WORKING IN ROUNDS
closing the hole:
The majority of hat patterns work from the top down, in the round, and begin with 4 or 5 chains, joining with a slip stitch to the first chain, forming a ring, and placing X amount of stitches into the ring. Round 2 is probably 2 stitches into each stitch of the previous row. Round 3 is probably 1,2,1,2, etc. More than likely, the hat is worked in double crochet stitch.
Basically, we follow instructions as written in a pattern. However, there are a few little tricks to start "in the round" projects that differ from many standard patterns. Some you will have heard of; some not.
Tip 1. Work over the tail so the initial hole at the top of the item can be cinched closed. This, we do by holding the tail parallel to the ring and crocheing over it, thereafter pulling the worked over tail snug, then weaving it through the top (or threading a darning needle and making a few stitches) to set the cinching, cut the tail. I always teach this method.
Tip 2. An alternate way to work "chain 4, join with slip stitch to form a ring" is to eliminate the ring altogether. Instead: Chain 4, and work the number of double crochet stitches that you would have worked into the ring into the first chain instead. This leaves a smaller hole at the top. With this method, you will not be able to cinch the hole closed with the tail, but rather, weave the tail in to hide it, cut the tail.
Tip 3. "Magic Adjustable Ring" or "Magic Loop": Instructions for this technique, complete with illustrations, can be found here: http://crochetme.com/Dec_Jan_0405/reads_round.html Basically, you twist a piece of yarn into a loop, without knotting or chaining. The "magic loop" replaces the need to chain to form the ring. The stitches are worked into the loop, making sure to work them over where the yarn loop crosses itself, and then the 2 ends can be pulled tight and cinched to close the hole. It is a brilliant technique for guaranteeing the elimination of holes at the start of your "in the round" project.
Note: not all items worked "in the round" will be exactly round: for instance...the granny square.