit you can see my attempt at marbling!

After a couple of attempts I managed to keep the clay attached to the hook and get it smoothed off. I then used a cocktail stick to write the hook size in dots on my newly created handle as it covered the size on the hook itself. All I had to do now was bake it. The baking process made me a little nervous as there was the potential for all kinds of minor catastrophes-burning it, exploding air bubbles etc. The good news is the hook and the oven survived. I’d done it! I think if I were to say it was about the process rather than the product it would sum it up quite nicely.

I do have some clay left so I might have another go without overworking it so that I get a prettier marbled effect too. I’m really glad I tried it too, I’m also hoping that it will make the hook comfier to hold.

Have you ever used polymer clay? What did you make?

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10 thoughts on “Branching Out-Polymer Clay Crochet Hook Handles

    1. I quite liked mine until I tried an ergonomic one and my crochet speed nearly doubled. I can’t see the point buying every size of ergonomic hook though as the largest sizes are so rarely used. I thought this was a good middle ground. The aluminium ones work really well too though. I think maybe more contrast between colours might be more effective if I try again, the marbling effect might be clearer then. 😊

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  1. Remember you are dealing with a zero crochet skills person here. But, would you be able to mould the clay around the crochet hook, then hold it as you would usually, squeeze a bit and then bake, to get something completely tailored to your hand? Or do you have to twist the hooks a lot? I don’t know. Just a thought!

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    1. I don’t know? But it could be a good experiment as the clay can be smashed off if it is an epic fail! The ergonomic hooks you buy have a far more shaped handle, with a flat part to hold too but I didn’t push my luck this time around. I will report back when I get a chance to explore. 😊

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  2. Hello Mrs. Craft.
    I missed this post and have only just found it, but SO glad that I have.

    Polymer Clay is one of those things that can be a real pain in the rear end when you want it to do something specific – as making a better handle on, in this case, a crochet hook. It’s not you and it’s not the clay.
    It’s just a different way of thinking.

    I’ve used Polymer for years and I know of the problems when you’re trying to mould it to something else. Adding a Polymer handle to a round handle seems such an easy thing to do, and it is. But you have to think like the clay, rather than the clear thinking person you are.

    When you’ve molded the clay onto the handle, and then rolling that clay and hook as one piece … what you have to then do is handle it really carefully and not press down. Just roll. Don’t press or push down on the handle/clay combination.

    You see … you’re used to rolling pastry flat, so you know how much force to put into doing that.

    But … lets say: you were to roll pastry round your rolling pin and try to make it into a thicker pin at the right hand side … if you pushed down on the pastry then the exact same thing would happen – the pastry would come loose from the rolling pin and slip off like some armless jumper.

    It’s the pressing down which is at fault. As you’re rolling, try to remember not to push or press downwards. Just roll to smooth, not to press.

    If you press, what you’re doing, in effect, is rolling out the clay by having the rolling pin on the INSIDE of the tube of clay.

    Am I making any sense here? I wish I could explain it better. Try to just roll, back and forward. Remind yourself that you’re not rolling pastry flat, you’re rolling clay only to make it smoother on the outside, around the handle which is inside the clay.

    You’ve already proven that you CAN do it, because you’ve got photographic evidence! So you’re not a nincompoop, you do get it.

    If you pop to my blog and take a gander down ‘The Magic Wand Department’ link: https://thecobweboriumemporium.wordpress.com/category/the-magic-wand-department/ – you’ll see a small selection of wands. All of those have either a base of wood, or are made onto metal (mostly copper).

    I know how difficult it can be when you’re first starting out with Polymer – but please don’t give up now that you’ve begun. It’s a fantastic medium and you can really make it work for you. Once you’ve tamed it the sky’s the limit!

    Just remember … roll, don’t push or press when making a handle on a handle.
    Sending squidges to your corner from mine ~ Cobs. x

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    1. Thank you for the lovely reply, I shall certainly follow your instructions if I get round to making another one. Thanks for giving me such detail, it makes perfect sense. I was so busy gallivanting I haven’t caught up with all of the replies yet! 😊

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