Welcome to the next instalment of my A-Z of crochet. I wanted to talk about both methods of creating fabric from crochet as they both have different uses.
Crocheting in the round is used to create a variety of things, from hats to Granny square blankets. To begin a piece of crochet worked in rounds, you either start off with several chain stitches which you slip stitch together to make a ring, or a magic ring (this link helps with that). The first round is then worked into that ring, which can sometimes be a tight squeeze if there are 20 stitches in that round (it’s easier with magic rings as you don’t tighten.them until you’ve made all of your stitches)! At the start of each subsequent round a chain is usually made to make the new round the same height as the stitches used (1 for dc, 2 for htr, 3 for tr) and then crocheting continues as normal. Often increases are made to make each round larger, sometimes in the corners (in squares and rectangles for example) and sometimes in a certain number of stitches around it (e.g. in circles such as in hats). When you stop increasing and keep the number of stitches the same the work begins to create a bowl shape (e.g. when you’re making hats or baskers). I like working in rounds as they work up really quickly initially, although as the project gets larger the rounds do start to drag a bit and my enthusiasm wanes slightly. Sometimes instead of chains to start each round they just go around in spirals (I’ve found this in some Amigurumi patterns.)
RowsRows are often used for blankets, garments and sometimes smaller squares. To begin working in rows you need to make a foundation chain. This can be a challenge, as you need to make sure the chain is loose enough or your work will bow as the stitches are bigger than the chain. Some people get around this by going up a hook size for the chain and dropping a size once they start crocheting. To move up to the next row you need to make chains in the same way as above. In order to maintain the same number of stitches in each row the pattern may call for you to work into the top of the last chain of the row below or crochet into the same stich that you made the chain in (patterns seem to vary in their approaches!) The chain counts as the first stitch in the row. I often avoid working in rows quite a lot as I struggle to make a neat foundation chain. Maybe it’s a sign I should practise more? The bonus of rows is that each one is usually the same length so you don’t get that sinking feeling you do with rounds when they keep getting larger (unless you’re crocheting a triangle in rows).
I hope this little insight was useful.
Do you prefer working in rounds or rows, or aren’t you bothered?