Understanding your crochet can really help you enjoy your craft and make your projects more exciting to work. One area that this is true is creating a flat circle.
A flat circle is the base of top down hats, of baskets, and even handbags. Stitch height can greatly affect how a pattern will work out in these projects, as the height of the stitches make the circle either smaller or bigger. Another factor is the number of stitches per round.
I have discussed the formula for a perfect fitting hat in previous posts (you can find more about them here), but what if your stitch heights create similar problems as too few or too many stitches? That problem of either cupping or rippling of the fabric.
To determine the results of your fabric it cannot be done within one round. It can be determined over a few rounds, so do not get too hung up if the characteristics of cupping or rippling are slight. If it increases in subsequent rounds you then need to address the issue.
It is Cupping
There are simple fixes. If your fabric is cupping, or pulling upward, adding more stitches will encourage the fabric lay more flat. Another option is to reduce your stitch height, if the stitches are long and there are too few stitches the stitches will pull back on themselves.
It is Wavy
In addition if the fabric is rippling, or wavy, removing stitches or increasing your stitch height, will help create a flat fabric. Short stitches with many grouped together does not create enough space for the fibers of the fabric to have room to rest.
Crochet is a forgiving craft, the exact stitch count may not be vital. It really depends upon the pattern of the stitches created. However if it is a simple one stitch repeat you can usually add or subtract stitches without much concern. I suggest adding or subtracting stitches to resolve the issue, as it is easier to do.
If you are looking for some projects to practice this on, I have several free patterns listed here.