Are you a Lefty? Click here. Up until now, our projects in the round have started with a chain that is joined in the round, that we then worked into. This is a fine method. It works really well and is pretty easy to follow...
BUT, starting in this way, more often than not, leaves a hole in the start of your crochet. For some things, this doesn't matter. However, if you are making items like a hat, amigurimi (little crocheted soft toys) or anything where you don't want to see what is behind the work, you want to minimise that hole.
This is where magic loops come in. Sometimes called adjustable loop, adjustable ring, or magic ring, this is a great way to start your crochet off on the right foot.
Start by placing your tail of your yarn behind your working yarn.
holding on to the point where the yarn crosses, insert your hook into the big loop.
Yarn over and pull through the big loop.
Work the number of chains and stitches required by your pattern. Your stitches will be worked into the loop.
Pull on the tail to close. It is a good idea to weave in and tie off your tail, as sometimes this can work loose.
Some other magic loop tutorials:
Crochet Me has photo tutorials of all of the major methods of starting in the round.
Stacey Trock has her own technique for magic loops. With photo tutorial and video.
She has another alternative for magic loops, she calls the "sloppy slip knot". Check out the tutorial here.