zaterdag 18 mei 2013

Learn to Crochet Simple Style: Making Circles

Crocheting in the round is a bit harder than with knitting. It’s because of diameter, pi and radius. You remember these terms from highschool? I shuddered when I started using them for this lesson, but I think I understand them better now than I did when I was 16.

Half double crochet circle
If you have a circle, the distance from the center to the circumference is called the radius. The radius affects the circumference. The bigger the radius, the bigger the circumference.
In knitting all stitches have the same heigth and the same width. There are standard rules for knitting how to make rectangles, squares, circles and how to increase. When you are knitting a circle from the center outwards, a knit stitch will add always the same amount to the radius.

Double crochet circle
In crochet, there are no rules because we have a little “problem”! There are different stitches in crochet with different heights. So each stitch adds a different amount to the radius.

Treble crochet circle
A single crochet stitch is shorter than a double crochet stitche. Every stitch adds a certain amount of “width” for the circumference because of their height, but as I said before, the shorter the radius (the height of a stitch) the smaller the circumference.  So for a single crochet stitch (which is shorter than a double crochet stitch) you need to have less stitches in a circle to get the right circumference. This also dictates how much increases you have to do per round. You will need to do more increases for a double crochet round than for a single crochet round.
I hope you get what I say here. Long story in short: the shorter the stitch , the less amount of stitches to get a full circle (and thus the right circumference), and the less amount of increases per round.

Single crochet circle

For the most of us this means: “as long as it lies flat!” because that is the only thing that matters when crocheting a circle. And to me, when you are experimenting with stitches it is actually one of the hardest things! Since we have this little problem of not adding the same height to a circle, designing new in-the-round projects is a process of trying and ripping out. Repeat ad nauseatum ad infinitum. But fun (most of the times)!

Last but not least here are the basics of crocheting a circle with one stitch. I have written a standard pattern for it and state the different amount of stitches and repeats between brackets.

You only have to remember this

Starting chains:
Sc: 1
Hdc: 2
Dc: 3
Tr: 4

Pattern repeats (or amount of increases made per round):
Sc: 6
Hdc: 8
Dc: 12
Tr: 16

Handwerkjuffie made an excellent post about her colourful circles and has a lovely scheme that can be used by my Dutch readers. Check out her blog!

Making a circle with single crochet/half double crochet/double crochet and treble crochet stitches

Explanation: Pattern is written in a “stitch number(number,number,number,number) way. The numbers are associated with the different crochet stitches. It will always be in the “stitch number of sc(number of hdc, number of dc, number of tr) sequence. Highlight the stich you are using for easier reading.

The ch1 for a single crochet does not count as a stitch. The ch2/3/4 for hdc, dc and tr does count as a stitch

Ch3, sl st to close

Round 1: Ch 1 (2,3,4), make 6 (7,11,15) stitches into ring, sl st to close round

Round 2: Ch1 (2,3,4), stitch twice (once, once, once) into same stitch, stitch twice into each stitch, sl st to close round (12, (16, 24, 32) stitches)

Round 3: Ch1 (2, 3,4),stitch twice (once, once, once)into same stitch, *stitch once into next stitch, stitch twice into next stitch*, repeat between ** 4 (6, 10, 14) more times, stitch once in last stitch, sl st to close round (18 (24, 36,48) stitches)

Round 4: Ch1 (2, 3,4) stitch twice (once, once once) into same stitch, *stitch once into next two stitch, stitch twice into next stitch* repeat between ** 4 (6, 10, 14) more times, stitch once in last stitch, sl st to close round (24 (32, 48, 54) stitches)

Keep increasing in this way, you will add stitches to the “stitch once into the next two stitch” and keep your increases in the same place.

If you want a perfect circle however, you will need to alter the place of your increases, because keeping the increases in the same place will give a bit of a hexagonal shape.

If you want to use other stitches or stitch groups it is a matter of trial and error. Just try if it fits and if the circle stays flat.

I hope you like this lesson, I would love to hear some feedback! (maybe I am not clear in every part of this lesson so if you have any questions or if anything can be written better just leave a comment!)

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