I recently saw an article about a woman who knits with her arms instead of knitting needles. I thought it was very interesting and wondered if I could use my right arm as a big ol'crochet hook. I haven't tried it yet, but then that got me thinking about making a crochet hook.
I looked around online and came across Jimbo's Front Porch (http://jimbosfrontporch.blogspot.com/2006/08/hook-in-progress-gone-to-crick-be-back.html
) and his tute for making a crochet hook. Clearly, Jimbo is an experienced whittler, while I'm lucky to not slice off my fingertip when making supper. However, I decided to try it anyway.
Pen for scale, of course!
This is what I started with: a couple of sticks from my front yard. I believe the shorter stick was maple and the longer one was oak. I wanted to have a back up stick, in case one didn't work out, and I was glad to have thought of that. I left them to dry out on my front step for a couple of days.
After I got the bark off, the maple stick was extremely uneven, because the bark had been uneven. After I tossed that one out, I got to work on the oak stick.
I sanded the oak stick with a hand held "mouse" type of sander, with some coarse sandpaper. I don't remember the grit off hand, and I can't go out to the garage to look it up because that part of the garage is off limits to me until after Christmas, per a standing "order" from my husband.
Anyhoo, I sanded off the outer layer of bark instead of using a knife to cut it off, as I did with the maple. This bark was thinner and more brittle, and was probably out in the elements longer. Maybe that's why it was easier to work with. Who knows...I'm not very knowledgeable about wood.
I actually used a box cutter to notch out the hooked end (the "throat" of the hook). This is where I really should have hurt myself, but because I was working slowly, I was fine.
I used a damp paper towel to wipe away the sawdust, and left it to dry overnight in the kitchen. The next night, I sprayed on a couple coats of a clear semi-gloss poly. The instructions on the can said to sand it one more time and then re-coat. So, I hand handed it first and then used a big heavy, workbench-mounted sander in our garage to finish it off.
When everything was done, it was a really pretty blonde wood, very evenly colored. But I wanted to somehow seal it and make it more slick to the touch. I found the stain I used for my bench awhile back (red oak) and rubbed on one layer of it. The wood dramatically changed color, but in a way that didn't make any sense to me. It came out spotted. It didn't matter but I thought it was interesting.
I finished it off with a couple more coats of the semi-gloss poly and now I have a very rustic homemade crochet hook!
This is now the largest crochet hook I own. It's 12 3/4" long. I don't know the size of it, but I do know it's bigger than a Q sized hook.