Top Tech Tips – the perfect crochet circle
November 4, 2013 § 23 Comments
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Work 6dc into a magic loop as you would do usually for a circle.
Ch1, 1dc into first st, 2dc into each of next 5 sts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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