April 5, 2012

Tutorial - Crochet Magic Ring

I made the suggestion to a friend that they use a magic ring when designing their own items that are crocheted in the round. Since she didn't know how to do it, I offered to make a tutorial. I've never come across a pattern that I haven't been able to substitute a magic ring for chain stitch ring, but there may be some out there. So I suggest checking your gauge when you make the substitution. Any questions, comments or constructive criticism leave me a comment.

GNephew took the photographs for me so some of them aren't perfect.

1. Wrap the yarn once around the index finger of your non-hook hand. I leave a long tail, about 8-10 inches. I do this in case my ring expands so I don't end up with a short tail that won't stay woven in. 

2. Pinch the yarn where it's crossed between your thumb and index finger to secure the ring shape, then slide the yarn off your finger.

3. Keep your ring pinched between your thumb and index finger. Put your hook through the ring from front to back, yarn over and pull to the front of the ring.

4. I use my index finger to maintain tension so I switch to pinching the ring between my thumb and middle finger at this point. Chain stitch. If you're going to use sc, move on to the next step but if you're using a tall stitch (hdc, dc or tr) this chain counts. So if you're going to use dc and start with a ch 3, you do this stitch plus two more before the next step.

5. Crochet around the ring. Work over both the ring and the tail. In this picture, I've done two sc. DO NOT PULL THE TAIL! Just let it hang loose or hold it in your hand.
6. Continue around the ring. I've crocheted 8 sc in the ring (my usual start for basic beanies).
7. Pull the tail to shrink the ring to the size needed. Here I've pulled it to completely close the hole. I do this for most hats that I make. You can leave it open part way if you choose. And then crochet! I continue crocheting over the tail until I have about 2 inches left. I weave that in opposite direction it was going to secure it.

Here's proof that you can use the magic ring for nearly anything. I used a magic circle to start a granny square. I left the hole partially open to make a nice square shape.


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