If you want to make a sphere, a circle, or a tube, you need to learn how to work in the round! Less hassle than seaming, it's not very difficult to learn - and unlike in knitting, you don't need any special equipment. However, the technique does pose a few special problems that should be addressed before embarking on design in the round.
The actual method is extremely simple: you make your beginning chain, and then instead of turning to reinsert the hook in the second or third chain stitch, you insert it into the first chain made. This makes a ring of chain stitches that you work normally until you get to the join. At this point you have three options.
First, you can work in a spiral by simply working into the first stitch of the round and each stitch thereafter. Some prefer this method because after the first round, the beginning of the round is indistinguishable from the rest of it. This means that you can just keep going around and around without any need to stop or bother with the joining point. A few downsides to this method are that it is easy to lose track of how many rounds you have worked, and that if you want to add any colorwork, like stripes, there is a visible jog at the color changes.
A second option is the 'join each round' method. With this method the first and last stitches of each round are joined by a slip stitch, and then a chain or two is worked to reach the appropriate height for the stitches being used. Upsides to this technique include ease in tracking rounds worked, and less noticeable color-change transitions. The join each round does, however, leave a faint ridge in the work, much like a seam, and it requires more concentration than simply working a continuous spiral.
The third option is again to join each round, but to turn the work rather than continue in the same direction. This option has a list of pros and cons nearly the same as the second option, with one important addition: rounds worked in this way will produce fabric that looks identical to crocheting worked flat.
The method you choose will affect the appearance of your finished work. Flat pieces of crochet, worked back and forth, look the same on both sides. (See picture at left; click the thumbnail for a closer look.) They do not have an obvious right side and wrong side. If you knit, you can think of it as garter stitch - you do the same thing going both ways, so it looks the same on both sides.
Crocheting worked in the round, however, has a distinctly different appearance. On the right side of the work (click thumbnail at left) the stitches look bumpy and the fabric is sometimes even ridged slightly, like cobblestones.
On the wrong side, the stitches are closer, smoother, and flatter - more like bricks. (Check out the thumbnail!) Some people even turn their work inside out and let the wrong side show because they prefer the look of the wrong side to the bumpier stitches of the right side.
Now that you know about working in rounds, why don't you check out the Simple Circle or the Simple Circle Hat?
FAQ | Ordering and Delivery Information | Site Map
Copyright 2007-2008 Melissa Mall. All rights reserved.