It’s one thing to learn the basics of something, but it’s a whole other thing to start learning the specifics of a skill. At first the thrill of succeeding as a beginner gives you a rush of excitement, like riding a bike for the first time without crashing. But riding on that first wave of success is the realization that you’ve just started. There are so, so many things to learn and perfect. If you want to, it will keep you busy for the rest of your life.
This is definitely true in crochet, and here I’m going to show you one stitch that, although it’s considered a “basic stitch” and isn’t hard at all, starts to show us that there can be variations of different stitches and techniques. It’s called the half double crochet stitch, and as you may have guessed, it is a variation of the double crochet stitch.
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One quick side note…
Now let me stop here for just a minute and say that if you are not familiar with the double crochet stitch, that is totally ok. But, as you learn some other basic stitches just remember that the half double stitch (which we abbreviate hdc) doesn’t follow quite the same pattern of steps as the others do. There is a pattern that repeats itself in single, double, and triple crochet (and beyond!) that will make them easier to remember once you start learning them, and this stitch interrupts that pattern.
But that’s completely fine! As a matter of fact, the half double crochet stitch is one of my favorite and most-used stitches, and I’ll go over it’s benefits later. For now, let’s go over how we actually work this stitch, now that I got my little disclaimer out of the way. At the very end, you should see my video tutorial for this stitch as well.
Step by Step
First, you need to have a chain ready for your half double crochet stitches to go into. For practice, I think chaining twelve stitches is a good size to start with. If by chance you don’t yet know how to crochet a chain, take a look at my chain stitch tutorial.
Next, you are going to yarn over once, and insert your hook into the third chain from your hook.
Next you are going to yarn over once again. You can see this is already done in the picture above. Draw that yarn through so that you have three loops on your hook:
Now you will yarn over just one more time, for a total of four loops. Once this is done, all that you need to do is take the loop of yarn that you just got and draw it through all three of the other loops:
Drawing yarn through
Now just in case you are interested, that last step is where the hdc is different from those other stitches I mentioned. You don’t need to pay any attention to that right now, but once you start learning the other stitches it might be a good thing to take note of.
Anyway, after you are done with your first hdc, you can keep doing more stitches in exactly the same way, except that you will do your next stitch in the very next chain, without skipping any.
If you started with a chain of twelve like me, you should end up with about ten hdc stitches in your first row. Once completed, it should look like this:
Now to continue with more rows of this stitch you will chain 2, turn your work, and start your new row of hdc in the top of the stitches from the previous row (again, starting with the very first one.)
You can see that depicted below:
Finally, here is what the hdc stitch will look like with multiple rows finished!
HDC at a glance
For quick reference, here’s the main steps for the half double crochet stitch again:
Finally, Here is my video for the half double crochet stitch:
Hooked on Homemade Happiness has a really easy tutorial using hdc. It’s called the Easy All Half Double Crochet Afghan.
Tying it all together
Ta da! There you have it. Now you not only know another very useful and versatile stitch, but you can be satisfied knowing that your crochet repertoire is starting to include stitches that are just a little bit beyond the absolute basics. Bonus: It’s not any harder!
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I can’t wait to possibly see what some of you end up making with this stitch. Feel free to comment with your creations, or find me on social media and share that way. Regardless, I hope you’ll keep learning more and more so that you can make whatever you want for yourself and those you love!
Keep the crafting delightful!,