Magic ring, magic loop, adjustable ring - or even the "finger wrap" method... take your pick :)
Not long ago, if I saw a pattern that said "start with a magic ring" I would just pass that pattern by!
But since I made an effort to learn how to crochet the magic ring (and I think only very little effort is needed) I have used this technique many times with good effect.
1. I think this is an excellent video by Sedruola on how to use the "finger wrap" technique. 'Nuff said, take a look:
2. There are lots of instructions at Planet June for left and right handers - with videos as well as photo tutorials.
3. Interweave offer a free instruction booklet in PDF format all about making the magic ring. Clear steps and pix.
have to enter your email or be registered with the site to get the
freebie - and it's well worth registering as they have lots of very good
free PDFs and patterns on their site.
Plus there's a how-to for the "double magic ring" and some patterns for you to practice.
When working the ring:
When pulling the ring tight:
The last bit:
Tip: sometimes I get a neater join if I miss the first 3 ch (as in the example below, where I started with ch 3, then worked dc - UK tr - stitches) and join into the first dc/UK tr.
So here, instead of ch 3 which counts as a stitch and 17 stitches into the ring, making 18 stitches total, I chained 3 and worked 18 stitches into the ring; then I skipped the 3 ch and joined into my first dc/UK tr:
Here are a few other things I have noticed about working with the magic ring:Be careful when pulling the ring shut
Some yarns will break if you tug them too enthusiastically!
You may also find that pulling the tail end too quickly ruins the shape of your circle. So pull slowly and gently.
Some yarns can be difficult to use for a magic ring
I've found this with some textured or metallic yarns. They can tend to pull unevenly when closing the ring, or get completely stuck so that you can't close the hole!
The trick here is to test the start of your project a few times to see how you and your yarn cope with the ring.
Weave your starting tail in well.
It's not happened to me - yet - but I have read that if you don't weave in that first end particularly securely, the ring can come apart if the item is heavily used or washed. Ooops!
So - how should you weave in the starting tail? Well, I weave it round the center, going under a few stitches, coming up again for air, then turning back, missing a stitch and weaving back in the opposite direction for a bit. Then I might even go back again, missing a stitch and weaving it back along from where I just came.
I hope you found these tips on crocheting your magic ring useful!
There are various patterns on this site that use this oh-so-useful technique, and in the pix below you can see how neat the center can look; depending on the stitch or the number of stitches you work into your ring, you can close it right up or leave a neat circle space: