I know the title of this post is a little long winded, but I’m having a hard time deciding how else to describe this tutorial. How to crochet a double sided tube? How to crochet a sleeve for a cardigan in the round? How to crochet flat, but in the round? I can’t really think of a concise way to describe this technique.
The thing is, as you may know, when you crochet in the round, it looks different than when you crochet it flat.
This isn’t especially obvious because of the stripes, but if you turn both inside out you can definitely see it’s true. (And if you’re not using stripes it’s very obvious. I’m just being a bad tutorial writer by not making easier to see pictures ;))
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of seaming and finish work. Well, through the process of making several crocheted sweaters, I realized that I am a fan of seaming on knitted items. Seaming crochet is finicky, confusing, and takes forever (at least for me.) I’ve been trying to figure out how to avoid it in certain circumstances, and I finally managed to come up with the right steps to make a nice tube that looks like the crochet of a flat object.
Now, I don’t want you to think I don’t like the way circular crochet looks. I actually really like it, especially the back side, and when I can I implement it into projects (like Collar Pop and In the Thick of It) But there are certain instances, like with cardigans, when you pretty much just can’t use circular crochet. (Unless there is a way to steek crochet that I’m not privy to? I would like to experiment with that at some point.) As much as you can make the cardigan body in one piece, you’re still gonna be working it back and forth. If you’re not very detail oriented, you probably don’t really care if the stitches on the sleeve match those on the body, but I like things to look pretty tidy and put together, so that is why I like using this technique.
There are plenty of good tutorials out there for crocheting in a tube, I think this one by Ms Weaver’s Designs does a pretty darn good job. The technique I outline here is not all that different, but it can be a little confusing exactly which stitches you’re working into when doing a tube, so that is what this tutorial is for.
The main basis of crocheting a tube that looks like flat crochet is that you’re basically crocheting it flat, you’re just joining the ends. That is to say that while you’re slip stitching into the beginning of you’re previous round, you’re still turning your work after each row. So lets hop to it.
To begin with, as with the majority of projects, you need a chain.
Then, you need to slip stitch into the first chain to create a loop. (Make sure you don’t twist your chain or you’ll end up doing some mobius crochet.)
Chain 2, then do your first stitch (I am using half double crochet) into the same chain that you just slip stitched into.
Then work a stitch in each chain around until you get back to the beginning.
Now, slip stitch into the first stitch that you did. (I don’t do this into the chain because it ends up leaving a hole when I do, I pretty much just treat the beginning chains like they are not there.)
Now, turn your work around and chain 2 (or however many beginning chains you need for the stitch you are working.)
Here is the part where you need to pay attention. In order to not accidentally increase on every round, you need to know that the first stitch you make is in the second space from the turning chain.
I’m going to switch ahead a row to where my color change is, because I think it makes it a little easier to see.
Again, work around to your beginning stitch. The color change here makes it easy to see where the last stitch is, as it is where your original chain originates from. This isn’t as obvious when there is no color change, so I highly recommend counting your stitches at first until you get used to seeing where the first and last stitches should go.
Now slip stitch into the first stitch you did.
And continue going like that, turning at the end of each round, skipping the first space, and slipping into the first stitch you did. The result is a neat tube with a barely noticeable seam…
Which has a texture that matches your flat crochet.
(Doing it this way has the added benefit of having a seam that doesn’t travel around in a spiral, since you’re working back and forth.)
Hope that this helps you in your projects. You may be wondering what this green and white sleeve that is suspiciously Christmas green is all about… well… You will find out very soon, I promise