I’ve been obsessing lately about crocheting in rounds. I’m teaching a class at Pins and Needles in Princeton, NJ on crocheted bowls and baskets… It’s definitely an exercise in letting go for some of my students. When you crochet in the round your work grows organically, you may need to adjust the increase here and there so your circle stays flat. The idea that a fixed pattern will not work was particularly disturbing for one student. She actually went home and developed a mathematical formula for how her particular piece should increase. I was impressed that she’d spend so much time working it out. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. Since her hands aren’t machines, the piece still needed to be massaged into being nice and flat. I suggested she might want to take up machine knitting.
Here’s the basic formula I use for flat circles:
Ch 4, Join with a slip stitch.
Round 1: 8 sc into the center of your hole. Don’t join the yarn at the ends of rounds; instead just let your circle “spiral” onward.
Round 2: (sc in first stitch, 2 sc in next stitch)* repeat from * to the end of the round. [12 stitches]
Round 3: Same as round 2 [18 stitches]
Round 4: (sc, sc, 2 sc)* repeat from * to the end of the round. [24 stitches]
Continue building the circle, each row increasing less (sc, sc, sc, 2 sc), etc. If your circle starts to look wavy, try smoothing it out on a flat surface. If it won’t stay flat, you’ll have to rip out your work to where it lies flat and add at least 2 more sc between each increase. If the edges are curling up, try increasing a bit more—go back to the last flat round and repeat it for another round before changing your increase.
I like to make small things–I’m an instant gratification kind of gal, but I’ve always been attracted to the idea of making a rug from strips of fabric. If I ever run out of yarn, I may have to try it.