I have been rummaging in the folders on my laptop and found some ideas to add to the "Learn to Crochet Simple Style" course. I will add a few lessons every now and then, trying to dig up some techniques that most crochters use or maybe find some new techniques for me to try!
Today's topic (and tomorrow's topic, because there is going to be a part 2) are the three most common techniques to start circles.
Every technique has its pro's and cons.
I will show you each technique and will list where and how it can be used at its best (or not).
Starting a circle in a closed chain circle
This is my preferred method. Easy and fast. Most patterns will use this method. To make up a circle in which you use single crochet or double crochet most patterns will state: "make 3 chains and make a slip stitch in the first stitch to close the circle". The stitches of the first round are made in the hole of the circle.
Pro: easy to make, can be used for any start
Con: can leave a “hole” (you can close it by weaving in the end a few times in the stitches of the first round and pull it taunt), sometimes there are too many stitches in the first round and you have to cram it into the hole (sometimes a chain 4 circle helps!).
Starting a circle with one chain stitch
If you want a very neat center, you can use one chain to make all the stitches in for the first round. To take an example, chain four, and make 11 double crochets in the fourth chain from the hook. This is a normal first round for a double crochet circle as the first three chains will count as one double crochet stitch.
Pro: this method gives a nice closed center of your circle
Con: it can be hard to fit all the stitches into the same chain stitch
Using the "magic loop" method
When making amigurumi became very popular, a new method of starting a circle came into view (I think it is a japanese method?). With the "magic loop"you make an adjustable ring, put your stitches in and pull it close to get a nice taught, no-hole, circle. It is easier to adjust the stitches with this method, and the hole is nicely closed to avoid polyester filling coming out of your amigurumi.
There are two versions of the "magic loop": the single loop or the double loop. I will show you the double loop.
Pro: you can use any stitch and any number of stitches for this method
Con:I can’t think of a con at the moment, but it is a tricky method to learn. You either love it or hate is what I read online. I think I will try to use it more often!
Here is a nice video on the magic loop:
The next lesson will be covering making circles or crocheting in the round with the different crochet stitches!