As those of you who’ve worked with this pattern know, if you always make the first increase in the first stitch of the new round what you’re actually forming is a hexagon rather than a circle—and the larger the piece you’re crocheting, the more obvious the hexagonal shape is. If you’re crocheting a hat/cap, the flat circle part on the top doesn’t get large enough for this to matter before you begin working in even rounds to form the sides. But if you’re trying to crochet a round bath rug, for example, it will won’t end up round if you follow that pattern.

The solution is to vary the placement of the increases on each round. So, following the above example, to work Round 3 you increased in every second stitch (stitches 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11). Round 3 now has 18 stitches in it and to increase that row by 6 stitches means adding an extra stitch in every group of three stitches. Rather than following the usual pattern of increasing in every third stitch on this round (which would have you increasing in stitches 1, 4, 7, 10, 13 and 16), make your increases in the *middle* of each group of three. In other words, increase in stitches 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, and 17.

Round 4 now has 24 stitches; 24 divided by 6 = 4 so you need to increase 1 stitch in each group of 4 stitches. Go back to the standard pattern on this and all future even rounds by working your first increase in the first stitch of the round; increases should be worked in stitches 1, 5, 9, 13, 17 and 21.

Round 5 now has 30 stitches; 30 divided by 6 = 5 so you need to increase 1 stitch in each group of 5 stitches. On this and all future odd rounds, work your increases in the middle of these groups of 5. On this particular round, your increases will be worked in stitches 3, 8, 13, 18, 23 and 28.

This is really much easier to do than it is to explain, LOL. And voila—a round rug that really is round!

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