Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Great Beginnings: Starting Your Crochet Project Right, Pt. 3 – Magic Ring or Adjustable Ring

February 13th, 2013

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Technical editor and yarncrafting expert Kj Hay joins us for several articles on starting your project right. This is the last of her 3-part series on crochet. Click here for yesterday’s article, and click here for the previous day’s article. Join us next week for a 2-part series on knitting.

Adjustable Ring Foundations

Hats, bags, and toys often begin with a tight circle. Foundation chains can be used for this purpose and there are two common methods: 1) Work a short foundation chain (ch 2 for a circle of single crochet, ch 3 for half double crochet, ch 4 for double crochet, etc.) then work the stitches of first round into the first chain made, 2) Work a short foundation chain (but, longer than for first method), join the ends of the chain with a slip stitch to form a ring, then work the stitches of first round directly into the ring (not into the chains). Both of these methods can produce unacceptably large center holes that can be difficult to close.

An adjustable ring (also known as magic ring) is a wonderful alternative to foundation chains. There are different ways to make an adjustable ring. The differences include: 1) whether the working yarn or tail is wrapped into a ring, 2) whether the ring is wrapped clockwise or counter-clockwise, and 3) whether the ring is wrapped around a finger or wrapped in “mid air”. All the variations yield similar results.

 Adjustable Ring Method


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  1. Hold yarn in palm, leaving a long tail extending out the top.
  2. Wrap tail loosely around index finger counter-clockwise (do not allow wraps to cross), until there are two wraps on top of your finger. Insert hook under first strand (tail) and draw the 2nd strand (working yarn) through.
  3. Pinch ring where working yarn and tail cross and carefully remove wraps from finger. Work a beginning ch (e.g. ch 1 for sc, ch 2 for hdc, ch 3 for dc).
  4. Work stitches of first round into ring taking care to cover tail as stitches are worked.
  5. When the first round is complete, pull the tail to tighten center of ring.

Come back next week for tips for starting your knitting projects.

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  • Tracie Nelson

    Thank You, I have seen a couple of Patterns that have asked for an adjustable knot and never could quite figure out how to do them. Thanks again

    • http://www.lionbrand.com/ Zontee

      Glad it helped!

  • candy

    i have used this method for years, and everyone i have taught this method to is always pleased with the result. thanks

  • Roya

    I am Roya from Iran, although I’ve found this method several times in Persian (my mother language), but honestly, I didn’t catch how to make it, now by your explanation, I find out and will use it from now on.
    Thank you for your simple and good explanation.

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