Top Tech Tips – the perfect crochet circle

November 4, 2013 § 23 Comments

Top tech tips - perfect crochet circles

You know the score. You’ve been making crochet circles the same way since I Don’t Know When, but they are never quite right – the seam, having to smooth out the corners… I’ve been trying to find a way of improving on the basic crochet circle where you close off each round with a slip stitch. This is easy to work and easy to count, but the slip stitch at the end of the round creates a visible seam, and you also need to stagger the increases to stop the ‘corners’ becoming obvious.

The second way of doing it is the spiral. This has the advantage of losing the seam, but it is more tricky to keep track of the stitch count (stitch markers may be needed!), and when you have finished there is a visible ‘step’ at the end which needs smoothing out. It also doesn’t work if you want to work a different colour for each round.

circles-comparison.jpg

What I’ve come up with combines the advantages of working in closed off rounds with those of the spiral:

  • It is easier to count
  • It has a less visible seam,
  • It can be worked in coloured stripes
  • It is a much smoother circle than the traditional ‘closed off’ method.

It has probably been done before at some point, and although I couldn’t find anything like it when I searched, it may be lurking somewhere!

Method

When you work a circle, you will usually have 6 evenly spaced increases in each round, either by putting the increase first and then the required number of plain stitches, or the plain stitches followed by the increase, for example:

Round 4 Ch1 (does not count as stitch), (2dc in next st, 4dc) repeat to end of round.

OR

Round 4 Ch1 (does not count as stitch), (4dc, 2dc in next st) repeat to end of round.

There will be an increase stitch either at the beginning or the end of the round unless you are staggering the increases.

This ‘perfect circle’ method requires the increase stitch to always be the first stitch of the round, but instead of working both of those increase stitches in the first stitch at the same time, you will work one of those stitches at the beginning of the round, complete the round, and then work the second of those increase stitches in the same stitch as the first stitch to close off the round.

I’ve written out the pattern below, and then the walkthrough photographs explain each step in detail.

Pattern

UK terms used throughout.

Make a magic loop or other foundation ring.

Round 1 Ch1, 6dc into the loop, do not close off with a slip stitch.

Round 2 Ch1, 1dc into first st, 2dc into each of next 5 sts, 1dc into same st as first st of round. [12 sts]

Round 3 Ch1, skip first st of last round, (1dc into next st) twice, (2dc in next st, 1dc) 5 times, working the last dc in the beginning ch-1 sp, 1dc into same st as first st of round. [18 sts]

Round 4 Ch1, skip first st of last round, 3dc, (2dc in next st, 2dc) 5 times, working the last dc in the beginning ch-1 sp, 1dc into same st as first st of round. [24 sts]

Round 5 Ch1, skip first st of last round, 4dc, (2dc in next st, 3dc) 5 times, working the last dc in the beginning ch-1 sp, 1dc into same st as first st of round. [30 sts]

Continue in the same fashion, increasing 6 sts evenly every round, splitting the first increase over the beginning and end of the round, and working in the beginning ch-1 sp.

Before fastening off, slip stitch in the next stitch.

Step-by-step

Perfect circle 1

Step 1

Work 6dc into a magic loop as you would do usually for a circle.

Perfect circle 2

Step 2

Ch1, 1dc into first st, 2dc into each of next 5 sts.

Perfect circle 3

 Step 3

You will now have worked 11 stitches out of 12, so work the last dc of the round in the same stitch as the first st of the round to complete it. You will see that what would have been 2dc in the first stitch of a conventional circle has been ‘split’, so that 1 of those 2 dc has been worked at the beginning of the round, and 1 at the end of the round.

Step 4

At this point you will have 12dc worked for the second round, but you may notice that the first stitch of the round is more or less covered up by the last stitch. You will skip this covered first stitch at the beginning of the next round, which will mean that there are only 11 stitches numbered on the photo for the next round. When you ch1 at the start of the next round, it will provide an extra stitch in which to work.

Perfect circle 4

Step 5

This image shows the ch1 and first st of the next round. You will see that there are now 12sts in which to work the next round. The first stitch of this round counts as the first increase stitch, which will be completed at the end of the round. The pattern for this round in a conventional circle is (2dc in next st, 1dc), and as we have already worked what counts as the increase st, work 1dc in the next st, before 2dc in the following stitch. Continue around until the last 4 stitches of the round, and the following image will show where to work the last 4 stitches of the round.

Perfect circle 6

Step 6

The last 4 stitches of the round (marked in red and yet to be worked on the image) will be an increase, a dc worked in the ch1 at the beginning of the round, and a dc in the same stitch as the first dc of the round to complete the increase stitch.

Perfect circle 7

Step 7

This round is now complete.

Things to remember…

If you try and count the stitches once you have finished the round by counting the top ‘bumps’ of the stitches you will always appear to have one less stitch than you should have, but it’s ok – it’s just because the beginning and end stitches aren’t joined that it appears this way. This confused me no end when I was working this out!

If you are fastening off, you can slip stitch in the next stitch. Otherwise continue to work the following rounds as for the pattern of a conventional circle, remembering the following points:

  • Ch1 at the start of the round
  • Split the first increase stitch at the beginning and end of the round
  • The last 2 stitches of each round are 1dc in the beginning ch1 and 1dc in the same stitch as the first stitch of the round
Advertisements

Tagged: , , , , ,

§ 23 Responses to Top Tech Tips – the perfect crochet circle

  • Sharlene says:

    I love the roundness of the circle! Hopefully no more dimples in the crown to accommodate for the pie wedge increases for each round. Let’s see if I’m getting this right . . . for example:

    Step #1: . . . work 6th dc in magic loop. (Omit usual “join with sl st.”)

    Step #2: Ch1, 1dc into first st of previous round, 2dc into each of next 5 sts.

    Step #3: Work 12th dc in the previous round’s first dc, working OVER the beg CH 1 AND IN-BETWEEN the beg CH 1 and first dc?

    If correct, doesn’t working over the ch 1 make the seam a bit more raised/pronounced, as well as the last stitch of each round a bit longer? May be worth it if the round is smoother. No more pointy circles! I’ve given up hope on hats made with dc (my sc) because it just wouldn’t lay like it should or had such a visible seam.

    If I’m understanding correctly, I’m off to see if I can conquer this new technique.

    Thanks,

    crochet spitfire

    • caramedus says:

      Hi Sharlene,
      Good to hear from you!
      Step 1 of your summary is fine. On Step 2, you will also need another dc in the same stitch as the first st of the round, otherwise you will be one stitch short.
      On Step 3, at the end of the round you will work your next-to-last in the beginning ch1 of the round, and the last st is worked in the same stitch as the first st of the round, not between the ch1 and dc as you suggest.
      You’re right, this last stitch is more pronounced, as it is lies almost completely over the first st. You can see this in the photo where I have compared the two circles side by side. It isn’t a completely invisible seam, as I wrote on the photo, I think it is ‘less visible’ than a slip stitch seam, particularly because the ends of the rounds are staggered in a way that the slip stitch seam is not. It’s a ‘half-way house’ between the spiral, where you can’t see a seam at all because there isn’t one, and the circle closed off with a slip stitch.
      It’s a suggestion, and one that you may prefer, or you may not! 🙂
      As regards your comment about hat making, sorry to disappoint you, but this technique was intended for circles only, and not for working in the round in general. It would work for a hat only if you worked top down, so that shaping at top of the hat were increases rather than decreases, and only where there is an increase in the round, as it relies on using the increase stitch over the beginning and the end of the round to join the round. If your hat had any plain rounds without increases, then you would still have to use another method of joining the round. I was aware of this issue while writing the post, but I didn’t want to over-complicate things by providing too much information in the first instance. I may well write a follow-up post, and I will have to get to work on finding some other ways of joining plain rounds when working in the round, won’t I? 😉

      • Sharlene says:

        Thanks for the clarifications. I knew there was something I was missing. (Leave it to me to complicate the most simplest of stitches! *grin*)

        With your clarifications, I have the most beautiful dc round! The best of both worlds — spiral and standard-joined rounds. Great job!!

        Now, I just need to find out how to continue on with my hat once the increase rounds are completed. (Have been trying to recreate a very cute little boy’s hat that will include color changes a little further on. I just need the crown to have a few more rounds — without increases — before I start with the color change rounds. I was hoping this method was the answer to my dilemma.)

        Honestly though, this does make a very beautiful, perfect dc flat circle! Thanks so much. I look forward to any further discoveries you come up with so this method can be used in the hat crown, moving on to plain rounds without increase.

      • caramedus says:

        Good to hear that you managed to sort it out, Sharlene. Yes, I’ll have to get my thinking cap on about plain rounds!

  • Boocoos says:

    This is the exact way my grandmother taught me! She’s long gone and the written patterns just slowly changed to the current methods, so they are long gone too.
    I’d love to have your permission to repost this with link back and credits to you. Please let me know at boocoos@me.com

  • […] Top Tech Tips – the perfect crochet circle (caramedus.com) […]

  • Beate says:

    Reblogged this on Patterns Tried and True and commented:
    Very easy to follow tutorial for making a perfect circle.

  • Beate says:

    Hi Cara. This is what I wrote about you:
    http://patternstriedandtrue.org/contribution-cara-medus-perfect-circle-shaping-amigurumi/

    Please let me know, what you want to have edited, if anything.
    God bless you and thanks again for sharing.

    • caramedus says:

      Very grateful for your post, Beate, and thanks very much for offering to edit, but it is perfect as is. I am glad you to read that you like the nativity. Jesus is a friend of mine too. 🙂 God bless.x

  • iknitiatives says:

    Thank you for this !!

  • […] Top Tech Tips – the perfect crochet circle | Cara Medus […]

  • Alichemade says:

    Reblogged this on Alichemade and commented:
    Parece genial! En breve lo probaremos y ya os enseñaremos el resultado…

  • ely says:

    Me encanta este aporte,pero me cuesta un poco comprender porq el inglés no es mi idioma nativo y hay abreviaturas, voy a seguir intentandooo

  • Beautifully done – what a difference between the two methods!

  • Jane says:

    Thank you for this great clearly written tutorial 🙂

  • […] How to make a perfect crochet circle. […]

  • Becca Rose says:

    Nice! thanks for sharing I will give this a go. I crocheted a rug recently with an increase of 6 each row (with a slightly different method).

    Geek alert: 6 is the magic number for circles as, if you differentiate the equation for the circumference of a circle (C=2πr), i.e. if you want to find out how C (the circumference) changes as we change r (radius) than we get dC/dr=2π which is approximately equal to 6.

    clever stuff huh?

    here is the post if you wanna read more. and thanks again for sharing!
    http://blog.beccarose.co.uk/2013/11/18/corduroy-trousers-rag-rug/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Top Tech Tips – the perfect crochet circle at Cara Medus.

meta

%d bloggers like this: