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Topic: Why am I crocheting tiny bowls and not circles?!  (Read 2676 times)
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100Bean
« on: March 22, 2006 04:47:21 AM »

Hello all - This is my first post in this wonderful forum, so I hope I'm posting in the right place and everything! (I thought I should add this in the "Happy Hooker" section, since that's the book I'm using.) I desperately need some help with crocheting in the round and I hope someone out there is kind enough to help a desperate beginner out...

I got "The Happy Hooker" book last Friday and I've been crocheting my ass off since it arrived. I've got the hang of all the major stitches, and color changing, and I've even started trying out some of the fancier stitches (in a slow and akward beginner's sort of way, of course  Smiley). I'm pretty gosh-darn proud of myself and I can't stop gushing (to anyone who will listen) about how wonderful this book is.

BUT, I just can't get crocheting in the round. I have checked over and over, and even tried other online tutorials just in case, and I'm nearly positive that I at least understand the instructions (on pages 50-51). But when I do them, my rounds turn into tiny little bowels and absolutely will not lay flat. (And they start off like little bowls, they don't gradually get that way as I add more rounds.) I'm pretty sure my stitches look exactly like they're supposed to (according to the pictures in the book and other places), so I think I'm doing the technical part right. I've tried using a bigger hook, a smaller hook, different yarn, more stitches, but I still suspect that something like that is the culprit. I've searched on Crafster's other posts to see if I could find anything that might explain what I'm doing, but so far, nothing's helped.

Is there anyone out there who has any suggestions for anything I can try to get proper, flat circles? THANK YOU!
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m8888888
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2006 04:55:47 AM »

If you don't increase the number of stitches enough every round, you'll get a bowl or a tube instead of a flat circle. It makes sense when you think about it, because every round is bigger, so of course you'll need more stitches each time. Increases are when you crochet two stitches into the same bottom stitch. If you're already doing the increases, then try adding a few more. It might just be that the pattern is for a different type of yarn or different size hook, so there aren't enough increases for what you're using. Here's what it says on about.com about how many increases to do:
On the second round, work 2 dc in every dc around the circle. On round 3, make an increase on every other stitch - in other words, (dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc) around. 
As the rounds become wider, there are more stitches in between each increase. (Round 4 has two dc stitches between the increases, while round 5 has three dc stitches between the 2 dc in next dc increases. And so on.)

http://crochet.about.com/library/blround.htm

So if that's already what you're doing, on round 3 make it like a dc in one, then 2 dc in the next two dc, instead of just the next one like it says. Right? Hope that made sense!
« Last Edit: March 22, 2006 04:57:27 AM by m8888888 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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100Bean
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2006 05:30:08 AM »

Thanks for replying so quickly - this place really is amazing!

I suppose I should've mentioned that I understood the increasing stitches in each round thing, and the book does suggest increasing the number of stitches even more if the rounds are getting curling. I assumed that was the problem, so I tried that, but no luck.

I'm going to try to explain my problem in more detail, but I'm not sure I'll be using the crocheting terms correctly. Smiley I do the initial chain stitches (6 in this case, which I connect with a slip stitch, then three more for the turning chain), and then do double crochet stitches (12) directly into the center of that ring. I connect the last double crochet with a slip stitch to the third stitch in that beginning turning chain, and I should have my first round, right? It looks just like in the book, but it's already all curled up like a bowl. If I continue making rounds anyway, it does actually start to flatten a little bit, but I have to do four rounds or so (increasing the number of stitches each time) before there's even any subtle flattening going on, and it still turns up all around the edges. If I try to force it flat (because I thought maybe it was a normal thing that could be solved later by blocking?), the center bumps up.

Thanks again for the suggestion - I'm getting frustrated because I know that I'll just keep doing the same thing over and over if I don't seek outside help. Smiley
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debacle
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2006 05:42:15 AM »

Okay, so sounds like you need to put more stitches into the initial rignt to start with.Try 18.then follow the same math around. (2 sts in each dc the first round, 2st in the first dc and 1 in the 2nd all the way around for the second round,etc.).12 sts usually does the trick but whatever the reason - your hands, your hook, your yarn -- you might need more for your circle. in the book i also say that the thing to do is to get a flat circle by whatever means necessary -- adding stitches,subtracting sts,whatever it takes. try this solution and see what happens. and also, hey, if you dig the book so much and your friends won't listen,  i know someone who will: amazon.com Wink
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100Bean
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2006 06:13:11 AM »

THANK YOU. I am now the very proud mother of a perfectly flat circle. It may be the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I might actuallly be embarrassed that I didn't think of increasing the very first round myself (it seems so obvious now that I've done it), if I wasn't so excited right now!

And, yes, your book is fabulous. It's the best teaching book on any subject that I've ever used, and I swear I'm not just trying to be a teacher's pet. Smiley My friend recently bought your knitting books and she's in love with those, too.

Thanks again for the help - I'll probably spend the rest of the day making loads of useless circles and showing them off!
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QueenOfShinyThings
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2006 06:21:38 AM »

Debacle's answer was spot on, but another thing you could have tried is making the beginning chain smaller. For example, chain 3 and join instead of what the pattern called for. Or even chain 4 and work 12 dc in 4th chain from hook, join to beg ch 3. That leaves a very small  center opening.

Either way, it's great that you are the proud parent of a flat circle.

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100Bean
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2006 07:14:47 AM »

Like I said, I'm just getting the hang of this crocheting lingo, so I'm not entirely sure I know what your suggestion means, QueenOfShinyThings, but I think I do and I'm going try that, too. I've been lurking around on Craftster for a little while now, but never had a reason to post anything until now. I'm a little overwhelmed by (and kind of pathetically greatful for) how great and helpful you all are!

update: I tried the second tip, too and that worked nicely as well. woohoo!
« Last Edit: March 22, 2006 07:59:05 AM by 100Bean » THIS ROCKS   Logged
QueenOfShinyThings
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2006 10:14:35 AM »

well, 100Bean, I'd say you are way more than just getting the hang of it. You seem to have a very good understanding of the basic structure of crochet and what you need to get what you want.

Just a little practice and you will do great things.

It works this way- you get help, then you help someone else, and it just keeps going, and the world is a better place.

I LOVE that!
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Optimistic, Quirky, Truthful - not always in that order.

http://www.ShinyDesigns.com
100Bean
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2006 12:24:46 PM »

That is very nice indeed - and thanks for the encouragement! Just in case you couldn't tell, I'm having SO much fun learning to crochet and I get so excited every time I get something right. I can't wait until I get to help someone, too!
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GroggyFroggy
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2006 02:23:19 PM »

Congrats! I too have recently become the proud parent of a few flat circles, and I do mean proud. The first few weeks I picked up crocheting my husband would say "ohhh, crocheting another tube?".   Grin BUT today he took me to ACMoore because he wanted to look at the yarn he'd like me to use for his hat. hehe. It will be a while before I attempt that but at least he thinks I'll be able to eventually. I'm a big fan of the book and I don't even have it yet. It's definitely on my list!
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