PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Magic Ring (right-handed)

Link easily to this tutorial in your patterns: www.planetjune.com/magicring

Looking for the left-handed instructions? Or the video tutorial? If not, read on…

What is this ‘Magic Ring’, anyway?

A magic ring is a way to begin crocheting in the round by crocheting over an adjustable loop and then pulling the loop tight. The advantage of the magic ring method (below, right) is that, unlike the regular “chain 2, x single crochet in 2nd chain from hook” method (below, left), there is no hole left in the middle of your starting round.

magic ring vs traditional method
L: ch2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 2 sc in each st around.
R: magic ring, ch 1, 6 sc in magic ring, 2 sc in each st around.

How do I make a Magic Ring?

Please note: in the following photos, the starting yarn tail is always on the left and hanging down. The working yarn begins on the right and is then picked up over my left forefinger in Step 2.

This demonstration shows a piece made using the following pattern:

Make a magic ring, ch 1.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in magic ring. ( 6 st)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around. (12 st)

If you’re following a different pattern, you’d complete steps 1-2 of this tutorial exactly as shown below, then work the chain and the stitches of Rnds 1 and 2 as specified in your pattern.

  1. Make a loop a few inches from the end of your yarn. Grasp the join of the loop (where the 2 strands of yarn overlap) between your left thumb and forefinger:
    magic ring
     
  2. Insert hook into the loop from front to back. Draw up a loop:
    magic ring
     
  3. Ch 1 (or as many as stated in your pattern). Note: this does NOT count as a stitch:
    magic ring
     
  4. Insert hook into the loop, so you are crocheting over the loop and the yarn tail. Draw up a loop to begin your first sc of Rnd 1:
    magic ring
     
  5. Complete the sc. Continue to crochet over the loop and the yarn tail until you have the required number of sc for your first round (6 sc shown here):
    magic ring
     
  6. Grab the yarn tail and pull to draw the centre of the ring tightly closed:
    magic ring
     
  7. Begin your second round by crocheting into the first stitch of the first round (below, left). At the end of round 2 your work will look like this (below, right):
    magic ring
     

You’ll never go back to your old method again, I promise!

303 Comments »

  1. Elizabeth said

    Hi June, I just started crocheting last month, so please excuse me if this is a ridiculous question, but can you use the magic ring to start a hat when the pattern DOESN’T call for it? Is there a particular substitution? Thanks so much!

    • June said

      All you need to do is replace whatever your pattern says to work the stitches of Rnd 1 into (probably either a single chain stitch, or a loop of chain stitches) with the loop of the magic ring 🙂

      • helen weintraub said

        Thank you SO SO SO MUCH for making the magic loop easy to follow. I’ve done hours of on-line searching for directions, but for whatever reason, your directions and instruction is the only one I’ve been able to easily follow and work consistently without any problems again and again.

  2. May said

    Thanks for the Magic Ring instructions. I am mostly a knitter only because there are some things about crochet that I had no idea could be done. I will never go back to the old way again!!

  3. Helene said

    Oh. So THIS is a magic. Haha, I always skip that part when I crochet. Now I see what I’ve missed. Thank you so much for this, and for linking it in the flower tutorial so that I clicked it (after 13 failed attempts to fit 15 stitches in one small hole).
    Have a creative day!

  4. Caz said

    Thank you so much for the easiest method I’ve tried for this – usually every time I need to make a magic circle (obviously not often enough lol) I have to search for the instructions, but I think I’ll actually be able to recall your instructions easily. Thanks again!

  5. Parita said

    i don’t get the instructions can u be more specific please

  6. Shradha said

    This is the best explanation ever. I had been struggling with it for 2 years and got it in 2 mins. Thank you

  7. Vanessa said

    Thank you so much. I am new to crochet and have been struggling with the magic circle but got it straight away with your instructions, they are very clear and easy to follow. I can now get to work on my beanie 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to share your expertise.

  8. Rosemary L. said

    I have used the magic ring and it looks great. I have found that the ring loosens and I don’t know how to keep it tight. I do weave in the ends but it still relaxes. It looks as though no one else has this issue. But, it could be my teacher – a book called “I Tought Myself To Crochet”! Learned in 1974 after breaking down in Kingman, AZ for 7 hours. Never had a real crochet buddy so I still have not advanced to semi-complex patterns ????. Thanks for your site.

    • June said

      It depends in part on the yarn you use, and in part on how tightly you pull it closed – after it feels like it’s closed I can usually give it an extra-hard tug and it’ll lock up tighter, but that does depend on the yarn.

    • Kimberly Cline said

      Perhaps a helpful tip for Rosemary L:
      I love the ‘magic ring’, especially for granny squares and like items, because you can control the size of the “donut hole” which in turn gives the larger project a uniform appearance. I can see where stretching would be an issue when using this method on wearable items. Might I suggest that you use a little extra tension when loading the foundation sc stitches onto the ring? That is to say, make these stitches a bit tighter than the gauge calls for. This will compensate for the stretching in the finished item.

      And for June:
      Love your site and have bookmarked…I’m sure I’ll be back soon! Found you by following a link on future girl.com. ~Kim

  9. Dot said

    My only question is…what keeps the ring from unravelling? I know you pull it tight and then that thread just hangs there. How do you secure it so that when washed, it doesn’t pull apart? That is the only thing that keeps me from trying this.

    • June said

      Dot, if you’re making an amigurumi, you can leave the yarn tail dangling inside the piece. For any other crochet (garments, accessories, home decor, etc) you’d just weave in the yarn tail on the back of the work to secure it, as you do with all your other yarn ends.

  10. Theresa said

    Thanks so much for sharing this, I was never able to quite understand the concept of the magic ring but now I won’t use any other method for my beanies. Your instructions were simple and easy to follow after a few tries I was able to do it on my own…Thanks again!!

  11. KitterKats said

    I have been crocheting for a long time and never heard of the magic ring till I bought the Ami Cats pattern. I tried it with a fuzzy yarn and couldn’t get it to pull tight. I think the fuzz was getting trapped in the stitches and wouldn’t pull. I love cats and the pattern and plan on making a bunch of them using all different types of yarn. So, I’ll definitely try again. It will be nice to make a ring and be able to close up the hole. With the fuzzy yarn, the fuzz itself closed up the hole.
    Your instructions are wonderful and easy to follow.
    Thanks for your wonderful website. I love it and could really go crazy with all your supper cute patterns, if I had the time.

    • June said

      Yep, the magic ring is definitely not designed for use with fuzzy yarns, but it’s amazing with regular yarn! (If you want to make more of my designs with fuzzy yarns, I recommend you use the substitution in the Terminology section on p1 of all my patterns – using the ch 2 start with a textured yarn will give you a more consistent result.)

      • Amy said

        Thank you so much June for making such a great written tutorial and thanks for putting in pictures. I’m a visual learner so pictures help a lot! It’s really nice that you try to respond to everyone’s comments and help everyone out. 🙂

  12. Wow! I love this technique. It reminds me of being a kid and learning macrame for the forst time. …but now I can incorporate into crochet. BRILIANT!

  13. Kris said

    I have been crocheting for decades and have never liked the hole in the middle when making things. This is simply brilliant and can’t believe I didn’t think of it! Just so practical. Thanks for sharing!

  14. AunT said

    I looked at four different websites before yours, trying to figure out the magic circle. Yours was the first to actually make sense. I made a successful magic circle, yay!

  15. Merri Wood-Schultz said

    This suggestion is for those wanting a way to keep the loop of the magic circle tight.

    Try threading the tail through a needle with a large eye (like a large darning needle) and using it to do a “clove hitch”*(clarification below) through the two loops of yarn that make the center of the ring itself; there are the loops that let you pull the ring closed.

    I do this on the inside of the piece, but it should be relatively easy to work between the stitches of round one. More than one “knot” may be necessary, and it is important to pull it or them really tight. You can thread the yarn through the base of the crochet stitches in between multiple knots, if you need to separate them. The remaining tail can be woven in as usual.

    This method is stronger than just weaving the tail, because it binds the two threads of the center loop together so they don’t slide against each other, so it actually takes some of the tension off of the tail.

    *A clove hitch (at least that is the name I learned for it) is a knot where you just make a loop around something and pull the tail of the rope/thread/yarn through that loop, and them pull it tight. Here, you use the needle to loop the thread through those central loops of the magic ring and then just put the needle through loop of thread left on the surface before pulling the stitch tight. It’s the same as making a blanket stitch.

    I hope this is helpful.

  16. Brenda said

    YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE HOW MANY TUTORIALS I’VE WATCHED ON THE MAGIC RING/CIRCLE. AFTER SEEING YOURS I CAN NOW DO IT THANK YOU VERY MUCH

  17. Janet said

    Thank you! I was afraid this was going to be one of those things I wouldn’t get, but your description is easy to follow.

  18. Deb Che said

    Hi June,
    I’ve only learning how to crochet a few weeks ago and your videos have helped me tremendously. I’m learning how to make amigurumi dolls starting with the magic circle.
    My question is this: after you finish making the 6 sc of the magic circle and you begin row 2, do you hook into the next stitch’s back loop, front loop or both loops? As you carry-on in the pattern, are you supposed to hook into the back loops, front loops or both? I hope I’m being clear, and sorry if this sounds like a silly question.
    As well, in Step 7, it says to “Begin your second round by crocheting into the first stitch of the first round”. Do you need to do a slip stitch first – if not, will there be a large gaping hole?
    Thanks so much!

    • June said

      Deb, the standard way to crochet amigurumi is: 1) in both loops of the stitch below and 2) in a continuous spiral without joining at the end of each round. BUT, this is not always true – you should always follow the instructions in your pattern, which may specify to crochet in front or back loops only, and/or to join at the end of each round. If the pattern doesn’t mention anything about which loops to work into, or to join at the end of each round, you may assume that it’s worked in both loops and in continuous spiral rounds with no slip stitches.

      So, as there’s no slip stitch or joining specified at the end of Rnd 1 in my tutorial, you should just continue with Rnd 2 exactly as I say in Step 7 (my tutorials always tell you every step you need to follow!) You may like to watch the video version of this tutorial too, so you can see me crocheting the continuous spiral as explained above, and watch how it works in practice.

  19. Carol said

    Just starting amigurumi–lots of pieces which start with the “magic ring” and your instructions are really helpful. Thank you.

  20. Carole said

    Great directions, thanks!!

  21. Tessa said

    I’m confused. When you crochet single stitch in the round for your videos (such as the invisible decrease and the perfect amigurumi stripes) you crochet by inserting the hook from the outside of the piece. After the last step im stuck with my book inserting from the inside of the piece. So like, the hook inserts into the stitch from where the inside of the body will be instead of the other way around. Does that make sense? How can I make it so the hook inserts from the outside of my amigurumi after the magic ring?

    • Tessa said

      Do I just turn it around and crochet in the other direction so I’m inserting from the outside and the hook is facing me? I could crochet from outside in but the piece I just crocheted is between me and the hook, unlike in your video tutorials where the hook is between you and the piece.

      • June said

        Tessa, no, don’t turn the work; all you need to do is turn it inside-out. Please see my video ‘Which is the Right Side?’ at http://www.planetjune.com/rightside for a demo – it should all be clear once you’ve seen it in action 🙂

  22. robyn said

    So my magic ring looks like the “old” way LOL. Why does it not stay closed? By the time I’m done with the piece the hole is so big. Any suggestions how to keep it closed?

  23. Sparkly Jane said

    At Last! Clear instruction that I could follow easily and achieve a perfect result first time. I make dozens of crochet hats which I sell to raise funds for women working on textile projects in developing countries. This Magic Ring will prove invaluable I. Future.
    Thank you so much Sparkly Jane

  24. Norma Lambert said

    Like many others who have spent hours trying to follow instructions for the Magic Ring. I have found that being able to print your instructions and when necessary refer to your video it has become so easy to follow your instructions and achieve a perfect result.
    After finding your site I am also looking forward to spending a long time looking through it.
    Thank you so much.

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Please note that I can only answer questions related to PlanetJune patterns and tutorials (see details), and I can only respond to questions or comments written in English. Thank you :) - June

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    June Gilbank

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