Bridging a Gap When You Join rounds
Time for a little crochet plumbing! Sometimes, when working in the round, a little gap forms where you join rounds and starts to create a holey seam as you work up. This is a result of your tension, the type of yarn you are using, and the stitch you are working with. I get asked about this gapping fairly often, and usually in reference to this pattern. So, I thought I might share a little trick here to plug those gaps, should you encounter them. Here’s the stitch key for this example (you can use this technique for any stitch from hdc and higher):
First, let’s look at what your stitches look like when joining normally. You’ll chain 3 to get up to the stitch height of a double crochet (top row). After working all the way around (I’m just showing a segmented view here), you join your last double crochet to the top of your beginning chain with a slip stitch (second row). Then, you’ll make your beginning chain three right on top of the chain 3 from the previous round, double crochet in next stitch (third row). This is where the gap appears. While the beginning chain 3 counts as your first double crochet, it still has different qualities than a “real” double crochet and it might become a little holey-looking as you work up.
Now, there is a way to plug up that hole if it is bothersome – and it is oh-so-simple. Basically, you use your beginning chain to get up to stitch height, then forget about it forever – well, at least until the next round. Here’s how: Make your first round as usual. BUT, when you join your second round make a beginning chain 3 and a double crochet in the chain from the first round. Now forget about that beginning chain – it no longer counts as a stitch. It is only there to fill up that dead space. From now on, you will join your rounds in the top of the first double crochet (not the chain), and make a chain 3 and a double crochet to start the next round. Here is what it looks like with the beginning chains acting as plugs for those holes:
When I first used this technique, I realized about halfway through my work that I was adding one extra stitch per round. Just be mindful to only join in the tops of the actual stitches, not the beginning chains, and you will do just fine! Hope this helps!