What You Need to Know About Crocheting in the Round Using the Chain Method

If you are starting a project where you will be creating a circle design, you will be doing something that us crocheters like to call crocheting in the round. Very technical, I know. There are a few ways that you can start this process: either by using the magic circle (or magic ring) method, or by using the chain method to create the circle. The preference is really up to the pattern designer, and the use of the circle in the design of the project.

What You Need to Know About Crocheting in the Round Using the Chain Method


  • Yarn
  • Crochet Hook
  • Yarn Needle
  • Scissors


When you use the chain method to create a circle to crochet into, the center circle will not be adjustable. If you want the circle smaller, you will chain less stitches than if you want it to appear larger in the center.

The main reasons that I can see where you’d want to stick with one method or the other would be in the design of the project. If you are creating a flower which has a larger center gap that is more prevalent, then you’d definitely want to use this method. However, if you are crocheting a coaster, or something similar where you don’t want the center hole to show as much, then you’d use the magic ring method.

There are a few times when I actually prefer this method of starting my project. First, if I’m layering something, and perhaps I need to rejoin the yarn into the center stitch from the second or third row and need adequate space for my hook to fit. Secondly, if I am using very thick yarn. The bulkiness of the yarn helps to hide the center hole, and at the same time allows more room for you to complete your first row of stitches (not to mention is easier to hold onto). 

Let’s check out a few ways that this method can be accomplished.


How to Crochet in the Round

With crocheting in the round, and not using the magic circle method, you must always start with a slip knot. If you are unfamiliar with how to create a slip knot in order to get your yarn on the hook, I have a post on that, too.

For the first example that I’m going to use, we will chain two. This is going to be an example of a smaller project, where the center gap will be tighter.

Insert your hook in the second chain from your hook and draw the hook up so that the loop remains. Finish out a single crochet. Repeat steps for the rest of your single crochets, being careful to go ahead and crochet over the top of the slip knot and tail so that you can secure your ends in all at once. Ensure that you keep count of your number of stitches, as the first chain will now count as your first stitch.

You will use that first stitch on the foundation chain, and join the last single crochet to that chain with a slip stitch. From there, you can chain one and resume your single crochet stitches.

The next method of crocheting in the round will be to chain a certain number (let’s use chain four in this example), join with a slip stitch, chain one, and single crochet into the actual circle that you just created with your chain four.

The circle will obviously be as large as your chain four, so anything such as the type of yarn you are using, to the crochet hook size, could affect the size of the actual circle. Normally the pattern maker will have vetted this during the creation process.

Throughout both of these options, I do recommend that you use a stitch marker to keep track of that first stitch so that it’s very clear where you need to join to. You don’t need a fancy stitch marker–I tend to use scraps of leftover yarn in bright colors to mark the beginning of my rows. I find that it works just as well, and struggling with the clip fastens often takes me out of my groove.

No one wants a frustrated crocheter. You might end up wrapped in yarn.

Video Tutorials

Like many of my tutorials, I also like to include videos of these methods so those learning can pause and follow along. This first video is where you chain two and insert all yarn through the chain next to the hook.

The next video is where we will chain four, join with a sl st, and make all of our single crochets into the center of the circle we’ve created. (By the way, if you aren’t familiar with the term sl st it means slip stitch. This term and others may be found on my crochet abbreviations page.)

I hope that you’ve found this post useful as you learn more about crocheting in the round. You can find these starting methods on patterns such as crochet hats, flowers, amigurumi, motifs, and more!

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do with the slip knot? Can I crochet over that?

Yep! In fact, I recommend it so that you have less to weave in later. Way to think ahead!

What happens if I accidentally turn my beginning chain and ended up joining in the back of the first chain rather than the front?

First, you’re fired. Just kidding. 🙂 If you are doing the chain four and sl st to join method, all of your single crochets will be going into the circle. Luckily, it doesn’t matter what the circle looks like! So, you should still be good. I’ve included a brief video of this below to show you.

As always, please let me know if you all have any additional questions that I can add to this post. Thanks, and happy hooking!







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I’m Amanda, Chief Nerd and Crochet Entrepreneur, Crochet is my passion. I want to teach you so that it can be yours, too. Learn more about me here.

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