redrosesdz

Holding a Hook - Pencil or Knife Method?

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How do you hold your hook? Like a pencil or like a knife? Does anyone switch between the methods? If yes, why? Does being right or left handed make a difference? 

I'm asking because I always hold my hook like a knife, right-handed. I have tried to hold it like a pencil many times, but I can't y.o. that way. When I read "how to" sites, several say that like a pencil is preferable. I even read that there's a vintage how to book that says overhand, like a knife, should never be done. But, I can't find why one method is better than the other, except for personal comfort. 

Does anyone know why the pencil method was preferred in the past?

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I've read that pencil hold was encouraged long ago because it was 'more lady like'.  Who knows.  I'm a pencil holder, I've tried knife (since I have a few hand issues since I've gotten older, thought it might help to trade off) and my brain just didn't want to let me do that.... I'm with you, whatever works, go for it.

The funny thing is...when I got back into knitting in 2010 (after learning and dropping it 40 years earlier), I suddenly realized as I was binding something off with a crochet hook (since it's the same as a slip stitch, IMO easier with a hook)  I was holding the hook knife/overhand style, same way as I hold the needles.  Huh.

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That's funny that you switch for binding off knitting, but keep your original hold for crocheting. 

I think that the vintage book was called Crochet Etiquette. So, the lady like explanation makes sense. Although I don't get why one looks more lady like than the other. 

I hope more people respond. I find the topic interesting, because of curiosity. I've been trying to remember how my grandmother taught me as a child. All I can remember is the long chains and many granny squares she had me make. As far as I know I'm the only one in the family that she taught.

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It seems to me that I remember an old thread here (not sure if it was this sub-forum) on the same subject years ago, I'll see if I can find it.

edit, there were a bunch of threads, but this is the biggest one I found which I think was the one I was remembering (and has a poll) .  I guess lady like ones ( HA! in my case) are in the minority 

 

Edited by Granny Square
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A subject I always find interesting. My mother and paternal GM used and taught me with the pencil method when crocheting. For relief, they both would switch to the knife method for short periods of time. I on the other hand, am just the opposite, using the knife method as my preferred method. Go figure! My mother being from Austria and my GM American, maybe it was a global preference, again, going with a more feminine appearance??? Also, my cousin's aunt was from Portugal and one of my aunt's by marriage was from Germany. They both used the pencil method.

Edited by ReniC
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Interesting thread! There seems to be as many explanations as to why one way or both works as there were posters in the thread.

What really surprised me was the number of people that took the poll and responded to the thread.

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I hold mine like a pencil, unless I am using a hook above 7, like H and up.  Also if I am using yarn that is bulky and above. 

My Mom taught me the pencil style, yet my sis was always more comfortable with the knife style.  She use to laugh at how I held my hook.  I think that is why I preferred knitting.  She couldn't do it and so I had one up as she never really learned to knit.

I find it fascinating the way people hold their hooks.  Whenever I am at the Dr. or such and someone is crocheting, The first thing I look at is how they hold their hook.

 

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I hold my crochet hook like a pencil

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That is interesting post..:). I really like that explanation : "Pencil- Lady like".  I think that is really funny:). O do long time ago all those woman they had to do many things, some of them were even very weird or even very uncomfortable to look "Lady like" . But, those were the "good old days" LOL. They sure as heck wore not always good or easy on woman.

I hold my hook like a knife. I need to do that to be able to crochet those very tight stitches for my amigurumi.

I came across of many different opinions on that subject: "What is the right way to hold crochet hook"?. Some people strongly believe that there is a right way and wrong way. In my opinion they are just saying that because that is their way! LOL

I believe that there is no right or wrong way to hold that hook. It all depends who prefers what and that is the right way for that individual. What ever works, that is the RIGHT WAY! :hook

Krys

PS: Same think is the right or wrong way how to hold the yarn when crocheting. With that I have to admit, I have seen a VERY weird ways...... on U-Tubes how people do that. In some cases that dos not even make any sense!.  Because they loose a lot of time by "wrapping" that yarn around those fingers and even weaving and on... Just by looking at that, what "they" were doing I was just in disbelieve :eek.

The same goes on: "How to make a Magic Ring.....Unbelievable!. How a such simple& quick task can turn to all of that...??? Just by looking what some people are doing with that it can make a person dizzy. And all of those "extra manuvers" for nothing. Not needed!.

Edited by USpolishgirl

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I hold mine like a knife.  I agree, whatever works.

I was thinking the same thing about holding the yarn; I've seen some interesting ways on you tube.  I wonder how some keep tension with a few of the ways they hold it but if it works for them, good.

 

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I just remembered this...check this out, from a 1847 crochet book (by Eleanor Riego de la Branchadiere.  I'm sure by the year this is out of copyright so OK to post ;)  If you're interested, its in the AntiquePatternLibrary site, if you do a search on the catalog page on "instructions and crochet terms" you'll find it.

 

 

How to hold a crochet hook.png

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I prefer the "pencil" grip, but have used the knife grip when things get too tight.  In my "professional" opinion...(I teach crochet classes...tee hee...) there is no such thing as the "right" or "wrong" way to hold the hook!  Just hold it whichever way is comfortable to you! 

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I could never do anything more than endless chain stitching when I held the crochet hook like a pencil. My mother crocheted that way. When I taught myself to crochet later on I found that the knife method was the most comfortable for me. I found I held the yarn differently by grasping it in my left hand and not weaving or wrapping the yarn around fingers to control tension. Thinking about all this, it occurs to me that this method would be what's comfortable for me now even after the stroke. As everyone else has said: "Whatever works!"

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