Tulip Etimo Crochet Hook Review
These hooks, as have many Japanese craft notions, received many accolades and kudos from online hookers, both for their comfortable grip and all around awesomeness. The glowing reviews combined with my crooked carpal tunnel riddled hands motivated me to purchase one to try out.
I quickly discovered however, the most unfortunate thing about these hooks: availability. Trolling ebay and etsy was a must, and became an irritant that brought limited hook size availability, periods of price fluctuations driven by changes in supply and demand and difficulties finding established, reliable sellers. Case in point: I bought my Etimo hook from an etsy store who specialized in Etimo hooks, at a fairly decent price. She didn’t have the size I actually wanted (3.5mm) so I bought a 3.75mm and queried the possibility of getting a 3.5mm. She responded, letting me know she had an order in and would reserve it for me, then two weeks later closed her shop and disappeared forever, never to be heard from again. Your average Etimo sells for around $9 plus shipping, though sets can sell for less per piece if broken down. Due to some of the more unique features of this hook, I would suggest buying one to try before committing to set.
Tulip’s Etimo hook is a middle of the road hook in terms of head shape. It is not the sharp point hook end of a Boye style hook, nor is it a cold, calculated flat angled notch in a cylinder like the inline Susan Bates style hooks, but rather, a happy medium between the two. The top of the head has a nicely pointed angle, great for slipping through loops, especially in tightly worked stitches, but the lip of the hook is fairly smooth and doesn’t snag, split yarn or generally get in the way. The head of the hook is not fatter than the rest of the hook, making it easy to keep stitch tension even. The hook’s handle is ergonomic in the sense that when held, it has a softened rounded shape that fits nicely in your hand. I do find that it can be a bit awkward for a goony “knife” style hook holder like me, however it would likely take very little to get used to it.
The metal portion is aluminum or another light metal alloy, coated with a glossy golden metal finish that is slick and not matte. This finish can become an issue working with certain yarns when working tightly because natural yarns like cotton and most synthetic yarns can get rubby, feel grippy and won’t slide across the surface very much at all because of to too much surface friction. In a struggle reminiscent of putting underpants on while wet, the yarn can even almost squeak as it grips and grinds against the hook surface, making the crocheter exert more effort than necessary. This is similar to the struggles I have experienced with acrylic hooks. I have been happier with matte surface crochet hooks that allowed for yarn sliding smoothly, however to it’s credit, the friction would certainly help cut back on lost stitches and other slippery related problems.
The handle’s texture is a soft, no slip, easy to grip material that feels a lot like silicone. I’m not a huge fan of this as I tend to grasp my hooks securely enough that sweaty mitts or slippage isn’t an issue, and the “no slip” gets me back to thinking about putting on underpants when wet. There are aspects of sliding a hook around easily that allows me to relax and enjoy the crocheting experience, but that isn’t the case with the Etimo hook.
Personal preferences aside, I found the Etimo hook to be impressively well made. It is the only handle/hook combination I have seen where a metal full size hook is encased in a handle. No danger of this hook popping it out of the comfy handle! The materials used were clearly quality and the shape and textures were carefully engineered. Though not my cup of tea and not my most trusted steed, this crochet hook is a quality product worth trying if you have some extra Paypal bucks kicking around and would like to check out options for ergonomic style hooks.