I first heard about the crochet magic circle when I learned how to crochet Amigurumi a few years ago. Ever since, this is my favorite technique to start round crochet projects or any projects that start with a circle, like doilies, granny squares, hats, and so on.
The fact that you need to crochet Amigurumi with tight stitches, requires that the starting circle is tightly closed as well, that way the stuffing won’t show through. So, the magic circle is the perfect solution for Amigurumi or any other projects. It just makes it look nice and neat.
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What is a magic circle in crochet patterns?
The magic circle technique, also known as the magic ring, is a way to start your round crochet projects with a loop with no slip knot. To start, we create a simple loop (see pictures), leave a longer tail and place the first round of stitches inside that loop. Once you have all the stitches you need in that loop, you will pull the tail tight to close it. Then… voilà, the magic is done. For your next round crochet project, give it a try.
Why is my magic circle curling?
Your circle will curl depending on the type of project you are working and the type of stitch you are using. For the majority of projects, you will use single crochet, double crochet or half double crochet stitches. Amigurumi, for example, is a technique you use for toys or dolls, so you need to shape it as you go. In that case, you need to start your magic circle with less stitches in it, For that purpose, you place 6 to 8 stitches in the ring, usually. And that number of stitches is what makes it curl. If you are making a doily, for example, you want it to be flat, so you need to start your first round with more stitches in it, it all depends on the stitch type and the project you are working on.
What’s the alternative magic circle?
You can start your crochet projects with chains only instead of a magic circle. If you are starting a project with double crochet, for example, crochet 4 chains, then crochet the double crochet stitches in the 4th chain from the hook. Another alternative is to crochet 3 or 4 chains, then join both ends of the chain with a slip stitch, forming a ring. Then go ahead and crochet your stitches inside that ring. Remember, a magic circle is only another technique you can use for your creations. I like it and I use it even when doing granny squares, but it’s totally a matter of preference and it’s up to you.
Notes about this tutorial:
- For this tutorial, you will need a crochet hook and yarn.
- The instructions are written using US terminology.
- If you are working on someone else’s pattern, even if the instructions don’t tell you to do a magic circle, you can still do it, it won’t change the final result of your project.
- For the purpose of this photo tutorial, I am placing the yarn and hook on a flat surface so you can visualize it better, but make sure when you start step 1 below you hold the two strands of yarn with your fingers to form the circle.
- If you are a visual learner, follow the written instructions and watch the video I created for you. See below.
Here is a video for you to have a visual idea of how it works.
How do you crochet a magic circle?
Start by forming a loop with the yarn, cross the end tail towards your left side under the working yarn. If you are a lefty, place the end tail to the right side. Leave a tail of about 3”. That tail will be used to pull and close the center uptight later.
Insert the hook in that loop
Yarn over and keep holding the two strands of yarn together with your fingers so the ring won’t be undone.
Pull up a loop through the crochet magic circle
At this point the circle is almost ready for the first round of stitches.
Next you will crochet a chain
That chain won’t count as a stitch if you are doing your magic circle with single crochet. If you are doing a project that calls for the circle do be made with double crochet, chain two more, then start doing the double crochet stitches. For this tutorial, we are doing single crochet.
Insert the hook in the loop again.
Yarn over and pull through. Yarn over, pull through two loops and complete the first single crochet stitch. Now that you have secured the two strands of yarn together with a single crochet stitch, there is no more risks of the circle to get unraveled.
Crochet the first round of stitches
Next, Crochet the number of stitches that your project calls for in the circle. I did 6 single crochet stitches, that’s usually what Amigurumi patterns call for.
Now it’s time to close the crochet magic circle
Remove the hook, make sure to pull the last chain loose so it doesn’t unravel. Hold the circle with one hand, with the other hand pull the end of the yarn as tight as possible, it should slide right out and easily. Join your round as usual.
When you have a few rounds done for your crochet project, make sure to go back and weave in that end, securing it tightly so it doesn’t come undone.
I hope you liked this tutorial. Leave a comment below if you have any questions or if you simply would like to say hi.
Here is a cute amigurumi doll that I created that you could use the magic circle for. The pattern is free here on the blog.