This tutorial is to show you how to mark the first and last stitches in an oval round in order to help maintain the correct stitch count. Many times the joining slip stitch is confused for another stitch and thus gets crocheted into. The end result is too many stitches, which will throw off the whole design.
For this tutorial, I used my credit card case pattern. The case is worked in the round in order to avoid having to sew a seam. I don’t know about you, but not having to sew something after you’ve crocheted it is a huge bonus.
Anyway, because it’s such a narrow sleeve you do not need any increases in the the second round. With no increases in the round you end up with a huge gap. It actually makes it look like there are another two stitches that can be crocheted into. But what you see is just the slip stitch and the chain-1 at the beginning of the round. And after you make the join everything pulls together quite nicely.
The key to avoiding any confusion, is to mark the first and last stitches immediately after you make them.
Here are some images:
The first step is to make your beginning chains.
You will single crochet into the second chain from the hook. The second chain from the hook is also the stitch wherein you will work your last 2 stitches. So go ahead and place a stitch marker into the bottom loop, which will be the last ‘free loop’ that you crochet into to complete the round.
Make your first stitch and place a stitch marker in there as well. Now you have your first and last stitches marked for the round.
Continue to crochet around as the pattern instructs. Once comleted, do you see the loop in between the two stitch markers? This loop is often mistaken for another free loop, and if you crochet into that, it will throw everything out of whack. The stitch markers help to prevent that.
The next step is to remove the stitch marker from the beginning chain and move it up into the last stitch made in the round.
Then go ahead and make your slip stitch.
Make your first stitch in the next round and once again, move the stitch marker up. Once again, you have your first and last stitches marked. And you can already see the two spaces that, without stitch markers, might be mistaken for stitches.
Continue to crochet around as the pattern instructs up to the last stitch. Now you can see the huge gap that’s created by the slip stitch and the chain-1 made at the beginning of the round. You do not want to crochet into either one of these.
It may seem wrong to join with a slip stitch when there is such a large gap, but once closed, it pulls the sides up to close the gap. And that is what you want for this pattern and other patterns such as this one.
And what you get in this case is the beginning of a narrow sleeve. Continue working in an even pattern, or as the pattern instructs.