I taught myself how to crochet, so when I first picked up a crochet hook, I simply held it in the most comfortable position. Now I know that this hold is called the Piano "Claw" or Cupped hold. I didn't realize that there were so many different possibilities. And all of them are right. In the Interweave Crochet Spring 2014 issue, Julia Chambers explores six of the most popular crochet hook holds. Julia notes that I probably prefer hooks that have minimal thumb rests and that my wrist can become sore during long periods of crocheting. She is spot on!
Here is an excerpt from her informative article:
Know Your Craft: Know Your Hands
The way we hold our hooks-and the reason we find one hook and handhold more comfortable or effective than another-is determined in part by the shape of our hands, the length of our fingers, and muscle memory development. Our lifestyle affects how we use our hands. Someone who swings a hammer every day will hold and use a crochet hook differently from someone who types all day. By being aware of our strengths and weaknesses, we may even be able to prevent repetitive-motion injuries.
I have short fingers and wide hands with a lot of muscle development from playing piano. When I was a child, I did a lot of hand and finger exercises so I could play an octave, because my fingers were so short. My hand-muscle development likely makes the way I hold and use a hook different from someone else who also has short fingers but does not have the muscle development I do from piano. I prefer long crochet hooks and an underhand hold.
Think about your experience in using your hands, and watch what your hands and fingers do when they use a crochet hook.
The best hold is very individual, reliant on the size of your hands and fingers as well as your muscle memory. If your hook hold works, by all means continue using it. But if you find yourself experiencing pain or strain-in your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, or back-try variations of your favored hold or experiment with another hold altogether. Consider, too, that a particular yarn or required gauge may call for a different hook hold.
-Julia M. Chambers, Interweave Crochet Spring 2014
Interweave Crochet is always full of fascinating and helpful articles on crochet techniques, designing, crochet stitches, and more. Plus you will find innovative and stylish designs to apply all of your new-found knowledge. And now you can carry your new issues with you digitally. Subscribe to Interweave Crochet today and find out for yourself.
P.S. How do you hold your crochet hook?