I am good at crocheting in lines now, what can I learn next? How about learning to crochet circles? To crochet a circle, you need to start with a center ring, instead of a foundation chain. There are three ways to do this and I'll show you all of them!
How to Crochet Circles
There are 3 ways to complete a crochet circle and all have different benefits.
- Working Stitches into a Chain Ring - Largest hole in the center but the easiest for beginners.
- Working Stitches into a Chain Stitch - Smaller hole in the center but a little harder as you have to put many stitches into the one chain stitch.
- Magic Ring Method - Gives the smallest hole in the center.
Crochet Circles - Abbreviations
Here are the abbreviations you will come across for crochet circles. You may already be familiar with most of these. All instructions in this tutorial are using US crochet terms.
- ch - chain
- st(s) - stitch(es)
- yo - yarn over hook
- sc - single crochet
- dc - double crochet
- hdc - half double crochet.
- sl st - slip stitch
Crochet Circles - Supplies
You will need a yarn and crochet hook suitable for that type of yarn.
- Yarn Weights – Standard Weights for Crochet & Knitting
- What is Worsted Weight Yarn – The Basics
- Types Of Yarn – For Crochet and Knitting
3 Methods to Crochet Circles - First Row
Method 1 - Working Stitches Into a Chain Ring
This is the simplest method for crochet circles, but it can leave you with a fairly large center hole. It is useful if you are going for quick and easy, if you need room for a lot of stitches, or if the design you are crocheting needs a hole in the center.
- Make a chain of 6 stitches. This will suit thicker yarn, eg. worsted weight yarn. If using fine yarn, use less stitches.
- Insert hook into first chain that you made.
- Put the yarn over
- Draw yarn through the chain stitch, and through the loop on the hook. You now have one loop on the hook.
- Your foundation ring is now complete.
Now start your first row of stitches. You can use any stitch you fancy, but for explanation purposes, we will use single crochet.
- Chain 1. (This is the turning chain for single crochet.)
- Insert hook into center of the ring. This makes this method super easy, as you don’t have to insert the hook into each separate stitch.
- Yarn over.
- Draw yarn through the ring. You will have 2 loops on the hook.
- Yarn over.
- Draw yarn over both loops on the hook. The first single crochet is complete.
Continue in this way, until you can’t fit any more stitches into the ring. If you are following a pattern, it will tell you how many stitches to make into the ring. If you are experimenting and making things up as you go, fit as many stitches as possible into the ring. The ring must be tightly packed with stitches. The ring may stretch slightly. Don’t do too few stitches, and have gaps in your first row!
- To finish, slip stitch into the first single crochet you worked.
As a general rule, when using single crochet, you will put 6-10 stitches in round one, if using half double crochet, 8-12 stitches in first the round, and if using double crochet, 10 -14 sts in this round.
Method 2 - Working Stitches into a Chain Stitch
This is a better method to use when you want a smaller central hole in your circle. However, it can sometimes be difficult to fit enough stitches into one chain stitch!
- Chain 1, plus the number of stitchess you need for a turning chain.
- So if you are working in single crochet, ch1, +ch1.
- If working in half double crochet, ch1+ch2.
- If working in double crochet, ch1+ch 3.
- Once again, lets work in single crochet for this trial circle. So you will ch1 +ch1.
- Yarn over
- Insert the hook into first chain stitch that you made.
- Yarn over.
- Draw the yarn through both loops on the hook.
- Continue to work single crochet into that chain stitch until you have the required number of stitches for the pattern, or until you can fit no more stitches into that chain.
- Slip stitch into the first single crochet to close the circle.
- Your chain may loosen with all the stitches you are squeezing into it. Pull it tighter if you can.
Method 3 - Magic Ring Method
This is the method that gives the neatest center to your circle.
- Be sure to pull enough yarn out of your ball or skein to work with.
- The yarn which is coming out of the ball is the ‘working yarn’, the loose end is the ‘tail.’
- Take the tail of the yarn and make a loose letter ‘e’.
- The working yarn must be over the top of the tail part.
- Insert your hook into the upper part of the ‘e’.
- When it is through the loop, pu the yarn over.
- Keep the yarn wrapped around your hook and pull the hook back up through the loop of the ‘e’. The loop is very loose. Keep it in place by holding the crossed part closed with your fingers.
- Take the working yarn and yarn over again. Be careful that the original loop does not fall apart!
- Pull the working yarn through and up. This has made the first sc into your magic ring. I have deliberately left my loops very loose so that you can see what is going on!
- Now stitch as many single crochet into the ring as your pattern requires. For practice purposes we will make this 6 single crochet. Keep the original circle loose at this stage.
- Once you have crocheted your 6 chains, join the last stitch to the first chain on the magic ring with a slip stitch.
- When the row of single crochet has been joined up, pull the ring as tight as possible to close up the hole.
All Methods - To Continue Your Circle
There is a set formula for working out the increases for each round of the circle. These increases are necessary to make the circle lie flat.
- Round 1 -your first round is the number of stitches worked into your starting circle. (Say 6 sc sts)
- Round 2- You must work 2 single crochet into each stitch of the first round. (Now you have 12 sts.)
- Round 3- work 2 sitches into first single crochet, then 1 stitch into the next. Repeat all the way around. (18 sts.)
- Round 4- 2 sts into the first st, 1 st into each of next 2 sts. Repeat all the way around. (24 sts)
- Round 5- 2 sts into first st, 1 st into each of next 3 sts, all the way around.
- Round 6 - 2 sts into first st, 1 st into each of next 4 sts. Repeat all the way around.
You will see the sequence emerging here. Each round you crochet, you will do 1 more stitch before the next increase, all the way around the circle.
Continue until the circle is the size you require.
You can choose to use a slip stitch to finish off each round, then start the next round with turning chain, or you can simply work in spirals keeping track of the start of each new round with a stitch marker.
Crochet Circles - Troubleshooting
Depending on your yarn and hook and how loosely you crochet, as well as how often you count your stitches, you may find that your circle develops a ruffle as it gets bigger. This means you have too many stitches.
To remedy this, pull out a few rows until you get to where the circle was lying flat. (ie. before the ruffle developed) Count carefully each round and make sure you are sticking to the ‘formula’. If you have already made a large circle, and don’t want to pull any work out, it is easy to just stop increasing for a round or two, then when the circle is lying flat again, continue with increases from where you left off. It all depends on how much of a perfectionist you are!
Another possible problem is when your circle curls up into a cup shape.
This means that you don’t have enough stitches, or you are crocheting too tightly. If this happens, either pull out rounds until it lies flat, then continue from there, counting carefully on each round.
Alternately, you can repeat the last couple of rounds of increases without increasing the number of stitches between each increase. This means you will be increasing more often so will have more sts on each round.
So, for example, if you were on round 6, doing increase 1, 4 sc, instead of going to increase 1, 5 sc on the next round, keep doing increase 1, 4 sc, until the circle lies flat. Once it flattens out, pick up the sequence of the ‘formula’ again.
To Finish the Crochet Circles
When you have reached the desired size of circle, you can slip stitch in each stitch all the way around the circle to give it a neat edging.
Or you can crochet a decorative edging such as a shell stitch all the way around the circle. Your circles need not be limited to single crochet, half double crochet or double crochet. You can use a combination of stitches and colors to make your circles into flowers or owls or anything circular! You can use a granny stitch to make a ‘granny circle’. It is done the same way as the squares without any corners.
What to Make With Crochet Circles
Anything you can imagine which is circular in shape!
Some ideas are:
- Coasters or hot pads with thick yarn.
- Pot holders.
- Circular baby shawl.
- A circular Afghan rug.
- Decorative mandalas.
- Floor rugs with coarse yarn.
- Bath mat with thick but soft, absorbent yarn.
- Earrings with fine embroidery thread and a tiny crochet hook.
- Key rings or other gifts.
- Appliqué circles or circular characters onto other items. You can make cute owls, cat faces, bunnies etc. with circles, just add on some ears!
Crochet Circles - In Conclusion
If you give it some thought, you will be able to come up with even more ideas of things you can make with crochet circles. Have a few practice rounds, and once you have got the knack of crochet circles, you can make dozens of interesting items, all using that formula of increasing every round. I hope you have fun creating something new and unique!