Solving Crochet-Related Problems · Tutorial

Do your crocheted circles look like hexagons?

lianainstitches_crochet_circles_look_like_hexagons_optimized

You sit down to begin a new project that starts off with crocheting a circular shape. Maybe it’s an amigurumi, or maybe it’s a coaster, or possibly even a hat. A few rounds in, you find out that your work looks like a hexagon, and you wonder, what happened? Why doesn’t it look like the finished object in the pattern photos?

Has this ever happened to you? Luckily, there’s an easy way to fix this. I’ll show you how you can modify existing patterns to give you a smooth, round circle instead of a hexagon.

Why does this happen?

Well, to make a circle shape while crocheting in the round, you need to add more stitches to each round as your circle gets bigger. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a cylinder instead of a flat circle. You may have noticed that most circular patterns go something like this:

Make a ring by either: A.) Chain 3 and slip stitch into the first chain to form a small ring, or B.) Create a magic ring (also known as a magic circle.)

Rnd 1: 6 sc into ring. (6 st)
Rnd 2: (2 sc into next st) six times. (12 st)
Rnd 3: (2 sc into next st, sc into next st) six times. (18 st)
Rnd 4: (2 sc into next st, sc into next 2 st) six times. (24 st)
Rnd 5: (2 sc into next st, sc into next 3 st) six times. (30 st)
Rnd 6: (2 sc into next st, sc into next 4 st) six times. (36 st)
Rnd 7: (2 sc into next st, sc into next 5 st) six times. (42 st)
Rnd 8: (2 sc into next st, sc into next 6 st) six times. (48 st)

Basically, after the first round, each round will have 6 increases. (By increase: I’m referring to when you perform 2 of the same stitch into one stitch – in this case, 2 sc into next st.)

With each bigger round, you’ll add more single stitches (in this case, single crochet) to the round. Round 2 only has increases. Round 3 has 6 single crochets, spaced out evenly between the increases. As you progress through the rounds, you add 6 more total single stitches to each round. These single stitches should be evenly spaced between increases.

But when you try to make a circle with the directions written above, all the increases you make will end up on top of the increases in the previous row. Some people describe this as “stacking” increases – because the increases end up stacked on top of each other.

This leads to the hexagon shape, because when you perform an increase, you’re putting more yarn in a small area than when you perform single stitches. If your increases are all stacked, that means you’re concentrating more yarn material in certain areas – specifically, in 6 specific areas. Think of your crocheted circle as a bicycle wheel with 6 spokes. The extra material ends up sitting right along each spoke.

lianainstitches_crochet_circles_look_like_hexagons_increases_colored_diagram_optimized
Increases were done in turquoise. Single crochets were done in cream.

When you try to flatten out your work, well, all that extra material/yarn has to go somewhere! It ends up jutting out of the edge of your circle in 6 areas, turning it into a hexagon.

How to fix this:

To achieve a circle, you want to make sure your increases don’t end up stacked. You want them to be spread out, so the increases can’t stack and end up jutting out into a hexagon shape.

To do this, you’ll need to change the position of your increases by spreading them out, but you don’t want to add or remove any stitches. You’ll just be changing the order in which you do the stitches.

An easy method I’ve found is to leave the odd-numbered rounds unchanged (like round 3, round 5, etc.), and to alter just the even-numbered rounds (round 4, round 6, etc.) as follows: (modifications shown in green)

Rnd 1: 6 sc into ring. (6 st)
Rnd 2: (2 sc into next st) six times. (12 st)
Rnd 3: (2 sc into next st, sc into next st) six times. (18 st)
Rnd 4: (sc into next st, 2 sc into next st, sc into next st) six times. (24 st)
Rnd 5: (2 sc into next st, sc into next 3 st) six times. (30 st)
Rnd 6: (sc into next 2 st, 2 sc into next st, sc into next 2 st) six times. (36 st)
Rnd 7: (2 sc into next st, sc into next 5 st) six times. (42 st)
Rnd 8: (sc into next 3 st, 2 sc into next st, sc into next 3 st) six times. (48 st) 

For the even rounds, we’ve positioned each repeated increase in the middle of their accompanying single crochets. So for example, in round 4, the repeated instructions include 1 increase and 2single crochets. If we put the increase in the center of those 2 single crochets, we end up doing: 1 single crochet, then the increase, then another single crochet. This is repeated 6 times to finish that round.

Same with round 6: in this round, you’re supposed to do 1 increase with 4 single crochets. If we put the increase in the center of its single crochets, you end up doing 2 single crochets, then the increase, then 2 single crochets. (And you repeat that 6 times in that round.)

You should end up with something that looks like this:

LianaInStitches_Crochet_Circles_Look_Like_Hexagons_Increases_Colored__Staggered_optimized.jpg

Why do we change only even-numbered rounds?

Because we can’t really center something in the odd-numbered rounds. If you had an odd number of single crochets, and I asked you to put an increase in the center of that, you couldn’t perfectly center it. You’d either have:

sc, sc, inc, sc

OR

sc, inc, sc, sc

You can’t get it centered!

But in even-numbered rounds, you can.

Once you understand this, there’s no need to save or memorize the modification. You’ll be able to figure it out anywhere.

Why do we have to center the increases in even rounds? Couldn’t we just offset the increase a little, instead of centering it?

Yes! You certainly could.

But centering it is an easy method that yields consistent results. I used to try offsetting each the increases in every row (odd and even). This took a lot more effort to make sure things turned out well – I’d have to write down where I moved the increases, to keep track of what I did, and it was a hassle. This method of centering the increases in only the even rounds is the simplest and easiest way that I’ve found.

As you can see, when you make sure to spread out your increases, the extra material that results from each increase gets spread out. This forms a smooth, rounded circle shape instead of a hexagon.

lianainstitches_crochet_circles_look_like_hexagons_increases_colored_optimized

There you have it. I hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to ask below!

 

 

 

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