For this, my first “tips and tricks” post of the Acorn Tree blog, I had to start with the Magic Circle / Magic Ring because it’s by far my most-used trick and is much easier to learn than folks fear.
If you learned to crochet the “old school” way, you probably started out making circles by chaining 3 or 4, joining the chain into a ring with a slip stitch, and working your first round of stitches into that ring (or chaining two and working everything back in the first chain.) This method works perfectly well in most cases, and many crocheters are reluctant to give up the tried and true. I’ve also seen a lot of folks express fear about trying the Magic Circle / Magic Ring because it seems really hard. Others have tried it and given up because their circle came undone. With a bit of practice, though, anyone can add this handy new, tool to their tool belt and bring their crochet skill up to the next level.
So, let’s overcome any lingering fear of this awesome technique and give it a try!
Why the Magic Circle / Magic Ring is so great:
- Get rid of all those obnoxious holes at the top of hats or in the center of items worked in the round. (Note: If you want a hole there for design effect, it’s probably better to stick with the chaining method.)
- No need to guess how many chains to make to ensure that your circle/ring is large enough for the number of stitches you need to work into it. The Magic Circle is customizeable and you can adjust the size as needed.
- It’s actually really easy with just a bit of practice! Trust me, you’ll love it!
How to learn it:
There are numerous tutorials and videos that teach this technique, but here are a few I personally recommend. As you’ll see, there are some small variations in the way each of these ladies begins, but they all lead to the same end result. Watch all three and see which one suits you best (or if you know you’re likely to feel confused by seeing slightly different options, you may want to just pick one and watch it several times till you’ve mastered the technique)…
1) I recommend watching this video first because the lovely Rebecca Langford at Little Monkeys Crochet does a nice job talking about what to do with the tail after you’ve finished your project (something many tutorials don’t explicitly address). I also love how Rebecca goes very slowly and gives great, clear, step-by-step instructions. This example shows dc stitches being worked into the circle.
2) Whenever I’m looking for a tutorial, my first stop is always Moogly because I love Tamara Kelly’s straightforward, professional, cheerful tips for building our skill as crocheters. In this overview, Tamara shows how to use this method with single crochet stitches, which is great for amigurumi projects. Her technique is also slightly different than Rebecca’s and may be a better fit for some of you.
3) Here’s another great overview from a savvy blogger and designer whose work I greatly admire: Lorene Haythorne Eppolite, of Cre8tion Crochet. Lorene’s technique most closely matches my own. I also like how she reminds us that we need to work our stitches over both strands of yarn in the circle and also mentions the importance of weaving in the tail at the end (not just trimming it off.)
But won’t the circle come loose and ruin my project?
Done correctly, the circle/ring is absolutely secure. It’s very important not to simply cut the yarn right at the end of the circle. The tail (the one you pulled on to tighten up the circle) needs to be worked up into the first few stitches or woven in carefully with a yarn needle on the wrong side of the fabric. As long as you remember this crucial last step, you’ll have a tightly-closed circle that will stand the test of time.
Give it a try today and take your projects to the next level!
P.S. Love the little heart in the main picture for this post? B.Hooked Crochet has a great video tutorial on YouTube for making a Magic Circle heart. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/bKuVEmWQ3xw.