chapter 5: The Ultimate Guide to Crochet in the Round
Principles of Crochet Triangles
Welcome to Chapter 5 of The Ultimate Guide to Crochet in the Round! In this chapter you’ll learn about the fundamentals of crochet triangles, specifically those that are worked in the round.
Crochet triangles may not be the most popular of shapes when it comes to project creation but they’re more useful than you might think. Whether you plan to use them as filler shapes in your motif blanket or you need a carrot nose for your amigurumi snowman, learning the principles of crochet triangles is worth your while. Hopefully you’ve already read through Chapter 4, where we talked about squares. The good news is triangles are a whole lot like squares, with one less corner, of course.
The first round of most triangles follow the same general pattern.
Three sides with three stitches and three corners with two chains is the perfect first round recipe for crochet triangles. It’s what you’ll see for most patterns, especially those here at B.Hooked.
Like the square, each round of a triangle will usually begin and end in a corner. You may encounter a pattern where the join occurs within one of the sides but it’s less common because the join is a little more obvious.
What about the turning chain?
Even though you never turn the triangle when crocheting in the round, the turning chain is very important. It matches the height of the other stitches in the round making it necessary for a tidy-looking triangle.
When you crochet a triangle in the traditional way (where the join occurs in one of the three corners), the turning chain can either be the first stitch or the last stitch. There’s no right or wrong way here. It all comes down to preference.
Here’s how a pattern might look when the foundation chain is the first stitch:
Round 1: Ch 3 and join with a slst to the first ch. Ch 3. 2 dc in center of ring. Ch 2. [3 dc, ch 2] two times in center of ring. Join with a slst to 3rd ch.
Aleternatively, here’s how a pattern might look when the foundation chain is the last stitch:
Round 1: Ch 3 and join with a slst to the first ch. Ch 5 (counts as dc and ch 2). [3 dc, ch 2] two times in center of ring. 2 more dc in center of ring and join with slst to 3rd ch.
Pay close attention to the bottom left corner on each triangle. That’s the joining corner. The holes of the join corner where the turning chain is the first stitch is slightly larger than the other two corners. The difference is pretty subtle but we think it looks a little neater when the turning chain is the last stitch. Again, no right or wrong way. You can decide which option you like best.
When the turning chain is the last stitch of the round it must also include two corner chains.
So rather than…
- 2 turning chains for half double crochets
- 3 turning chains for double crochets
- 4 turning chains for treble crochets
We add the two corner chains so it becomes…
- 4 turning chains for half double crochets (2 = a stitch, 2 = corner chain)
- 5 turning chains for double crochets (3 = a stitch, 2 = corner chain)
- 6 turning chains for treble crochets (4 = a stitch, 2 = corner chain)
Whether the turning chain is the first or last stitch, the join happens in the same place…
In the turning chain.
Now, which turning chain is determined by the stitch. A triangle made of half double crochets will join in the second chain. A triangle made of double crochet stitches will join in the third chain and so on.
Remember if the turning chain is the last stitch, the remaining two chains are corner chains.
Speaking of corners, they need to be worked a specific way too.
The basic formula for a crochet triangle corner is this…
2 stitches, chain 2, 2 stitches (all worked in the same chain two space)
Any basic stitch can be used from single crochet to double treble crochet and everything in between and beyond. This formula increases the triangle uniformly so it will continue to get bigger with each round and, more importantly, lay flat.
This creates a predictable increase in stitch count every round.
With every new round, the stitch count will increase by twelve stitches.
In other words, the four stitches in each of the three corners are essential for a crochet triangle to continue to get bigger and remain flat.
What if your triangle doesn’t lay flat?
There is one main cause for a triangle to curl upward – there’s an issue with the increases (and it usually happens in the corners).
Increasing by 12 stitches (four stitches each corner) every round creates a flat triangle that continues to get bigger with every round. Anything less and the triangle will curl upward. Anything more and the edges will look wavy.
What if your triangle looks rounded, especially in the corners?
Don’t worry, you aren’t doing anything wrong. Corners made up of two chains generally look rounded and it’s more pronounced the sharper the corner is supposed to look.
The best way to make your triangle look pointy as a triangle should be, is to block it.
Blocking is a finishing technique that’ll improve the shape of all sorts of projects and it’s especially useful for crocheted motifs like triangles, squares and hexagons. The process is pretty simple. Pin the work down in the exact shape you want, spray it with water (saturating it completely) and allow it to dry completely before removing the pins.
A single pin in each corner and a few along the sides is enough to get the job done. It’s the best way to perfect the shape of your triangle.
We learn best by doing and there’s no better way than completing a project you can actually use and enjoy. Try your hand at crochet triangles with our barefoot sandals pattern here. It’s a quick little project you can wear around the house or with your flip flops.
When you’re ready, in Chapter 6 we’ll look at the fundamentals of one last basic shape, the hexagon.