Hooks are as individual as the rug hooker. I recommend people try before they buy. Every hand is different and different hooks will work for different people. I have several hooks I switch between.
There are three basic types of hooks: a palm hook, a pencil hook, and a bent handled hook. Each one is held differently in the hand.
On top of the types, there are different sizes of hooks: fine, medium, coarse, primitive. I use different hooks for different fibres – a smaller one for fine yarns, and a bigger hook for fabric and stronger fibres. But still keep to a size that easily pulls through the backing.
This brings up shank size. The shank is the piece of metal leading down to the hook. Some hooks have large diameter shanks. These are for primitive hooking and open up the holes in the backing to allow thicker material to be pulled through.
Matching the hook size to your backing is crucial, or you will be catching on the backing every time you pull a loop. Catching on the backing could also be due to using the hook the wrong way. It is best to test hooks with a seasoned rug hooker. Most people who sell hooks are knowledgeable enough to show you the proper way to use them.
Hooks last a long time and many a rug hooker has one of “Grandma’s hooks” in their collection.
Hooks can cost anywhere from $10 and up. I buy my hooks at around the $20-30CAD mark.
This ends my informative blog posts on rug hooking. I invite any rug hookers who can add information to do so in the comments. I’m back to my regular scheduled posts tomorrow. Thanks for reading!