EDIT: New title photo starring my darling minion!
Psssst, you can get the free pattern for him if you’d click here :D
Hey guys! Today I’m going to be a little daring and do something I’ve never tried before - instead of showing you what I’ve made recently, I’m going to try to explain a crocheting tip! Like I said in the title, I’m going to show you how to crochet in the round without using stitch markers (and not worry about counting like mad and then losing count).
Previously when I was just starting out, I read everywhere that if you don’t use stitch markers to mark your rounds when crocheting in the round, you’d be screwed over if you lost count because there is no way to recount your stitches for the round. I didn’t like this idea for a number of reasons - mostly because I thought that stitch markers were cumbersome; I always ended up forgetting to move them up anyway so it didn’t really make much of a difference for me in terms of keeping track of my stitches. After awhile though, I noticed that it isn’t as impossible to tell where the beginning of the round is. Someone else might have already figured this out, but I’ve tried looking for something like this on Google and I couldn’t find anything, so I’m sharing my discovery here!
Alright here goes nothing!
Let’s picture this: you’ve decided to take on my absolutely adorable minion 2.0 pattern (oh how shameless I am!), and halfway through round 7 you lose count. Of course, being absent-minded, you’d forgotten to use stitch markers. We don’t really blame you, we all do things like that once in a while (I know I for sure do things like that very often ):), and it’s not difficult to lose count when you’re doing a few rounds without increases or decreases or anything fancy. So, what to do?!
Here’s what your fictional WIP should look like now (albeit rather flattened for reasons which will soon be revealed):
Looks impossible to save? It’s as plain as day to me, where the row should end, and hopefully when we’re through, it will be as obvious to you, too! Here’s what I discovered; the term “crocheting in the round” is a misnomer. In fact, if it were up to me, I’d say it should be called “crocheting in spirals”. If things were up to me though, I would be doing a whole lot of other things, but they’re not, so let’s get back on track. The term “crocheting in the round” is very misleading because it creates the impression that each row is an individual circle separate from the others, when they’re really just a big, connected spiral like this:
Gaaah sorry for the horrible squiggles. Anyway, I hope my drawing makes some sense. The trick is to look for that little bit that kicks off the spiral from the magic ring in the center. Once you’ve got this, you’ll be more than halfway there because this idea is central to this concept. Halfway there? Halfway where? Halfway to the magical land where there is no need to fuss around with stitch markers, no possibility at all of annoying people yelling random numbers in your ear to make you lose count of your stitches, and best of all, no need to rip out your entire project because you just can’t continue without knowing exactly how many stitches you’ve got! Yaaaayy!! *Sparkles!*
Anyway, we’re not exactly there yet, so let’s press on! We’re almost done! Once you’re understood that what you’re doing is crocheting in spirals, you should be able to see that each row is one round of the spiral like this:
And true enough, we were on row 6-and-a-half before we got lost halfway through row 7! Therefore, you should be able to see roughly where your row will end, and where the next one will start!
And this is all well and good, but this ambiguity (or AGAR-ATION, for all of you lovelies who are well versed in Singlish) mightn’t work out well for some people, like those who have projects that require precision or those who are just perfectionists (which totally isn’t a bad thing). This is where my next observation comes into play; look out for the increases! In this pattern as well as many other amigurumi patterns, the increases are done like this: x number of single crochets, 1 increase. For instance, row 5 of my pattern we’re using as a reference here goes like this: 3 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc, 1 inc. This repetition results in each row ending with an inc, which are distinctively different from the other regular sc.s (because they’re kinda just like 2 sc.s squeezed into one st). Therefore, in order to determine exactly where the last row ended and where to finish off your current row, first find out where your row roughly ends by looking at the spirals, then locate the inc and finish our row on top of the second st in the inc.
Let’s practice looking for inc.s! Can you spot them here?
Tada, here they are!
Hopefully you managed to spot them!
Because of the way they are spaced, you should be able to see them in regular intervals around your unfinished work (that is, if the pattern has been increasing regularly thus far).
Another helpful tip is that the work may start to look rather polygonal, in this case pentagonal, after a few rows of increases because the increases create pointy edges. This isn’t really illustrated in the pictures above because I had already done one and a half rows of single crochets, which kinda smoothed out the edges. But that may also help a little in the event that the increases are being rather invisible.
So there you have it! If you’ve understood what I’ve been saying thus far, then congratulations because YOU’RE NOW IN THE MAGICAL LAND WHERE THERE IS NO NEED TO FUSS AROUND WITH STITCH MARKERS, NO POSSIBILITY AT ALL OF ANNOYING PEOPLE YELLING RANDOM NUMBERS IN YOUR EAR TO MAKE YOU LOSE COUNT OF YOUR STITCHES, AND BESTESTESTEST OF ALL, NO NEED TO RIP OUT YOUR ENTIRE PROJECT BECAUSE YOU JUST CAN’T CONTINUE WITHOUT KNOWING EXACTLY HOW MANY STITCHES YOU’VE GOT! HAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Now go have some fun crocheting little amigurumis without stitch markers! :D
P.S. OH GOSH I have one of those annoying keyboards that have a back button and a front button next to my arrow keys and I accidentally navigated away from this page RIGHT BEFORE I CLICKED “CREATE POST” and of course, as Murphy would have it, Tumblr didn’t save my progress! Grah. So I rewrote everything but I feel like I lost the fluency and awesomeness of my first draft which I will never be able to recreate ))))))): Oh well. Just needed to vent my angerrrr. Hahahahaha!
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