The sculptural qualities of crochet are amazing! With crochet, any shape is possible – you can take off in any direction, add or subtract any stitches you like, go wild! That said, there are several basic shapes most crocheters will eventually use, beyond the straight line. These shapes are the building blocks of hats, bags, toys, amigurumi, finger puppets, and so much more. So let’s round five of them up today and pin them all down in one place!
Circles are how you start a hat, some bags, spheres, and more. There are two common ways to start – with a magic circle, or with a short chain that is joined. From there, you work the crochet stitches into the center space. Most of the time, if you are using sc, you’ll start with 6sc. If you are using dc, you’ll likely start with 12dc. Exceptions abound, of course, but almost all of them follow the same formula.
- Work X sts into the center.
- Work 2 sts into each st of the previous round.
- Work *1 st into the next st, then 2 sts into the next st* repeating around.
- Work *1 st into the next 2 sts, then 2 sts into the next st* repeating around.
- Work *1 st into the next 3 sts, then 2 sts into the next st* repeating around.
- Continue adding another st before increasing in each round, until desired size is achieved.
Most of the time, when you want to make a sphere – doll head, toy ball, etc. – you’ll make a circle about as wide as you want your sphere to be, work a few rounds even, and then decrease the same way you increased. But one clever crocheter/mathematician has come up with the PERFECT! sphere! She’s got directions for several sizes – above you can see a ball I crocheted using her 10 row version.
The oval is the base of bags, cozies, and believe it or not, one of the trickiest shapes to get right on your own. Or maybe that’s just me. We’ve been through several oval tutorials, hopefully this Oval Tutorial by Mohu sticks around, it’s very good!
The cone is easy as pie, though the first few rounds of crocheting are as tight as they come. Start with just a few stitches in a magic circle, then instead of increasing in each stitch in the next round as you would for a flat circle, increase only 1 to 3 stitches each row. The more increases you make each round, the wider your finished cone will be. This one started with 3sc in the circle, then increased just 1 stitch per round for 7 rounds, with 10 total stitches in the last round.
- Work the desired number of stitches in a magic circle.
- Work standard circle increase rows until desired width is achieved.
- Work even until desired length is achieved.
The above cylinder is one I use when making finger puppets: 5sc in the magic circle, increase to 10sc in the second round, then work even for about 8 rounds (or more) until the puppet is as tall as I want it to be.
With these five basic shapes you are ready to tackle all kinds of projects! Even design your own! I hope having them all in one place will make it easier for you too. And you can look for some great patterns using the cylinder in the coming weeks! How will you use these shapes? Let me know in the comments!
Be sure to check out and like the Moogly Facebook page to get all the latest updates, fun links, and sneak peeks! Written patterns copyright Tamara Kelly 2012. Please do not copy or repost this page, but do include links to this blog post when sharing these patterns with others. You can contact me via Facebook messages or at TamaraKelly@mooglyblog.com.