Hi guys! Today I’m going to show you how to crochet the magic circle – one of the most important techniques for great looking amigurumi! Almost all amigurumi will start with one of these, because it sets up your first round for crocheting in spirals. It also provides you with a nice tight circle that has no hole in the middle, and this will keep all your stuffing nicely contained!
First of all you need to know when to use this technique. The magic circle rarely gets abbreviated in crochet patterns, but it can be called a variety of different things. The most common terms for a crochet magic circle are: Magic Circle, Magic Loop & Magic Ring. Basically if a term starts with the word “magic” then this is what it’s talking about!
The magic circle will always be used in the first round of a piece of crochet, it’s not possible to use it in any other place. The information in that line will also includ a number of stitches, such as “6 sc in Magic Circle”. This will become clearer as we practice the technique, but it is essentially letting you know how many crochet stitches you need to make to form your first round of crochet.
The Anatomy of
a Magic Circle
Before I actually show you how to crochet this technique I just want you to have a close look at the make-up of a Magic Circle. The circle in this picture has 6 single crochet stitches around it, and you can see that the final stitch is right next to the first stitch. This allows us to crochet in spiral rounds. The other important thing to notice is that there is no hole in the middle of these stitches. There are several methods that you can use to start a round crochet shape, but for amigurumi the Magic Circle is absolutely the best. After all, you don’t want your stuffing leaking out through a hole in your creation’s bottom!
The magic circle might be super important, but it can also be a little bit fiddly. Don’t worry about it! Take your time, follow through each step in turn and you will get there! Oh, and if I were you I’d start with a mid-weight yarn for this – DK or aran are good weights to use. Fingering and chunky weights I find are a little more fiddly so if they’re what you want to use for your finished item you might want to have a practice with some scrap yarn first!
Although I’ve tried to give you nice clear step-by-step instructions for the Magic Circle if you’re new to crochet it might help you to have a little look through the tutorial for single crochet before you start. You will need to make several single crochet stitches in a row to form a Magic Circle!
Loop the yarn over your middle finger
With the back of your hand facing away from you trap the tail end of your yarn on front of your hand with your thumb. Then drape the working yarn backwards and over your middle finger. Finally, bring the working yarn back to the front of your hand between your ring and little finger.
Loop the yarn over your index finger
Loop the yarn up and over your index finger and then once again bring the yarn back to the front of your hand between your ring and little finger. You will want to keep these fingers pressed together fairly tightly to keep some tension in the yarn.
Insert your hook through the loop and yarn under
Insert your hook through the large loop you have formed around your middle and ring fingers and catch the working yarn (the strand in front of your index finger) with your hook – it is much easier to yarn UNDER than to yarn over for this first step.
Draw the working yarn back through the loop
Pull the yarn back through the large loop, making sure not to drop the yarn off your hook (this is more likely with a yarn under than a yarn over). Once through straighten out your crochet hook. You should now have one nice loop on your hook
Yarn over by inserting your hook under the working yarn and catching it with your hook.
Pull the yarn through the loop on your hook
Pull the working yarn through the loop on your hook – this is a chain stitch and you will end up still with one stitch on your hook.
Insert your hook through the large loop (again) and yarn over (again)
Insert your hook once again through the large loop that is formed around your middle and ring fingers, making sure that your hook is underneath both strands of yarn. Loop the working yarn over your hook in a yarn over.
Pull the yarn through the loop and yarn over again
Pull the working yarn through back through the large loop – you will now have 2 loops on your hook. Then loop the yarn around your hook in another yarn over.
Pull the yarn through both loops on your hook
Pull the working yarn through both of the loops on your hook – you have now completed one single crochet into your magic circle!
Repeat steps 7-9
Take the magic circle/loop of yarn off your fingers
Carefully remove your middle and ring fingers from inside the large loop of yarn.
Pull the tail end of yarn
Hold the single crochet stitches in one hand and pull the tail end of yarn that is emerging from the single crochet stitches – the loop should start to shrink.
And keep pulling!
Keep pulling the tail end of yarn until the loop of yarn has completely disappeared. Your single crochet stitches will now have formed a ring, or circle. Your magic circle is complete! For the next round you will continue to crochet to the left (or anticlockwise) in a spiral, and there will be no hole in the centre of your piece of crochet!
And you’re done! Don’t worry if you found this technique super fiddly the first time. Once you’ve done it a few times your fingers will learn the movements and you’ll be able to do it without even thinkng!