One of the most important techniques for making amigurumi can be one of the hardest to learn: the magic ring (also known as the magic circle). But once you get the hang of it, you will think it is quite magical!
There are different ways you can start a piece in amigurumi, but the first method I learned was the magic ring and it works so well for me it is the only method I use. You may be familiar with the more traditional way of starting in the round: chain 2, then crochet multiple stitches (usually 6) into the second chain from your hook. While this method is simple and can work for other items you crochet in the round, such as hats, in amigurumi it isn’t ideal for one reason: it leaves a hole in the centre of the circle, which means you can see stuffing.
Another method for starting amigurumi was developed by Stacey Trock, the sloppy slip knot, and a lot of people love it because it is similar to the traditional method above, but still allows you to close the hole up. I suggest trying both the sloppy slip knot method and the magic ring, and see which you prefer! They both lead to the same result, so have fun experimenting.
Even the magic ring can be done in different ways – how you hold the yarn and where you insert you hook. In this tutorial I will demonstrate how I like to do it, but once you get the hang of it and learn how it all works, you may find you start doing it a little differently to suit your style, and that is ok! Do what feels right for you.
(2) Wrap the yarn by bringing it underneath, up, and over your fingers, crossing the yarn at the top of your fingers, then drop the yarn behind:(3) Behind your fingers, bring your hook under the first strand (the one that is wrapping around you fingers) and pick up the strand you dropped (the one that leads to the skein of yarn), pulling the yarn back under the first strand and up:
Now you have essentially made the magic ring, but you need to move it around a bit so that you can place your hands and the yarn in a position to start crocheting.
(4) Hold the loop on your hook with your right index finger and transfer the loop from your left hand to the right middle finger for safe keeping. This frees up your left hand to pick you the yarn so you can start crocheting:
(5) Pick up the yarn leading to the yarn skein in your left hand and hold it the way you normally do when crocheting, then transfer the magic ring back onto the middle and ring fingers of your left hand:
(6) Hold onto the two strands of the magic ring that lie in front of your fingers between your thumb and middle finger, then tighten the loop that is around your hook with your left index finger (like you normally would to gain tension):
Now you are ready to crochet! Start by making a chain stitch, then you simply crochet into the ring, as if it was a large stitch that you are crocheting into. When you do, make sure you go under BOTH yarn strands of the front of the ring:
Sometimes photos don’t quite cut it, so I also have a video you can watch: magic ring video
Hope that helps with making your magic rings! It may seem like a lot of steps right now, but once you get the hang of it you will be making them without much thought. If you are already skilled in starting ami pieces, which method is your favourite?