I learned how to make circles by creating chain “x” stitches long (something small like 3 or 4), slip stitching to the first chain so you have a loop and then working into the loop. I hated that method. It was the only one I knew though so I kept using it and fixing the gap I would get afterwards. Then I learned the magic loop method while I was sitting in the hallway with my English teacher and let me tell you, it really is magic! Today, I’m going to show you what my English teacher taught me then: how to make a magic loop and make better crochet circles.
Magic Loop Tutorial
Let’s start with the video as always. You’ll see how I use this technique to start my circles and round in the round so that there’s no gap or hole at the beginning. Magic loops are one of the most important techniques you’ll learn because there is so much you can do with them including making hats, beanies, and all kinds of amigurumi!
Did you see the magic?! Pulling that string completely fixes the problem and it’s so easy to do! It is a little fiddly sometimes so let’s go step by step and I’ll show you how to use the magic loop.
1. To start, wrap your yarn around your fingers 3 times and hold the tail with your pinky. Then, insert your hook under the first 2 loops and grab the 3rd loop (working yarn) with the hook.
2. Pull the working yarn under the two loops. Now yarn over and chain 1 to secure those loops. This is the magic loop and you’ll work your stitches into this next.
3. Take your fingers out of the loop and hold it like the image above. The stitches we work for the first round will all be worked into the center of these loops.
4. Insert your hook into the center of the loop and pull up another loop. With 2 loops on the hook, yarn over and finish your single crochet. You can work any stitch, but I’m using SC.
5. Work 5 SC into the magic loop. Then, to close the circle, pull on the tail to see which loop gets smaller. Take that loop and pull one side of it to close the other loop. You’ll have one big loop and the tail left when that’s done.
6. Now tug the tail end to close the big loop. There shouldn’t be any gap in the center of your circle. Slip stitch to the first SC you worked to finish the circle and close the round. It helps to add a stitch marker here so you know where your rounds will start and end as you make the circle bigger.
To make your circle bigger, you need to work increase rounds. Below is the written pattern you follow, but you can also see how I increase the circle in the video.
Now that you have your first round done with the magic loop, we can make this circle bigger and increase it to whatever size you need.
This first round already has 5 SC.
Round 2: Increase into each space (10 SC).
Round 3: *SC 1, increase into the next*. Repeat this around the circle for 15 SC.
Round 4: *SC 2, increase into the next*. Repeat this around the circle for 20 SC.
Round 5: *SC 3, increase into the next*. Repeat this around the circle for 25 SC
Continue working in this pattern, SCing one more before your next increase for each round until you have a disk that’s as big as you like!
And that’s it! I hope you found this helpful and now you have ready to go make wonderful circular things! Most beanies, hats and toys use this method of magic loop to start the piece and then use other stitches to add interest. I love love love this magic loop method and I honestly haven’t even used the chain first way since I learned how to do this about 9 years ago. Even when a pattern calls for the chain method, I use this instead!
P.S. Check out The Beginner’s Guide to Crochet! It’s an ebook with all my the first 12 lessons (complete with pictures and video just like this post), more tips on choosing the right materials and tools, along with 12 beginner friendly patterns (also with video). You can get the whole thing for free right over here!
Thanks so much for reading! I’ll be back with another lesson soon.