The Magic Ring really is magic

I first became aware of the magic ring several years ago.

Over the years, I dutifully followed a variety of printed directions, but never managed to do anything that looked any neater than my ch-2 method that I used to begin hats, amigurumi and other circular single crochet projects. I did so by making as many single crochet stitches as necessary into the first chain of the ch-2 I had made.

Mine is a serviceable method, but it can take several tries to get a tidy look; however, a couple of weeks ago, I went to Borders with a coupon and a plan to purchase a CD of the soundtrack to Wicked. The store was out of Wicked CD’s, but there I was with a coupon about to expire and an entire bookstore beckoning.

Whenever I go into a bookstore, I gravitate toward the section known as “needlecrafts.” I am really only interested in crochet, but the “needlecraft” that I can do is lumped with all of the others about which I either know nothing or at which I am horrifically not proficient. The store had a reasonably good selection of books on how to knit, how to make a purse, how to quilt, and how to alter a t-shirt, but the number of crochet books could most charitably be described as stingy. Having said that, it was the limited-ness of the selection that made me take a good look at Creepy Cute Crochet.

I had been aware of this book for quite some time, but the title put me off a bit. Somehow the creepy completely overpowered the cute for me, and I had not thoroughly examined the offerings contained within the pages. But, as I owned all of the other crochet books that were available, I took a closer look than I would have, and there was, as it happened, a pattern for a monkey. As some of my readers know, I was in the market for a monkey pattern, so I bought the book.

It didn’t work out as I had planned (the leitmotif of my life). I made a different monkey. But today, I wanted a project that fit into my available time which was “not as much as I’d like.” Projects in the book are ranked for difficulty from beginner, to intermediate, to epic. After consulting with my youngest son, we settled on a beginner pattern, the Ninja. I managed to finish it before my youngest son’s bedtime.

The directions said to start with a magic ring and referred me to page 12 and a series of “Special Techniques” of which the magic ring was one. My first attempt when no better than dozens of other first attempts I had made over the years, but I decided I wanted to get maximum value from the book, and so I tried again — and again the results weren’t good. So, I reread the directions and in doing so, I noticed something in step 3 that I had glossed over on the first two attempts. My third attempt did not work either, but this time I was finally able to see what might work. I tried a fourth time and met with success.

I don’t know if it was the directions, my determination, or a combination of the two, but I finally learned how to make a magic ring, and here is a photo of my first completed project making use of this technique:

amigurumi ninja at night
Amigurumi ninja in it’s native habitat

Here is a photo taken of the Ninja in daylight hours:

crochet ninja in the wood
Crochet ninja in the woods