I was moseying around the internet the other day, when I stumbled across something intriguing. An illuminated crochet hook. How wonderful is that?! I ordered one because of my propensity for nocturnal crochet/knitting whilst various members of my household (the toddler twinnage, mostly) snore beside me in the bed. So I thought I’d do a product review, in case you too are tempted by the concept.
So, introducing the Crochet Lite illuminated crochet hook, in this case supposedly a 4.5mm, although more on the sizing issue, later. Here’s the chappie:-
Reasonably cool, no? I paid £5.99 (plus postage) at WoolWarehouse. Now, I can’t offer you any slow, thoughtful ‘unboxing’ (Ugh! When did that become a word?) videos on YouTube, because when the parcel plopped through the letterbox, I shredded its packing within nanoseconds, to get to the treat within. Sorry. So unless you wish to see a photo of cardboard carnage, I have nothing to offer on that front. Folks who produce unboxing videos are patient sorts.
Anyway, having done that, I realized that there was not a lot I could achieve with the hook, because it was broad daylight. Duh.
Enter night-time, stage left. Witness night-time sniffing, scratching, and settling itself down.
So then, it was late. I was sitting up in bed in the dark with yarn and hook. The toddler twinnage snored
outrageously beside me. The stoic spouse was up in the tower strumming his guitar, busy expanding his repertoire of chords from six to seven. (I’m not mocking: he’s been doggedly practising every single night for weeks, and some nights he practises his French, too. I deeply respect him for this, but please don’t let him know that I said something nice about him.)
All was well. I switched on the hook.
Wowsers! That’s properly bright! The light gives the impression of coming from two places – the tip of the hook and its base. It’s plenty bright enough for nocturnal hooking, and it’s plenty bright enough to read a pattern. In fact it stayed bright for a couple of hours before dimming to a slightly calmer level. (Yes, a couple of hours. Sleep? What is this ‘sleep’ concept of which you speak?)
There are some things that I should tell you about this hook. It’s comfortable to hold for long periods. If feels light and well-shaped. The tip is smooth but not especially sharp. And wow, you really can crochet in the dead of night, although you might struggle if you were working on an exceptionally complex lacy design, unless you’ve got another source of light as well.
However, working in the pitch black, crocheting at speed, you get some seriously distracting flickering, as the tip of the hook dashes in and out of your fabric. This is quite annoying, and I think it will be the biggest factor that will stop this hook from becoming my new favourite-gadget-in-the-whole-world. (I should stress that it’s not the light itself that’s flickering, purely the fact that you’re working it in and out and in and out of your crochet.)
By the way, check your gauge when working with these hooks. My 4.5mm hook seemed about the right size, but online reviewers often suggest that the larger hooks in the Crochet Lite range are over-sized.
A lot of people use these hooks to work in dim (but not fully dark) conditions, especially when they’re working with dark-coloured yarn. I tried this too and yes, it is probably better suited for these conditions than it is for my secret midnight hooking. The Crochet Lite is not just a gimmick: it clearly has been thoughtfully designed as a useful tool, and the construction feels solid enough. But it’s definitely best suited to low light, rather than no light. Enjoy.
PS: Apparently, you can buy illuminated knitting needles, too, but I’m convinced they’d be requisitioned by the toddler twinnage for fencing contests. Also, even though I’ve never seen Star Wars, I realize that they’d be just a little too much like lightsabers. Possibly the Jedi like to knit on their days off. (Do Jedi get days off? I had to look up lightsaber on Wikipedia to even find out what sort of characters use them. That’s how little I know. If you came here in search of the Star Wars Aficionado blog, you’ve taken a massive wrong turn. Sorry.)