Using Unused Loops to Crochet in the Round

In the past we've discussed two traditional ways of crocheting in the round. Both of these methods create a circular center which may be built upon to create any number of shapes. But there is a third method of crocheting in the round that creates an ovular center, and that method involves using the unused loops of a standard foundation chain. This method is used in projects such as kitchen rag rugs and crocheted socks.

To demonstrate, we will be working an example in single crochet.

Begin with your foundation chain as usual.

Crocheting in the Unused Loops


In the second chain from the hook, work 3 single crochet. Why three? The first single crochet will count as the last single crochet along the bottom of the chain (this will make more sense after you've worked the unused loops). The second single crochet fills in the gap between the top and bottom and serves to "fling" the stitches around the edge of the chain so that the work will stay flat. Sometimes this stitch is omitted when a cup shape is intentionally desired (for taller stitches, such as double crochet, more stitches may be required to fill this gap and keep the work flat). The third single crochet counts as the first single crochet along the top of the chain.

Crocheting in the Unused Loops

Next, single crochet as usual in each chain across to the last chain.

Crocheting in the Unused Loops

Work 3 single crochet in the last chain. Why three? For the same reason as above: the first single is the last single crochet on top, the second single crochet fills in the gap between the top and bottom, and the third single crochet is the first single crochet along the bottom edge.

Crocheting in the Unused Loops

Now you can rotate your work so that the bottom is now on top. The unused loops are the loops running along what is now the top of the work.

Crocheting in the Unused Loops

Now pay attention: the fact that you've already worked the first single crochet for the bottom edge means you don't have to worry about working the first unused loop, because technically it's already been used. Instead, you'll want to work your next single crochet in the first unused loop to the left of the slip knot.

Crocheting in the Unused Loops
Crocheting in the Unused Loops

Then simply work one single crochet in each remaining unused loop across.

Crocheting in the Unused Loops

And that's all there is to working in the unused loops. Now that you know how easy this technique is, we hope you'll practice it with your very own pair of crocheted socks. Nothing is more cozy than a pair of handmade socks.

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