Beginner crochet projects often consist of squares and rectangles. While blankets and scarves are fun to make at first, you’ll be itching to try something new as you keep practicing crochet. Learn how to crochet in the round so you can try hats, baskets, amigurumi, and any more crochet projects.
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There are many variations to crocheting in the round. Some makers prefer the magic loop while others gravitate toward starting with several chains then joining them with a slip stitch. One pattern may direct you to work in joined rounds while another has directions for a spiral with no joining.
Instead of confusing you with every iteration of working in the round, this post offers only 1 demonstration: joined and turned flat rounds starting with a magic ring. I find this method the most versatile and a great place to start as you learn new ways of working in the round.
For this tutorial, I recommend using a smooth, solid-colored yarn in either worsted or bulky weight yarn. For worsted weight yarn, try a 5 or 5.5mm crochet hook. For bulky weight yarn, go for a 6mm or 6.5mm hook. Click to learn more about crochet hooks and yarn weights!
Crochet in Flat Rounds
Crocheting in flat rounds starts with a small number of stitches worked into a magic ring. As each round is added, increases are placed around the perimeter, maintaining the round shape and making the piece larger.
This method of making a flat circle can be the start of a hat worked from the top-down, as well as a basket worked from the bottom up. You can also change where the increases are placed to create different shapes like flat rectangles, squares, triangles, etc.
Making a Magic Ring
A magic ring is an adjustable loop used to start projects worked in flat rounds. You will work your first round of stitches in the ring. Once the first round is complete, pull the tail of the ring to close it tightly.
- Image 1: Holding the tail of the yarn in your left hand, wrap the yarn around your finger 2 times.
- Image 2: Bring the 2nd loop over the 1st loop.
- Image 3: Bring the 1st loop over the 2nd and off of your finger.
- Image 4: Hold both lengths of yarn and pull gently to close the knot at the base of the loop while the loop is still on your finger.
- Image 5: Drop the loop from your finger and place it on the hook.
Now that you have your magic ring, you can work your Round 1 stitches into it. The stitches are worked around the loop of the magic ring. Once all stitches are worked, pull the tail of the magic ring to close the hole at the center.
- Image 1: Yarn over and pull up a loop in the magic ring. This does not count as a stitch.
- Image 2: Chain 1.
- Image 3. Work 1 half double crochet into the magic ring. Yarn over, insert your hook through the ring to then yarn over and pull up a loop (3 loops on hook), yarn over, and pull through all three loops to complete the half double crochet.
- Image 4: Work 7 more half double crochet in this manner. You will have 8 half double crochet at the end.
- Image 5: Drop your hook. Hold the tail of the yarn and pull firmly to close the ring.
- Image 1: Find the first half double crochet of the round.
- Image 2: Slip stitch into the first half double crochet of the round. This ends the round. Round 1 ends with 8 half double crochet stitches.
In this round, we will increase in each stitch around, taking us from 8 stitches to 16. We’ll also turn our round before working our stitches. This will prevent us from having an unsightly curving seam running up the length of our circle.
- Image 1: Chain 1. Turn your work so you are now looking at the back of the stitches from Round 1. Locate the first stitch.
- Image 2: Place 2 half double crochet in the first stitch.
- Image 3: Place 2 half double crochet in each stitch around. Find the first half double crochet stitch of the round.
- Image 4: Slip stitch in the first half double crochet stitch of the round to finish the round. This ends the round.
Continue to chain 1 and turn your work after each round. This will help your work stay a round circle.
Round 3: Chain 1. Place 2 half double crochet in the first stitch, and 1 half double crochet in the next stitch. (Place 2 half double crochet in the next stitch, place 1 half double crochet in the following stitch) – repeat the instructions in the parenthesis around until there are no more stitches left. There should be 24 total half double crochet stitches. Join with a slip stitch in the first stitch of the round. Turn your work.
Round 4: Chain 1. Place 2 half double crochet in the first stitch, and 1 half double crochet in each of the next 2 stitches. (Place 2 half double crochet in the next stitch, place 1 half double crochet in each of the next 2 stitches) – repeat the instructions in the parenthesis around until there are no more stitches left. There should be 32 total half double crochet stitches. Join with a slip stitch in the first stitch of the round. Turn your work.
Round 5: Chain 1. Place 2 half double crochet in the first stitch, and 1 half double crochet in each of the next 3 stitches. (Place 2 half double crochet in the next stitch, place 1 half double crochet in each of the next 3 stitches) – repeat the instructions in the parenthesis around until there are no more stitches left. There should be 40 total half double crochet stitches. Join with a slip stitch in the first stitch of the round. Turn your work.
Round 6: Chain 1. Place 2 half double crochet in the first stitch, and 1 half double crochet in each of the next 4 stitches. (Place 2 half double crochet in the next stitch, place 1 half double crochet in each of the next 4 stitches) – repeat the instructions in the parenthesis around until there are no more stitches left. There should be 48 total half double crochet stitches. Join with a slip stitch in the first stitch of the round. Turn your work.
I think you’ve got the gist of things. You’ll be increasing 8 stitches each round and the number of stitches between increases will continue to grow.
More on Crocheting in the Round
As I mentioned above, there are several variations on crocheting in the round. The method you choose can be based on a pattern you’re following or your personal preference. Experiment with different methods to see which you like the best.
If you’d like to practice different ways to crochet in the round, check out blog posts from some of my favorite crochet teachers: The Spruce Crafts, Look At What I Made, and Gathered. And, if you’re looking for a super quick video tutorial to demonstrate the magic loop and crocheting in the round, check out this one I uploaded to IGTV.
Congrats Jerri W you won Toni’s giveaway
Melissa Kovack says
Aha! I taught myself how to crochet in the round this year to make hats for charities and never heard about turning my work to prevent the seam. Can’t wait to try this. Thank you, Toni!
Jennifer Evans says
First — thank you for doing this! I’m learning so much!
Second — Could you tell me what yarn you are using in the first two photos? The thicc orange beauty with those killer scissors? Yes. That is what I need to have in my life. Thanks!
Toni L. says
Hi! That yarn is Bernat Maker Big. I think it’s sold out now, but you can probably find a skein here or there online 🙂
Love the tip about turning your work and heading back. I’ve never made such a nice round! Thank you!
Karen M says
Do you have video of working in the round?
Toni L. says
Alek Felis says
Thank you, Toni! Your photo tutorials are excellent! I actually never turns my work when work in circle, and this gives me more consistent look according to amigurumi, but as you said it’s all about preference. Now I need to try turns in hat or some accessories pattern.
T Silver says
If you turn at the beginning of each row, there will not be a right and a wrong side to the project, correct? I’ve never seen anyone turn when creating a round. I have to try this because all of my hats have the unsightly seam. This is good info!
Toni L. says
Donna Dallatore says
I have NEVER been able to get the “magic” circle to work before. Great directions!
Mary Beth says
Magic circles are always so tricky for me. This technique helped a lot. Thank you!
Love this, thank you so much! I learned crochet, at least the basics, from my great grandmother and my grandmother, when I was 12-14-ish but couldn’t be bothered with trying to learn their more intricate doilies and lace work. Now I am starting to get it, and the Magic Cirle is really bringing back memories!! Thank you!
Gladys E. Walker says
I am having the hardest time trying to make this magic ring, can you do a video, please?
Toni L. says
Hi! There’s a demo of my preferred magic ring in THIS VIDEO.
Nancee H. says
1) ch1, turn your work vs turn your work, ch1
2) turn the work clockwise or counter clockwise???
~thanks for helping my work for my loved ones always be my best foot forward!!!
Toni L. says
You can do either in both scenarios. There is no right or wrong answer to either question 🙂
Hello Toni, I can’t help understanding which one counts as chain and which one doesn’t
That orange color is amazingly beautiful 🙂
Hi Toni, I am still having a lot of trouble getting this. Is there a video I could watch to try to understand this better
Toni L. says
Hi! There’s not a video for my tutorial specifically, but there are lots of great videos for crocheting in the round on YouTube 🙂
Vanessa C Sorrentino says
Thank you! I will look there 🙂
I really like that you use a smooth yarn for the photos! It is very easy to see the stitch structures! I have too many books with photographs of stitches using fuzzy yarn, and it is often impossible to see how to make the stitch!! With that in mind, I zoomed in on your very clear, and excellent resolution photographs, and it looks like your slip stitch join goes “through” the vee of the last stitch, rather than under the vee as in a regular crochet stitch. Is this correct, or am I not seeing right?
This tutorial was the best I’ve seen for the magic circle. So much easier than all the twisting and turning I’ve been doing.
One question though…does it matter if I turn my work before or after the starting Chain 1?
Toni L. says
Nope – it doesn’t matter. Turn whenever it feels natural to you 🙂
Another quick question. Should Round 6 be “… Place 2 half double crochet in the first stitch, and 1 half double crochet in each of the next FOUR stitches. (Place 2 half double crochet in the next stitch, place 1 half double crochet in each of the next FOUR stitches)…”? The instructions above have “3” instead of the “FOUR”. Thanks!
Toni L. says
Great catch! I’ve made the edit 🙂
Mary Anne says
I have never turned my work when crocheting in the round and it is making all the difference!
No more seam traveling up the round! 👍🏼
Each new lesson brings an A-ha moment for me!
Tanisha Inman says
Thank you for showing this on IGTV because I was not getting it at all. I was like I’m going to have to skip this lesson because I don’t understand. I watched you do it 4x on IGTV and got it and followed the instructions above and I have a pretty round. I don’t see myself every using this but at least I know how and can refer back to your lessons to go step-by-step. I am really loving this academy. Oh, and the pumpkin colored yarn in the picture is gorgeous.