|Traditional doily pattern in blue coated copper wire.|
|#9, 8, 7 Steel Crochet Hooks|
|detail of hooks|
You can purchase these at any craft store that carries knitting supplies and some big-box retailers. If you already own some hooks, just use those. You don’t need a new set just for metal. I use mine for both metal and thread.
You will also need wire. Most of my finished work is done in fine silver (which is pure silver) but I use copper for samples. I recommend that you start with copper because you will need lots of practice and shouldn’t worry about messing up.
|30 Gauge fine silver and copper wire on spools|
The metal is important, as well. Use copper for crocheting. Brass and sterling silver get hard and brittle as you work and make life difficult. It’s fine if the copper has a color coating on the outside as long as it’s copper on the inside. Look carefully at a cut end for copper color, if you aren’t sure.
Wire is sold in spools and coils. Be sure to get spooled wire. Untangling coiled wire is time consuming and hardens the wire.
I order my 30 gauge copper from Fire Mountain Gems and my fine silver from Rio Grande. The craft stores only seem to carry 32 gauge in my area. Since I am usually working toward a design in silver, I like to use the same gauge in my samples that I will use on the finished piece.
|My handy pocket scribe|
|Scribe detail: notice the taper, it is important|
|Diagonal Wire Cutters (this pair is 14 years old and still cutting!)|
You can get these at any hardware store.
|Long Chain Nose Pliers (also rather old.)|
You can also pick these up at the hardware store.
Handy Little Extras
|The essential tools to get started|
A Few Tips
- Protect your pliers and only use them on non-ferrous metals (no steel!). You want to keep the plier faces nice and smooth. They are definitely not for pulling that evasive nail out of the wall.
- Don’t let your tools get wet. Ever. They will rust and you will be sad.
- Don’t unroll and re-roll your wire or pull on it unnecessarily. The less it moves, the easier it is to work.
- Don’t drop your spool of wire. Aside from the frustrating tangle that inevitably results, this hardens the wire and makes it prone to breaking and difficult to work with.
- Take good care of all of your tools. They are a lifetime investment.
Shopping List and Suppliers
- Steel Crochet Hooks #7, 8, 9 - any craft store that sells knitting supplies
- 30 Gauge Copper Wire (or 32 Gauge) - some craft stores, Fire Mountain Gems
- Pocket Scribe - local hardware store, online
- Diagonal Wire Cutters - hardware store, craft store with the jewelry supplies (pricey and generally lower quality)
- Needle Nose/ Long Chain Nose Pliers - ditto
- Pencil Box - anywhere you can buy school supplies
- Sketchbook - art store, craft store