I love to crochet in the round. Maybe it is because I’m always going in circles anyway.
I have spent many an hour figuring out how to translate a favorite stitch pattern into a design that can be worked in the round. Whether it is a tube, mobius, or some adaptation of the granny square, I love going in circles (or sometimes spirals and squares).
There is a sculptural quality that can be harnessed in crocheting in the round. And working in the round can change the appearance of stitches in ways that I find texturally interesting. This technique allows me to make adorable amigurumis, warm hats, various and sturdy bags, or drapey and luxurious wraps and sweaters.
Other things I love about working in the round…
Eliminating seaming: This has to be my top reason for working in the round. I have always found seaming crocheted (or knit) fabric by hand to be the most tedious of tasks. I can do it, can even do a lovely job of it, but I just hate it. So I often chose to work in the round (and design in the round) to be rid of this task.
Unique opportunities for pretty edgings: I find the edgings to look much cleaner when one doesn’t have to work into sides of rows.
A fondness for the tops of stitches: Admit it, don’t you think the tops of stitches look so much prettier than the sides? Not only do you get a beautiful finish to all edges of your project, you are always working into the tops of stitches or the chain spaces between stitches. It’s all nice and orderly…which appeals greatly to my inner math geek.
An economy of Yarn: When one is winging it creating your own design from a stitch pattern in your favorite dictionary or just doodling with the yarn…it’s very nice to be able to pick an easy stopping point. I have made many a baby blanket as a gift by grabbing a few skeins of appropriate yarn from the stash and working a round or square flat pattern until I ran out of yarn. None of my recipients have complained so far.
The joy of starting small: I’m not that fond of working a lengthy foundation chain to begin a project. So working in the round generally means I can start small and allow the increases in the stitch pattern to make the item grow to a usable size. A recent example of this is my Flat Fuzzy Friend pattern in the Summer issue of Crochet Uncut. Each piece for that pattern starts with chain 2 work in 2nd chain from hook, as small a start as you can get.
When working in the round your best friends are stitch markers. They come in very handy for marking your increase points or at least the end of each round (particularly helpful when working in spiral rounds). I also like them for helping me to locate the stitch for corners in square shapes.
Generally, when doing flat circles in the round there are increase rules that help you keep the circle from cupping or ruffling. Typical rule of thumb is you increase by the same number of stitches as are in your first round. For single crochet that is 6, half-double 8, double 12 (US Terminology).
Another tip to keep in mind when working a flat shape in crochet if your stitches are starting to lean to the right you need an increase. This is especially helpful if you are mixing up the height of stitches you are using.
Hopefully these tips will help you feel comfortable crocheting in the round as well. It isn’t hard once you get the hang of it and you may find working in the round will become your favorite way to crochet too.