three different ways on beginning crocheting in the round.

When I make an amigurumi I prefer the double ring: it is an advanced solution for the magic adjustable ring, which a lot of sources present as the way to start crocheting in the round – because it’s magic, which it is, but the double ring serves a little better for dolls because it’s more durable and tight. Another way to begin would be to make a chain, this works great if you can’t figure out the adjustable ring methods and for some projects or yarns it actually is a better solution.

In this tutorial I’ll present all three versions.
(click on the pictures to enlarge them)

First: Start with a chain
Most crochet projects start with a chain, especially flat projects but it can also be helpful for crocheting in the round.
When you start you first have to make a slip knot. Then you make 2 chain stitches. Now have a look at your mini-chain, the next step will be to make the desired number of single crochet stitches (sc) into the first chain made, or as it is often refered to as: into the second chain from hook.

Many projects start with 6 stitches.
The stability of your first row will depend on the “quality” of your slip knot, e.g. which end of your slip knot will pull the chain or first loop closed.
In the next picture you can see what happens when your working thread is the one that would have made the first chain tighter: it often creates a pretty large center hole that you can’t close any more (above). Therefore it’s better to start the slip knot in a way that leaves the waste part of your yarn to be the part that will draw the loop closed. The below part of the picture shows a closed and neat center hole.

Now place a stitch marker, as you can see I use thread or pearl yarn to mark my beginning of a round. When I started amigurumi I often used paperclips that I would have hung over my working yarn but I often found that this leaves a noticeable “gap” at the beginning of every round. Thin strong yarn doesn’t.
So now that you marked your beginning you can start increasing your project.

Second: Start with the magic adjustable ring
Alot of tutorials on the web show you how to start with the ring by forming a big loop with your hands. This was too complicated for me and I remembered a picture from an old crafts book from my child hood, where you wrap the yarn around your hand one time. To wrap is a lot easier than to form a ring. The only downside to this method is the large amount of waste yarn after you pulled the ring closed – therefore I wrap around my finger!
smaller ring = smaller amount of waste yarn

okay: to start a magic adjustable ring you wrap the yarn around your finger/hand one time. Then carefully take the formed ring off of your finger/hand and adore your little beginning ^_^
Now grab your hook and start crocheting into this ring: the first stitch will resemble more of a pure chain stitch than a single crochet, but after that you can start counting and make as many stitched as called for by your pattern.
What you will have now is something that looks like this:

Now let the magic happen and pull the yarn end and ogle how the loop gets smaller and smaller until the center hole is closed.
Now place your marker and start increasing. The little disadvantage of a magic adjustable ring is the unstiffness: you will need to pull at the waste end again and again.

This isn’t a very bad thing for most round projects but for making dolls it’s not the best desired way. Dolls get pushed and pulled and squeezed and even washed and slowly the stuffing will come through at your center hole. This problem gets solved with the double ring.

Third: Start with a double ring
As written above the double ring is an advanced solution of a “simple” adjustable ring. The main difference is that you wrap the yarn twice instead of one time around you finger/hand. This way the center hole isn’t able to get loose again once it’s closed.
After you wrapped twice and carefully took off the created loops and adored them you start crocheting as my sticthes into both loops at once as wished. Now it’s time to pull the ring closed. This is a little harder than drawing close a “simple” adjsutable ring. But you don’t have to pull as hard at the end of your yarn as possible, this will only break your yarn or even create bad marks at your fingers. There is a little trick:
Pull the yarn end carefully and observe which of the two loops will get smaller (marked yellow).
Now stop pulling the end of the yarn and take the loop that was moving (yellow). Start pulling this loop and observe how the other loop gets drawn tight. When this loop is closed, grab the yarn end again and start tugging, the first loop (the one you just pulled on) will also draw close without any effort.
Tata! a double ring!

Place your marker and start your project. The center hole of a double ring will nerver ever get loose again.

At last let me show you all three versions next to each other:

first the chained version, in the middle the one with the magic adjusatble ring (after a few rows it got looser once more), and on the right side the double ring. The upper part of the picture shows the three methods directly after crocheting, below you can see how they look like after I pulled at the yarn end again and flattend them all out: they don’t show much difference but sometimes you can feel it!

Extra TIP
when you use fun fur yarn or other novelty yarns the texture of the yarn will often prevent you from making a double ring. In such cases I am into the chain 2 method of starting a round project.