chapter 2: The Ultimate Guide to Crochet in the Round
The Crochet Magic Ring Method of Crocheting in the Round
Welcome to Chapter 2 of The Ultimate Guide to Crochet in the Round! In this chapter you’ll learn how to crochet a magic ring, an essential skill as you progress your crochet skills.
A magic ring is the next skill to learn after you’ve mastered crocheting in the round starting with a chain. If you haven’t learned that yet, it’s probably best if you go back to Chapter 1 where you’ll learn that skill first.
The magic ring can be your foundation of choice for any crochet in the round project but is most widely used for amigurumi (stuffed animal crochet) and hats. The most frustrating part for new crocheters? Most patterns will assume you already know how to do it.
Why a magic ring instead of a chain?
To be completely honest, you can get by never learning how to crochet a magic ring. However, once you master it, it’s much quicker than starting with a chain and closing the loop with the tail as you learned to do in Chapter 1.
Many crocheters prefer to crochet the magic ring for this reason. It may require a little more patience to learn initially but you’ll probably never go back to starting with a chain once you master this.
Think of the magic ring as a technique rather than a stitch.
When you start crocheting in the round with a chain, the center of the chain loop is your foundation and those chain stitches do not move. When you crochet a magic ring to start crocheting in the round, a loop of yarn becomes the ring and foundation for the first round of stitches. That ring slides just like a drawstring does which closes up the center.
The magic ring is a technique that creates a sliding foundation for the first round of stitches whereas crocheting in the round starting with chain stitches creates a “static” foundation that does not move.
Now you might be wondering, “if the magic ring creates a sliding foundation, won’t it eventually release to reveal a hole?”
A logical question indeed. The truthful answer is, yes. The practical answer is, it usually doesn’t, especially if you’re diligent in securing the center with a tail.
So how do you make a magic ring?
Since we now know the magic ring is a technique and not a stitch, the act of creating it is as simple as looping the yarn around your fingers.
Have a look at this demonstration.
As you’re sitting down with a pattern that tells you to “create a magic ring with 10 double crochets, let’s be honest, that simple demo isn’t all that helpful.
Learning how to crochet the magic ring is achieved best by practicing the technique with stitches, as you would in a real project.
Most projects you’ll start out with will use either single crochets, half double crochets and double crochet stitches so let’s look at a more practical demonstration for each.
Crochet a Magic Ring with Single Crochet Stitches
Crochet a Magic Ring with Half Double Crochet Stitches
Crochet a Magic Ring with Double Crochet Stitches
How do you secure a magic ring?
After you draw up your magic ring and finish the first round as your pattern tells you to do, there’s one more important thing to do.
Secure the closure.
Magic rings are pretty secure but doing an additional step to make sure it stays closed is always time well spent. Have a look at this quick demonstration.
After making your magic ring with the specified number of stitches, look closely at your pattern for the next instruction. Some patterns will tell you to join with a slip stitch to the turning chain or the first stitch. Some patterns will tell you not to join at all and to continue in spiral.
Don’t worry, as you progress through this guide we’ll show you exactly what all of that means. For now, move on to Chapter 3, (How to Crochet Circles).