Circle Pockets: Non-Continuous Circles, Color Changes, and Overlay
This post is part of a series of tutorials on how to create your own unique crochet pixie pocket belt – to read more about this series visit the Intro page.
Most of the crochet utility belts I make have circle pockets – I love their potential as a canvas for other shapes like mandalas, simple embroidery, or shell flower petals. Plus, I’m just really into circles.
The continuous orange circle I made in the previous post to demonstrate my shorthand and the principle of increases and whatnot was fun and all, but now it’s really time to use a little more color! The plajn orange circle will end up being the back of a circular pouch on this belt, so we need a matching size circle to make up the front. For this, I’ll start a new piece, worked non-continuously. Since continuous rounds don’t start and end in the same place, I don’t use them for multi-colored circles (because the stripes wouldn’t match up). I mean, you totally can if you want to though! FrEeForM baby!
Non Continuous Circles & Color Changes
Non-continuous circles are worked with the exact same increase strategy, except you join with a slip stitch at the end of every round and start the next, new round by chaining (to count as the first stitch or not – your choice). I use the same shorthand as in the previous post for this, and just leave off the info on beginning and ending the round, which is the same every time: Ch to start (counts or doesn’t count as first st, up to you) blah blah blah, join with a slip stitch in the first st of the round.
The front circle of the pocket is where I really like to use up the small scraps of color. Looking at my scrap options, I want to tend toward the smallest balls first because they may not be big enough to make it around the entire circle once it gets larger.
MR (Magic Ring)
1. 6 sc into ring
2. Inc every st. Color Change (CC)
That’s as much as I can do with the first ball. To add the new yarn for Rnd 3, I start in a different st than the ending of my previous rnd, so that all of my joins are not in the same place and my seam ends up being less obvious.
This also means my increases will be offset, so less of that hexagonal shaping to make a more even-looking circle. I like to use a standing sc to join my new yarn, a technique explained in this great tutorial from Look At What I Made.
- Inc on 2. CC
- 4. Inc on 3. CC
- 5. Inc on 4, BLO. CC
Overlay Double Crochet
Rnd 5 is worked in the Back Loop Only so that I can do some fancy stuff with it on the next round. I’ll be using those empty front loops to work an some overlay stitches, or stitches that go over the previous round to form layers.
Rnd 6 starts normally, with the new yarn joined wherever. I will be increasing at the normal rate, but the extra stitch of every inc will be a double crochet, worked into the FLO of Rnd 4 instead of the same Rnd 5 loop as the previous stitch.
6. Dc Overlay Inc on 5.
7. Inc on 6. CC
On the next round I’ll do another type of overlay called a spike stitch. I count it as an overlay because it layers over the previous round, but it doesn’t require free loops. Basically, you just insert the hook in the same space as one of the stitches of the previous round, and draw up a loop over an entire round (or two!) of crochet, then finish it like a normal sc. You can do this at any time, so it makes a great freeform stitch. I like to do mine at the increase, and as you can see here I placed them between each two overlay sts from Rnd 6.
- Spike st inc on 7. CC
- Inc on 8. CC
10. Inc on 9.
11. Sc even, skipping a few stitches at the end and chaining a few instead. Sl st to join, then sl st a few more to secure. Cut yarn and tie off.
Skipping the last few stitches and chaining makes a buttonhole for the button fastening for your circle pouch. I forgot to choose buttons when I was looking for materials, so I poke around in my collection and grab this wooden one. It just feels like the right one, even though the pale orange one matches better. I guess I just like the cut of its jib.
Check to make sure the button just fits through your opening, making smaller or bigger if necessary.
Assembling & Finishing
Now that you have two flat circles, weave in all of the ends of the front circle (the multi-color or what-have-you) and the central end of the back circle (the plain one).
Leave the outer yarn-end of the back circle unwoven so that you can attach your button to the inside face of that circle using the yarn end and a tapestry needle.
Line your pockets up, then match the buttonhole on the front circle to the button on the back. Grab two locking stitch markers and pin those puppies together, leaving an opening about a quarter of the circumference at the top for the pocket opening.
Next we’ll be crocheting around the bottom part of both circles at once to attach them – so grab a matching or coordinating yarn (or a mismatching one – this is freeform after all) to do the seam. If you’re feeling sassy, string a few of those beads on there using the tapestry needle – I’ll show you what to do with them later.
Join your yarn at the point where you put your stitch marker so that you’ll be working around the bottom ¾ or so of the pocket. Insert your hook through the top of the sc of both layers and work a sc. Continue to sc through both layers at once around the circumference – slip stitch works fine here too or hdc or even dc works fine here too, if you like – fReEfOrM ba- ok, you get the idea.
Once I reach near the bottom, it’s time to work the beads in. I like dangly things. Here’s two ways to do it:
For prestrung beads, chain a length and chain in the bead at the end. Slip stitch back down the chain and continue working the hem through both layers until you want to add another bead, then repeat.
For beads with larger holes that are not prestrung, chain a longer length, then slip stitch back down. Once the chain is finished, string the cord through the bead and then tie a small knot at the end. Continue to work the hem through both layers until you want to add another bead, then repeat.
Once you’ve beaded to your heart’s content, keep single crocheting around the last portion of the pocket circles until you reach the other stitch marker. Cut yarn and tie off, then weave in your ends.
Ta-Da! You have your very own circle pocket for attaching to your pixie pocket belt! For how to attach, keep reading through this tutorial series 🙂
To wrap up, how about some more ideas for circle pockets? Here are some ways I’ve done them in past projects:
This circle pocket features a crochet overlay motif of the tree of life, from this awesome free pattern!
Another overlay motif crocheted then sewn on appears on this plain circle pocket – a great chance to practice designing your own doily/mandala patterns.
The circle pocket in “Nightshade” features beaded single crochet, working prestrung seed beads into the back side of each stitch.