Two Ways to Begin a Crochet Circle
Crochet bags, most motifs, hats, and many more crochet projects begin with a circle. And each circle begins with a beginning round. But there are several options for how to work the first round, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.
With the days beginning to warm up, I am looking forward to farmer's markets. Okay, I may be a little ahead of myself, but this gives me a couple of months to whip up a few market bags before my first trip. Here are two of my favorite ways to begin the circle that comprises the base of a market bag. Choose your favorite an then check out Crochet Market Bags with Mary Beth Temple for more great instruction and tips.
Working into a Single Chain
Lately, I have been talking to an increasing number of people who work all of the stitches of the first round of their circle into a single chain. This reduces the size of the possible hole at the center of the circle, but it can be a bit finicky to work a large number of stitches into a single chain. This is another good option for a crochet market bag.
Chain two if you are working in single crochet, three if you are working in half double crochet, or four if you are working in double crochet. For this example I am working in single crochet. Work your first single crochet in the second chain from the hook. For taller stitches, remember that this is just the first chain you worked. Place all of the remainder of the stitches for the first row in the same chain. For this method, it is preferable to use a hook that has a bit of a point at the tip.
The Adjustable Ring
The adjustable ring is perfect if you do not want a hole in the center of your motif. This method is sometimes referred to as magic ring or adjustable loop. Unlike the previous method, the adjustable ring does not begin with a chain. Instead, wrap the tail around your index finger. Insert the hook into the resulting ring and pull up a loop, chain one, and work the desired number of stitches into the resulting loop. Don't worry if your stitches don't fill the entire loop as they do with the chain methods. After you have worked your last stitch, pull the tail to tighten the ring. Ta-da, no hole.
This technique is great for bags because nothing can escape through the little hole in the center of the circle that is sometimes created with other methods. But the adjustable ring is sometimes not as strong as other techniques. If you try this method for your crochet market bag, be sure to use a plied yarn that has inherent strength-cotton and linen and many acrylics are great choices.
Download Crochet Market Bags with Mary Beth Temple today for more instruction on working crochet circles and creating crochet market bags.
P.S. What method do you use to begin crochet circles? Share why you chose that method in the comments.