So, today I have a first for the blog. A photo tutorial. I don't know if it will be useful to anyone, or whether anyone will like it, but I thought I would try it out, and if people want more, I shall do my best to provide!
So, the Magic Ring in crochet. What is it? Quite simply its a way of starting a circle without using a slip knot, and providing more space to work the initial round into the ring, which is what makes it popular. However, it takes a little practice. But once you have the hang of it, then its an invaluable technique to have in your arsenal. Its one I am using a lot, making an African flower motif blanket for my daughter. And it was crocheting one of these blocks where I took the pictures for this tutorial. SO, how do we do it.
Assuming you are right handed, put your ball of yarn on your left, and wrap the end of your yarn round two fingers of your left hand twice, so that the yarn end is on the right:
Holding your yarn tail in whatever way is most comfortable, use your crochet hook to catch the top loop (the working yarn) and pull a loop under:
With that loop on your hook, slip your hook under the top loop (working yarn) again to chain into the loop on your hook. This locks the ring and allows you to work it.
Use your right hand to pinch and hold beneath your stick as you slip your fingers from the ring. Tension your working yarn in your left hand as suits you, and take over pinching the ring with you left hand. Now work your first stitch. - In my case, chain three
I personally find that my ring can twist a bit in this process, and now we have our stitch complete and anchored, now is a good time to let go of the ring and make sure the yarn is lying right within it. In the picture below you can see the tail loops round nicely in an anti clockwise direction. You want to make sure you have both of those loops on the left of your stictch like this, as you are going to work your entire round around both of these loops.
Like so. I am working my stitches around both loops here, this is important.
You have now completed your first round, and completed a slip stitch into the first stitch to complete the ring (I have also cut my yarn as I am changing colour, but do what suits your current pattern). For reference I worked 2 treble crochet, chain one eight times all around (ENGLISH terms. 2 double crochet, chain 1 in american). And you will have this odd bit of slack, and it will look a bit funky, like below:
But this is the 'magic bit. With your yarn tail in the back, and on your left (as below), gently tug on the yarn tail until it starts to take up all the slack and it draws your ring up nice and tight:
And there you have it, one nice, tight circle, that you already know the tail has been woven round the bottom of each stitch in the ring twice, so is nice and secure. Great for the top of hats, the centre of motifs, anything you like really. The space is much easier to work into than a straight ring made from chaining four times and joining!
I hope that is useful to someone! If you like this tutorial and would liek to see more, please let me know, and I will see what I can do!
Till next time!