"Why Bother With A Magic Circle?" How To Crochet A Baby Hat WITHOUT A Magic Circle
The Crochet Magic Circle (sometimes referred to as the Magic Ring or Loop), is notorious for driving beginner crocheters crazy! I've had people complain to me that it's taken them hours or even days to figure out and no matter how many YouTube videos they've watched, they just can't seem to make any progress!
And mind you, some people have been crocheting for 30 years and still refuse to start their crochet hats with a Magic Circle! They figure that if there's a gap or opening that's a little too unsightly at the top of the hat a quick whip stitch will tighten that right up. You could also cover that hole up with a pom pom, of course.
There are some real Magic Circle haters out there in the crochet world! That's absolutely fine and OK if you're working on baby hats because there are alternatives, as I'll show you below.
Recently, I've had so many people ask me:
What can I use instead of a magic circle? Or
How do I crochet a newborn beanie not using A magic ring to start it?
I know the Magic Ring can be a real mystery if you haven't mastered it. Some beginner crocheters like to put in the effort to figure out how it's done, but others just can't be bothered!
But if you're intending to crochet some Amigurumi baby toys, it would be best not to give up on learning how to start your projects with a Magic Circle because it really is the best technique for Amigurumi and other projects that require a tight, seamless start.
If you feel like you'd like to give it a shot, check out this blog post I wrote about how to crochet the magic circle.
But if you're not keen to figure out the Magic Circle technique just now, you can still crochet baby hats (or any projects that start off in the round) using several different methods.
Method 1: Work Side To Side
In this method, instead of working in the round from the top of the hat, you start working a foundation chain and then working from side to side forming a rectangle. Then in the end, you sew up the two sides/seams together and gather up the top of the hat with your darning needle to form a circle.
To give this baby crochet hat a super cute look, you can add one or two pompoms in the end! Here's a demo video to show you how you can crochet a baby hat without a magic circle.
Method 2: Work Bottom Up
In this method, you start off by chaining 9 stitches & working on the ribbed band at the bottom of your beanie first. You then work your way up the hat and draw it closed at the top when you're done.
Method 3: Chain 3, & 8 Half Double Crochet Stitches In First Chain
In this method by The Crochet Crowd, you start off by Chaining 3, then doing 8 half double crochet stitches into the first chain.
Make sure to lay the tail end of your yarn on top of the ring and crocheting over it. This allows you to secure the top of your hat without having to worry about it unraveling.
Here's a video to show you exactly how to do this method:
Method 4: Chain 5, & Slip Stitch Into First Chain
In this method used by Happy Berry, you start your baby crochet hat by chaining 5, then slip stitching into the first chain. You then have a little loop through which you crochet 12 double crochet stitches.
Method 5: Carry Yarn Through & Stitch It Closed
So here, you can make a chain 3, slip stitch to first chain to make a ring, then make your stitches all the way in the middle of that loop and make sure you carry your yarn all around the circle.
After that, you get your darning needle and do one more circle and really pull tight to make sure it stays in place, You can also make a knot in the end to make sure the circle does not open up at all.
Method 6: Extra Chain Method (Slip Knot & Chain 1)
In this method, what you do is you start your project with a slip knot, then chain one and work the rest of your stitches into that very first chain (usually 12 double crochet stitches). Here's a video tutorial on how to do this:
So there you have it! 6 different methods to crochet baby hats without having to know how to start off with a Magic Circle.
Even if a pattern you're working on calls for a magic circle, you can improvise with one of the methods above (methods 4 -6) to begin the pattern, then continue the pattern as described.
If you're looking for some inspiration for baby hat patterns, check out these lovely patterns 12 Easy Crochet Baby Hat Patterns You'll Love This Christmas or 7 Adorable Free Crochet Baby Hat Patterns For Beginners.
To make sure you get your hat sizes perfectly right every time, I've made a printable for you that you can download completely FREE!
Crochet Hat & Beanie Sizing Chart + Template
Crochet Hat Ideas
If you're looking for some more ideas for crochet hats for yourself or your friends, you can check out the trendy crochet bucket hats that are so popular this year!