Friday, September 18, 2015

Broomstick needles revisited and Noste Auction IS OVER!

Thanks to all bidders and folks who dropped by.  High bidders please consider paying via paypal by clicking on the little orange box in the left hand margin of this page, marked "make a donation".  If you wish to pay otherwise, please email me and we'll discuss arrangements.  Postage in the US will be an additional $3.50 if that's ok.
Thanks again!

Up for bids!!  A kinda new idea for Broomstick Crochet and a large Spalted Aspen Nostepenne.

So I've been interested for years in trying discover new ideas in the field of Crochet.  And this Broomstick Needle is, I think, a step in the right direction.  I inquired of Broomstick crochetiers and researched videos on Broomstick Crochet and found that most have resorted to using Kni##ing Needles as Broomstick Needles.  One very famous and good looking Crochet Designer was heard to say something to the effect that she'd like to throw that needle across the room.  Why?  Well for one thing, Kni##ing Needles have a long tapered point.  To gather a loop on the shaft and set the loop size, the Broomstick Crochetier must first stretch the loop out and poke the needle point through the opening, then slide the captured loop all that distance down the taper till it can be cinched up on the needle shaft.  Slow and cumbersome.  Answer?  A shorter point.  Cinchy.  I also noticed some effort being exerted in poking a hook head under loops gathered on the needle shaft.  A difficult and frustrating task.  Answer?  A patented needle with an access notch (see detail photo) that will permit easy hook access.
So this is the first of possibly many Broomstick Needles to be produced by the folks (me) at Jimbo Hooks.  And it's up for bids!
shaft length 10 inches from shoulder to notch
shaft length including notch (knob to beginning of taper, 11 inches)
overall length knob to tip, 14 inches
shaft diameter about 32mm (1 1/4 inches)
Material is figured Maple, knob is Cherry

Not new but really beautiful spalted Aspen Nostepenne is up for bids.  This is a bit larger version than my usual with about 6 inches of usable shaft, tapering from about an inch to about 7/8 inches. The slight increase in shaft length allows for a larger center pull yarn ball than my previous Nostes.
What's really beautiful about this Noste is the spalted figure in the wood.  Makes me proud that the piece came from the Ranch.
What's totally new in the known universe is an addition of a removable yarn stop flange that should allow build up of more than the usual yarn in the center pull ball.  Screw in the stop before finishing the ball, finish the ball while the stop keeps yarn from falling over the end of the noste, then unscrew the stop when the ball is finished and easily slide the ball from the noste.  The stop can be used also to keep the ball in place on the Noste for storage without worry that the ball will come undone.
Flange is Cherry, knob is BEAUTIFUL Olive Wood.

Bidding rules:  We'll run the auction up until 10pm Pacific Time on Monday Sept 28th.  Please email your bids to me at .

Tying bids will be resolved in favor of the first received.

Please no "Proxy" bids this time, due to a blog hiatus that will happen for a few days.  If we get a tie on highest bid, resolution will be in favor of the first bid received.

I'll not be close by the computer (actually I'm at the Crick whenever possible and there's no internet there ((yay))), but I'll try to post your bids as soon as I can when I get back (building a wood shed... Yahoo!!).

Please increase bids by $5 minimum.

Thanks once again for dropping by!


Broomstick Needle:
Barbara's here with $25
Deborah takes it to $35

Spalted Aspen Nostepenne:
Sherri's here!  $35
Deboran bids $40
Karen bumps it to $50
Diana moves it up to $75

Wednesday, September 09, 2015


Auction is over (Barbara gets the hooks)
and the winner of the ICD hook set is:


Just had to include this link... a celebration of  International Crochet Day, AND a really clever tutorial
crocheted cactus!  Check it out.  Amazing!

International Crochet Day started back, oh, about 8 years ago as a twinkle in Jimbo's eye and has grown leaps and bounds  since.  Still not recognized as a paid holiday and no postal stamps have been dedicated to the event, but Crochetiers all over the globe are coming to know the day as one for celebrating the gentle art of Crochet.  How are YOU going to celebrate?  I'm having a contest and giving away an instructor and student hook!   I made them both the same hook  size (M) but very different lengths so an adult instructor using the big hook will be able to crochet the same pattern with a child student using the baby hook.  The instructor is 8 inches long; the student is 6 inches long.  Fun, eh?  
So to enter the contest simply post a comment here,  or email your comment to me at  All you have to do is say Please enter me.  I'll do the rest.

Since I'm so late in starting the contest, we'll run it a bit past ICD and announce the winner after 10pm Pacific time on September the 16th.  Please only ONE entry per person.
Happy International Crochet Day!!!  Spread the word!


I've been working my poor old arthritic hands to the bone making up a one of a kind set of 9 hooks that I'm guessing is new in the known universe.  A set of  VERY large  hooks, ranging in size from Mongo, the 42mm hunk-o-hook on the far left, to the more standard "N" (10mm) hook on the far right.   Why'd I make such a set?  Uh, well I can't really answer that except to say that that big size hooks are rare in wood and I like to do rare things. 
The really big hooks have tapered cheeks to reduce that "bump" you often experience when sliding a loop on to the shank.  And all but Mongo are carefully crafted of good ole American Maple.  Mongo is made of even gooder ole Deadman Crick Red Fir  (very light weight for the size).  These hooks are just itching to be making BIG, FAST projects and should be a real joy to work with.

To be a bit more specific, the hooks can be identified from left to right as ..

A: Mongo (42mm) 
B: V (25mm)
C: U (20mm)
D: T (16mm)
E:  S (14mm)
F:  Q (13mm)
G:  P (12mm)
H:  O (12mm)
I:   N (10mm)

Bytheway, the auction hooks are in the range of  8 1/2 to 10 inches long.

I'd love to sell this bunch as a set but realize that might be a bit much.  Even so, I'll set a price for the whole bunch at $400. We'll still offer up the individual hooks at auction, and if the total amount bid on the individual hooks add up to more than $400, we'll break up the set.  If the total is under or matches $400, I'll take the $400 offer and sell the set.  How's that? 

Bidding rules:  We'll run the auction up until 10pm on Wednesday, Sept 16th.  Please email your bids to me at .

Tying bids will be resolved in favor of the first received.

I do take "Proxy" bids if you choose to do that as well but if we get a tie on highest proxy bid, resolution will again be in favor of the first bid received, but in this case I'll notify the later bidder of the situation.

I'm not always close by the computer, but I'll try to post your bids as soon as I can.

Please increase bids by $5 minimum.

Let the auction begin!

Offer for the set ($400)

Individual hook bids::


C  Doug starts it off with $40 bid


E  Nellie bids $35


G  Missy goes $30

H  Debbie says $30

I  April bids $30
   Nellie goes $35


   If you know the general location of Jimbo's Front Porch, you may be aware that it's located  in the midst of the largest forest fire in Washington State history.  This half burned Colville National Forest sign is down the road from the Front Porch about 4 miles.  The fire got within 2 miles of the Ranch and was seriously threatening to burn us out.  We were at level 3 evacuation for several days, dozers cut a fire line around the house and crews came in to move combustibles safe distances away.  I placed a sprinkler on the roof , packed up family treasures, evacuated, and prayed for a break but with bleak hope.  We were told several times that there was no hope.  The wind was blowing the flames down our canyon at a frightful pace and we were in the direct path... and then the blessed rain came and the wind died down.  What a relief!!  Jimbo's Front Porch was spared!  The firefighters are amazing and we're all right, at least for now.  None of the three fires that threaten the Ranch are out by any means, and it's said they won't be till snow flies, but they've been slowed by our firefighter heros and mom nature, and I'm finally starting to breathe again.   About 80,000 acres of our forest has burned and more's to come, but it looks like our little place will (knock on wood) be spared.  Whew!!

Friday, June 26, 2015


How to make a Jimbo Hook II

So what we have here is a re-enactment of a set of posts I put together several years ago, as a tutorial for those who would like to try their hand at whittling a crochet hook from a stick.  I'm re-writing the post to and see if maybe I can add a little more here and there and make things a bit more clear. 
Ok here we go....

For any who wonder..."How does Jimbo make a hook?" I decided to show you. Hopefully all will go well and at the end you'll see a finished crochet hook you'll be proud to pass on to future generations.

The first step I didn't show, but would have been one of me sawing a hunk of bush maple from one of the many bushes we have up on the crick. The selection process is grilling... it involves going to the crick, enjoying the scenery, visiting the chipmunks, listing to the wind singing in the trees above, and wandering around (some might say aimlessly) to find a volunteer stick.   Sorry I couldn't show you all that but it woulda taken up too much space.
It'll have to suffice to tell you about how to select a stick.  Lets start with types of wood.  Hardwood is best for hooks, but not all hardwood wants to become a crochet hook.  Certain open grain woods like Oak, Ash, Mahogany aren't so good just because the pores in the wood are large and hard to fill.   It's best to pick a hardwood branch that belonged to, oh, maybe a fruit tree (old growth preferably).  Maple is a wonderful hook wood.
Notice I said branch.  Tree branches are amazing things.  They're made of the same wood as the trunk but the annular rings are far more closely spaced (making them stronger).  Always pick a branch.  Besides trunks are not so easy to saw.
Speaking of saws, I like to use a folding pruning saw.  They're not expensive and I can carry one around in my back pocket.  That way I have both hands free to fend off  the ground when it comes charging up (the ground seems enjoy tripping me much more as I grow older).
If you're going for a stick rather than a store bought wood blank, pick one that is dead and dry and not cracked and that doesn't have a soft pith (the center core of the stick).  I emphasize the dead and dry part.  If you whittle a green stick, it's almost a sure thing that the result will be a bent and or cracked.  Dead and dry.  
If this is your first whittling experience, it's also best not to pick a stick with lots of knots.  Knots are extra hard to whittle.
It's a good idea to pick a stick that is, oh, maybe four to five times the diameter (size) of the hook you want to make.  For example, lets say you want to make an H (5mm); pick a stick that is about 16 - 20mm in diameter.  You'll whittle away all of the hook shank that's not 5mm, and leave the rest to become the handle of your dreams.  Oh, and make it longer than what you anticipate as the finished hook length... that way you have more to hold onto while your whittling.  I like about 9 - 11 inches.  You can always saw off what you don't need.  I long ago figured out that no matter how many times I cut a stick,  if it's too short, it'll still be too short.  Take my word for it.
Picking a hook stick is an adventure.  If you can, pick a stick that has some meaning.  How about a stick from the tree where you and your sweetie smooched?  Or from a tree (like my old apple tree on the ranch) where you used to play as a tike.  Hooks that have meaning like this are more than hooks.  They're reminders of places or people dear to you.
There's probably lots of stuff I've left out up to this point, but I think we're in pretty  good shape for you to move on to the next step so we'll pick up on the old tutorial here with slight modifications here and there...

You've selected a stick and are ready to move on to the next step, roughing out the blank.  I did this, as you see, with my trusty Buck pocket knife, all the while watching for the best grain to show and trying to leave a bit of bark to keep the character of the donor.. bark can be pretty too you know.
But we'll see if it stays. I never know just what the look will be till its all done. Form follows function; so its a bit of a compromise through the course of making the hook to see how much bark can can be left, all the while making a functional hook.
A bit more here about knives.  I'm using a pocket knife in these pictures.  That's ok as long as it's razor sharp.  If you don't know how to sharpen a knife to an ultra sharp edge, there's lots of sites on the internet for that sort of thing.   Better to use a fixed blade carving knife, but absolutely NOT one of those removable blade hobby knives that look kinda like a scalpel.  If you can afford to, buy a detail knife like a Flexcut .  I love these knives and will tell you so even if they're not paying for the plug.

I'll show one more whittling step next before going to sand paper, then to the saw, then whittling again, then sandpaper again, then finishing.


You might have noticed that this hook is really REALLY big. I'm doing that so the steps that I do can be more easily seen. Still, if you're doing a hook for the first time, I think its a good idea not to try for anything under, say, an N. Tiny hooks are a bit more difficult when you're starting and besides if your N doesn't look just right you can always take it down a size or two smaller to remove a little boo-boo. Be careful not to remove too much material.. your hook will look funny if you have to glue shavings back on.

Note to that the first photo shows the tip already shaped. I got a little ahead of myself here. I should have shown a photo of the blank after I whittled the shank to a rough diameter slightly larger than the size desired. You do that first, then shape the tip. That way the tip curvature will be closer to a tangent (remember geometry when the little acorn grew up and noticed "Gee, ah'm a tree"?) (sigh)
Anyways, once a fair length of the shank is shaped as close to circular as you can get can shape the tip. Take it easy. Hold the stick in one hand by its handle, with the point facing away from you. Now use the thumb of that hand to push against the thumb of the hand holding the knife (the knife holding thumb is placed against the back of the blade). Take a chip off the end, turn the blank, take another chip, turn the blank, take another chip... get the picture?
Here's a picture that's repeated later on when I'm discussing throat forming.  The grip and finger/thumb positions are the same for whittling the shank, forming the point, and tapering the throat.  It's a safe, powerful grip for whittling whether it's for crochet hooks or, oh,  a marshmallow stick (something your hook WON'T become, right?). 

Ok, moving on.... Make the shape akin to what you want the pokey end of your hook to look like. "Pokey" I like that.
Next up.. Sanding... or how to loose 10 lbs while making yourself a crochet hook. Get yourself some sandpaper. I like a progression of paper (Norton is good stuff) starting at about a hunnert grit. Later on you'll going through the grits up to 320.
Oh and the sawing part is coming up too. I'm telling you this in case you need to get a saw. Chainsaws are really cool, but for hooks, I like to use a tiny Gyros backsaw that I got at Woodcraft for teeny weenie hooks. I also use a little Japanese "Dozuki" type saw for the larger hook sizes. Both have a reinforcing rib along the back to keep the blade rigid, and both take a very thin "kerf" or cut thickness. Such thin really sharp blades reduce the amount of tear-out (splinters) you'll get at the ends of the cut. Borrow one if you can cause they're expensive. At least $20.
Oh and if you're shopping (or borrowing), consider picking up a small can of polymerized wipe-on oil finish. I use "Minwax Wipe on Poly" and I hear that Woodcraft's General finishes makes an excellent wipe on polymerized oil too. One can ($10-$14)will do a gazillion hooks if you play your cards right. Plus you can use it to re-finish your hook later. Oh, and start looking for some clean white cotton scraps for the finishing steps.


Ok.. so you want to sand off all those purty little knife marks. No better way I know to do it than by hand and sandpaper. I don't like to use really coarse paper so I start with 120 grit, and then move to 220 after I get rid of the whittling evidence. Wisht I could do away with sanding because its tedious and makes me sweat buckets.. but I'm not aware of a better method. I've tried power sanding but you just cant get the smooth curves you need.
Ok so you sand and sand and sand and you end up with what you see above for the first couple inches. I don't bother with the rest of the hook handle right now cause if I screw up the hook there's no point in having a finished handle, eh?.
You didn't loose 10 lbs sanding? Me either. So I exaggerated.

Next up, the exciting part! Sawing the notch!

And now we get down to the nittus grittus, the defining moment. If you do this one wrong, you'll be an embarassment to your whole family and they'll be wearing sacks on their heads to hide their shame.

Ok with such a upbeat peptalk... lets cut the notch. Use that brand new saw you just bought... the one with teeeny teeth... the teeneyer the better.

Check the shape of the stick to see where you want the notch in relation to the rest of the handle. Picture where the grip needs to go. Hold the stick as you will when its a hook. Rotate it in your hand till you find where your hand feels the most comfortable, then spot where the notch HAS to be. In sum..its good to use the natural curvature of the stick rather than try to hack out an un-natural shape after you've cut the notch and cast the die.

Cut the notch at an angle that appeals to you. Don't make it too shallow or it might break. Don't make it too steep or it won't hook yarn. Make it just right. Or for those who insist on being anal, use a protractor and make the notch 42.5 degrees +- .00037 minutes up from a horizontal plane.

And the depth of the cut counts too. Too deep and the hook head's in danger of being easily broken off, too shallow and it won't grab yarn. So I suggest going roughly halfway through the thickness of the hook. Once again for you precision freaks.. measure the hook diameter, divide by half, and stick a piece of tape on your saw exactly that distance from the teeth. When you've completed the cut, remove the tape, wash and wax your saw, wrap it in a lightly oiled cloth and put it back in your saw holder, then go iron your underwear.

Now for the rest of us, and while those other folks are underwear ironing... Go get another box of Band Aids.... MORE WHITTLING COMING UP
See you later.... Right now I have to go get a new supply of head sacks for the family.


I'm showing this picture again cause I'm particular proud of it, and  to show you I'm all thumbs.  I'd have posed for this one sooner, but I had to go get my nails done first. (That was one of those burly logger jokes you know...really. Actually I do my own nails..... with a tar-ahrn n 50 grit sandpaper)

Ok nuff bragging. The steps I'm starting here are best done with your knife gripped as shown and with the thumb of your hook holding hand helping push the knife toward that slit you just cut with your shiny new saw.

Start close to the saw kerf (cut) just as you see me doing in the photo and whittle a teensy little chip. The chip should break off at the kerf and leave you a tiny little ramp. Move the blade back a smidge and take another itsy bitsy slice.. you now have a little bigger ramp and the edge of the hook part is starting to show. You might have to help the chips along by prying a bit. Just don't get carried away and whack the end of the hook off. Thats why i'm showing you this (shhhhhhhhh)totally exclusive ultra seceret Jimbo knife hold. You have MUCH more control of your knife when you use this whittling technique. "What?" you say, "every book on whittling ever written shows that knife hold". "Well just Oh yeah!?" I say back.

Ah but i digress.

Keep shaving and chipping away to enlarge your little angled ramp, making it as smooth as you can, till you finally make the ramp join the very bottom of the saw kerf. You should now have a V shaped notch made. Don't worry about how it looks... you're about to work magic with........ you guessed it....... MORE Sandpaper!!

Next up... melt off another 10 lbs and exfoliate your fingers at the same time!!


NOW! Here's one of the funnest parts, shaping the gullet (us lumberjack hook whittlers like to call it a gullet cause it looks like the gullet of a saw blade).
Take your sandpaper, oh about 120 - 150 grit and roll it up to the size of the gullet you want and start sanding across the V groove you just made. Now here's a little secret just for you. If your sandpaper wants to crack and balks at being formed into a nice smooth rounded surface, apply a strip of duct tape across the back. The tape will hold the paper against splitting. Nifty eh?

Now as you sand.. check both sides of the hook from time to time to make sure you're sanding both sides of the gullet evenly. Then move the paper to an angle so you form a smooth groove leading into the gullet. As you do this, the paper will also start shaping the hook overhang. Ooooooh aint it purty!

When you get the basic shape you want, switch to finer paper; rolled up the same way and keep sanding till its oh so smooth and the shape is just begging to gather some yarn. Also check the sharp edge of the overhang part and very lightly sand it so it isn't too sharp or it'll catch stuff you don't want it to. Make it the shape you want... its YOUR hook you know.

Now look at what you made. Holey cow but its a georgeous thing; a work of art! Isn't it amazing what a smooth and sensual shape you and your little stick just created!?

Congratulate yourself and go have a glass of wine to celebrate, cause the rest is really easy... you're almost done! Heck you could use the hook now if you wanted to.

Next up.... shaping a handle that cuddles with your hand.


This will be a quick post without pictures cause I don't have any to show you.. sorry.
Ok, lets do the crochet hook grip of your dreams. This can also be a really fun thing, and I imagine a REALLY fun thing since you have your own hand as a model. I have a disadvantage here since my custom hooks are made from photos of the customer's hand holding a hook. You have the real thing!

So what you do is hold the hook as you would while crocheting. Heck, you might as well do a bit of a chain or something just to make sure you're holding the hook as you'd like. But pay close attention first to the location of your thumb and whichever finger you use to grip the hook. It makes a big difference how you make the grip, depending on whether you're a toothbrush gripper or a pencil gripper. Smart folks call these overhand and underhand grips but I've found those terms can be confusing.

Now if you have a helper, you can trace your grip on the handle with a pencil or you can simply eyeball landmarks on the hook where you'd like to make a special shape.

The thumb and finger indentations should go first. And, mind you, you don't have to do both. You can do just the thumb, or just a forefinger indent or both. However you do it, take it easy and start by whittling a small dent in the wood, try the grip, whittle some more, etc. Then sand. Try the grip again and note where the rest of your hand touches the grip. If you've a big hook like the monster i'm using as a model here, you might like a little "dogleg" on the end for you to use in pulling thread or rag for rugs.

Take your time, whittling and sanding till you have shaped a grip to die for. OOOOO we'er sooo close to being finished!  What an adventure eh?
Now when I first started making hooks, my thought was to not use any finish whatsoever. That way the hook would develop its own patina by way of the user's hands and the yarn being used. The finish would be a true mark of the owner. I still like the idea. It'd be a great thing to do for your decendents, because they'd be able to pick the hook up and know that your hands and your yarn made this hook the wonder that it is. Plus, since I smoothed the hooks to a velvety smoothness anyway, I figured they'd work just fine. And they did.
But practicality creeeps in. So I started waxing my hooks to protect against moisture and such. Treewax did fine, as did beeswax. Just apply coatings liberally and rub it in, hard. Of the two waxes, I'm finding that if you want to wax, I'd suggest beeswax, just because the stuff I have smells like honey. mmmmmm  With beeswax, you can make a hook that'll have you hankering for a little peanutbutter and honey sammich... but I digress again. So... wax (paste) can work .. just rub it in; let it set a spell, and rub it off. Might as well burn a couple hundred calories while you're at it eh (ie, rub hard, real hard)
A caveat here about wax.  Some waxes might leave a finish that squeeks against yarn.  Lots of crochetiers don't like to hear their yarn sound like a poorly tuned fiddle.  So if that's a concern, move on to a harder, oil based finish.
I much prefer to use poly-oil type finishes over wax. General Finishes makes a really good one in a can with a paint can style lid so you can dip the hook easily. Others like Minwax make theirs in a can with a screw or pop-top that will let you dip too, if the hook's not too big around. Anyways, the idea is to get a good generous amount of finish applied to the hook, either by dipping or applying the oil to a cotton rag (be sure NOT to wad it up and throw it away when you're done... this stuff can start a fire just from spontaneous combustion.  So leave the oil soaked rag open and well exposed to air when you're done).
Rub the oil in, hard.... very hard. Make the wood heat up from friction cause you're rubbing so hard. Get ALL the hook including the tip and gullet especially. Rub till the finish is barely tacky, then set it down to dry. It won't take long to dry... maybe oh an hour max. Now pick it up again and rub the beegeebers out of it again this time with a clean rag.. no more finish. You can consider the hook done, or if its a softer wood, or if you are one who irons your underwear, you might want to do more coats just like you did this one... just be sure the first coat is bone dry when you go to apply the second coat.  Then be sure the second coat is dry before you apply the third coat and so on.  Rub rub rub between  every coat. 
So you've just made yourself a beauty of a hook that is now an heirloom to be passed on from generation to generation.... or to be eaten by the dog, or whatever. No matter what happens YOU did it and you should be proud. Imagine the wonderous things your very personal hook will make.
Please send me pictures of your hook, and what marvelous things you've made with it.
Thanks for your patience.

Uh, It occurs to me that I've putting alot of time into this thing and that some unscrupulous copier might take advantage and copy it for their own unscrupulous reasons. So this is a notice to unscrupulous copiers... this stuff is subject to and I am exercising my Copyright to all materials in this blog that are subject to Copyright under any applicable law. Also, if someone would like to publish this... I can be bought.  Not to say you can't link this post.  I welcome that but please don't copy without permission.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


This auction is over!! Thanks so much to all who visited and bid.  Winning bidders please consider using the little orange box marked "make a donation" to use paypal.  Payment in other media is totally acceptable; simply notify me by email if you wish to make payment by another method.  Thanks again for dropping by!  Another auction is in the wings and will be up soon.
Have a great week end!

Been away but not from hook making.... and here's the proof.  A veritable plethora of hooks... that is to say if 6 hooks and a Nostepenne is a plethora.

So lets not shilly shally around and get right to the point.  Starting from the left in the group of hooks nestled in that beautifully figured Maple bowl (a birthday present I made for my Sweetie), we have Hook #1

Hook #1 is made, I think, of Honduran Rosewood, a really hard wood that lends itself well to smaller size hooks.  This one's an "F" (3.75mm) size and is 19cm (7.5 inches) long.  A caveat.  This hook might already be sold.  If the buyer decides yes, I'll pull it from the auction.  If no, it will be up for bids.  AND it just sold!  Hook #1 is going to Australia!

Hook #2 is another Rosewood (not sure what country though) hook that's a real beauty.  This is one of those hooks that fetches comments from buyers, like "Oh my goodness!  The hook is even more beautiful than it is in your picture!".  Think of Black Walnut on steroids.  Oops, I'm shilly shallying.  Focus Jimbo.  Ok it's a K (6.5mm) and is 7.5 inches long).

Hook #3 is another one of those amazing spalted apple hooks that defies description.  You get a very basic ides of the grain variation in the picture.  Get it in your  hands and you'll be mesmerized (well I was).  If you'd like to read more about the very same log this hook issued from, go a couple posts below this one and read about the spalted apple cousin (hook #5 in that post).  Same goes for this hook only this one has even more grain and color variation.  Beautiful, interesting, mysterious, it'll be the talk of your crochet club.  It's an "L" (8mm) and is 7.75 inches long.

Hook #4 is a drop dead beautiful Cocobolo "O" (11mm) hook.  The beauty of this wood belies it's dangerous propensity on the lathe.  The shavings get in my skin and I have a rash and itch for days.  But for you?  I'd itch for weeks!  Very near the peak of the exotic woods as far as beauty goes, Cocobolo makes durable, heavy, very hard hooks that will last several lifetimes.   Oh yeah, the hook is 8 inches of elegance.

Hook #5 is about as rare as the spalted Apple hook in terms of what's been available for me to convert from stick to hook.  This is a "flamewood" hook, a very deep redish purple that doesn't pick up well in the picture but that is just amazing.  It has a very subtle "quilting" in it's grain structure that's sure to amaze you, and if looks aren't good enough, the finish is so smooth you'll have a real hard time putting it down.  Rare hook, rare size.  It's a 5.75mm, or midway between an I and a J.  Length is 7.75 inches.  Flamewood!  I doubt it'll burn your yarn though.... way too smooth.

Hook #6 is one of my new stand up Egg Hooks.  This beauty is made of Canary wood and chatoyance is it's middle name.  I have an affinity for chatoyant wood... maybe because I was always fascinated by those "Cracker Jack" prize cards that would show two different pictures depending on how you held it to the light. This hook you hold one way you see one grain pattern and held another way you see another... but the beauty is in the visible transition from one to the other.  Hookwise it's a dandy too.  Very comfortable to hold.  I'd say this style hook is near to if not at the top of ergonomic crochet hooks for those who have a overhand grip.  It's a "H" and stands 5.5 inches tall.

#7 Now we move on to the Nostepenne.  We all know what a Nostepenne is, right?  Well if you don't, Google and YouTube are eager to teach you.  Basically it's a hand held yarn winder that allows you to wind a center pull ball of yarn from one of those pesky unwound skeins.  And if you'll trust me, I'll tell you this Noste is made of Cherry.  I know I know it's hard to see cherry color in the picture.  Heck it's hard to see it in real life but thats what it is.  It was a gift many years ago from a good friend who was making a solid cherry spiral staircase.  He gave me this beautiful scrap of Cherry and said "Here Jimbo, make something of this".  Well Scottie, here it is.    A Noste that's unbelievably smooth, pretty and functional!  It's 9.25 inches long; the working shank is 5" long (meaning you should be able to make an almost 5 inch diameter ball cause you need to leave a smidge of space at the small end); and the diameter at the small end is .875 inches.

Hook #8 is something totally unique in all of  Crochetdom, perhaps in the known Universe..... a Nesting Egg Hook.  Need I say more?  I made this hook from a wonderous piece of Apricot and when it was ready to be parted from the blank I was turning, I noticed that the most beautiful part of the wood was being left behind.  So I thought, "Jimbo, why can't you make a little stand for that egg hook to nest in?" (I talk to myself more these days).  Well I listened, and you see the result.  Because both pieces were born of the same stick, you can actually match the grain from one to another... not that that's an important thing, but actually is a pretty nice touch in my estimation.  Actually this little combination has been sitting on my desk for more than a month as eye candy.  It's just that purty.  It's a H (5mm) and is 6 inches long.  Be high bidder on the Egg Hook and I'll throw in the nest.

There we have it!  Lots to look at, eh?

Bidding rules:  We'll run the auction up until 10pm Pacific Time on Thursday, June 25th.  Please email your bids to me at .

Tying bids will be resolved in favor of the first received.

I do take "Proxy" bids if you choose to do that as well but if we get a tie on highest proxy bid, resolution will again be in favor of the first bid received, but in this case I'll notify the later bidder of the situation.

I'm not always close by the computer (actually I'm at the Crick whenever possible and there's no internet there ((yay))), but I'll try to post your bids as soon as I can.

Please increase bids by $5 minimum.

Let the auction begin!


Hook #1(sold)

Hook #2
Cathy bids $30
Barbara goes $55

Hook #3
Barbara with $35

Hook #4
Carla goes for Cocobolo...$35
Barbara bids it up to $55

Hook #5
Niki goes $25
Barbara bumps it to $55

Hook #6
From Mona the Compassionate:
"Don't want hook # 6 to feel left out and unloved: $25.00"
Thanks Mona, I can see that little hook smiling as I type.
Cathy's compassionate too... $30

Nostepenne (#7)
Yvonne goes $25

Hook set #8
Carla likes the nesting Egg Hook and bids $35
Susan H  bumps it up to $40
Susan W. raises to $45
Susan H is right back with $50

And thanks again for dropping by!  I really appreciate your support.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

How to make metal hooks, or why I make wood hooks

In the interest of curiosity, knowing that you are just fascinated by crochet hook  design and construction; I'm sharing some information found during a search of venerable European patents.  The drawings above show how to forge a metal crochet hook.  I didn't translate the description, but as you can see, it's pretty evident from the drawings how it works.  I'll embellish a little just cause that's what I do.
So to make a metal hook you must have:

A source of high temp heat such as a coal fired forge or at least a propane fired torch;

A blank of malleable metal such as, oh, steel*, brass, silver, gold (twould be nice, eh?) that is a bit larger than the diameter of the hook you'd like to make;

*steel requires high temperature so I'd stick with the softer albeit heavier metals.

An anvil (perhaps a short piece of railroad rail will do);

A small blacksmith hammer.

Now all you do is shape the hook as shown in the drawings.  Cinchy.


I'm sticking to making wood hooks.

If YOU decide to make one, send me a picture and I'll post it here.

Happy Hammering

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Thank you ALL for dropping by!  This auction is over.  High bidders please consider paying by way of paypal, simply by clicking on the little yellow box in the left hand margin labeled "Make a Donation".  Please include $2.50 extra for shipping in your payment. I'll try to get your hook in the mail right away.  If you prefer to pay a different way, please send me an email and we'll figure it out.
Thanks again!!  Another auction will follow shortly.  Meantime please drop by again, I'm cogitating a post on how to make metal hooks (gotta try that sometime).






Yup I've been a busy whittler lately.  Got the old hook making mojo back, I'm happy to say.  Lots of personal stuff's been happening and not all of it so good but making hooks is real therapy for me and here you have some of the results.

Shall we start at the top?  I'm referring to the four exotic beauties at the top of this post.  These are made from various rosewood related hardwoods, all having natural dark coloration and amazing grain beauty.  Lets call the hook at the far left Hook #1 and move to the right.

So Hook #1 is a 7mm beauty, a size that fits neatly between a K and an L.  Beautiful grain, smooooooooth and lightweight for an exotic hardwood.  Lengthwise it's 7 1/2 inches of very nicely figured Rosewood.

Hook #2 is made from one of the most beautiful but hard to work hardwoods in the world, Cocobolo.  Cocobolo is VERY hard and dense with natural oils that like to plug up the grains of sandpaper.  But for all the extra work the wood demands, it pays back in incredible color and grain.  Any hook made of Cocobolo is a real collector's item.  This one is an H (5mm) and is 7 1/2 inches long.

Hook #3 is another beautiful red colored hook, made from a piece of Bloodwood I found in my exotic wood stash.  Bloodwood is a really fine hook wood because of it's strength and durability.  Not one to sneeze at beauty wise either.  Chatoyance is there in abundance, making it a hook you can stare at and wonder at how Mother Nature does such beautiful things.  It's an H (5mm) and is 7 3/4 inches long.

Hook #4 is a cousin of hook #1 (made of the same wood) and was blessed with beautiful grain and color as well.  It's a smaller size (G 4mm) and a bit shorter at 7 1/4 inches long.

Now we move down to the domestics that just might knock your socks off.

Hook #5 (resting on my treasured "Your Cabin in the Woods" book) is honestly one of the most interesting, beautiful, challenging  hooks I've ever made.  It's made from a fallen branch that I found up on the Ranch a few yards from the Front Porch.  I believe it came from a Hazlenut bush.  The bark (and I wish now that I'd taken pictures of the raw wood cause you wouldn't have believed a hook could come from such a sorry looking piece) was pitted all over from the beaks of  yellow belly sapsuckers.  Sapsuckers are not my favorite bird because they can destroy whole young trees.  I'll show you a link so's you can see the bird and what they can do here .  In this case, the bird started what ended up as this amazingly beautifully naturally spalted  beauty.  Not that it didn't take major effort on my part to hold it all together during the making process.  There were times I thought it would just give up and crumble, but as you can see, it held together.  And it held well. It turned out to be one of the smoothest hooks for crochet I've made.   The hook was made  large to begin with because I was afraid the wood would give up on me.  I was wrong, it held nicely, but still I wanted to keep the grain figure at the hook head, which is, oh, incredible to say the least.  And the rest of the spalting in the hook?  Well that's why I took two pictures.  So.... you can see this is a truly one-of-a-kind hook.  It should rate a one of a kind size too, eh?   Ever hear of an "O" size?  I didn't for some time and figured it wasn't made because the letter "O" can easily be confused with the number "0" or some such hook sizing logic.  But there is such a thing as a size "O" (10.5mm) and that is what this hook size is.   7 7/8 inches of wood that thought it could (become a hook), and did.

Hook #6 is a hand carved Tamarack hook that was made from the fallen branch of a Tamarack (Western Larch) tree up on the ranch (and also just a few yards from the Front Porch)  In fact it was carved on the Porch by this old whittler feller (me) between staring sessions at the mountains across the meadow.  Heaven.  Whittling my favorite wood while sitting on the Front Porch up on the Crick on a quiet evening, listening to the Crick in the distance and watching the clouds bump over Hoodoo Mountain across the way.  Don't get much better than that.   I kept the cambium layer on the handle just because I love the color and the artwork that little beetles (not there anymore) carved.  The hook was made from a quartered piece that was split like firewood; so there's a bit of wedge shape on the finger side that I like to hold in the crease of my middle finger (see the bottom picture).  Comfy.  Lightweight.  Beautiful.  Made in the presence of the Crick.
It's roughly an M 9mm in size and is 7 inches long.

There we have it... another set of hooks and they're ready for bidding

Bidding rules:  We'll run the auction up until 10pm on Wednesday, April 29th.  Please email your bids to me at .

Tying bids will be resolved in favor of the first received.

I do take "Proxy" bids if you choose to do that as well but if we get a tie on highest proxy bid, resolution will again be in favor of the first bid received, but in this case I'll notify the later bidder of the situation.

I'm not always close by the computer, but I'll try to post your bids as soon as I can.

Please increase bids by $5 minimum.

Let the auction begin!


Hook #1
Barbara goes $45

Hook #2
Mona bids $25
Barbara with $45
Mona's back with $50
Barbara raises it to $60

Hook #3
Mona again with $25
Barbara here with $45

Hook #4
Mona once more: $25
Barbara does $50
Mona raises to $55
Barbara goes to $60

Hook #5
Carla bids $50
Barbara bumps it up to $60

Hook #6
Cathy goes $25
Nicola bids $30
Cathy ups it to $35
Nicola counters with $40
Cathy responds with $45

Monday, April 13, 2015

Clever Crochet Tool I just found....

So of course I had to make one.....

Ever see anything like this??  Might be kind of fun.  Should I put it up for bids???
Let me know your thoughts if you've a notion.  Meanwhile the April Auction / Hook giveaway continues on in the post below this one.  AND another auction's coming soon.   Hooooo Eeeeee!

just found out this tool was produced by Ktel (remember those Ktel adds on TV?)  Fascinating.  See a youtube link to the add here....
The add makes it all look so easy.  I bet that's not quite the case though.  Whadaya think?