Love it or Nah : Furls Crochet Hook Review

furls crochet hook review

By now, if you follow any avid crocheter on instagram, then I’m sure you’ve heard of Furls Crochet. If not, then I apologize in advance for all the money you’re about to spend. (hint: a lot, you’re going to spend A LOT) and not just because they are a little pricier than your average crochet hook, but because they are really just that good!

About a month ago, I decided to jump in a purchase a few of furls crochet hooks, mainly because of their ergonomic handles. I was in the thick of market season and holiday prep and my hands and wrists were killing me, so I thought, “Why not?” When furls announced their Streamline hooks, at a much more affordable price than some of their other collections, I jumped at the opportunity. Priced at $17.50 for the rosewood, I couldn’t pass it up.

 

At first, I couldn’t believe how SMOOTH, this hook was. The finish on this hook is so silky smooth and a pleasure to hold. This hook is also incredibly light weight. I wasn’t used to how light it was at first, but after a few minutes of use, it was pretty easy to get used to. I started off by crocheting this simple ribbed beanie to test it out and see how it compared to a regular boye or bates hook that you could find at any Michael’s. Honestly, it slowed me down a bit. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, slow crochet can be nice, but I did find myself having to be more cautious of each stitch. About half way through the hat, I got my rhythm and by the end, I loved it! I noticed that I had no pain in my wrist or hands. By the time I finished this ribbed beanie, Black Friday deals were rolling around and I couldn’t wait to pick a few more styles from them to test out continuity with their hooks.

 

I picked up a black Odyssey hook in the size 3.75mm and another streamline, but this time I got the camwood finish. I loved the rosewood streamline so much and since the camwood is $1.50 less, I wanted to try it out. If I had to pick between the two, I’d definitely go with the rosewood. The camwood hook that I received was not nearly as smooth as the rosewood. Not sure if it was because of the finish of the woods or if it was just a fluke, but it just wasn’t as smooth to the touch. This hook slowed me down even more and I found myself reaching for my rosewood more than the camwood. Since I only purchased one of each hook, I cant speak to the consistency with all other sizes, but seeing as how I prefer the color and touch of the rosewood, I will probably only continue to purchase the rosewood!

 

As for the odyssey, I absolutely LOVE this hook. I cannot stress this enough, YOU NEED A WHOLE SET IN YOUR LIFE! I’ve used the odyssey hook to make these little crochet cactus (pictured above) , and since purchasing, I’ve made about 30, with no pain at all. The best part is, this hook glides through the yarn like butter! The Odyssey hooks come in at about $30 before shipping, but they are worth it! I’m currently saving up for a whole set. This hook was a bit heavier than the others, which I prefer because it helps me keep my tension while crocheting, and the sleek design is a definite plus! It looks and feels so luxurious and makes my average making day feel so fancy. The only downside to the Odyssey line that I noticed, is that the size is not printed on the actual hook. The letter corresponding with the mm size, (ex: 3.75mm = F hook) is printed on the very bottom of the hook. But if you haven’t memorized all the letter sizes, it may be confusing with an entire set. That being said, that won’t discourage me at all from continuing to collect a complete set!

Let’s see how these hooks performed on finished objects!

Crocheted Cactus using Odyssey Hook in 3.75mm

 

Ribbed beanie using the Streamline Rosewood in 5mm

 

Final Thoughts

 

Odyssey- Obviously, if you can’t tell by now, I’m in love and can’t wait to buy more. I wish the design could incorporate the sizing a bit more obviously but it’s nothing I can’t deal with. Definitely will repurchase!

Rosewood Streamline- Finally a fan of this one, and I love that its a wooden hook. Sizing is clearly engraved on the side and it looks stunning in photos. Slows my crocheting down a bit, but will be perfect for those projects that have no deadline where I can sit back, relax and take my time with it! Will take a little bit more getting used to, but I will repurchase!

Camwood Streamline- Not really a fan of this one. While the price tag is definitely the most affordable, I think I would still opt for the rosewood. Not as smooth to the touch and I prefer the darker coloring of the rosewood. Most likely won’t be repurchasing this style.

As for Furls Crochet as a company, I am really impressed with what they are trying to do with the maker community and I think they are very innovative with their designs! They have new products rolling out consistently and I cannot wait to see what they come up with next! Like I said, If you haven’t already checked them out, take the time to do so because you will be so pleased!!

Let me know what you think and if this review was helpful at all! To keep up to date on all my reviews and other posts, you can subscribe here! 

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Instagram: @girlirae

How To Price Your Handmade Items

how to guide on pricing handmade items
The title says it all! How to (accurately) price your handmade items. This has been a really hot topic within the maker community, mainly (that I’ve seen) on instagram. It’s a topic that has been requested by some readers in the past and I thought now would be a perfect time to chime in with my opinion on the matter. While I am at it, please keep in my that these are MY OPINONS, they are not end all facts and they are certainly not laws. At the end of the day, you can price your items however you feel appropriate, but before you do so, you may want to keep some of these questions in mind!

1. Am I aware of my worth?

So, what do I mean by this? Well, it is widely understood that “handmade” to many people, means cheap. When, in fact, that couldn’t be farther from the truth! There is a big difference between giving a discount to close friends or family and just undervaluing yourself to the public. I have spent nearly my entire adult income on pricing my own time. I have almost always been self employed, so trust me when I say, it is hard to confidently price your time and skill at first. You may see it as “asking” for money, but you shouldn’t! You are delivering a quality product that took, time, years of skill and knowledge, materials and lots of care and love. Let’s say, for instance,  that you sell handmade scarves and beanies. This may seem like a simple and easy product for you to make now, but think about how daunting it was when you very first started! It is only easier for you now because of all the time, attention and practice you have put forth to be better and better and provide that excellent quality beanie. There may be millions of people out there that do exactly what you do, but there are also millions that don’t, and that is why your skill is special and unique to you. You should be aware that you are making an awesome product that many people covet!

macrame wall hanging detail close up

This is a detailed photo of a wall hanging I sold for over $200! I knew that all the detail and care that went into this item was well WORTH the price tag, and so did my customer!

 

2. Am I making a profit?

This one should be obvious! Are you making a profit? IF you are actually selling an item that you poured so much hard work into, I would assume that you would at least want to be compensated? Let’s break it down. At the simplest level of pricing you should be including,

1. How much you spent on the materials.

2. How much you’d like to be paid hourly.

3. How much time you spent creating the product.

4. What percentage of markup you want to put on the product.

I’ve heard from makers far too often, “Well, I made back may materials cost, so at least I didn’t lose money.” If you have found yourself saying this at some point in time, I’m sorry, but you did in fact lose money. There is so much that goes into making and selling an item other than just how much you spent on materials. If you sell online, you need to think about how much your website costs you, what processing fees are taken out by your site host. If you’re selling at a market, you most likely have a booth rental fee and setup and prep that goes into it. If you’re real lucky and can somehow sell for free (no overhead charges) then you should still be taking into account that you’re basically “working for free” if you just make back the money you spent on materials. It would be the equivalent to showing up to work, making an item, and going home, unpaid. You didn’t lose any money from it, but you also didn’t make any, so you’re right back where you started. You have to look at it as a business, not a hobby, and once you start taking your business seriously, others will too!

A great, easy and FREE app that I’ve found in the apple app store is the Craft Pricing Calculator App. It includes all 4 elements I mentioned before and gives you a fair pricing for your item. It has the retail profit markup preloaded at 40% since that is standard with most retail markup items. But you can change it to be more or less depending on your preference. (Please don’t make it less though, remember what I said about valuing yourself!)

Here I’ve included a sample pricing (screenshot from the app!) I’ve marked the material cost at $10. Next, is the number of items made from that material, 1. Then, you calculate how much time you spent on it. For the example, I put 2.5 hours, (some may be more or less time, this was just for the example.) Then, the hourly wage. Usually, I price this a little higher, but the for the example, I put at least minimum wage, since that is the very least you should be paid! And finally, the 40% markup. It displays numbers for the wholesale cost, then the retail price, which is the price you should be concerned with! It displayed a total price of $49. If you are thinking that $49 is too much to price a hat or scarf at, then you should really be adjusting the way you view handmade items. This item was not made in a factory by a machine or a robot, it was made with my own two hands and the knowledge I have to create that item! $49 is a fair price for quality and care. AND, the best news is, there are people out there who agree and will absolutely pay that amount for quality products! Now, I’m not saying that all my hats have been priced this much, this is just an example, but it is how you should be valuing your skill, time and expense that was used to create your unique products!

 

3. Are you selling for business or hobby?

The third and final question you should really ask yourself is, why are you selling your product? Is is because you happen to make lots of items from your hobby and want to share it with the public, or are you trying to create a brand and business? If is for the first reason, then you may want to consider gifting your items or “selling for donation”, where you have it known that you create the items and would just like to be compensated for the material costs. Or you can donate your items to charities, shelters or hospitals. There are plenty of places that will gladly take your extra items off your hands and you’d be helping people in the process! If you’re selling to create an income and a business, then you need to have confidence in yourself and your product to know that you are worth it! Always keep in mind the 4 key elements I stated above and mostly have fun! When you love what you do, your work becomes fun and don’t let your profit take away from your joy of creating. Being a maker is a wonderful thing and an incredibly important outlet for us creatives who have the need to make with our hands.

 

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this topic. Did you find this post interesting or informative? Let me know in the comments! On another note, as I stated earlier in the post, this is a really hot topic within the maker community. Some makers on instagram that consistently have great info on the topic are @knitatude and @tlyarncrafts just name a couple.

 

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