Skip to content

Crochet in the Round: Magic Circle Start

May 6, 2011

Hi, everyone! I will be posting some techniques here and there, and I thought this was a good place to start. I know there are several tutorials around for the magic circle, but I wanted one here for my own reference. I use the magic circle start for almost all projects that I do in the round because it doesn’t leave a visible hole and it’s easier to work into the circle rather than a chain stitch. Also, if you’re designing your own round piece (like a motif), you don’t need to do any guessing about how big your starting loop should be. There are certain times when you don’t want to use a magic circle start: when you are making a doily or a piece with tatting or crochet thread, or if you desire any sort of visible hole in the center of your work (like an open-centered motif). Ready? Let’s go . . .

magic circle 1

First, pinch your yarn tail between your thumb and ring finger (you’ll be holding the tail like this for a bit of the process). Then, wrap the ball end, or the working end, up around your pointer finger.

magic circle 2

Now, wrap the working end around your middle finger and pointer, crossing it over the tail end like the picture shows above.

magic circle 3

Keep holding the tail end in place. Insert your hook under the first wrap to grab the second wrap, as you can see above. Pull this wrap through. If you remove the yarn from your fingers, this is what it will look like:

magic circle 4

magic circle 5

Gently pull the working end of the yarn until the hook is flush against the circle (above). Now you’re ready to start your stitches. For this tutorial, I will be making a circle of double crochets because I think they’re easier to see.

magic circle 6

Chain 3. This will count as your first double crochet. (If we were doing a circle of single crochets, we would chain one before we started.) At this point, you will be crocheting just as you would any old time.

magic circle 7

Yarn over to begin your next double crochet . . .

magic circle 8

. . . and start to crochet away.

magic circle 9

Make sure to insert your hook into the center of the magic circle and work around all of the yarn, including the tail end.

magic circle 10

When you are done making the amount of stitches you need (do not join yet), grab the yarn tail and . . .

magic circle 11

. . . pull it tight to cinch the circle closed.

magic circle 12

Now you can join the round. See? No hole. Now you would just continue to follow the pattern. When you are all done with your crochet piece, make sure to weave in this tail end. Here are a couple tips:

  1. It is okay to cinch the circle a little as you work into it (sometimes the circle is big, and this will make life a little easier). Just be careful to leave room for your remaining stitches!
  2. Wait until the end of your project to weave in the tail end. Sometimes, as you work, the hole will start to loosen and open a bit (or the subsequent rounds of work will change the amount of cinching you will need). So, wait until the end (or at least a few rounds), cinch the hole tight again if you need to, and weave in the end.
Well, that’s it. I hope this all makes sense, and please let me know if you have any questions! Also, I’m sure there are other ways of making the magic circle, this is just the way I do it.  If you’ve never used a magic circle start, I highly encourage you to try until you get it down – it’s a definite game-changer.
About these ads
59 Comments leave one →
  1. May 6, 2011 9:27 am

    Thank you so much for this! I’ve only ever been able to find video tutorials and I can’t get on with them.

    • May 6, 2011 9:48 am

      Sweet! Let me know how this tute works for you–I’m always worried that I’m not “clear” enough!

  2. May 6, 2011 11:45 am

    Thanks for this! It makes so much sense. I’ve only ever thought to chain my loop… well I have certainly learnt something new today! :)

  3. SewLindaAnn permalink
    May 8, 2011 9:48 am

    Thanks for this, I’m printing it to keep with my stuff. I always had to keep going back to a book to remember how to do it. Have you ever heard of a double magic ring? I was trying to start a pattern and never heard of it.

  4. May 19, 2011 2:39 pm

    Thank you! It finally makes sense to me.

  5. June 10, 2011 5:13 pm

    This is perfect. May I link to it?

  6. fabiola permalink
    July 2, 2011 6:04 pm

    awesome,thanks.

  7. Jodi permalink
    July 10, 2011 2:07 am

    Hi! Do you have a crochet pattern for a 6 pointed star? There’s a tutorial online, but I can’t understand. HELP!

    • July 10, 2011 10:11 am

      Hi Jodi,
      I don’t have one, but if you send me the link to the pattern you found online, I can try to figure it out for you. We have guests here this weekend, but later on I’ll try to find some patterns for you. Let me know about that link, though!

  8. lucy permalink
    August 26, 2011 11:30 pm

    Thank you very much – I saw this in a book, but diagrams were not good, I couldn’t figure it out(I hate that). Now I know.

  9. Melinda permalink
    August 31, 2011 3:07 pm

    Thank you sooooo much! I am a beginner and this just saved me alot of frustration and alot of time :D I will def have to print this off!!

    • August 31, 2011 4:07 pm

      Ooo. Good! It’s been a while since I’ve been a beginner, so let me know if there are any other techniques you’d like to see tutorials for!

    • Melinda permalink
      September 3, 2011 10:34 pm

      Thanks for the offer hehee I may take you up on that if I run into any issues :) I have taught myself via books and the web!
      I am making little newborn hats for my great niece who will be born this month and bookmarked this on my phone for when I start the second one :D
      Do you happen to know how to make a hibiscus flower to like attach to a hat? Or can you point me in a direction to find one? They are my best friends fav. and I’d like to surprise her but can’t seem to find one!
      Thank you again for your very helpful post! :)

    • September 5, 2011 3:27 pm

      Hey, Melinda! I just rolled back into town, but I’ll check around the net when I get a chance :)

    • September 5, 2011 3:33 pm

      Dang, you’re right — this is all I found: http://www.etsy.com/listing/59109646/hibiscus-crochet-pattern-september-is?ref=sc_1

      Maybe I’ll have to make up a hibiscus pattern . . .

    • Melinda permalink
      September 5, 2011 4:44 pm

      Yeah I saw that one and couldn’t find any free ones!
      If you could make one up I just might have to love you forever lol ;)
      Btw I enjoy reading your blog now!

  10. February 2, 2012 7:21 am

    Reblogged this on The Crocheting Moms Corner and commented:
    I love to use this things look so much nicer. The center is smoother and flatter than the traditional start to a circle, great for hats, mittens, anything really!

  11. Audrey Blackwell permalink
    February 22, 2012 7:41 am

    Can I add another thank you.

  12. fabiola permalink
    March 13, 2012 10:50 am

    I do have to say time and time again,i always come back to your awesome technique.I know there are alot others out there ,I only get yours,your a great teacher!!!!!!pictures demonstration excellent!! thanks again

  13. April 1, 2012 7:08 pm

    i like this idea its so creative.

  14. Yolanda permalink
    June 1, 2012 8:02 am

    Finally, instuctions I can understand for a few patterns I want to try. Thanks so much!

    • August 3, 2012 8:40 pm

      If you are making a beanie hat are you suppose to have an open hole in the center or is it ok if it closes up?

    • August 4, 2012 1:02 pm

      I almost always use the magic ring so that no hole shows. However, this is up to you. Maybe you’d want a small hole for a pom pom!

  15. Terrier Mom permalink
    October 16, 2012 11:32 pm

    Thanks so much for a great post! This was very helpful and the pictures were perfect. Do you have any idea how I can fix a hole that ended up too big at the top of a hat? This is my first hat and I didn’t know about your handy way of closing up the hole in center. The hat is finished, but I wish it didn’t have such a big hole at the top.
    Thanks!

    • October 17, 2012 7:01 am

      You could try to weave a piece of yarn in and out of the stitches and cinch it shut, tying the yarn ends tight and weaving them into the hat. That’s what I would do. Or, you could make a pom pom and attach it through the hole! Or, you could crochet a horn and sew it over the hole to make a narwal hat ;)

  16. Melissa permalink
    December 2, 2012 2:11 pm

    This was so easy to follow! I have a really hard time following pictures and I did it the first time on this one!! Thank you!!

  17. Donna permalink
    December 16, 2012 1:22 pm

    Do you have these instructions in PDF format? Because I can’t print from my iPad & iPod I save everything in iBooks. PDF’s come up with an option to save in iBooks. If I try to copy & paste into a word document I have to save each pic individually & then reformat & resize everything in it.

    Your instructions are great, thank you.

    • December 16, 2012 6:01 pm

      No, sorry! I will consider starting to also create PDFs . . . it is extra work, but it might be worth it for y’all!

  18. January 16, 2013 8:31 pm

    “Crochet in the Round: Magic Circle Start Speckless Blog” ended up
    being really engaging and instructive! In todays world honestly,
    that is quite hard to deliver. Regards, Caitlin

  19. Anonymous permalink
    January 19, 2013 10:17 am

    I have never ever been able to figure out the magic circle, and I’ve been crocheting for awhile! Thanks a lot

  20. Sey permalink
    January 26, 2013 12:48 pm

    Hey there,
    just stumbled upon this nice tutorial. Everything is clear to me apart from the step between picture 7 and 8. I really cannot figure out what you did there. I tried some strange loop combinations, but compared to picture 8 they seem to be wrong eventually. Could you explain this part in detail? (A picture might be useful)

    Greetings

    • January 26, 2013 6:23 pm

      Picture 8 shows the first double crochet — that’s all it is. Once you chain 3, you can just start making double crochets into the loop. Picture 7 just shows the first step of making a double crochet — yarning over once. To make a double crochet: yarn over once, insert hook in loop, pull up a loop, (yarn over, pull through 2 loops) twice.

    • Sey permalink
      January 26, 2013 8:27 pm

      Oh I see!
      My issue was the double crochetting. I have not seen it yet, but thanks to your tutorial I am able to do it properly now. Thanks a bunch :)

      Regards

  21. chrissy50 permalink
    March 18, 2013 10:49 am

    I know you wrote this ages and ages ago, but I’m a new hooker, and just did a search for “how to crochet the magic circle for beginners.” Yours was the first site to pop up, and I’m SO happy that it did because it’s brilliant. Thank you so much. I’ve tried being taught in person and by video and it just hasn’t helped like this!! :D
    –Chris

    • March 18, 2013 10:17 pm

      Thanks so much, Chris! I have a better time learning from photo tutorials rather than video, and I’m glad this is helpful!

  22. July 6, 2013 9:10 pm

    Hi I just found this as I was refreshing myself on the magic ring, which my grandmother taught me years ago. Problem is, I keep double crocheting the rings where the top and the bottom twist halfway around. Any clue what I’m doing wrong?

    • July 7, 2013 7:14 pm

      Ooo. Hmm. I have no idea how you might be doing this and I’ve never encountered that. Are you making sure to work around all of the yarn that makes up the loop? So long as you work into the center of the ring, around both strands of yarn, you should be okay. Any way you can send a pic?

  23. November 11, 2013 3:45 am

    This is absolutely easy to understand. May I link to it?

  24. Amy permalink
    January 12, 2014 10:04 am

    Thank you so much! I’ve looked at a few other tutorials for magic circle and just couldn’t get it. Your tutorial was so easy to follow and I can finally make a magic circle!

  25. January 25, 2014 12:08 am

    Thank you so much for your easy to follow instructions! This has to be the easiest to follow tutorial I’ve used. :-) Am very grateful! Katina

  26. victoria permalink
    March 26, 2014 10:12 pm

    Thank you so much… for some reason I found this easier to follow than some of the other ones with words. Do you have any tips for me because for some reason I want a 72 stitch hat and wind up adding a stitch almost every row… can you tell me what I’m doing wrong…
    as I’m getting a bit discouraged because I had to pull the hat apart twice when I was more than halfway through. Any hints would be greatly appreciated..Thanks again!

    • March 27, 2014 6:35 am

      The most common cause of the extra stitch is not counting your starting chain as a stitch! Like, if you are doing rounds of double crochet, you start each round with a chain 3 — that counts as your first dc. I would do a count after every round to try and pinpoint the problem! Make sure to join your rounds in the top of the first starting chain.

Trackbacks

  1. Crochet Votive Holder « Speckless Blog
  2. Crochet in the Round: Two Ways to Start a Circle « Speckless Blog
  3. Crochet Pattern: Scalloped Hat and Wrap Around Cowl « Speckless Blog
  4. Free Crochet Pattern(s): Puff Flower Hexagon & Half Hex « Speckless Blog
  5. Free Crochet Pattern: Sunrise Motif « Speckless Blog
  6. Free Crochet Pattern: Sprocket Motif « Speckless Blog
  7. CraftCrave | Blog | Free Handcraft Items or Tutorials (large): Sat, 7 May 2011
  8. Crochet Hibiscus Flowers « Speckless Blog
  9. Crochet Pattern: Tiny Pear Necklace Charm « Speckless Blog
  10. Crochet, Jewllery, Bags, Craft | Pearltrees
  11. How to crochet a saguaro cactus | La Casa de Crafts
  12. Finger Ninjas « The Glitzy Faery
  13. Big Puff Flower Crochet Pattern (and some tips on puff stitch) « Speckless Blog
  14. Atelier Patchwork et Crochet – Sur ce carré… ce sera quoi cette fois-ci ? | patchcath

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,235 other followers

%d bloggers like this: