Friday, December 4, 2009

Forming a Base Chain Circle

For me, this can be the hardest part of an in-the-round crochet project: getting the circle made without a twist in the base or foundation chain. In order to crochet in the round, usually a number of chain stitches are joined to form a base chain-circle. This is how the ruffle starts on the Witch Warmers in Crochet armwarmer and legwarmer.

Here’s how to do it:

1. When you have finished chaining, hold the hook with the last-made loop in your right hand and the front of the chain facing you.

2. Grasp the hook-end of the chain between the thumb and forefinger of your right hand, and then grasp the chain a few inches or centimeters out from the hook with the thumb and forefinger of your left hand. Be sure the fronts of the chain stitches between the hook and your left hand are facing you.

3. Slide the left-hand thumb and forefinger to the left along the chain stitches, straightening and smoothing for a few inches or centimeters.

4. With the hook still in your right hand, release your right-fingers’ grip on the chain and re-grip the chain farther along, next to the left-hand fingers.

5. Repeat until you have reached the end of the chain stitches--the first-made chain.

6. Keeping the end of the straightened chain in your left hand, let go of the chain with your right fingers and bring the hook (still in your right hand) and the first-made chain end up and around so the hook and the yarn tail are pointing at each other, again making sure the fronts of the first and last chain stitches are still facing you.

7. Slip stitch into the top loop (or the front) of the first-made chain.

8. If you’re using a removable stitch marker, place it in the loop on the hook.

For more crochet tips to help with this pattern, see the following posts:
Smooth Chain Finish
Avoiding Stiff Crochet
Swatch Wars

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