How to Needle-Join a Round of Crochet
by Suzann Thompson
This tutorial is written using U. S. crochet terminology.
Every circle in this photo is made with one round of half-double crochet. Can you tell where the round begins? Can you tell where it ends? If you have an eagle eye for detail, you probably can. But thanks to the needle-join, most casual observers will see a lovely edge, uninterrupted by the unfortunate bump of a slip stitch join.
Needle-joining is simple technique. It’s sometimes called an invisible join, and for good reason. Here’s how to do it:
When you finish a round of crochet, do not join with a slip stitch. Instead, as soon as you are finished with the last stitch of the round, cut the yarn and use your hook to pull the final loop up and out of the last stitch, as in the photo above.
When I say “a round of crochet,” I’m including these little circles, afghan motifs worked in the round, a slip-stitch outline around a motif, a flower motif, or a cowl—any round of crochet you would normally join with a slip stitch.
Thread the cut yarn end into a tapestry needle. In the case of hdc and taller stitches, insert the needle from front to back under the chain top of the second stitch of the round. (The first stitch will be a chain equivalent, so skip over that to the second stitch.)
If the round begins with sc, insert needle under the chain top of the second sc.
If the round begins with sl st, like the brown border of the Kiwi pattern from Cute Crochet World, skim the needle under the first sl st without catching the crochet underneath.
Take the needle back into the top of the final stitch of the round, angling it toward the back of the piece.
Turn the piece to the wrong side.
If the last st was a hdc or htr the two loops just under the top of the stitch. In the photo above, looking at the wrong side of the piece, you can see the needle going under the top loop and the next two loops. Gently pull the thread through.
If the last st was a sc, dc, or tr round, the needle should catch the top loop plus the very next loop on the wrong side. Gently pull the thread through.
Turn the piece back to the right side. Adjust the loop you just made to match the size of the other chain tops of the round.
Weave in the end. I like to weave the thread end continuing in the direction of the crochet round. Finished!
Here’s a slightly different situation where needle-join gives a great finish. This is the retro-flower “Circles within Circles” from Crochet Bouquet:
Read the entire “Circles within Circles” tutorial here.