Yesterday, we looked at crocheting in continuous rounds and using a running stitch marker. The stitch marker shows clearly that the first stitch of the round shifts slightly to the right (or left, if you’re left handed) with each round.
Why does this happen?
Let’s look at the way the stitches are lined up in the middle of this swatch. If we look at the posts of the stitches (which in this case are the little V shapes, since this is single crochet), you will see that they don’t line up. In fact, each stitch sits in-between the two stitches below it.
Looking at the current round, you can see how this works. Here I have just completed a round, and the running stitch marker is lying between the last stitch of the previous round, and the first stitch of the next round.
When I insert my hook into the next stitch to start the next round, it will be right above the marker, between the stitches. In this way, the first stitch of the new round is half a stitch to the right of the first stitch of the round before it.
If we were joining our rounds and turning our work with each round, we would shift one way on this round and the other way on the next round. In this way the shift would even out and we would end up with a nice, straight seam. With continuous rounds however, we are not turning our work. So the first stitch just continues to shift in the same direction, by half a stitch each time.
What can we do about it?
If we’re just making a plain tube, in continuous rounds, with no seam, then it really doesn’t matter. But look what happens when I try to put in a vertical stripe. Here I’m working in blue for the 5th and 6th stitch of each round. My stripe isn’t vertical, instead it’s leaning to the right because of the shift.
I can adjust for this shift by moving the stripe 1 stitch to the left, every 2 rounds. Here I have continued from the swatch above, but I’ve worked the next 2 rounds with the stripe starting on stitch 6, then 2 more rounds with the stripe starting on stitch 7. Now the stripe is straight, on the new rounds!
The same adjustments also need to be considered when doing any shaping that is not evenly spaced around, which is very common with amigurumi patterns. If you’re working from a pattern, it should include adjustments for this shift where needed.
Check back tomorrow for a new amigurumi pattern worked in continuous rounds!