Crochet Basics – How to Work in the Round (Inc)

Something I hear very often is, “I love your crochet stuff, I wish I could crochet.” It’s the exact same thing I would think to myself every time I came across a super cute crochet plushie or amigurumi. Learning to crochet might seem incredibly difficult but it’s surprisingly easy once you let go of all expectations and you have patience with yourself. Patience and a willingness to make mistakes are key. When I first began crocheting all I could handle were squares and even then I couldn’t keep them straight – to be honest I sometimes still have that problem! Luckily, squares aren’t the only things you can create with crochet. I learned how to crochet a circle – which I strangely found easier to make than a square – and before long I was crocheting in the round, making spheres. But first, baby steps. And if you haven’t checked out my previous posts on Crochet Basics here is the post on making a chain and slip knot and here is the post for making a single crochet stitch. In this post I’ll show you how to work in the round and make increases to create a sphere.

The way I begin a ring is to make 2 chains and then make the necessary number of stitches in the 2nd chain from the hook:

Most circles begin with 6 single crochet stitches so in this example you’ll insert the hook into the 2nd chain from hook and make 6 single crochet stitches in the same chain. This is the first single crochet in the ring:

Insert the hook into the same chain:

2 single crochet stitches in same chain:

Continue to make single crochet stitches in same the chain until you have 6 in total:

One important thing to note when working in spirals is that you do not turn and continue making stitches in the opposite direction. You also do not join the last and first stitch at the end. Instead you begin the next round (notice they are called rounds and not rows because we’re going around in a circle) in the first stitch you made. If you continued to make single crochet stitches around and around you’d end up with a tube, which is great if you’re making amigurumi legs or arms. But we’re working towards a sphere for a pumpkin shape so in the next round  we’ll make increases.

To make an increase you simply make 2 single crochet stitches into the same stitch. So once you’ve made your first stitch, insert the hook into the same space and make another stitch:

Here’s the first single crochet stitch in the first stitch of the previous round:

Here is the second single crochet stitch in the same stitch:

In this example we want an even sphere so each round is increased by 6 single crochet (sc) stitches (sts) and each increase (inc) is spaced out by an equal number of stitches. The combination of stitches and increases to be repeated are between brackets. Here is how the pattern reads:

Round 1: make 6 sc in ring (6 sts)

Round 2: inc in each stitch around (12 sts)

Round 3: [sc in next stitch, inc in next stitch] repeat 6 times (18 sts)

Round 4: [sc in next 2 stitches, inc in next stitch] repeat 6 times (24 sts)

Round 5: [sc in next 3 stitches, inc in next stitch] repeat 6 times (30 sts)

Round 6: [sc in next 4 stitches, inc in next stitch] repeat 6 times (36 sts)

You’ll notice the total number of stitches at the end of each round increased by 6 and the stitches spacing them apart increased by 1 every round.

12 single crochet circle:

18 single crochet circle (at this point it’s a good idea to use a stitch marker so you don’t lose the beginning/end of each round):

24 single crochet circle:

30 single crochet circle:

36 single crochet circle:

Once you reach the required number of stitches in the pattern you’ll “work even” or “single crochet around” meaning you won’t make any increases, just single crochet around in each stitch:

In this pattern we’ll only work even for 2 rounds. Here is what the circle looks like after one round of even single crochet:

After 2 rounds of even single crochet and it’s already starting to take a spherical shape:

Now that you can make increases check back for the next post where I’ll show you how to make decreases!

9 thoughts on “Crochet Basics – How to Work in the Round (Inc)

  1. Thank you, Your tutorial was exactly what I was looking for to understand how to read a pattern, understand the increases in each row. I can’t wait to start my amigurumi monkey for my great granddaughter. Hugs from Marie the Hooker

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