When you start out with crocheting, the easiest patterns to follow are those that go horizontal. However, as you become more confident in your abilities, the need to take on more challenging patterns arises. If you’re ready to take on a bigger challenge, try crocheting in circles and ovals. Circles and ovals are very important to learn in crocheting, as they are key to creating hats, rugs and amigurumi for stuffed animals. Yet, you don’t need to learn more advanced stitches in order to be able to crochet a circle properly. As long as you know the basics, you just need to learn how to work the chains to form the circle and crochet into the free loops of the beginning chains.

Below is a guide on how you can achieve a perfectly flat oval and circle through the basic stitches of crochet:

Making an Oval

You can start by stitching 4 chains. Remember to stitch your chains tightly, so that there are no holes in the middle. If you need to, you can start chaining with a smaller hook before you change back to a normal sized hook for the rest of your pattern. The next step would be to use a single stitch on the second chain from the hook up to the next two chains. That would mean doing three single stitches consecutively, and then stitching two more single stitches in the same space as the last single stitch. You will then find that you have 3 single stitches in the last chain of your piece. Afterwards, rotate your piece so that you can work back down the foundation chain. You will need to do single stitches in the next space, which is on the bottom part of the second single stitches that you made. Stitch 2 single stitches in the same space as the very first single stitch. Now you are done with making the first round of your little oval. Scrutinize your tiny piece, and you should find that you have a total of 8 single stitches. To know if you’ve done it correctly, there should be 3 single stitches on each end and 2 in the middle.

If you’re ready to proceed with round 2, the first thing you should do is to make two single stitches in the first single stitch of the previous round. On the next single stitch, do just one single stitch. On the third up to the fifth single stitch of the previous round, create two single stitches each. On the 6th, create one single stitch and then do two single stitches on the last two single stitches of the last round. On this round, you should have been able to stitch a total of 14 single stitches. You will then notice you have a tiny circle going on.

On the third round, you will have to start your stitches on the second round. Create two single stitches on the first single stitch of the second round, and then proceed with one single stitch on the next two single stitches. For the fourth and fifth stitches of the second round, alternate doing two single stitches and one single stitch. Do this for another two more times until you reach the 9th stitch of round 2. If you’ve made it this far, simply do a single stitch for your next stitch.

For the last remaining stitches of round two, alternate doing two single stitches for the first stitch and one single stitch on the second. This round will have created 20 single stitches. And voila, you now have an oval. To make your oval bigger, you can add as many rounds as you need. You can increase by three stitches at the end of each oval, while keeping the middle of the oval flat. Proceed this way until you are able to achieve the size that you are aiming for.

If you want to create with a longer oval from the beginning, what you can do is to start with a longer chain. You can increase the first chain to 8 stitches instead of four and just follow the directions per round. Although make an adjustment during the end of the stitches and create three single stitches instead. Basically, if you continue this way on and on, you might end up making a big enough rug.

Making a Circle

To do a circle, the simplest way to begin is to start with an adjustable ring. You can do this by holding the tail end of your yarn by the palm and wrapping the yarn once around your index finger. You can then slide your hook underneath the loop on your finger and grab the working end of the yarn with your hook and pull it through the loop. Afterwards, carefully slide the ring off your finger, yarn over and pull the yarn through the loop on your hook. When you have it, work as many stitches as necessary into the middle of the ring. When you’re done, pull the tail end of the yarn to tighten the ring and make a nice circle shape.

You can then start doing single stitches for the circle your pattern requires. As you work into the adjustable ring, notice that you should be crocheting around 2 strands of yarn – the main part of the ring and the tail end. When you’re done with the first round, pull on the tail end to tighten your circle. Proceeding to the second round, you will have to start with a single stitch on the first single stitch of the first round. To adjust the size of your circle and make it bigger, you can stitch 2 single stitches in each single stitch of the first round. This means your second round’s number of single stitches is exactly double the number of stitches of the first round. Continue on until necessary. You will find your circle flat and growing larger.

As long as you know the basics of crochet, you will not have a hard time in trying to create new shapes. The key is to branch out the skills you have already learned to create even more complex and beautiful patterns. Practice is key and if you find it hard to follow written instructions, know that the Internet is your friend. There are several video tutorials that can help you create the perfect circle or oval you want to achieve.