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How do you crochet a magic ring?

In crochet patterns you often find the instruction 'Start with magic ring' (or magic loop, or magic circle). But what is a magic ring? Simply put, it's a way to start a project that's worked in the round with an invisible start. You can pull on the loose end of the magic ring, thereby closing the ring and closing the hole that you would otherwise see. This is a great method to start your Amigurumi projects with, but also comes in handy when crocheting shawls, blankets, and any other project that's worked in the round.

To crochet a magic ring is simple, but can look daunting the first time you try. So that's why I've made a video tutorial and a photo tutorial, to help you make a magic ring step by step. And trust me: once you've mastered this technique, you don't want to use anything else anymore!

1. Wrap the yarn around your finger

Take your yarn in your left hand. Wrap the yarn around a finger on your right hand clockwise, making sure that your loose end is at the back of the wrap. Leave a yarn end of around 20cm (8in) so you can easily pull on it later. Hold your ring with your thumb and middle or index finger of your left hand, and remove it from your right hand. You'll need that one to crochet.

2. Seal the magic ring

Now you have to make sure that your ring is sealed, so it won't come undone when you start crocheting. Make sure to crochet with the yarn that's still attached to the ball, and not with the loose yarn end.

Insert your hook in the ring, yarn over, pull hook back through ring, yarn over again, and pull through loop on hook. Effectively you made a slip stitch that seals the ring. Now you're ready to crochet stitches!

3. Crochet stitches in your ring

You will now see 2 strands of yarn on the left side of your slip stitch, and 1 strand on the right side. This is because the yarn and that you're going to pull on later hangs towards the left (you did this in step 1). Now crochet the first stitch of your pattern (for example, a double rochet) over the two strands on the left side. Continue with your pattern. After 2 or 3 stitches you'll see the magic ring very clearly. Take care to identify the first stitch you've crocheted. If you find this hard, make sure to insert a stitch marker in your first stitch.

4. Pull tight

Once you've crocheted your magic ring, pull your magic ring carefully. Don't pull too hard, because you don't want your yarn to break. Pull gently and you'll feel the ring closing and the yarn sliding. Once your ring is almost closed, pull a little bit harder and you will feel your yarn 'slip' in place. Your ring is now closed. Congratulations, you've successfully made a magic ring!

What to do with the loose end of the magic ring?

There are some people who claim that you can just snip the end of the magic ring right off after you closed it. I wouldn't do that, especially not with smoother yarns like cotton. There's a chance that your magic ring becomes undone after a while causing your crochet to unravel inside-out. Been there, done that, it's not a fun repair.

The best solution is to wave in the loose end through the backside of the stitches with a sharp needle. If you really don't want to do this (for example, when you have to crochet 300 motifs on a deadline), then make sure to double wrap the yarn around your fingers in step 1. The chances of your magic ring coming undone will get smaller. It's a bit harder to evenly close though: so try it out and see if you can work with the double wrap.

Abbreviation of magic ring in patterns

A magic ring isn't always abbreviated in patterns, but when it is it's often 'mr'. For example: 'with Colour A, make mr'.

Abbreviations (US Terms)

  • mr

Symbols

A magic ring can be indicated in multiple ways, but the most common way of displaying is as a spiral or a closed ring.

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