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First Impression: Ebony Crochet Hook Size H 5.0mm

HenPeckedHooks - Ebony/H

Ebony wood Hand-turned Ebony Ergonomic Crochet Hook Sz H / 5.00 mm

Price: $34

HenPeckedHooks


These are my personal opinions of the blog topic. I purchased the object with my own money and am not receiving any commission from the seller/maker nor am I affiliated with them.


Do you see this gorgeous bit of hand crafted goodness?!?!!

So, how did I come across the need for a hand turned crochet hook? It started with trying to find my 5.0mm hook, which I believe is permanently lost somewhere in the living room. You know, like how the dryer eats socks, pretty sure my living room furniture is in a pact with each other to eat and hide my craft supplies. But I digress.

A few weeks ago my sister and I decided to do a crochet-a-long of this cardigan. And I had purchased a lot of Universal Yarns Cotton Supreme yarn, intending to making a blanket with it. But like with most projects, plans change. And so, I needed to find my 5.0mm crochet hook!

Most of my crochet hooks are from a set of Clovers that I purchased off of Amazon on a whim one day, but for this, since I couldn’t find the hook, I decided to scour etsy for a hand made one to replace it! And that’s how I found HenPeckedHooks. The maker uses interesting natural wood grain details and I couldn’t resist! The hooks are very reasonably priced and they happened to have the size I was looking for ready to ship!

Upon opening the box, I was happily surprised at how little packaging was used. I appreciate a seller who doesn’t over pack, under pack, and recycles packing supplies. In this case, there was a perfect amount of packing for shipping. No excess! The hook arrived at my door in great shape. Thanks USPS! (I’ve gotten some abused boxes through USPS before, never the sellers fault)

The hook came packaged in a neat little box with the company logo and a nice thank you stamped on the underside of the lid. This is definitely a box work having for storage as I don’t think my other hook and needle cases will be able to store this. That said, I did purchase this hand crafted piece because of the large handle on purpose. I crochet holding the tool in my right hand with my wrist rotated flat on top and yarn tensioned with my left hand. When I use hooks with a very small handle, it hurts. Like I can’t crochet longer than maybe half an hour.

Hook in Hand
Hook in Hand

 

I’m not knowledgeable with wood working, but I did notice a light lacquer chemical scent upon opening the package. I’m not worried about that at all. After a few days sitting out, it has off gassed all the weird smells and is only noticeable if I place the piece directly under my nose. The piece is not sticky feeling and the weight is substantial without feeling heavy. It’s a nice solid piece of wood! The size is placed on the bottom of the hook and appears to be chiseled into the wood and not just painted on. I’ll never loose track of what size it is unlike other wood tools I have purchased in the past where the size is printed on the wood and easily rubs off. Looking at you KnitPicks wood DPNs :glare:

Ebony/H
Ebony/H

 

I have been working on the cardigan with my sister using a metal Susan Bates hook I found in my craft stash while I awaited the arrival of this tool, which brings me to the other point I want to talk about. This hook does have a nice rounded tip at the top, but does not have a pointed tip at the hook end and the hook space itself is small.

Hook Angled View
Hook Angled View

 

When it arrived I tried a few half double crochet on my current work in progress and had a difficult time getting the hook through the loops. Granted I am using cotton yarn. Since there is no tip at the hook end it has been difficult to get all the strands of the ply and I end up splitting the yarn. The space in the hook is definitely smaller than a size 4 / Worsted weight gap. So sadly, I haven’t been using it at all for my current project so that the tension and drape would not suddenly be off.

If I were to work a project with this hook I am slightly concerned at what kind of gauge this will produce. 5.0mm size is already fairly large, so if I have to use finer yarns with it because it can’t mange to work between loops, that might be a problem. I will have to actually gauge swatch crochet. :sad-face:

In the future I will be doing a swatch review with it and various yarn weights at a later time.


My overall First Impression rate:
As a Buyer: 5/5
Shipping/Packaging: 5/5
First Impression: 7/10

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Skincare Guide

One of my cousins reached out to be recently to ask for advice about skincare.

My immediate reaction was to ask what her skin type is and what her goals were. Knowing these two things make building a skincare routine to be more effective.

There are a lot of blogs and resources out there explaining the 10 step Korean Skincare routine, these are just my personal notes and preferences.

Starting out: I advised that at the very least she should get a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

And does it matter which one she should spend more money on?

I said cleanser. There should be nothing stopping you from getting this first important step in your skincare routine.

If your facial cleanser and cleansing routine is not good, then all the products you apply afterwards will not be effective and essentially a waste of money. A good cleanser gets the job done. I know there is a lot of fuss out there over PH levels, laurel sulfates, etc., but there are a few things I keep in mind that categorize a cleanser as good in my view:

  1. It does not sting my face
  2. It does not make my face feel super dry
  3. In the process of using it, I don’t make a huge mess in my sink

Now these are just some of the basics and does not include make up removal; I am a believer in the double cleanse for when I wear makeup. There is such a huge variety of water based cleansers out there that there is very much a possibility of finding a great one that is on the budget side. And because of that, there’s no need to settle on something that works just ok.

Moisturizer is the next step in a basic routine. There are some general rules that I go by when incorporating more steps that I also apply to moisturizers:

  1. Less than 20 ingredients
  2. I am ok with more than 20 ingredients when the list is clearly listing various plant extracts
  3. Dimethicone, silicone, or fragrance is not high on the list

The type of moisturizer you choose also depends on the environment you live in. In dryer climates you will likely want to use a cream based moisturizer, where as in the summer humidity you may opt for a gel. There is also the workplace to consider, air conditioning, air movement, going in and out of hot, cold, humid, dry, zones, etc. Knowing where you are going to be for the day can also determine which moisturizer you want to use.

My general rule of thumb: just put some on, your face will thank you.

Sunscreens! Just like facial cleansers there are so many great Asian sunscreens available that sometimes it is really hard to choose just one. Please remember that a bb cream or foundation with spf in it is not a good replacement for this step. In general you should be using a large pea size, 1/4 tsp, amount to cover your face. There are a lot of great youtube videos demonstrating just how much product that is and how cakey your face will look if you try to do that with a color correcting product.

When purchasing a sunscreen you also want to make sure you are reading the spf description: broad spectrum or bust. There are three types of sunscreens: physical/mineral, chemical, and mixed. Usually I opt for mixed when looking for a good daily basic, then after that I go for a physical/mineral type. The 100% chemical type I’m not really a fan of because of the smell and the likelihood of it having unsafe ingredients, which I’ll go into more detail later in this post.

A physical/mineral broad spectrum sunscreen is your best bet for long lasting coverage with minimal side effects. But it is also most likely to give you a white cast and flash back in photos. To combat that, I like to use the mixed type. The mixed type also has the advantage of the chemical sunscreen formulas that are more liquid and easier to spread on my face.

The rest of the 10 step routine:

So there are also the serums, essences, beauty waters, moisturizing toners, acid toners, face masks, sheet masks, blackhead strips, etc. And they are all products for specific purposes. At this point you want to really focus on making sure you are:

  1. Reading product descriptions
  2. Read reviews from other users,
  3. Read ingredient lists
  4. Make sure you are not clashing any product ingredients: don’t use a physical exfoliant and then a chemical exfoliant.
  5. I find it easier to choose one skin issue to fix at a time: redness, pores, blackheads, overall texture, dark spots, brightening, etc.
  6. Especially if you have sensitive or reactive skin, spot test on the back of your neck or somewhere on your upper arms before your face.

Now for the fun parts: once you figure out what ingredients work for you and what combination of products works, you budget can be cut way down because you are no longer spending money on various products to test. And also, my favorite part, all the limited edition packaging! 😀

More Resources:

Reddit: Asian Beauty

Reddit: Asian Beauty New User Guide

Fitty Shades of Snail: How To Guide

Youtube:
The Beauty Breakdown
Gothamista

Other:
Cruelty Free Kitty
Temptalia

 

My Current Favorite Brands:

It’s Skin

Innisfree

Stratia

Tatcha

My Current Routine:

Cleanser: Dr. Jart Micro PH Foam Gel Cleanser

Serum: Stratia Rewind

Moisturizer: Stratia Liquid Gold, Innisfree Cherry Gel Cream