Thursday, September 2, 2010

Crochet Thimble

Who needs a crochet thimble?

Thread crochet and bead crochet often require keeping a very consistent and tight tension. It may be hard on the finger over which the crochet thread that's being worked up in the crochet piece goes. For me it's my left index finger. It may go numb, cold, and may get an unpleasant sensation after some time spent crocheting, which comes from the thread being constantly pulled and rubbed over it, especially if it's a non-stretchy stiffer thread, like nylon. Sounds familiar? The solution I found is quite simple. I devised a thimble to protect my finger. Now I can work longer and with comfort. It may feel awkward at first, but after a while you'll get used to it and the thimble will shape and "get used" to your finger. I whipped up mine on the spot rather quickly, feeling frustrated with all the unpleasant sensations, thinking I wouldn't be able to continue working and designing if didn't find a solution. And I did.

You will need a small piece of thin flexible leather that will form a tube and cover the "work area" of your finger. The tube should slide on your finger, it shouldn't be loose or tight, but it should have a snug fit. Remember, leather is stretchy and it will stretch a little with use. You may need to experiment a little until you find the right fit, use paper for figuring out a pattern, if that's more convenient. Generally the tube will be narrower at your finger tip and a little wider at the second joint. The "work area" should cover most of the finger nail (not counting a grown part of the nail) and come up to your second knuckle, but not over it, it shouldn’t get into the joint when you slightly flex your finger. The leather piece of my thimble is about 1 5/16” long. Allow no more than 1/8” on each of the two sides of the leather piece that will form a side seam of the tube. You don’t need any seam allowance at the open sides of the tube. Punch small holes (no larger than 1/16”) on all four sides, for the side seam punch holes on the seam lines and , this is important, opposite each other. If you don’t have a leather punch, a 1/16” single hole craft/paper punch will do the job.

Using crochet cotton No 10, a steel hook No. 8, and single crochet stitches, form a tube by crocheting through the holes starting at the side seam and taking the hook through 2 layers of leather (the side seam is on the outside of the thimble); then around an opening through one layer. Now make another row of single crochet (into back loops of previous row) if you are at the fingertip end of the thimble. Tighten your stitches to give the opening a finished look and a rounded form, making the thimble narrower in the area of the fingertip; this will also keep the thimble from sliding too far back. At the other end go around with single crochet stitches into leather holes, then do about 5 rows of double crochet, 1st row into back loops. I did the last row skipping every 2nd or 3rd stitch and making chains instead to make this part more open and flexible. Finish with a row of single crochet. I made 3 increases in 3rd row, adding total of 3 double crochet stitches to widen the thimble and allow comfortable flexing of the knuckle. Experiment with yours and try it on several times during the making to ensure a comfortable custom fit. The crochet part, going over and beyond the knuckle, is necessary for the thimble to not slide off your finger while working, so when you flex your finger slightly it holds the thimble in place pretty well.

By the way if you leave the beginning thread a little longer and start the side seam in the direction of the knuckle part and then do the crochet part of the thimble, I think you can use that thread end to finish the point of the thimble, which will save you from dealing with too many ends, if it makes sense.

Don’t close the thimble at the fingertip end. The opening allows a grown fingernail to happily extend beyond the thimble.

Mine has some imperfections, being a product of an experimental idea and quick work. But I don’t care, it’s comfortable, does its job well, and I am happy with it, it’s an essential part of my tool box. You can make it fancier if you want. So try it. It may make all the difference. Anyways you won’t waste a lot of materials if your 1st try will not succeed. Ask your questions if you have any, I’ll be glad to help. Cause if your finger hurts it’s no fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment