How To Master The Half Double Crochet Stitch
Explanations, Videos & faqs
Do you want to learn the Half Double Crochet Stitch?
You might have come across this term in a crochet pattern and can't figure out what it means.
Well, before we get into learning how to work the half double crochet stitch, I'm assuming you already know the other basic stitches (slip knot, chain & single crochet stitches).
If you don't already know how to work these, please start with the blog post above before you continue to the half double crochet stitch.
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What Is A Half Double Crochet Stitch?
The half double crochet stitch is a versatile stitch that can be used in a variety of crochet projects, including blankets, scarves, hats, and more. It is a great stitch for beginners to learn, and it can also be used in more complex stitch patterns and designs.
A half double crochet stitch has the abbreviation (hdc) in crochet patterns.
The name "half double crochet" is the American term, but the same stitch in UK terms is called the "half treble crochet" stitch (htr).
Be sure to check your patterns before starting with your crochet! Check whether the terms used are US or UK, because the same stitch is referred to with different names. You can download the cheat sheet below for reference.
US vs. UK Crochet Terms & Symbols
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How to work the half double crochet stitch
To work a half double crochet stitch, you first need to make a foundation chain of the desired length. Then, yarn over, insert the hook into the third chain from the hook (or the second chain from the hook if you prefer), yarn over again, and draw up a loop.
Let me break down these steps in a numbered list:
- Make a foundation chain of the desired length.
- Yarn over the hook.
- Insert the hook into the third chain from the hook (or second chain from the hook if you prefer).
- Yarn over the hook again.
- Draw up a loop through the chain stitch.
- You will have three loops on your hook.
- Yarn over the hook again.
- Draw the yarn through all three loops on the hook.
- Repeat steps 2-8 for each chain stitch across the foundation chain.
- Chain two (or more, depending on the pattern) to turn.
- Work a half double crochet stitch into the first stitch and each stitch across.
- Repeat step 11 for each row.
What does a Half Double Crochet Stitch look like?
The half double crochet stitch (hdc) is between a single crochet (sc) and double crochet stitch (dc) in height. Compared to a sc stitch, you need to do a yarn over before you insert the hook into a stitch, and you need to pull the final yarn over through all 3 loops on the hook.
The half double crochet stitch has a "V" shape and a slightly raised ridge on top of the stitch.
When worked in rows, the half double crochet stitch creates a dense and sturdy fabric with a nice drape.
When worked in rounds, the stitch creates a slightly taller stitch than the single crochet, and you can use it for amigurumi and other projects that require a slightly taller stitch.
Half Double Crochet Stitch Variations
There are several variations of the half double crochet stitch that you can use to add texture and interest to your crochet projects. I'll show you a few examples:
- Back loop half double crochet: Instead of inserting the hook through both loops of the stitch (the v's), you insert the hook only through the back loop. This creates a ribbed texture on one side of the fabric.
- Front loop half double crochet: This variation is similar to the back loop half double crochet, but you insert the hook only through the front loop of the stitch you're working into from the previous row. This creates a ribbed texture on the other side of the fabric.
- Third loop half double crochet: This is one of my favorites! In this variation, instead of inserting the hook into the top loops of the stitch, you insert the hook into the "third loop" which is the horizontal strand you'll see just below the back loop. You have to tilt your work towards you to find it. Using the half double crochet in the third loop makes your project look like it's knitted.
- Cluster half double crochet: This variation involves working multiple half double crochet stitches into the same stitch, then joining them together to create a cluster. This adds texture and depth to your crochet project.
- Puff stitch half double crochet: This variation is super cute and involves creating a puff stitch by working multiple half double crochet stitches into the same stitch, then pulling them through a single loop on the hook to create a raised puff. This adds a fun, bobbly texture to your project.
There are more variations to the Half Double Crochet Stitch, but I'll leave those for another post. What's important for you to know is that every stitch can have variations in the way it is used in a crochet project which makes for endless design possibilities.
How to decrease Half Double Crochet Stitches
In some crochet patterns you'll find instructions to "decrease" or to "half double crochet two together" (hdc2tog).
The decrease stitch reduces the number of stitches in a row and can be used to shape your project. When you want to start making your project smaller in certain sections, this is where you'll use the decrease.
Here are the steps to decrease the half double crochet stitch:
- Begin by working up to the point in your project where you want to decrease.
- Yarn over your hook, then insert it into the next stitch.
- Yarn over again and draw up a loop. You will now have three loops on your hook.
- Yarn over again, and insert your hook into the next stitch.
- Yarn over again and draw up a loop. You will now have five loops on your hook.
- Yarn over and draw through all five loops on your hook to complete the half double crochet decrease stitch.
How to Increase Half Double Crochet Stitches
If you are working on a project and you want to start making it bigger (wider) , then you can start to "increase" your stitches. This means that you want to place more stitches into that row or round than you did in the previous one.
In some patterns it may be written as "half double crochet two in one" (hdc2inc).
Here are the steps:
- Begin by working up to the point in your project where you want to increase.
- Yarn over your hook and insert it into the next stitch.
- Yarn over again and draw up a loop. You will now have three loops on your hook.
- Instead of working into the next stitch, work a second half double crochet stitch into the same stitch. Yarn over, insert your hook into the same stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop. You will now have five loops on your hook.
- Yarn over and draw through all five loops on your hook to complete the half double crochet increase stitch.
How to count Half Double Crochet Stitches
I'm glad you're asking this question! Counting your stitches is one of the most important habits you need to have in crochet. Unless you're doing some freeform crochet, where counting is not that important, in almost all other crochet projects, counting is essential.
So here are the steps for counting your half double crochet stitches:
- Identify the stitches you want to count. You can count the stitches across a row or down a column, depending on your project.
- Look for the "V" shapes in the top of each stitch. Each "V" represents one half double crochet stitch.
- Count each "V" shape as one half double crochet stitch. Start at the beginning of the row or column and work your way to the end.
- To count multiple rows or columns, repeat the process for each row or column. Keep track of your count using a stitch marker or by marking your work with a pencil or stitch counter.
- Remember to count the turning chain as a stitch, as it is used to create the height of the next row or round.
Do you chain 1 or 2 for half double crochet?
Most crochet patterns call for a ch 2 when turning your work and moving up to the next row or round. I personally tend to prefer chaining only ch 1 to move to the next row so I don't have a gap in my turning chain.
Check what the crochet pattern you're following calls for in the notes section. If you end up having gaps in your turning chains, you can always modify it and work one less chain.
The important thing also, is to check the notes section of your pattern to see whether the turning chain counts as a stitch or not. Then you can count the number of stitches you have in your rows correctly.
CROCHET TERMINOLOGY &
Can I use the half double crochet stitch in amigurumi projects?
Yes, the half double crochet stitch can be used in amigurumi projects. In fact, it's quite a common stitch to work up amigurumi.
The half double crochet stitch is good for amigurumi because it's quite a tight stitch and you can be sure that the stuffing is well-contained and won't show through your stitches.
It also has a slightly taller height than single crochet, so you'll finish your amigurumi project faster.
For this to work well with amigurumi, make sure you use a small hook size to create a tight fabric. I sometimes go down a hook size from the recommended size on the skein to get my amigurumis really tight.
The other thing is you need to make sure your tension stays consistent throughout your project to make sure your amigurumi ends up being the correct size & shape.
Half Double Crochet Stitch Left Handed
left-handed crocheters may find it easier to reverse the directions in crochet patterns and tutorials, so be sure to adjust as needed. Here are the steps to do the half double crochet stitch if you're left-handed:
- Hold the crochet hook in your left hand and make a slip knot on the hook.
- Insert the hook into the second chain from the hook.
- Yarn over the hook from back to front and draw the yarn through the chain. You should now have three loops on your hook.
- Yarn over again and draw the yarn through all three loops on the hook. This completes the half double crochet stitch.
- Insert the hook into the next stitch, yarn over, draw the yarn through the stitch, yarn over again, and draw the yarn through all three loops on the hook to complete another half double crochet stitch.
- Repeat step 5 for each stitch across the row until you reach the end.
- Chain one at the end of the row and turn your work.
- Repeat steps 2-7 for each row.
What can I make using the half double crochet stitch?
There are so many crochet projects you can make using the half double crochet stitch. Let me show you a few examples:
- Scarves: You can make a cozy scarf using the half double crochet stitch. Use a chunky yarn for a quick and easy project, or a thinner yarn for a more delicate look.
- Blankets: You can make baby blankets or even full adult blankets that will be soft and warm when made using the half double crochet stitch. You can use a variety of yarn colors to create a striped or patterned design.
- Hats: You can make a simple beanie or a slouchy hat using the half double crochet stitch. Add a pom-pom or a brim and your hat will look super cute.
- Bags: The half double crochet stitch can be used to make sturdy and durable bags. You can make a tote bag, a shoulder bag, or a backpack using this stitch.
- Amigurumi: You can use the half double crochet stitch to make amigurumi projects. You can make cute and cuddly animals or characters using this stitch.
- Dishcloths: These are super easy beginner projects. You can make a set of dishcloths using the half double crochet stitch. Use a cotton yarn for a durable and absorbent cloth.
These are many more ideas for projects to make once you've figured out how to work the half double crochet stitch.
If you prefer to learn via video tutorials, I've chosen a few really good ones for you that show and explain the steps clearly:
Half Double Crochet Stitch: Best Video Tutorials
To master the half double crochet stitch, keep your frustration level down to a minimum, and to save you a ton of time searching and navigating through YouTube to find video tutorials that are clear enough, concise enough and go straight to the point without too much chatter, I've put together a list of the top tutorials that teach you how to make a single crochet stitch.
Please make sure you've followed the videos for the slip knot, foundation chain and single crochet stitch before you go ahead with the half double crochet stitch.
I've chosen the 3 best video tutorials in my opinion. There are lots more on YouTube of course.
I also chose 3 because each teacher has her unique way of explaining the process. So watch them all and see who you find easiest to follow.
If you have suggestions of great channels to add to the directory, then suggest them in the comments below.
Justine from the Woobles speaks to complete beginners when demonstrating how to crochet the half double crochet stitch in US Terms. If you're really new to crochet, you might want to watch this video to learn this new stitch.
In this video, Hopeful Honey demonstrates how to crochet the half double crochet stitch in UK Terms. In the UK, the half double crochet stitch is called the Half Treble Crochet Stitch.
Another great source to learn from is the Creativbug website. They have fantastic tutorials especially designed for beginners and you'll be able to crochet the most amazing things in no time at all.
Follow START CROCHET on PINTEREST for more inspiring ideas!
One Last Thing About The Half Double Crochet Stitch
One thing I realized when working a half double crochet pattern in the round and joining rounds, is that the seam of the project comes out at an angle.
I discovered this when I made my Sunflower Tote Bag and discuss it in that post if you'd like to have a look. I also explain how one can get the seam to be straight.
Well, I hope I covered all the questions you might have about the double crochet stitch. If there's anything I haven't answered, please drop me a comment below and I'll be happy to add your question to this post.