The Magic Ring is so incredibly useful. I find it is the best way to start any circular project. Using the Magic Ring also allows you to close up the top of a hat or amigurumi more completely than with a chain loop.
When I first read about it in a pattern I was excited. Then I tried to figure out how they did it and I was lost. It took several different video and written tutorials for me to figure it out. They all seemed to do it differently. Once I got the hang of it I realized that I basically made my own way of doing it too. I think every one does that. Some ways just make more sense. Hopefully this post will help you figure it out too!
To start the Magic Ring: Hold the yarn in your palm with the end of the yarn down, wrap the yarn around your middle two fingers, up and over your first finger and then hold it with your pinky. You’ll put your hook under the yarn that is looped around your middle fingers and hook the strand that goes over the top. Then chain as many as you need for the stitch you are working (in the video, I used a single crochet so I started with one chain.) Then do your stitch around the two strands that are wrapped around your middle fingers. My biggest struggle was getting the tension down so that I could crochet around the ring. I have seen people make the ring and then slide it off and hold it. To me that seems too “wiggly”. I need to have something to pull against.
Once you get all of the stitches needed around the ring, you’ll take the beginning of your strand of yarn and pull tightly. How tightly depends on what you need. Some patterns will ask that you leave it loose, but most of the time you’ll tighten it all the way. From here you can either join the round by slip stitching, or beginning your next round.