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Crocheting in the Round: A Step by Step Tutorial

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Crocheting in the Round - Step 5: Making the Round Grow
Crocheting in the Round - Finished Crocheted Round

Completed Crocheted Circle. Sew Two identical Pieces Together for Coasters or Trivets.

Photo © Erica Jackofsky

Now that you have this round of stitches, what happens next? How does the round grow and what can you do with it?

If you were to continually chain up 1 stitch, work 1 single crochet in every stitch around, and slip stitch to finish the round, you’ll find that your work begins to curl at the edge. Without increasing the number of stitches, and therefore the surface area, we leave nowhere for our work to go but up. The circumference of your work will begin to curl in on itself, reaching toward the center. In some instances this is a good thing. For example, a hat or basket that requires sides. However, you’ll most likely want the base of these pieces to be larger than 8 stitches.

To make your round continue to grow you will need to add stitches at regular intervals. Increasing stitches adds more surface area of fabric and allows the round to continue to spread out and grow larger without curling in on itself. The following is a good formula for increasing that can be applied to any number of stitches. For now we will assume you have chained 4, joined your center ring, worked stitches into the ring as discussed above, and now have 8 single crochet stitches joined in a round.

Increase Round 1: Chain 1, work 2 single crochets in every stitch around, slip stitch to join. This doubles the number of stitches in your round. (If you began with 8, you now have 16.)

Increase Round 2: Chain 1, *1 single crochet in the next stitch, 2 single crochets in next stitch (1 stitch increased); repeat from * to end of round, slip stitch to join. This increases your last round by your original number. (If you began with 8, you now have 24.)

Increase Round 3: Chain 1, *1 single crochet in each of the next 2 stitches, 2 single crochets in next stitch (1 stitch increased); repeat from * to end of round, slip stitch to join. This increases your round again by your original number. (If you began with 8, you now have 32.)

Increase Round 4: Chain 1, *1 single crochet in each of the next 3 stitches, 2 single crochets in next stitch (1 stitch increased); repeat from * to end of round, slip stitch to join. This increases your round again by your original number. (If you began with 8, you now have 40.)

By now you might have noticed a pattern to the placement of increases. On every round you’re working 1 more stitch before making an increase. (For example, if you were to do an Increase Round 5 you would single crochet into 4 stitches before increasing by working 2 single crochets into the next stitch.) You may continue in this manner until your fabric reaches the desired diameter.

For a fun practice project, use worsted weight cotton (try Lily Sugar’n Cream or Lion Cotton by Lion Brand Yarns) and an H or I crochet hook to make your rounds (see photo of finished round). These sample pieces can become coasters (4 to 5 inches diameter) or trivets (5 to 9 inches diameter). Sew two rounds of the same size on top of each other for double thickness and protection.

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