In these days of airline security paranoia, some strange things are banned from aircraft carry-on baggage. Some airlines allow crochet hooks, but some don't, and sometimes it depends on the mood of the airport security staff*.
I was invited to an online build day - a bunch of Instructablers got together via a Google Hangout, and this is my build - a quick and easy hack** to help Kitewife do crochet on the move. As well as being allowed on airlines, these shortened hooks are easier to handle in the confined space of economy class, or the passenger seat of a car.
*For example, American Airlines do not allow scissors longer than four inches, or "tools" longer than seven inches [link], which may be interpreted by some officials as "no crochet hooks"). Thanks to Sunshiine for reminding me about this point.
**Lifehack, modification and improvement of the product, all in one quick Make!
Step 1: The Materials
I used an 8mm bamboo hook, and a keyring that came with a charity "trolley token".
The size of the hook isn't important, but you may find thinner hooks trickier to drill without a drill-press.
Step 2: The Make
The actual Make was very quick and simple:
I cut off the hook at a length that was short enough to fit in a purse or pocket, but long enough to still be handled.
I then drilled a hole in the shaft of the hook, trimmed off the corners with a sharp knife, and then filed the edges smooth to prevent snagging on the yarn.
Step 3: Metallica
The day after the bamboo hook had been approved, it was time to add to the range.
A donated 4mm hook became the next to be modified. This one, though, was metal (aluminium, I think), so required slightly different techniques.
I trimmed it to length with a cutting wheel on a rotary tool, rounded it off with a grinding bit, and drilled the hole with a twist bit instead of a wood bit.
The end result, though, works out the same - a shortened hook that can be used on the go.
Step 4: The Hang Out
So, what was the point?
We thought it would be cool, and it was a bit of an experiment to see if it would work. Organising Makers can be a bit like herding cats, sometimes, so we wanted to see if we could all be in the same "place", at the same time, just Making.
It's fun. I recommend it.
It turns out, as well, that the iPod app for Google+ works quite well for this kind of thing. I propped my iPod wherever was most convenient to see what I was doing (mostly on the windowsill of my shed). Other folk were limited by their webcams, so the view they presented went blank quite often, as they went to use a tool that was fixed elsewhere.
If you get the chance to try an online build-session, give it a go.