Etimo crochet hooks! They are a gift to myself for selling a design to a yarn company.
The first thing I noticed was the case. It is so stylish, it looks like a fashion accessory. It has lovely flecks of silver running through the fabric. It also has a nice little magnetic closure.
I got the set of the larger size hooks, sizes"D" through "J" with the addition of a 4.5mm hook. The set also comes with a small pair of Italian made scissors, a 4 1/2" ruler and tapestry needles in two sizes. They also sell a smaller size set that includes sizes 0-14 (8 hooks).
I love the ultra smooth rubber handles. They are firmer than I thought they would be. For some reason, I thought the handle would be slightly squidgy. They are comfortable to hold and are a nice weight. I am thrilled with how the yarn moves so easily on the the hook. It is much smoother than a Boye or Bates hook.
I do like working with them, but they will take some getting used to. I have found that the throat of the hook isn't quite as deep as I would like it to be, so the yarn slips out sometimes. The other thing I have to get used to, is the large handle. I hold my hook with a pencil hold and have found it is a little awkward when I rotate the hook. When I hold it with a knife hold, it is fine. I am just not as comfortable holding the hook that way. I will have to practice with these hooks to find the best way to work with them. I am not ready to use them for designing just yet, but I am determined to make them work for me as they are such nice hooks!
I purchased this set by email from Knitty City in New York, a shop I hope to visit in person one day! The owner, Pearl was very helpful and dispatched the order the next business day. This set cost me $79.95 plus shipping. They also sell the hooks individually if you would like to try one before investing in an entire set.
UPDATE (September 7, 2010): Please see my latest blog post on Etimo hooks for new online availability information.