Years ago, when I first heard the term “locker hook” it took me some web surfing to find out what people are actually talking about. If you are in the same boat, know that you’re not alone AND … that we’re going to fix it with this post. We will also explain what a locker hook has to do with pin loom weaving, and provide some guidance for you to decide whether you need a locker hook or not.
WHAT IS A LOCKER HOOK?
This is what a locker hook looks like … we’ve added a regular crochet hook and a measuring tape to the photo to provide references:
A locker hook looks like a crochet hook, but it has an eye like a needle at the end. Or – you can also say it looks like a weaving needle, but instead of a tip, it has a hook. Your pick.
Traditionally, locker hooks have been used for a special type of rug hooking where you pull yarn or fabric loops through a canvas, and then secure those loops by pulling through a string. Pretty cool, huh? If you’d like to see how it works, just watch the first few seconds of this video (not mine): Locker Hooking in Action on YouTube
WHY A LOCKER HOOK FOR PIN LOOM WEAVING?
Locker hooks may make your crafting time more enjoyable when you work with yarns that are not plain. Let’s start by looking at yarns that are plain. That’s the yarn that most people use most of the time. The photo just shows a few, you get the idea …
The main reason to consider using a locker hook is if you work A LOT with “fuzzy” yarns, some tape yarns, or yarns that split easily or have loops, like boucle. Let’s take a look …
Some tape yarns or other loosely woven yarns will invite the weaving needle to poke through it instead of going under/over. The tip of the locker hook is big enough that it won’t go through the yarn.
When weaving “fuzzy” yarns the different shape of the locker hook will help to more easily catch the core thread of the yarn.
Yarns that split easily or have loops, like boucle, benefit again from the larger tip of the locker hook to not snatch any part of the yarn.
DO I HAVE TO HAVE A LOCKER HOOK?
Nope, you don’t. You can weave all yarns with the hook and needle set that come with the loom kit. If you plan to weave a lot of non-plain yarns, yes, a locker hook might be a good investment.
And then there is personal preference. My daughter, for example, uses the locker hook for all her weaving. I don’t. I weave a lot (duh!), and I’d say that I use the locker hook about 30% of my weaving time.
Lastly, a locker hook may be your better friend when you are air traveling a lot. Since it looks more like a crochet hook than a needle, you may be able to get it onto the plane more easily in your carry-on luggage (no promise made, though).
TROUBLE SHOOTING: THE LOCKER HOOK GETS STUCK!
Because of the eye the end of the locker hook is not round and a little bit bigger than the weaving needle. Depending on how you hold it, it may get stuck when you weave between the nails on your TURTLE Loom. If that happens, just slightly turn the locker hook, and it will slide through easily.
WHERE CAN I GET A LOCKER HOOK?
Locker hooks are not very common, but we have seen them at some (not all) local craft stores. You can also find them online. And we do carry them in our Etsy store: Buy a Locker Hook