Important Update, 10/13/2016: There is a new loop crochet yarn tool available from Leisure Arts that you’ll also want to check out in addition to the tool I’ve reviewed below. While the tool described below is definitely worth knowing about, the newer tool has some advantages; for starters, you can use a wider variety of yarn weights with it (although the Fauxchet tool mentioned below apparently is still the best choice if you wish to work with bulky yarn.) The new tool is also less expensive. I haven’t yet had a chance to work with or review the new tool, but it is on my to-do list to do that soon.
Awhile ago, a representative from Leisure Arts contacted me and asked me if I would like to review a new needlework tool called the “Easyloop yarn tool.” He said it was used for doing a craft technique known as “Fauxchet”.
Curiosity got the better of me, so I took a brief look at some information about the tool and technique. I learned that “Fauxchet” is a close cousin to crochet; it has many similarities and some differences.
Fauxchet apparently is also similar to the technique of naalbinding. In the past, there have been similar tools like the Grant One-Needle Looper, the K-Tel Knitter and the Wonder Needle.
I was intrigued enough to respond and ask for more information.
I emailed, ” What’s the advantage of fauxchet over traditional crochet?”
The response from the Leisure Arts representative:
Advantages of Fauxchet vs Traditional Crochet:
- It can ease hand fatigue (arthritis hands). The tool keeps the gauge/tension.
- Assist with adding embellishments such as pony beads and sequins.
- You can use the rug canvas to make rugs and/or pillows.
I know many of you suffer with arthritis and other issues relating to hand fatigue and repetitive stress, so his answer definitely got my attention. I asked him to send me the tool so I could give it a try.
Long story short, I tried the tool and I think some of you are going to really want to give Fauxchet a try too. I’ve shared more about my experiences with this tool and technique below.
My Product Review of the Easyloop Yarn Tool Used for Fauxchet
Quality of the Easyloop Yarn Tool — The Easyloop yarn tool is a plastic tool with metal “needle eyes”. If you’ve ever done any machine knitting, you’d notice that it looks similar to a machine knitting tool.
The Easyloop tool seems to be of average quality; it’s not remarkably high-quality, and it doesn’t seem like complete junk either.
I’m not a fan of plastic anything, and — with a few exceptions — I generally avoid plastic crochet hooks in favor of metal or bamboo hooks. I’m not the gentlest crocheter, and I do a lot of tugging, yanking and ripping as I work. Plastic hooks don’t generally stand up well to the abuse I give them. I’ve been known to snap plastic crochet hooks in two the first time I’ve used them.
I’m not experienced enough yet with fauxchet to know how well this tool will hold up over time. I’ve just barely tested the Fauxchet technique. So far it seems that it’ll be easier for me to be gentle with this tool than it would be for me to be gentle with my crochet hooks. The tool seems to be of sufficient quality for the task it’s being asked to do. I’ll have to work at it more before I can comment further.
Quality of the Fauxchet Instructions — The makers of the Easyloop tool have made free videos and a free PDF e-book available for customers who purchase the Easyloop tool. Right now I don’t have high-speed Internet access to use for watching videos; I also don’t have enough available memory on my laptop to download ebooks, so I haven’t taken advantage of these things and can’t comment on them. It’s a bummer, because I’m going to need these materials if I want to actually get anywhere with learning the Fauxchet technique — which I would really like to do. It seems to me that Fauxchet would be a worthwhile skill to acquire.
The Easyloop tool comes packaged with a small black and white instruction and pattern booklet. I accidentally ripped mine when I opened the package — so if you buy one of these tools, be warned that you should open the clamshell carefully.
The writing in the booklet is small, and I found it challenging to read. It’s also a challenge to see the details in the photographs; there isn’t enough contrast in the black and white pictures.
Despite these shortcomings, I was able to use the booklet and tool to figure out how to do a chain stitch in Fauxchet. I was really clumsy and awkward at first, but was able to practice enough to smooth out my chain and get it reasonably comparable to the chain I’d make when crocheting traditionally.
My Experiences So Far With Fauxchet and the Easyloop Yarn Tool — I found that the motion used to crochet chain stitches in Fauxchet is much smoother and less taxing than the motion required to crochet chain stitches using the traditional crochet technique.
I’m really excited about the possibilities Fauxchet brings to the table! I’m particularly excited because it’s likely this tool could make it possible for some crafters to continue their needlework even if traditional crochet has become too strenuous.
Important Note: I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice! If you have arthritis or a repetitive stress injury, and you need medical advice, your doctor can give you advice that’s better tailored to your individual needs and situation.
There is a learning curve with this tool and technique, as you’d expect with learning any new craft.
For crafters who do not already know how to crochet, I think Fauxchet is a fantastic possible alternative, especially for those who have issues with their hands getting strained or tired.
For crafters who do already know how to crochet, I think Fauxchet is worth learning if you ever experience tired hands.
Craft Patterns Included in the Beginner’s Fauxchet Booklet:
- Easy Scarf for Beginners
- Bulky, Cozy Scarf for Beginners
Fauxchet Limitations — According to the instructions that come with the Easyloop yarn tool, you’re supposed to work with worsted weight yarn or bulky yarn when you Fauxchet. So if you prefer to work with lighter weight yarns, this tool might not meet your expectations — and you can just forget about trying to make any faux thread crochet projects with this tool.
Another limitation is the availability of patterns. There are bunches of lovely Fauxchet patterns available from the Leisure Arts website. However, compared to the number and quality of traditional crochet patterns available, of course Fauxet falls short. It seems to me that, once you gain some experience with fauxchet, you’ll probably be able to convert some crochet patterns into fauxchet patterns.
Suggested Retail Price of the Easyloop Yarn Tool — $9.99 US dollars
This tool is expensive as compared to comparable crochet hooks. However, the tool’s value isn’t in the plastic and metal that comprise it, but rather in the development of the instructions and techniques that will allow you to spare your hands and wrists from the unnecessary strain that traditional crochet methods exert on them.
Value for the Money Spent — Overall, for those who would value a gentler technique than traditional crochet, I think the Easyloop yarn tool is an excellent value for its asking price. I’m delighted to recommend it to other crafters who typically would choose to crochet with medium or bulky weight yarns. I think it’s well worth both the time and money spent on it, and I’m planning to explore this technique more for my own crafting efforts. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even design some Fauxchet patterns in the future…
Where to Buy the Easyloop Yarn Tool and Fauxchet Patterns:
- Click here to shop for the Fauxchet tool and patterns at the Leisure Arts website. At the time of this review, the Leisure Arts website was the best place I found to buy Fauxchet patterns.
- Click here to shop for the Easyloop Yarn Tool at Amazon. At the time of this review, Amazon.com has the best price I’ve found for the tool. Prices fluctuate often, so it pays to check around.