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How to Crochet a Flat Circle – Magic Increase Formula

Learn the best way to crochet perfectly flat circles, every time! No matter if you are making a single crochet, a half double crochet, or a double crochet circle, this blog post and tutorial will show you how to crochet a flat circle for beginners.

We’ll provide step-by-step instructions and helpful tips and tricks along the way so your circle stays flat, smooth, and round. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced crocheter, this tutorial is for you!

blue crochet circle with a gold crochet hook on a gray background

Crocheting a flat circle seems pretty straightforward, but it can be surprisingly tricky! Get the stitch count wrong, and your circle will be ruffled or cupped, instead of nice and flat.

But don’t worry! In this article, I’ll explain my foolproof method of making perfectly flat crocheted circles, every time. I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process with easy-to-follow instructions. So whether you’re just learning how to crochet, or you’ve been crocheting for years, this tutorial is for you!

Once you’ve learned how to crochet a flat circle, you can use it in all sorts of projects. Circles are also really versatile – you can use this skill to make hats, baskets, bags, and amigurumi toys.

New to crochet? Learning how to crochet a circle is just one of many techniques every crocheter beginner should learn. For more information about how to crochet, check out these articles on the six basic crochet stitches, how to crochet straight edges, and how to change color in crochet.

How to Crochet a Flat Circle

Before you begin, there are a few things you need to know. First, it’s important to choose the right yarn and hook for your project. For beginners, I recommend selecting a smooth worsted weight yarn and a size H (5.0 mm) hook.

The type of yarn you use will affect the size of your finished circle, so keep that in mind when making your selection. And, of course, check out this crochet hook size chart to see which hook you should use with which yarn.

Now that you’ve gathered your supplies let’s get started!

three crochet circles on a gray background

The Basic Pattern

Before I give you the complete written pattern for a crochet circle, let me first explain the basic concept.

  1. To crochet a flat circle, start with a magic ring or a loop of chain stitches. Then, make the first round of stitches into the magic ring.
  2. In each subsequent round, you’ll increase evenly by the same number of stitches you started with.

Each subsequent round adds the same number of stitches you made into the magic ring. As you crochet, the number of stitches in each round will grow.

Start with the First Round

So now you have the basic concept in mind, let’s talk about how many stitches you should start with. Depending on which stitch you’re using, you’ll want to start with a different number of stitches.

How many stitches to start?

In general, the taller the stitch, the more stitches you need to make in your first round to keep the circle flat.

The correct number of stitches to start with can also vary with your tension. If your tension is very tight, you may need the larger number; if your tension is loose, use the smaller number.

The Magic Increase Formula

Now that you know how many stitches to start with, you need to know how many stitches to increase in each round.

Fortunately, there is a basic increase formula that you can use to crochet flat circles, no matter which type of stitch you’re using ( sc, hdc, or dc!) You can use this increase pattern to get perfectly flat circles with no ruffling, curling, or wavy edges.

First, start with the right number of stitches as described above. Then, follow this increase formula.

Note: The increase formula is the same, no matter if you are starting with single crochet, half double crochet, or double crochet.

Increase Formula for Flat Circles

Round 1: Make a magic ring. Start with the recommended number of stitches, as shown above.

Round 2: Make 2 stitches into each stitch around.

Round 3: Make 2 stitches into the first stitch of the previous round, and 1 stitch into the next stitch. Repeat around.

Round 4: Make 2 stitches into the first stitch of the previous round, and 1 stitch into each of the next 2 stitches. Repeat around.

Round 5: Make 2 stitches into the first stitch, and 1 stitch into each of the next 3 stitches. Repeat around.

Round 6: Make 2 stitches into the first stitch, then 1 stitch in each of the next 4 stitches. Repeat around.

Can you see the pattern? Each round increases by the same number of stitches that you made into the magic ring in Round 1. And in each round, the increases get farther and further apart.

How many stitches to start again?

Like we talked about before, you can adjust the starting number of stitches depending on the type of stitch you’re using. 

  • For single crochet, start with 6 stitches in the magic ring and increase each round by 6 stitches.
  • For half-double crochet, start with 8 stitches in the magic ring and increase each round by 8 stitches. 
  • For double crochet, start with 12 stitches in the magic ring, and increase each round by 12 stitches.

Remember: When you start new rounds in double crochet, you chain three. This ch-3 counts as your first double crochet stitch. 

3 different crochet circles on a gray background: one in single crochet, one in half-double crochet, one in double crochet

How to Crochet a Flat Circle

Alright, now that you how to increase, let’s look at a full written pattern.

In the example below, I’ll show you how to crochet a circle that starts with six single crochet stitches. I’ll also be working in joined rounds. (Be sure to scroll down to see a version of this pattern that’s worked in spiral rounds – like for amigurumi.)

Note: The Ch-1 at the beginning of each round does not count as a stitch.

Round 1: Make a magic ring. Make 6 sc into the magic ring. Sl st to join the round. (6 sts)

first round of a blue crochet circle with a gold crochet hook on a gray background
Magic ring. Round 1.

Round 2: Ch 1. Inc in each sc around. Sl st to join the round. (12 sts.)

Round 3: Ch 1. (Inc, sc) Repeat around. Sl st to join the round. (18 sts)

second and third rounds of a blue crochet circle with a gold crochet hook on a gray background
Rounds 2 and 3

Round 4: Ch 1. (Inc, 2 sc) Repeat around. Sl st to join the round. (24 sts)

fourth round of a blue crochet circle with a gold crochet hook on a gray background
Round 4

Round 5: Ch 1. (Inc, 3 sc) Repeat around. Sl st to join the round. (30 sts)

Round 5: Ch 1. (Inc, 4 sc) Repeat around. Sl st to join the round. (30 sts)

blue crochet circle with a gold crochet hook on a gray background after 6 rounds of crochet
Round 6

Tip: Place a stitch marker in the first stitch of each round. Move the stitch marker to mark the first stitch of each new round.

Spiral Rounds vs. Joined Rounds

In the tutorial above, you learned how to crochet a circle using joined rounds. That is, you joined each round with a slip stitch, and started each new round with a turning chain.

But, you can use these same Magic Increase Formula to crochet flat circles in continuous (aka spiral) rounds of single crochet. This spiral method is often used to make amigurumi.

Here’s how to crochet a circle in spiral rounds:

Instead of joining each round, you’ll work the first stitch of the new round into the first stitch of the previous round – no slip stitch to join, no chain-1 to start the next round.

Then, increase evenly in each round, according to the same formula we discussed above. As you work, your crochet circle will grow in a spiral pattern.

Here’s a sample pattern:

Round 1: Into a magic ring, make 6 sc.

Round 2: 6 inc. (12 sts)

Round 3: (inc, sc) 6 times. (18 sts)

Round 4: (inc, 2 sc) 6 times. (24 sts)

Round 5: (inc, 3 sc) 6 times. (30 sts)

Round 6: (inc, 4 sc) 6 times. (36 sts)

Round 7: (inc, 5 sc) 6 times. (42 sts)

To make larger circles, you would crochet more rounds while increasing 6 stitches per round.

How to Keep Circles Flat

If you’ve ever crocheted a round motif, such as a circle or mandala, you may have wondered why the circle sometimes ruffles or curls. Let’s take a closer look at what causes these problems and how you can easily solve them.

Why is my crochet circle starting to ruffle?

If your circle is starting to ruffle, it might be because you have too many stitches, or you’re crocheting too loosely.

To fix this problem, try starting with fewer stitches, increasing less often, or going down a hook size. You could also try blocking your crochet to see if that helps fix the wavy edges.

Why is my crochet circling curling into a bowl?

If your crochet circle is curling into a bowl, it might be because you have too few stitches, or you’re crocheting too tightly.

To fix this problem, try starting with more stitches, increasing more often, or going up a hook size.

How to Make Round Circles (Not Hexagons)

Do you sometimes find that your crocheted circles turn out, well, a bit like hexagons? This is a common problem, especially when working in single crochet. But luckily, there’s an easy fix.

Why does this happen?

Let’s look at a crochet circle made according to the standard directions. You’ll notice that all of the increases end up stacked on top of the increases in the previous row.

Over time, these stacked increases distort the shape, creating bumpy corners that make the circle look more like a hexagon.

After Round 5, looking like a hexagon.

How to fix it

To fix this, and get the nice smooth sides we’re looking for, all we need to do is vary the placement of the increases from round to round. We’ll spread out the increase stitches so that they don’t end up stacked on top of each other.

When I write patterns, I like to change the position of the increases on even-numbered rounds, starting with Round 6, like so:

Rounds 1-5: Work as normal. (30 stitches)

Round 6: 2 sc (inc, 4 sc) five times, inc, 2 sc (36 sts)

Round 7: (inc, 5 sc) six times (42 sts)

Round 8: 3 sc (inc, 6 sc) five times, inc, 3 sc (48 sts)

Round 9: (inc, 7 sc) six times (54 sts)

Round 10: 4 sc (inc, 8sc) five times, inc, 4 sc (60 sts)

After Round 6, using the shifted increase method.

As you can see, I’ve shifted the position of the increases on alternate rounds. This spreads out the increases so they don’t stack on top of each other. And as a result, you’ll get a nice round circle with smooth sides.

What to Make with Crochet Circles

Here are a few patterns that use crochet circles.

More Crochet Tutorials

To learn even more about how to crochet, check out these related tutorials.

What’s Next?

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Leave a comment: We love to hear your feedback. Tell me in the comments below!

Share on Instagram or Facebook: When you make this project, share it on social media and tag me @sarahmaker. We love to see what you make!

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How to Crochet a Flat Circle

How to Crochet a Flat Circle

Yield: 1
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: 1

How to crochet a flat circle every time with the Magic Increase Formula. This tutorial explains how to crochet a circle in single crochet, half-double crochet, and double crochet, whether you're using joined rounds or continuos rounds. Plus, it includes tips for fixing wavy or curled edges, and circles that look like hexagons.

Instructions

  1. Round 1: Make a magic ring. Make 6 sc into the magic ring. Sl st to join the round. (6 sts)
  2. Round 2: Ch 1. Inc in each sc around. Sl st to join the round. (12 sts.)
  3. Round 3: Ch 1. (Inc, sc) Repeat around. Sl st to join the round. (18 sts)
  4. Round 4: Ch 1. (Inc, 2 sc) Repeat around. Sl st to join the round. (24 sts)
  5. Round 5: Ch 1. (Inc, 3 sc) Repeat around. Sl st to join the round. (30 sts)
  6. Round 5: Ch 1. (Inc, 4 sc) Repeat around. Sl st to join the round. (30 sts)
  7. Continue making more rounds, increasing evenly by 6 stitches each round.

Notes

Note: The Ch-1 at the beginning of each round does not count as a stitch.

The pattern above shows you how to crochet a circle that starts with six single crochet stitches in joined rounds.

Be sure to read the rest of the post to learn how to crochet circles in half-double crochet and double crochet, and learn how to crochet in spiral rounds.

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