There are two ways to crochet in the round. One way involves joining the first and last stitches of each round together with a slip stitch. The other, sometimes referred to as spiral rounds, doesn't require a slip stitch to join. While the spiral rounds move much faster than joined rounds, it can often be difficult to keep track of the number of rounds and stitches.
How Continuous Rounds Work
In crochet rounds with joins, you'll work one round then join the last stitch to the beginning of the round with a slip stitch. For crochet rounds without joining, however, you'll work the last crochet stitch then work the first stitch of the following round. There is no slip stitch to join the rounds.
This is sometimes called spiral crochet because it creates a spiral that is similar to a traditional barber shop pole where the rounds twist. This is especially obvious if you are crocheting a continuous round in stripes.
Some crocheters prefer continuous rounds because the resulting circle or tube is seamless with no bumpy joins at the end of each round.
When to Use Continuous Rounds
Continuous rounds are perfect for projects that lay flat, like place mats and doilies. But you can also use continuous rounds to crochet tubular items like hats, gloves, cowls, and amigurumi.
The Best Stitches for Continuous Rounds
Single crochet and half-double crochet are the preferred stitches to use for crocheting continuous rounds because of their short height. Using these short stitches ensures that there is not a big difference in height in the beginning of the round and the end of the round, which allows a more seamless look.
How to Crochet a Continuous Round
This basic pattern will create a continuous round that lies flat.
Things You'll Need
- Yarn (any weight)
- Crochet hook appropriate for the yarn you're using (see tip)
- Stitch marker
- Row counter or pencil and paper
You can crochet a continuous round with any weight of yarn. Just be sure you're using the appropriate hook size for the yarn. Check the yarn label to find out the recommended hook size.
Chain five stitches and join into the round with a slip stitch.
Work 10 single crochet stitches into the ring. Place a stitch marker in the last stitch to mark the end of the round. Using a row counter or pencil and paper, mark one round as complete.
No need to spend money on stitch markers if you don't already own them. Substitute with items you already have on hand, like a safety pin or paper clip. You can also tie a piece of scrap yarn around the stitch using a loose knot that's easy to untie.
Work two single crochet stitches into each of the 10 single crochet stitches of the first round.
Remove the stitch marker from Round 1 and move it to the last single crochet of Round 2. Using a row counter or pencil and paper, mark two rounds as complete.
Work one single crochet into the next stitch, then work two single crochets into the next stitch. Repeat this until you reach the stitch marker.
Remove the stitch marker from the previous round and move it to the last single crochet you made. Using a row counter or pencil and paper, mark three rounds as complete.
Fasten off. Alternatively, you could continue increasing each round to create a larger spiral.
Patterns for Continuous Rounds
There are plenty of crochet patterns that use continuous rounds, but you can also design your own. Once you understand the basic concept of crocheting in a continuous round, you can create flat or tubular spirals by simply changing yarn weight, crochet hook size, and the number of stitches you increase. Even small modifications can completely change the crochet project.
Follow Steps 1-7 above using a durable, washable yarn such as cotton or linen. Continue crocheting in the round, adding more single crochets between increases as you work.
Follow Steps 1-7 above using a crochet thread and smaller hook. You can check the thread label to find out what hook size works best for the thread. Continue crocheting in the round, adding more single crochets between increases as you work. Finish the doily with a picot stitch for decoration.