Single loop and double loop magic rings
This technique was one I learned fairly early on when teaching myself to crochet. It took a little bit of getting used to but I find it easier to do than some of the methods that get you to chain, join to form a circle and then crochet into that circle. I thought it was something everyone knew. However, a friend recently offered to test one of my patterns for me and it begins with a magic ring. Although I suspect she's been crocheting for far longer than me, she'd never made one. Another friend who crochets was also there at the time and we both have slightly different ways of making a magic ring - I make the single loop version and my friend makes the double loop version. Here I present both versions, hopefully in a way that will help someone else learn to do this very useful technique.
Single loop magic ring
This is the version that I learned early on when I first started to crochet. It is a little simpler to do than the double ring version but some people prefer the double loop version because it is less likely to unravel. If you use this version you will need to be very careful with weaving in your ends so that it doesn't unravel. The photos below show the steps in making a basic single loop magic ring with 6 sc worked into the ring.
Wrap the yarn around your fingers (photo 1) and insert your hook in between the loops (photo 2). Yarn over and pull up a loop (photos 3-5). This is your Ch 1 (or ch more of your first stitch is bigger than a single crochet). I hold the loop in my left hand as shown in photo 6 because it makes it easier for me to make the stitches. Make 6 sc into the ring (photo 7). The final step is to pull the yarn tail through to make the stitches form a circle (photo 8). You can then sl st and chain up for your new round or continue working into the next round in a spiral depending on what your pattern specifies.
Making a double loop magic ring
As I mentioned earlier, this is slightly trickier than making the single loop version. However, it is also less likely to come unravelled.
Wrap the yarn around your fingers and insert your hook (photo 1). Ch 1 as you did for the single loop magic ring then make your stitches into the ring (photos 3-5) the same way you did for the single loop ring. This next step is the trick to getting your double loop magic ring to working properly. You will see in photo 5 that the 2 loops look like they are a similar size. Pull your tail slightly to see which of your loops gets smaller (photo 6). Take this shorter loop and pull it so that the other loop gets tight (photo 7). Lastly, pull your tail so that the longer loop gets tight (photo 8).