If you’ve ever wondered how to crochet a circle, then you’ll need to know how to crochet in the round. It can seem a bit tricky at first, but once you’ve mastered working in the round there’s a whole new world of crochet projects open to you!
There are two main ways of crocheting in the round
We’ll start off with the basic joined rounds method to get you started, then we’ll cover spiral rounds too which are often used when making amigurumi (New to amigurumi? Then check out our ‘What is Amigurumi’ guide!)
Making a foundation ring (can be used for both methods)
Make a chain the length stated in the pattern instructions. Next, insert the crochet hook into the first chain. Close the ring with a slip stitch, working yarn round hook (yrh)…
…and pull yarn through 2 loops on hook. Now you’re ready to start crocheting in the round, following the instructions given to learn how to crochet a circle.
A popular alternative to the foundation ring is the magic loop (or sometimes called a magic ring). This is a technique that creates a similar starting point as the foundation ring, but the beauty of the magic loop is that you can pull the tail tightly to close up the gap in the centre of the ring – making it a brilliant technique for amigurumi and toys that need to be stuffed. You can find our magic ring tutorial here!
How to crochet in the round – joined rounds method
To make circles, tubes and other shapes
Make a foundation ring and work the turning-chain (you’ll be instructed on how many to do, for this example we’ll use 3ch for treble sts). Work a treble st as usual, but insert hook into centre of ring. For treble sts, yrh, insert hook into ring.
Finish the treble as usual (yrh, pull yarn through ring, yrh, pull yarn through first 2 loops, yrh, pull yarn through 2 loops). Work more sts into the ring as needed.
Finish off each round of crochet stitches nice and neatly by using a slip stitch
To close a round of stitches, work a slip stitch into the top of the turning chain. To do this, insert the hook into the top stitch of the turning chain.
Then place the yarn round the hook. Pull the yarn through the turning chain stitch and through the original stitch on your hook.
You’ve slip stitched the round together! Before working another round, be sure to make the required turning chain. Always work rounds on the right side, unless you pattern instructs you otherwise.
And that’s basically all you need to know to crochet in the round. When you’re working in the round, you will never need to turn the work as you would with rows (unless you’re specifically told to in a pattern)
How to crochet in the round – spiral method.
The other way to crochet in the round is with the spiral method, which is almost exclusively used with dc stitches only. Your stitches are worked in a spiral so you don’t need to join the rounds at the end, instead you just keep going, working into the next stitch on the previous row. This creates a neater finish as you won’t have any visible joins, but it does make it harder to keep track of your stitches. Amigurumi toys are often worked in a spiral like this, and may differ in the way they start. You can work the spiral method with a starting ring, but you’ll often be instructed to start with a magic loop, or you may be instructed to ch2 and work your stitches in the second chain from hook instead of in a ring, as we’ll show you in the steps below.
Start with a ch2 (or a magic loop). The stitches of your first round are all going to go into the first chain you’ve made (this may be referred to as the chain furthest from your hook).
Work 6dc into that first ch, working all of the stitches in exactly the same place.
Now rather than joining your first round with a slip stitch, you’re going to go straight onto the second round by making a dc into the very first dc that you made. If you’ve lost track or are struggling to identify your first dc stitch, simply count back 6 stitches from the last stitch you made.
Once you’ve done your first stitch of the second round, it will look like this.
Now mark that first stitch of the second round with a stitch marker – this will help you to keep track of your stitches and the start of each round.
For your second round, you’re going to work 2dc into every stitch (remember that we’ve just made our first stitch which is marked, so we’ll need to do another dc stitch in the same place). This will give you a total of 12dc stitches. As you can see in the picture below, after completing all 12dc we’ll be back around to our marked first stitch.
And that’s how to crochet in the round using the spiral method. For round 3, you would just remove the marker, do your first dc of round 3 in the next stitch (which was the first dc of round 2), then place your marker in the first stitch of round 3.
If you’re following a pattern, you’ll be given instructions on how many stitches and increases (2dc) you need to work in each round, but as a rule of thumb, simple amigurumi patterns tend to follow the same basic mathematics.
- Round 1 – 6dc into ring/loop
- Round 2 – 2dc in each stitch (12sts)
- Round 3 – *dc, 2dc in each st* repeat 6 times (18sts)
- Round 4 – *dc in next 2 sts, 2dc in each st* repeat 6 times (24sts)
- Round 5 – *dc in next 3 sts, 2dc in each st* repeat 6 times (30sts)
- …and so on, increasing the amount of dc stitches by one before the 2dc on each round
And finally, if you were to crochet in the round without increasing at all, your crochet would from into a tubular shape. This is often used to make things like arms and legs on amigurumi toys. For example, you might crochet the above to complete round 2 (12 stitches), and then you would just dc into each stitch around. This will make your circle turn into a semi-sphere and then continue in a tube shape. We’ll cover more on tubular shaping in a future tutorial.