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Crocheting in the round - a master pattern

Round crochet master pattern

If you are just starting out in crochet, or have stuck with straight lines up until now, crocheting round things might look a little intimidating - how do you know when and how much to increase?  If you're feeling this way, but keen to have a go at a rug, or a bowl or basket, hopefully this master pattern will give you the tips to go forth and create all of the round things you've been dreaming of.  I also have a few trouble-shooting tips, if things start to go head in an unexpected direction.

There are two main techniques to begin a round project:

  • Crochet a chain and join it together into a ring
  • Use the magic loop/circle technique

To be honest, the magic ring is definitely my favourite. While you need to keep a hole in the middle of a chain ring big enough to keep crocheting your initial stitches into, the magic circle allows you to keep keep the circle as big as you need, to get all of your first stitches in, and then pull it tight, a bit like a drawstring bag.

Here is our magic ring tutorial video, to get you started.

Once you've got your magic ring technique down pat, how many stitches do you begin with?  This depends on the sort of project that you are doing.  If you are doing something that will end up quite large and that you will use longer stitches, like double crochet, you need to begin with more stitches in your magic ring. For example, our Lola Rug begins with 12 Single Crochet (SC) stitches.  You could experiment with starting off with Double Crochet (DC) stitches in your magic circle, but I think that SC works very well.

If you are working on a smaller, tight item, like both of the baskets below, you could begin with as little as 6 SC.  The rest of this basket also continues with SC after the initial round.  Having too many smaller stitches in the beginning of a project like this, seems to get a bit too cramped.

White crochet basket

Once you have made it past the magic circle, and that first row SC into the magic circle, the master pattern begins.  It's amazing how simple this stitch progression is, and it opens up such a world of crochet possibilities.  So without further ado, here is the generalised breakdown of the master pattern (which very nearly always works).

The Round Crochet Master Pattern

  • Magic circle
  • 6-12 SC into magic circle (depending on the project type, as mentioned earlier)
  • Round One: Increase (do two stitches) in each stitch space
  • Round Two: One stitch, increase stitch and alternate this all around
  • Round Three: One stitch, one stitch, increase stitch, and continue this progression all around
  • Round Four: One stitch, one stitch, one stitch, increase stitch and continue this progression all around
  • Round Five: One stitch, one stitch, one stitch, one stitch, increase stitch and continue this progression all around
  • Round Six: One stitch, one stitch, one stitch, one stitch, one stitch, increase stitch and continue this progression all around

And on and on it goes, until your project is as big as you'd like it to be! I hope that you can see the pattern here.  

Below is a slightly amusing and potentially confusing annotated example of what this will begin to look like (P.S. Apologies for my handwriting. I'm still working on using my iPad "pencil")

A pictorial representation of the circular crochet master pattern

But how will this work out of an actual pattern?  Here are two examples.  One for something like a floor rug, with distinct rows, and the second for something like the bowl I showed you earlier, that is crocheted in one big spiral.

For discrete rows, using DC:

  • Magic Circle
  • 12 SC into magic circle 
  • Round One: DC increase in every stitch space. Join the final DC to the first DC with a slip stitch (SS). Chain (CH) 3. 
  • Round Two:  1 DC in the same space as the SS from the previous row (counts as the first DC). *1 DC in the next space, increase DC in the next space* repeat the pattern between the asterisks all around. Join to the top of the third CH with a SS.  
  • Round Three: CH 3. 1 DC in the same space as the SS from the previous row (counts as the first DC). *1 DC, 1 DC, increase DC* repeat the pattern between the asterisks all around. Join to the top of the third CH with a SS.  
  • Round Four: CH 3. 1 DC in the same space as the SS from the previous row (counts as the first DC). *1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, increase DC* repeat the pattern between the asterisks all around. Join to the top of the third CH with a SS.  
  • Round Five:CH 3. 1 DC in the same space as the SS from the previous row (counts as the first DC). *1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, increase DC* repeat the pattern between the asterisks all around. Join to the top of the third CH with a SS.  
  • Round Six: CH 3. 1 DC in the same space as the SS from the previous row (counts as the first DC). *1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, increase DC* repeat the pattern between the asterisks all around. Join to the top of the third CH with a SS.  

And so on, continuing increasing in the same way, until the rug is as big as you want it.

Spiral crochet, using SC

For this pattern, you will also need a stitch marker to mark the end of each round, otherwise you will probably lose track of when to change your increasing pattern.

  • Magic Circle
  • 6 SC into magic circle 
  • Round One: DC increase in every stitch space. Move the stitch marker to mark the final stitch.
  • Round Two:  1 DC in the next space, increase DC in the next space and repeat all around.  Move the stitch marker to mark the final stitch.
  • Round Three: 1 DC, 1 DC, increase DC and repeat the pattern all around.  Move the stitch marker to mark the final stitch.
  • Round Four: 1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, increase DC and repeat the pattern all around.  Move the stitch marker to mark the final stitch.
  • Round Five:1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, increase DC and repeat the pattern all around.  Move the stitch marker to mark the final stitch.
  • Round Six: 1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, increase DC and repeat the pattern all around.  Move the stitch marker to mark the final stitch.

And continue on increasing in this way, until the project is as big as you would like it to be.

How do I put sides on this round thing?

If you want to turn this project into a basket/bowl, you just stop increasing, and the sides will turn themselves up.  It's as simple as that!  Just make sure that you start this from the beginning of a new row, and that the "right" side of the crochet is facing out, and that you're working your hook from the outside of the bowl, into the middle. The photo below shows how quickly the sides can begin to turn up, after stopping increasing.

Stopping increasing to create crochet basket sides

Trouble shooting

How to fix it, if it all starts to go wrong.

The round thing has started curling up when I don't want it to.

Round crochet with too few increases

This is quite similar to the delightful effect that gave us sides for our basket - you aren't doing enough increases.  Sadly if you want it to sit flat, you're going to have to pull it out and try again.  You may have lost track of the increasing regime, or you might need to go rogue and try putting a couple of extra increases in, evenly around the project.  Keeping track of this for the next round will be important too, or you'll likely run into the same issues again.  

One other factor that can effect the lie of your round crochet project is if you have changed to a different thickness of yarn, or have changed your tension.  Try to keep you tension even, as much as you can (don't crochet angry!), and if you're dead set on using a different yarn thickness, you may need to adjust the rate of increasing accordingly.

The darn thing's gotten all puckered and won't sit flat!

Puckered crochet rug

Yes, it's painful to look at, and definitely a trip hazard.  This is the opposite to the curling up sides, and is caused by increasing too much.  Once again, you're going to have to pull it out, back to where the problem began, and redo it, keeping a closer eye on your increasing pattern.  Also again, if you're still having the same problem, you might have to go rogue and do slightly less increases evenly around the project.  Remember to keep track of where you've increased, so that you can work from this in your next round.

Again, a change in yarn thickness or tension can also affect the flatness of your round crochet project.

Moving beyond the plain round project.

Well, I hope that this has given you some food for thought, for how you can take a simple pattern progression and use it to make all kinds of amazing things.  When you get into things like doily rugs, you're actually just adding in other fancy stitches, but basically keeping to the same pattern progression.  In that case, it's all about using the maths (as well as trying to make sure that the dang thing sits flat on the floor!) to create something useful and beautiful.

I hope that you have some fun with this master pattern, and don't forget to share your creations! Tag us on instagram @ministryofyarnshop or use the hashtag #ministrymakes and we might even repost your beautiful work on our feed.

xx Happy making!


2 comments

  • Hi Jeanette,
    You’re very welcome!! So glad that it is helpful!

    Ministry of Yarn
  • Thank you. This is very helpful 👍

    Jeanette

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