Starting Hat with a Magic Ring and Keeping Your Double Crochet Seam Straight

I am currently working on a newborn fisherman outfit/photo prop and thought that I should show what I am doing, as I go.  I love the magic ring and use it anytime I can! It is my favorite way to start a project, especially hats. 🙂 The reason that I prefer the magic ring to other methods is because it is very adjustable. You can make the ring as large or as small as you would like and can use it with any stitch. For example, in my fisherman pattern, I use the magic ring to start my hat, little fish, fishing pole, bobber, and my fishing reel! Of course this method only works, if you are working in the round, which is why my next post will be about starting with a foundation double crochet (FDC), for my little fisherman pants and suspenders.

The magic ring,  sometimes called the magic circle, can be started several ways. This is just the way that works best for me. You are essentially creating a slip knot that you work into.

**Updated 2/2/16 – I am in the process of changing all of my patterns to call this technique the “magic ring”, instead of the “magic circle”. The reason that I am doing this is to comply with the standards set by the Craft Yarn Council (CYC), which has the abbreviation of “MC” meaning “main color”. I don’t want to cause any confusion, so I will no longer be using the Magic Circle or MC abbreviation. It will take me some time to change all of my patterns and posts, but I am working on it. 🙂

Start with the tail of the yarn in your hand, wrap the yarn around two fingers and cross over the tail. Holding the tail with your thumb, turn your hand over. Using your crochet hook, go under the first strand (tail) and grab the second strand (working yarn), pulling it under and through the first one (tail).

MagicCircle1  MagicCircle2  MagicCircle3

I find it easier to chain one, while the magic ring is still on my finger. Pull the magic ring off you fingers and you have an adjustable ring! Depending on the pattern, you can have two or three chains to start, for double crochet (DC). For most of my hats, I only chain two.

MagicCircle5  MagicCircle6  MagicCircle7

Double crochet into the ring, over both of the strands of yarn. Do as many as your pattern calls for. I typically start my hats with 9 or 11 DC. Pictured here is 11 DC. To tighten your ring, all you have to do is pull the tail yarn tightly. Now you can join to the first DC with a slip stitch (SLST) and continue on with your hat/project.

MagicCircle8      MagicCircle9

The same method applies for other stitches. You can chain 1 and work your single crochet (SC), into the ring, the same way you did for the double crochet (DC).

For those that are making a DC hat, I thought I would add in how I keep my seam straight. There are several methods for how to make a hat, but this is what I like.

Now that I have the magic ring completed, I chain (ch) 2 and work my first DC into the stitch that I joined to. I do not count the ch 2 as a stitch. For my hat pattern I do 2 DC into each st around, so I end up with 22 DC stitches at the end of round 2, just depends on the pattern you have.

StraightSeam1

StraightSeam2

 

When I finish the round, I join to the first DC, with a slip stitch (SLST). That finishes round two and I continue to use this method each round, so my seam will stay straighter.  (Ch 2, work first DC into same stitch that you joined to, and join to first DC)

StraightSeam3  StraightSeam4  StraightSeam5

Love the crochet hook?? It is a Furls Size ‘H/5.0mm’ Cocobolo Hook.  **In the spirit of full disclosure, this is an affiliate link, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything from Furls. I only recommend products that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.**

I really hope that you found this helpful and would love to hear that you think! Feel free to share, in the comments, how you create the magic circle/start hats or keep your seam straight!

I will be posting a free newborn bear hat pattern soon, that uses the magic circle, with worsted weight yarn and another with bulky weight Pipsqueak yarn.

Thank you for reading!

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