What a snug little centre that crochet circle has! It's far tighter than you could ever get by making the familiar few chain and slipstitching to the first of them, and sometimes you want the gap in the middle of your circle or square just to disappear. It's called a Magic Circle, and here's how you do it. As well as beginning squares and circles, it's also used as the very beginning of some of AoibheNÃ's beautiful Tunisian lace shawls, like Bel and Venus, so it's a very versatile technique. So, to start, just wind a loop of yarn around your finger... ...and slip the hook in under the loop, between the yarn and your finger. Wrap the yarn around the hook, and bring the ensuing loop back towards you out of the loop. Wrap the yarn around the hook once more, and pull a second loop through the first. Once you've made this stitch, you're ready to work whatever your pattern tells you for your first round, using the long end of the yarn (the one that goes to the ball). You'll notice that the original loop that you wound round your finger is still all loose and floppy; this is entirely as intended, and it's what you work your first round into. This picture shows the work a little later - we've worked a series of double crochet stitches into the loop, which is still all floppy. You can see its single strand just below and to the left of the live stitch. Now the Magic happens. Take a firm hold of the short end of the yarn in one hand, and hold the live stitch that's on the hook with the other. And pull...! Because you made your stitches around the strand of yarn, it'll pull up through them, turning your loose association of stitches into a firm little circle! And the result is what you can see in the top picture. Until you finish off the yarn, the circle might try to relax, but just give it a wee tug and it'll smarten up promptly if needed. Speaking of AoibheNÃ's amazing work, we're delighted to announce another date for her inspiring Tunisian lace workshop, on Saturday September 21st. This full-day workshop is bound to fill up as fast as ever, so you can book online at this link. Today's the first day of summer, so may we wish you a happy, sunny, craft-filled one!