Crocheting in a spiral is a technique that’s often seen in amigurumi patterns (stuffed crocheted or knit toys made popular in Japan). Spirals can also be put together in interesting ways in an afghan, or used for coasters (as in the pattern below), hot pads, dishcloths, or any number of other projects.
A spiral is an interesting piece of work. When you make a granny square or other square that begins as a circle, you usually join rounds, then chain up to bring your round to the correct height. The spiral does not work this way. You do NOT chain to bring up to height. Therefore, it is easy to get confused as to where you are.
The first thing you need to do is get a safety pin, or paper clip, or stitch marker of some kind. There are lots of different kinds of stitch markers available, but it’s important to note that those intended for knit most often will not work for crochet projects, so be careful what you buy.
If you don’t have a stitch marker handy, there’s no need to worry--even wrapping a piece of contrasting yarn around the stitch is fine. You just need to mark the first stitch of each round so you know where to start your next one. If you are changing color on the first stitch of the round, then you have an automatic reminder. When you see a different color, you're at the first stitch of the round.
You will not be joining with a slip stitch, but working the first stitch of your next round right into that first stitch from the previous round.
Here’s a pattern for a simple spiral coaster. It’s a quick and easy project that will help you get the technique down pat.
Materials: A small amount of worsted weight cotton yarn, H hook, #16 needle
Gauge: 4dc = 1", 2 rows = 1"
Note: Pattern corrected 6/2008. (Rnd 1 said 22 dc rather than 11 dc)
Ch 4, slip stitch into last ch from hk to form a ring.
Round 1 ch 3, work 11 dc in ring (12 sts). Place safety pin on first st to mark beginning of round. Move it up with each round.
Round 2 (do not chain up to height) work 2 dc in top of chain, 2 dc in ea dc of previous round (24 dc)
Round 3 * dc in 1st dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to end of round ( 36 dc)
Round 4 2 dc in first dc, 1 dc in ea of next 2 dc, rep from * to last 2 sts, hdc in next dc, sc in next dc, slip stitch to join in beg st of last rnd.