Crocheting in the round is such an important skill. Heck, 98% of my crochet is done in the round. Monster heads, bodies, arms, and legs are all done in the round. That hat you want to crochet is probably done in the round. Crocheting in the round allows us to make pieces without a seam (most of the time… we’ll visit that later on in the post), creating a continuous stretch of crochet stitches. It also creates a right side of your crochet piece and a wrong side.
We start crocheting in the round, the same way we crochet in rows. Make your slip stitch (1). Chain the appropriate number of stitches as stated in your crochet pattern (2). Here’s where it changes. Crocheting in rows would have us making a turn. We’re not doing that here. Instead, you’re going to insert your hook into the first stitch that you made and complete a slip stitch (3). You have just created a little loop (4). The four pictures below would look like this written out in a crochet pattern: ch 4, sl st 1st st to form a loop – Note that the beginning slip stitch won’t show up in crochet patterns. In non-crochet abbreviated language it is: chain 4, slip stitch the 1st stitch to form a loop.
Now that you’ve gotten your crochet in the round all set up, let’s crochet a little in the round. You now insert your crochet hook into the center of the loop that you created in step 4 and yarn over (5). Pull your yarn that you put over your crochet hook through the loop and finish your stitch as a single crochet (6). If your pattern called for double crochet, then you would yarn over before you inserted your hook through the loop and finish it as a double crochet stitch. Baby steps here. Your first single crochet is completed, so make seven more in the loop (7). This is your first round. Woot! Your second round is worked in the stitches from the first round… usually increasing the stitches, so it lays flat for a while (8). Eventually you’d just single crochet around and get the cylindrical shape that crocheting in the round creates. The four pictures below would look like this written out in a crochet pattern: 8 sc into loop (round 1), (2 sc next st, sc next st), repeat 3 times (round 2) – In non-crochet abbreviated language it is: 8 single crochet into the loop, (2 single crochet the next stitch, single crochet the next stitch), repeat the section in parenthesis 3 more times
When I crochet in the round, I keep track of the first stitch. You can use a stitch marker or a piece of contrasting yarn. I do not slip stitch the 1st stitch and chain 1 at the beginning of each round… unless the pattern I’m following calls for it. In my opinion, it creates an ugly seam. If it’s something that needs to be there due to the design aspect of the piece, it’s one thing. But I prefer the seamless version of crocheting in the round.
The Holiday Monster Crochet-Along is fast approaching (next week)! To make this very complicated LOOKING doll, you only need to know how to:
- crochet in the round (we just did that)
- crochet in rows (we learned that in our sc, hdc, and dc tutorials)
- chain, slip stitch, single crochet (normally and in the [BL]… it’s in each link for the stitch), and half double crochet.
- You should also read about why you should’t be afraid to crochet with thread. (because this is how we make amazing eyeballs)
That’s it. It really is an easy little design. Make sure you sign up for the crochet-along, and stretch your crochet comfort a little. The fun is starting next week on November 20, 2015.