Crocheting Blog

6 Hacks to Crochet a Circle That Actually Lies Flat

When it comes to crocheting in the round, not all projects will lie flat. But learning to crochet a flat circle is really useful if you want to make bags, coasters or circular decorations such as flowers and mandalas, like this giant granny mandala I made earlier this year in fresh spring colors.

Crochet a flat circle and make a giant granny mandala

Learn the basics of crocheting a flat circle and you can easily make circles as large as you want! Photo via Crafternoon Treats.

The good news? It's so easy to crochet a flat circle that looks seamless and perfect — as long as you have just six crochet tricks up your sleeve.

1. Start with the right number of stitches

You must have the right number of starting stitches in your first round. Too many stitches and you make waves; too few and you have a bowl.

Generally, the taller the stitch, the more stitches you need to start with in round 1.

  • Single crochet: Use 6-8 stitches in round 1
  • Half double crochet: Use 10 stitches in round 1
  • Double crochet: Use 12-14 stitches in round 1

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2.  Increase with precision

To make your circle grow just enough without getting too big around the edge, you need to follow some basic rules about how many times to increase as your work each round. Luckily, these rules are the same whether you are making a crochet circle using SC, HDC or DC stitches. Only one set of rules to remember for all circles!

Note that you must start with the recommended number of stitches in round 1 for this to work. 

The increase pattern for all circles

  • Round 1: Start with the recommended number of stitches listed above.
  • Round 2: Make two stitches into each stitch of round 1 — an increase into every stitch.
  • Round 3: Make two stitches into the first stitch of the previous round, one stitch into the next. Repeat this pattern — an increase into every other stitch.
  • Round 4: Make two stitches into the first stitch of the previous round, then one stitch into the next two stitches. Repeat all the way around — that's an increase every third stitch.
  • Round 5: Make two stitches into the first stitch, then one stitch into the next three stitches. Repeat this pattern — in other words, an increase into every fourth stitch.

With every round, you make one more single stitch between the increases. By round 10, for example, you'd make eight single stitches between each increase.

How to crochet a flat circle no matter how big it gets

This can be tricky to get your head around if it's the first time you've tried to crochet a flat circle. Below, I've enlarged these photographs to show you exactly what's going on. Follow along for practice.

Rounds 1 and 2

Start with a magic loop. Make three chains and 12 DCs into the ring, which will give you 13 stitches in round 1, shown on the left in the photo below.

Crocheting a flat circle using double crochet stitches rounds 1 and 2

Closed with a neat circle join. Then, join another color yarn for round 2 by making a DC into one of the DC stitches in round 1. Work a second DC into the same stitch and complete the round making two DCs into every stitch.

The result, shown in the photo above on the right, is a circle with 26 DC stitches. Close with a neat join again. So far, so good!

Rounds 3 and 4

In the photos below, the increase stitches are highlighted with green V's and the single stitches are shown in bright pink lines. In round 3, shown on the left below, there is an increase every other stitch. In round 4, on the right, there are two single stitches between each increase. Work up these rounds, following these patterns.

Crocheting a flat circle using double crochet stitches rounds 3 and 4

Rounds 5 and 6

In round 5, on the left below, each increase is separated by three single stitches. In round 6 (below right), each increase is separated by four single stitches.

Crocheting a flat circle using double crochet stitches rounds 5 and 6

3. Count, count, count those stitches

An easy way to make sure you are on track in each round is to count your stitches. Each round should increase by the same number you started with in round 1.

The samples above started with 13 DC in round 1, so you'd add 13 stitches each additional round. The stitch count for rounds 2–6 should be:

  • Round 2: 26 (13 + 13)
  • Round 3: 39 (26 + 13)
  • Round 4: 52 (39 + 13)
  • Round 5: 65 (52 + 13)
  • Round 6: 78 (65 + 13)

4. Say yes to seamless joining

Your flat circle may as well be perfectly round, too. No matter how hard you try,  if you close each round with a slip stitch and start the next with three chains, you get a not-so-pretty seam.

Try this method instead: When you finish the final DC in any round of your circle, cut the yarn and pull it through the stitch. Thread it onto a darning needle and sew it through both loops of the first stitch of the round — but don't pull tight yet. Bring the needle and tail end back to the front of your work and sew it between the front and back loop of the last DC of the round. As you pull close, you will see a figure eight shape in the yarn just before it closes. Adjust the tension slightly and you should have a seamless join.

Crochet a flat circle make a neat join

Start the next round with a standing stitch DC. To do this, hold the new yarn to the back of your work, put the yarn around the hook twice, insert the hook into the next stitch, yarn around the hook and pull through. You will now have three loops on the hook — you can now complete a DC as usual. Take care to crochet over your tail end to secure it

5. Learn the amigurumi technique

In amigurumi crochet, single crochet stitches are worked in a spiral to achieve a seamless join, even when the entire circle is made in one colour.

This short step-by-step tutorial shows you how to crochet a flat circle using the amigurumi technique.

Step 1:

Make a magic loop and crochet eight SC into the loop. Then, instead of joining with a slip stitch, crochet the first stitch of round two into the top of the first stitch of round one.

Crochet a flat circle using amigurumi first step

You'll close all the rounds this way, so it's vital to add a stitch marker to note where your rounds begin.

In the third photo above, I have inserted a contrasting yarn as my stitch marker and then made the second SC stitch right into that same stitch.

The rules of increasing with each round of a circle are the same with the amigurumi technique. Having started with eight stitches in round 1, you'll make two SC into each stitch all the way around until you reach that marker again. This will give you 16 stitches in round 2.

Step 2:

How to crochet a flat circle with amigurumi step 2

Complete more rounds, following the basic rules for spacing out increases. You can crochet a flat circle as large as you like as long as you keep increasing according to the simple rules described above, and remember to mark the start of each row so you know where you are up to. 

By the end of round 6 (shown in the rightmost photo above) you can see the spiral effect more clearly and how flat the circle is staying.

6. If things go wrong, act fast!

Although the first five hacks will give you perfect, flat circles 95 percent of the time, you still need to be prepared to be a little creative and flexible if things start to go wrong.

Everyone's crochet tension is different, and changing your hook size slightly, using an unusual yarn or just losing your concentration could derail your circle. This last trick will help you recognize these signs early so you can avoid re-doing too much work.

Crochet a flat circle - when things go wrong

The potato chip

Compared to the flat circle in the center, the one at the top right looks super ruffled — the potato chip effect. This is what happens if you have too many stitches around the outside of your growing circle. In this example, rounds 1 and 2 are correct, but the rest of the rounds still include an increase in every stitch. The result tells you why amigurumi can be used to to crochet food!

If your circle shows signs of ruffling, try pulling back a couple of rounds and skip a round. For example, pull back to round 4 and then crochet round 6 instead of round 5 before carrying on. That may be enough to solve the problem.

The bowl

The example on the top left shows what happens if you complete rounds 1 and 2 correctly and then continue without increasing at all. The sides will curl up. This is exactly what you want if you are making a bowl or basket — but you need to be in control of when it happens.

If your circle edges start to rise up, try repeating the round you have just finished. For example, if you are on round 5, work another round 5 before going on.

FREE Guide: Top Tutorials for Crocheting in the Round

Crocheting in the Round

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30 Comments

Barbism

This was very helpful! Thank you for sharing it with us.

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Reed Dusseau

Thank you so much for this great tutorial. Do this same principals apply to the Granny mandala in the posted picture. I love bright colors and this literally gave me chills.

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Patricia

Great tutorial and so handy to have all those tips together in one post! Thank you!

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amy

This is very helpful! Something I’m having trouble with is a hat pattern…I’m supposed to be making a flat circle of 7 rounds of double crochet to begin the hat, but I have to turn the work at every round, change color at every round, and take turns between crocheting into ONLY the front or back loop at every stitch to create a nice texture. I’m also not supposed to be counting any turning chains as stitches. Because I’m turning my work, I get confused about skipping the slip stitch I just made before I turned, and also (I’m about to start round 5), I’m supposed to be crocheting a dc into the ‘next three stitches’ when I start the round before doing an increase… but I’m not sure what the ‘next three stitches are’ since I’m skipping the slip stitch and also the turning chain I just made doesn’t count… so I don’t know how to appropriately distribute all these stitches…I don’t know where to start the regular DCs after my chain. Now I’m rambling. Sorry! I’m hoping to pull through this frustration at some point!

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Kathryn Senior

Hi Amy Oh I am so sorry you are having this load of angst about the pattern details. I understand from trying to write patterns how hard it is to get across what to do sometimes. But, what I would do is just think about the overall rules of increasing. Round 2 you need 2dc into each stitch around. Round three, its 1dc into one stitch then 2dc into the next. Round 3 its 1dc into one stitch, 1 dc into the next and then 2dc into the next. I would not worry too much about whether the turning chain or slip stitch counts. Put a marker at the start of the round and start counting into the next stitch that you decide. I would make this the first dc there is to work into, after the missed slip stitch. Make a note of your decision and do the same for every round. If the circle turns out flat, problem is solved. If it starts to curl up, do the same round again instead of adding extra single dcs between the increase dcs. If it starts to ruffle add an extra dc between the increases on the next round. Remember that its not a test! As long as you are happy with the circle and it measures the correct diameter for the hat, and you have a neat result, the tiny details don’t really matter. Hope it works out! Kathryn xxx

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amy

Thank you so much, Kathryn…I will keep trying and will try not to get stuck on each little detail! Your words are very encouraging. 🙂

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Charis

Hi Kathryn,

Thank you so much for this article! It’s so useful!

Sorry to pick on you like this, but I also am getting very frustrated with making something a flat circle. I am trying to make a little toy cat. I have made hats before (in dc or hdc on 3.5/4mm needle) and my circles have come out perfectly flat after getting used to doing that. I am trying to do this in sc with a 2mm needle and I cannot manage to get it to stay flat and not curl.

I have tried adding in extra increases and repeating lines in my pattern (namely doing the 1sc in 3 stitches, 2sc in 4th repeated) to try and get it to lay flat but it will not do anything but form up into a tough bowl that can’t even be pushed flat. I’m using a double knitting weight yarn with a bit of shiny plasticky purple in it, though I don’t think I am struggling with using the yarn it may be effecting the outcome.

Thank you so much if you can give me a hand!

Best Wishes,
Charis M

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Noura

I have the same problem as you! I always have to flatten it out with my hands, but then sometimes it just pops up. Try ironing it, maybe it will help.

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Noura

Thanks a lot! I really needed help on how to make a flat round because mine would always be scrunched up and wavy, but now it is flat enough even if I have to flatten it out with my hands:)

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Elisa

This was very helpful and so straight forward. Thank you for adding the closure methods notes..much appreciated!

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Geetha Ramani

Thank you Kathryn for this very clear step by step tutorial. It would be helpful if you taught other patterns (stitches) this same way with notes. Now I made flat circle without any folds. Thank you so much..

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Gab

Thanks for the great tips!

Any chance you could add how to finish the amigurumi-style circle without having the last stitches jutting out?

All the best!

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Sharon

I often finish an Ami circle with a couple of slip stitches in the first few of the previous round. So say you’re done with round 12 and your circle is complete, slip stitch in the next three and fasten off. it kinda gives an illusion to the finished piece by smoothing the end off. (if you’re doing any higher stitch than a sc, I’d say to a hdc and than a sc and a couple slip stitches to gradually bring the height down and hide the dip).

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Fiona

I wonder how those lovely doilies are designed. Do they use the same rules as above?

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jevin

Here is a slightly funny story. I too was trying to get my circle flat..I was pretty far in so I didnt go all of the way to the begging. Then I finally broke down after wasting so much time trying everything to fix it, and started unraveling it..at one point I realized I suddenly had to pull the other direction!!! So I must have put it down, picked it back up and started going the other way. Haha. Yep that can screw it up!!!!

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Tracy

Thanks so much for this! I am a beginning “crocheter” and it was driving me crazy that my little scrubby kept trying to turn into a hacky sack! Why didn’t I look for this post earlier!!!!!!!

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Tara

Thank you for this! I’ve struggled with identifying a formula for work in the round because every pattern has a different set of instructions for increasing.

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Marianne

Clarification-Please. If I am doing half double crochet is the following logical?

The increase pattern for all circles Half Double Crochet- Not sure if my logic is correct. I’m trying to make large trivets/ hot pads.
• Round 1: Start 10 HDC
• Round 2: Make two stitches into each stitch of round 1 ( 20 stitches)
• Round 3: Make two stitches into the first stitch of the previous round, one stitch into the next. Repeat this pattern — an increase into every other stitch. (30 stitches)
• Round 4: Make two stitches into the first stitch of the previous round, then one stitch into the next two stitches. Repeat all the way around — that’s an increase every third stitch. 40 stitches
• Round 5: Make two stitches into the first stitch, then one stitch into the next FOUR stitches. Repeat this pattern — in other words, an increase into every forth stitch. 50 stitches
• Round 6: Make two stitches into the first stitch, then one stitch into the next FIVE stitches. Repeat this pattern — in other words, an increase into every fifth stitch. 60 stitches
• Round 7: Make two stitches into the first stitch, then one stitch into the next SIX stitches. Repeat this pattern — in other words, an increase into every forth stitch. 70 stitches
• Round 8: Make two stitches into the first stitch, then one stitch into the next SEVEN stitches. Repeat this pattern — in other words, an increase into every fifth stitch. 80 stitches
• Round 9: Make two stitches into the first stitch, then one stitch into the next EIGHT stitches. Repeat this pattern — in other words, an increase into every forth stitch. 90 stitches
• Round 10: Make two stitches into the first stitch, then one stitch into the next NINE stitches. Repeat this pattern — in other words, an increase into every fifth stitch. 100 stitches

According to the instructions I am off when I get to this part of the instruction.
With every round, you make one more single stitch between the increases. By round 10, for example, you’d make eight single stitches between each increase.

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Barb

Thanks so much for this awesome tutorial! So nice to have guidelines right at hand to refer to.

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Katie

Thank You. I finally figured out how to crochet a circular granny.

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Linda Lee

This was extremely helpful. I like the enlarged pictures of each section. You are a great teacher! Thank you.

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Player64

This did not work at all! I the instructions were too complicated.

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Charlotte

Thank you so much for this! I have read a gazillion tutorials on crocheting a flat circle, and yours is the first I’ve seen that mentions you need different numbers of stitches in the first round depending on the type of stitch you’re using – finally, I have a circle that is staying flat with no problems. Thanks again 🙂

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Robin

Thanks so much for your advice! I’m am trying to make a round table cloth & struggling! This will be my third attempt! The true test is cause I plan to use other stitches, but it appears that counting the stitches is the key.

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Dee

This is awesome! thanks so much you’ve just saved the family rag rug.. lol a project my teens and i put together.. everyone brought me all of thier old teeshirts that were a bit stained or didnt fit .. and we are making them into a rag rug for the family room… so far its approx. 3ft across.. but kept curling.. and i just couldnt figure the prob.. after reading this.. the light bulb came on.. think i’ve got it now.. 🙂 super post.. thanks again! my teens thank you too.. in this project they are learning some repurposing as well as learning to crochet 🙂 ! Our goal… to cover the den 10ft across with our creation! (& with 6teens.. and many many old tees.. we’ve got this..lol) especially now that we arent looking like the potatoe chip. ha!

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Angie

I went with this technique, LEARN THE AMIGURUMI TECHNIQUE, my circle looks more like an octagon and it is not laying flat. what did I do wrong??? I am doing single stitch and following the rules.

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Angela

One thing I tried that worked for me was to start my 2 DC in the st after the join ch 3 st. So round 2 would be ch 3 and 1 DC, 2 DC around join with SL st.
Round 3 would be ch 3, 2 DC in next st, *1 DC in next at, 2 DC in next st* repeat * around ending with 2 DC join with SL st.

Also when my circle would start to ruffle I would do a round of no increase then in the next round to pick up the increase pattern again. So for round 10 with no increase I would then do round 11 with 8 sts between increases. This worked for me and I hope I didn’t confuse you more.

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Sola

I have a pattern that starts with 10sc into a magic circle. I’m following the pattern, but the the circle starts to ruffles up on every increase. 😔 I don’t know if I’m making the stitches too tight or if I need to use a smaller hook than recommended. Any feedback will be mostly appreciated.

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MARICARMEN

MUCHAS GRACIAS POR ESTE MAGNIFICO TUTORIAL.

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