Why I Avoid the “Magic Ring” When I Crochet
I remember the first time I successfully used the crochet technique known as the “Magic Ring.” The way the circle drew closed when I pulled the loose end — it did feel truly magic — and the crochet zombie ninja that I made using the technique:
But after I had finished the piece, I had a nagging concern: if the magic ring closed so easily, didn’t that mean under just the right (or wrong) circumstances, it could come undone just as easily?
For years I didn’t hear anything but praise for the magic of the “Magic Ring,” but I had enough confidence in my concern that if I weren’t working an amigurumi piece and leaving a very (very) long yarn tail so it could be woven in very securely, I did not use the magic ring, and one day, when I was not looking for it, I got confirmation of my concern.
A fellow crocheter was on a message board asking if anyone else had ever had a magic ring closure come undone and open. She had made (and sold) a hat, and the customer had contacted her with just this problem.
From that day forward, I stopped using the magic ring.
Yes, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of your work coming undone, but you can only reduce those chances; you cannot eliminate them, and given the number of hours I put in on my larger pieces, I want something that will not come undone.
So for those occasions that a “chain-4, join with a slip stitch” loop is not sufficiently elegant, I use what I call a “Chain-2 Start.”
What you will need and need to know
- Yarn (I used a worsted weight)
- A crochet hook (I used a 5.0 mm hook)
- How to make a slip knot that slips (see video at the bottom)
The “Chain-2 Start” in 6 easy steps
Step 1: Make a slip knot and secure it to your hook:
Step 2: Chain 2
Step 3: Insert the hook through the Back Ridge Loop of the first chain made:
Step 4: Complete a single crochet stitch:
Step 5: Work 5 more single crochet stitches into the same Back Ridge Loop:
Step 6: Join with a slip stitch:
A Chain-2 Start might not always be as elegant as the Magic Ring, but particularly if you are making something to sell or give as a gift, you won’t have to worry that you will ever get a message that the piece has come undone.
A short video on how to make a slip knot that slips: