To Join or Not to Join: Crocheting in the Round
Many crochet projects including hats, pullovers, amigurumi, and more created by crocheting in the round. There are two methods: continuous and joined. Many people have a favorite.
Personally I prefer working in continuous rounds and will sometimes substitute this technique even when a pattern calls for using joined rounds. But in the cases of many lace patterns and colorwork, you have to use joined rounds.
In Love of Crochet Fall 2016 Project Editor Susanna Tobias gives us a great how-to on working both joined and continuous rounds. Check out her instructions and see some of the fun projects you can practice this skill on.
Continuous Crochet Rounds
Projects crocheted in the round are generally worked in one of two ways: joined rounds or continuous rounds. With joined rounds, the pattern will indicate how and where to join at the end of each round; for instance, “Slip stitch in the first stitch to join.” Some projects are worked in the round from the right side only; other projects are turned after they are joined.
With continuous rounds, rounds are not joined and the work is not turned. Because of this, it can be difficult to determine the end of one round and the beginning of another, thus making it challenging to count rounds. The clearest way to determine the start of the round is to place a stitch marker in the last or first stitch of a round.
Ollie the Owl is crocheted in continuous rounds. The pattern directs the crocheter to place the marker in the first stitch of each round and then move the marker each round as the project progresses. The stitch marker is placed in the first single crochet in round 1 (see photo 1). Then it is moved to the first stitch in each of the following rounds (see photo 2).
Continuous rounds look different from joined rounds. Consider the difference in the following swatches. In the joined-round swatch (at right), the point of joining appears as a vertical line on the fabric. The continuous-round method creates a smoother fabric, perfect for Ollie the Owl.
Joined rounds work beautifully in some projects, particularly when colors are changed each round. The Play Day Dress is crocheted with joined rounds. My Favorite Play Blanket is crocheted with joined and turned rounds.
Build your skills crocheting in the round and enjoy seeing how these techniques are best suited to each project. Happy stitching!
So which crochet in the round pattern do you want to crochet first?
P.S. Do you prefer continuous rounds or joined rounds? Let us know which one you think is best in the comments.