Magic Ring Tutorial

Given how many crochet patterns I have that start with the notoriously useful Magic Ring technique, you’d think I’d have written a full, freestanding tutorial for it by now! Mostly because so many tutorials already exist for the Magic Ring, I hadn’t bothered to do my own – but now I am remedying that thanks to some encouraging words from a friend to whom I recently taught my method 🙂

Above: The center of the Ida Shawl

If you’ve never heard of it before, the Magic Ring (abbreviated to MR) is simply an adjustable string loop onto which the first round of a circular crochet project is worked. The loop is a substitute for the other method of starting circular crochet, which is to chain a certain number and then join the length chain stitches into a circle shape by slip stitching in the first chain.

The advantages of the Magic Ring are many – that’s why it’s called magic! Instead of guessing how many chain stitches will give you the adequate room to work your first round, the MR closes AFTER you make your stitches, so you can close the round as tightly as you wish. Sometimes starting chain rings are too bulky even when made to the right length, resulting in a rather nippular bump :/ No so with the Magic Ring! Although it still tends to look like a cat’s booty, but whaddyagonnado. 😉

Above: The Tree of Life motif

Anyway, here’s a written and photo tutorial for how to work the Magic Ring, followed by a video demonstration at the bottom of the blog post <3 Hope it’s helpful to you!

Magic Ring

Step 1: Take the end of the yarn strand and lay it over the fingers, the end placed on the pinkie side.

Bring the strand under the fingers and back up over the index finger, using your bottom fingers to secure the loose end and your thumb to hold the yarn strand in place.

Slip your hook under the bottom-most strand and wrap the top strand around the hook as for a yarn over.

Draw up your loop through the strand under which your hook was inserted. Now you have one loop drawn up through the beginning of the ring.

Yarn over again…

… And draw through the loop on the hook.

Tighten the stitch you just made. Now you have a yarn ring and a loose tail of yarn coming off of this initial stitch. For taller stitches like dc and tr, this first stitch counts as the first chain in the starting chain. For single crochet, I usually don’t count this as the first stitch as it is very tight to try to work into.

You can now start to work stitches into the ring you have just secured by tightening the first chain. There will be a ring and a loose tail end, you can crochet over both but don’t lose track of the loose end because you’ll need it in a minute. Here’s a ring with some single crochet worked into it:

Once your first round is worked into the ring, take the yarn tail end and pull it tightly, sliding the stitches on the yarn ring together until the central hole is closed.

Either close your round with a slip stitch, if working non-continuous circles, or mark your first stitch of the next round if you are working continuously 🙂

That’s it! Now you can easily make circular crochet projects that have a neat, clean center with no pokey flappy bits. You can even leave the central space a little open if you have enough stitches on the ring to support it. Below is an example from my Pixie Pocket Belt freeform tutorial series.

Useful, eh? Here’s a quick video demo where I start and work the Magic Ring! We went straight from phone camera to video for this one, as I’m trying to be quicker about producing my video content 😛

Magic Ring Video Demo

That’s it for today – thanks for visiting 🙂 And be sure to check out my huge collection of TOTALLY FREE crochet patterns right here on the blog <3


Above: Spiral Sweater

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