crochet basics {the magic circle}

I wanted to do a series of crochet tutorials.  There are so many fun stitches and patterns out there.  And whether you're learning them for the first time, or if you're like me, you forget from time to time, it's nice to have a source of compiled crochet basics.

The Magic Circle

The magic circle is my preferred way for beginning any crochet pattern that begins with a circle.  You can modify any circular pattern to begin this way.

1)  Wind your yarn around your finger 3 times.  Make sure to have the short end of the yarn at the tip of your finger, and the end attached to the ball of yarn at the base of your finger.

2) Slide your hook under all three strands and grab the third with your hook.

3) Pull that third strand under the other strands on your finger, and keep it on your hook.

 4)  Do a chain stitch with the loop still on your finger.

  
5)  Pull the whole loop off your finger.

 
6)  Now, if you are doing a pattern with double crochet you will want to chain 2 more (pictured below).  If you are working a pattern with a singel crochet you will stop with just one chain.

7)  If your work is double crochet, and you chained 3, then do 12 double crochet into the circle (pictured below).  If your work is single crochet, you will do 6 single crochets into the circle.

8)  Now slip stitch your final double (or single) crochet into the top chain that you started with.  You now have a complete circle, with a large center.


9)  Abra Kadabra.... Pull your short tail and watch your circle magically shrink!  Now you can complete your hat, flower, granny square, etc.