3 Ways to Begin a Crochet Circle

There essentially are 3 ways to begin a circle in crochet, and in most cases they can be used interchangeably. Each has its pros and cons, and everyone has a method they prefer.

Creating A Ring Method

In this method you create a chain, usually I find that many chain 4, and then you slip stitch to the first change created to form a ring. Then all the stitches of the first round are worked into this newly created ring, working over the chain.

This method is pretty straight forward, creating a stable base for the stitches to be worked. Yet, it can leave a pretty striking hole in the center of the fabric. It can be tightened up a bit when the ends are woven in, but it adds a bit of bulk, even more then the chain being worked over.

Forming a ring to crochet into, by creating a chain and slip stitching to the first chain created
Forming a ring by slip stitching to the beginning of a length of chain.

Working in the Beginning Chain

I admit this is my usual go to method. To begin this method you determine what the first stitch of the first round is, in most cases it is double crochets (UK-treble crochet). You then chain the number that is typically used when turning rows with this stitch, in double crochet’s case that is a chain 3. Then you add 1 more chain, now all the stitches are worked in the first chain created.

I find this method pretty easy and fast, with a minimal hole in the center, but in reality the base for the stitches is not as stable, because I am placing a lot of stitches into just one chain. It places a lot of pressure on the yarn that creates this one chain.

Begin a crochet circle by working all the stitches in the first chain.
Work all the stitches of Round 1 in the first chain.

Magic Ring, Magic Circle, Magic Loop…Method

There tends to be many names to describe this technique that creates a very tight closure. The best way to describe this approach to someone new to it is “fiddly”. Granted it creates a very nice join point that does not have, really any, hole at all in the center, but it takes a bit of practice to feel comfortable with it.

To work this method there are couple of different approaches, yet the outcome is the same, you work over a loop of yarn. All stitches in the first round are worked over this loop of yarn, and then the end of the loop is pulled to close the loop bringing all the stitches to a tight closure.  

Make the Loop

The approach that I find to be the easiest to do for this method is to wrap yarn around my pointer and middle finger of my yarn tension hand. When wrapping I ensure that the end of the yarn nearest the skein is nearest my palm, with the tail of the yarn nearest my nails. I wrap at least twice around my fingers.

Making the Magic Ring, Magic, circle, magic loop in crochet; how to begin
Wrap yarn around fingers twice, with tail of yarn closest to the nails.

Work the Loop

Then I insert the hook over my fingers and under the yarn, yarn over the yarn from the skein and pull through the yarn on the fingers. At this point I usually remove my fingers, keeping the loop of yarn in at loop state, then chain 1. The chain secures the loop, so now you chain to the height of the stitches being worked in round one, and work all the stitches over loops of yarn.

Magic circle, magic ring, magic loop in crochet to create circles; step 2
Insert the hook, yarn over.
Magic ring, magic circle, magic loop in crochet step 3
Pull through a loop
magic ring, magic loop, magic circle in crochet; step 4
Remove from fingers and chain 1 to secure the loops

Close the Loop

When all the stitches of the round are worked, I then pull the tail of the yarn. Since I work over more than one loop, when pulling the tail it might leave a loop hanging out of the stitches. To remove this loop is simple, I simply begin pulling the hanging loop to tight. It is a bit of juggling to pull the yarn tight when it is wrapped more than once, but I find it gives a bit more of a secure base for the stitches to rest on. Since really, no one wants this loop to become unworked. 

Magic loop, magic ring, magic circle in crochet step 5
Work stitches around loops.
Magic circle, magic loop, magic ring in crochet final step
Pull the tail of the yarn to close the loop

Check out some of my free patterns that begin in the round and practice using these techniques.

Patterns like: Beyond Basics Hat, Cented Flowers, Classic Granny Square, Deborah’s Diamond Square, Festive Julie Ann, Small Empress Ornament, and Spokes Tam

Another Crochet Journey, New Projects, New Inspirations

ScannedImageOne of the things that I really enjoy about crochet is that it has so many possibilities. When I began crocheting I created scarves and Barbie dresses, then I worked afghans….many, many afghans. I really didn’t even begin to make hats for several years as I was a little intimidated with working in the round and the working it straight, I was fine with the flat circle, but the contours of a hat use to intimidate me. I think I may have made my first sweater before my first hat, not much before, but before. When I realized that I was just creating fabric garments became my new go to, (and I include shawls in my garment category, as it took me a long time to place a shawl in my personal wardrobe).


BBD (Baby Brown Dog)

Looking back on my time stitching I can see certain trends, however I never really got into the trend of doilies or toy making. However, I find myself taking inspiration from the work of classic thread doilies and applying it to some of my current designs and at the prompting for some of my crochet students I have been investigating some Amigurumi.

In playing with the techniques used to create toys, I have made up a little puppy. BBD (Baby Brown Dog as it is affectionately referred to in my home), is created with 2 skeins of Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK yarn, so it is really quite soft and cuddly. This stitches used are simply single crochet, with the only challenge being the Magic Loop beginning (that can be substituted if desired with alternative circle beginnings). Simple increases and decrease are worked for the overall shaping. The paws have a little special touch of having nickels added to give a little weight to the legs so that they always want to hang downward (so it can be recognized as a 20¢ puppy).

I may not be someone that creates things like this often, but I will admit, this little dog has gotten to me, and even I enjoy cuddling with it. Sometimes working on things outside your everyday comfort zone can inspire new ideas, BBD already has me things…I wonder where this journey might take me.

If you would like to take a journey with BBD you can find it on Ravelry and Craftsy for only $5.50 US.