Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Crocheting in Rounds


Crocheting in rounds can be a bit daunting and people have said to me that when they do, their work turns into a funny shape or curls up

This can be due to a couple of things - If you find that it doesn't look round, it's just a case of making sure your increase doesn't always fall in the same place on each round

For work that is curling, it could be your tension, but is more than likely to be that you haven't got the right amount of increases in the round

As a rule, I personally like to work in rounds that increase by 6 each time. I find it gives me a nice flat circle and is easy to work out the increases

I always use a stitch marker, then if the doorbell or the phone rings, I can just unpick back to the marker and won't have to start again. Also, my logic for working in rounds, means I always work the round in six segments so when I get back to the stitch marker I know I am back to the start

I work in UK terms Double Crochet throughout

I begin with 6 dc in my first round. I adopt the magic ring method, but you could also use the chain method to make your starter ring

Starting with 6dc means that each of the following rounds will have an increase of 6 stitches

In the pic below you can see that I need to work 2 double crochets into each of my starting 6 stitches and once I have reached the stitch marker I have 12 stitches

Next our increase of 6 means we will go from 12 to 18 stitches. To work out where we need to increase we use our 6 times table(because we want to increase by 6). We have 12 stitches at the moment in our round, so 12 divided by 6 = 2 so therefore we need to increase every 2nd stitch

I like to increase in the first stitch as it hides the transition from the previous round. The sequence for this round is (2 dc into next stitch, 1 dc) and in total you will do this 6 times

This is where I now like to work in sixes as I am going round.  It doesn't really matter for the first few rounds, but once your work grows and you are working with a lot of stitches, it makes it much easier to think of the round as six segments

Next our increase of 6 means we will go from 18 to 24 stitches. 18 divided by 6 = 3 so we need to increase every 3rd stitch. The sequence for this round is (2dc into next stitch, 1dc,1dc) six times

Remember to keep moving your stitch marker into the first stitch of the round

Next our increase of 6 means we will go from 24 to 30 stitches. 24 divided by 6 = 4 so we need to increase every 4th stitch. This increase is the last one where I increase at the beginning of each sequence, as this is where your project starts to take on the shape of a hexagon.  This is because you are increasing each round in the same place every time, so your work will naturally have sides and not be round
The sequence for this round is (2dc into next stitch, 1dc, 1dc, 1dc) six times

This next part may sound confusing but once you have got your head round it, this is how you will do every other round

As you will see below, I have broken the round into 6 segments. This round starts with 30 stitches so 30 divided by 6 = 5. You now need to think of the round as 6 segments of 5 stitches and we need to increase one stitch in each of those six segments so that 5 stitches become 6. 

Hope that makes sense so far :)

I like to do the increase in the middle stitch so if I increase in the 3rd stitch of each of the six segments, then I will have 2 stitches each side to make it look nice and even - the sequence for this row in each of the segments will be (1dc, 1dc, 2dc into next stitch, 1dc, 1dc) and by the end of the round my 5 stitches have increased to 6 in each segment

I now have 36 stitches and 36 divided by 6 = 6  When I do this calculation and the answer is an even number (in this case 6), that's when I increase at the beginning of each segment. 6 stitches will turn into 7, so I work the sequence (2dc into next stitch, 1dc,1dc,1dc,1dc,1dc) If you count to total number of stitches who now have in the sequence you will count 7, so you  know that you are on the right track.

You will now have 42 stitches so 42 divided by 6 = 7 As the number is odd you will now do the increase on the middle stitch of the segment like we did two rows before.  The middle stitch will be stitch 4 so you do your increase in that stitch and you will have 3 stitches each side of the increase

For the start of the next round you will have 48 stitches and 48 divided by 6 = 8 so as it's an even number, we do the increase at the beginning of each segment. 

Just a quick point on how to count the stitches in each segment as you are working in the round. If for example I have 96 stitches at the start of my round, 96 divided by 6 = 16, remember even numbers means you do the increase at the start of the segment, so I would do the 2 dc into the first stitch and then count 15 more and do this for all of the 6 segments 
The next round would start with a 17 st sequence, and being an odd number I need to increase in the middle stitch - to find this add 1 to the starting number (17 for this round) and divide by 2, which is 9 so you will do your increase on stitch 9, so work 8 dc's then 2dc's into stitch 9 and then 8 more and start the sequence again. So that means if you start with a 19 st sequence 19 + 1 = 20 and 20 divided by 2 = 10 so you work 9 dc's, 2dc's into stitch 10 and then work 9 more for that sequence.
This does sound really complicated, but once you have got it, you'll never look back  

Just continue with this method and you can keep going and going and going and your work will stay beautifully round.

The picture above shows the increases done in the middle of the sequences on every other row

The picture below shows how it would look if you did your increase in the same place every time

Perfect though if you would like to make hexagons 

Below is a chart for a 20 round pattern.
If you continue working on the same theory you could go on forever and make a huge circle

I hope you have fun trying out this method and let me know if you need any help at all

This method also works for other stitches, but you will need to do a different sequence.

Working with UK trebles is great when you want your project to grow quicker, although it will give a more open weave appearance than double crochet stitches

You will see from the chart below, that the method is the same, but instead of working 6 stitches into the ring, we start with 12 trebles (1st treble of each round is a 3 chain) . This means that we will increase 12 stitches in each round, as we need to allow for the extra height that working with trebles create. So the sequence is repeated 12 times and not 6. To finish off each round, work a slip stitch into the top (3rd chain stitch) of the 1st treble created at the beginning of the round. To start the next round. slip stitch into the next space and work a 3 chain to make your first treble. Doing a slip stitch will centre the stem of the 3 chain and make you work look neat and more professional. 

Happy Crocheting

The Crafty Co