I love this century! Magic can be used freely with no fear of being burned at the stake! When I first started looking for crochet related posts online after a couple of decades away from the “craft” (stitch craft/witch craft-are they related now?) I noticed mysterious terms for certain things. For example, I was ready to begin a granny square pattern and instantly perplexed when the first round called for a “magic circle.” We’re using magic to make granny squares now! What happened to chain 4 and join to form a loop? Who cares, I want to know what a magic circle is! It sounds so mysterious!
Where is the magic?
When I Googled how to crochet a magic circle I was a little disappointed to find that it’s what we used to call in the old days a loop.
A chain stitch holds the loop together.
I do agree though with whoever came up with the name, that a magic circle is a much cooler name than a loop. It’s a tricky little loop to get started, but there’s no magic involved. Although, the first time you try one you might think you need some magic to make it work.
Perhaps a little magic could help
If you’re familiar with magic, did you try casting a spell your first time to make it work? What type of magic did you reference to cast the spell? Maybe you drew a pentagram on the floor, set lit candles in each point and sat in the center to successfully make your magic circle. I’m not skilled in magic myself, but it always worked on Dark Shadows.
Magic circle versus chain ring
When I was much younger and a pattern called for a loop instead of a ring of chain stitches, I’d just substitute the chain ring.
I didn’t have patience for the loop business. Now that I’m older and more experienced and more attentive, I realize the value of starting with the magic circle rather than the chain ring. If you don’t know how to chain, you can learn how here.
Magic circles can be awkward to start and to work into at first, but they’re much more versatile than a chain ring. You can start them out big and fit all your starting stitches easily inside and then pull the end to close up the circle into a smaller and rounder center than with a chain ring. In some cases, depending on what you’re making, you can pull the circle closed so there’s no hole in the center at all. You can’t do that with a chain ring.
Can you tell which is which?
Is this the magic circle or the chain 6 loop?
Or is this the magic circle? Scroll down for the answer!
The circle on the top is the magic circle. It’s much more centered and “rounder.” The one on the bottom is a 6-chain ring. Both have 20 double crochet stitches worked into them, then joined at the top of the beginning chain 3. Chain 3 counts as the first double crochet.
Like with most things, the tricky magic circle can be mastered with practice and patience. Leaving a long tail of about 10 inches helps me. I feel like I’m wasting yarn, but you need that long tail. Insert your hook into the starting circle/loop:
Yarn over hook:
Pinch the two sides of the loop together as shown above. This helps you control the movement of the hook and keeps the yarn over the hook under the crook of the hook. Pull the yarn down through the magic circle as shown below.
Now chain 1 to keep the circle together. You can now start working into the magic circle!
You can crochet a magic circle! No magic required.