Anyone who understands the basics of crochet will tell you that you must always begin your piece with a foundation chain then you add your chosen design. But there is another way to start your piece, without having to count out that tedious long chain. Chainless foundation half double crochet stitches!
Foundation Half Double Crochet Tutorial
What is a Half Double Foundation?
Chainless half double foundation crochet stitches are just what they sound like. The chainless foundation stitch approach is a different way to begin a new crochet piece. You will not crochet a number of chains and then work your first row into these chains with this technique. Instead, you will make each chain and corresponding stitch at the same time.
This article will focus on the half double crochet foundation (fhdc). Fhdc is a variation of the foundation single crochet stitch (fsc) technique. The difference is that fhdc creates half double crochet stitches instead of single crochet stitches.
Supplies for Foundation Half Double Chain
- Yarn and a crochet hook.
All instructions are written in American crochet terminology.
- ch = chain stitch crochet
- sc = single crochet
- hdc = half double crochet
- fhdc = foundation half double crochet.
If you are working with British terminology, this same stitch would be called foundation half treble crochet. (fhtc)
How to do Foundation Half Double Crochet, Step by Step Instructions
Do you want to start a new project without making that long chain? In these step-by-step instructions, you'll learn why chainless half double foundations are a great way to start a crochet project.
First Half Double Foundation Stitch
- STEP 1 - Start with a slip knot, chain 2.
- STEP 2 - Yarn over, insert hook through the second chain from the hook.
- STEP 3 - Yarn over and pull through. (3 stitches on hook)
- STEP 4 - Yarn over and pull through the first loop on the hook. (This is your foundation row's first chain.) (3 stitches on hook)
- STEP 5 - Yarn over and pull your hook through the three loops. The first fhdc has been created. Quick and easy!
Second Foundation Half Double Crochet
- STEP 6 - Yarn over and slip the hook through the additional "chain" created in step 4. The hook must be inserted into the bottom “v” of the chain.
- STEP 7 - Yarn over and pull through a loop. (Three loops on hook)
- STEP 8 - Yarn over and pull through the first loop on hook, resulting in a chain 1. Pull this chain up loosely. This is your foundation row's next "chain."
- STEP 9 - Yarn over and pull your hook through the three loops. The second fhdc is made.
Half Double Crochet Foundation Row
Steps 6 to 9 should be repeated until the desired row length is obtained. Be sure to concentrate on working a chain and then a half double crochet into each previous chain. It is easy to forget the chain part of the step!
Once you have worked that first row of half double crochet stitches you are ready to start with the stitch pattern of your choice for the rest of your crochet item.
Tips and Tricks for fhdc
One piece of advice is to not pull your stitches too tightly so that your foundation half double row doesn't curl. To do this, after pulling up the initial loop in a stitch, the hook should be held perpendicular to the foundation row. This prevents the bottom of the row from being significantly tighter than the top, which leads to less curling overall.
As a second piece of advice, as you draw through the initial loop on your hook, try to make it lie to the left so that all of your stitches have the same appearance. It will want to lay that way naturally, but I've found that giving each stitch a light push with my thumb (also to the left) on the foundation row helps it turn out beautifully.
Foundation Half Double Crochet FAQs
Alternatives to Half Double Crochet Foundation Chain
Remember that any stitch may be used to create a foundation row following the same logic as the fhdc!
More Crochet Tutorials:
Why Use Foundation Half Double Crochet?
- Because of chain counting errors, you end up having to start projects over and over.
- You find it boring to work the long chain and it is sometimes difficult to crochet into the beginning chain because those chain stitches can be tight!
- Instead of a smooth, straight edge, the first row of your project has an uneven base.
- You want the first row to be a little bit looser. Crochet chains are often too tight, but a foundation row without chains is much more flexible.
I’m sure all of you have been at chain number 189, concentrating carefully, counting, when someone walks in and starts talking to you! Extremely frustrating! You have lost the stitch count and must start all over again! Now you can learn a new technique that allows you to count stitches even if you lose your stitch count!
When Should I Use Foundation hdc?
Most crochet patterns begin with a long line of chain stitches to form a starting chain, then return to work the stitches for the first row into that chain foundation. Chainless half double crochet foundation stitches, on the other hand, replace this entire process, allowing you to work your chain stitches and first row of stitches at the same time.
Excellent for a finished edge on a garment, a large blanket, or anything else you choose to name. The difference between the foundation single crochet (fsc) and the foundation half double crochet is just one extra yarn over. Simple, right?
The fhdc can be used on any project that starts with a row of half double crochet. The half double crochet stitch creates a crocheted cloth that is hole-free and sturdy. It is a straight stitch that works up nicely in a wide range of crochet products, including cozy sweaters, baby blankets, cushions, and scarves, to name a few. So if your project is a hdc project, this type of foundation row is ideal.
Counting Foundation Half Double Crochet Stitches
Your fhdc row will always be one less than the specified starting chain (if using the traditional method). So, in the example below, "Ch 11" followed by a row of "hdc" got you 10 stitches (the first ch is your turning ch and does not count as stitch). But, if you substituted a fhdc row for this, you would need to work 10 fhdc to reach the same stitch count.
What About Curl in Foundation Half Double?
A slight curve in this foundation row is normal, but if it's curving more than it should, you can rectify it by pulling the first loop in Step 1 up nice and high. The curve is caused by the fhdc stitches' chain being too short. If everything is done correctly, you should have a highly stretchy and quick start to any hdc project!
Stretch in Foundation Half Double Crochet
A half double crochet foundation row can give more stretchy edges than a row of chain stitches. This can be a good thing if you want to have a stretchy base, or it can make your project look wavy at the bottom if it's too loose.
Using a smaller hook for the foundation row is the best way to deal with this. If the pattern says to use a 4.00mm hook for the body of the piece, you can try using a 3.5mm or 3.75mm hook for the fhdc row. This will give you the amount of stretch you need without making it look too wrinkly.
Does Fhdc Crochet Take Longer?
In general, the process of making foundation rows takes more time as your starting row. Because you are effectively working on two rows at the same time, each stitch requires an increased number of steps. Despite this, it will be helpful over the long run because you will be able to skip an entire row- what would have been the first row working into your foundation chain.
Foundation Half Double Crochet - In Conclusion
That's all there is to the foundation half double crochet stitch, sometimes known as fhdc. I hope you liked learning this interesting basic crochet stitch! Fhdc is not difficult to learn, but it may take a bit of practice to get the hang of it. Once you master the technique, you'll find that it's a useful skill to have in your crochet toolbox.
Foundation Half Double Crochet
- Crochet Hook
- Start with a slip knot, chain 2.
- Yarn over, slip the hook through the second chain from the hook.
- Yarn over and pull through. (3 stitches on hook)
- Yarn over and pull through the first loop on hook, resulting in a chain 1. This is your foundation row's first "chain." (3 stitches on hook)
- Yarn over and pull your hook through the three loops. The first fhdc has been created.
- *Yarn over and slip the hook through the additional "chain" created in step 4. The hook must be inserted into the bottom “v” of the chain.
- Yarn over and pull through a loop. (Three loops on hook)
- Yarn over and pull through the first loop on hook, resulting in a chain 1. Pull this chain up loosely.
- Yarn over and pull your hook through the three loops. The second fhdc is made.
- Continue from *