Double crochet is one of the most versatile and commonly used crochet stitches. This stitch creates a crocheted fabric that is soft and resilient. If you know how to double crochet, you can create anything! It is twice the height of single crochet stitches, so it works up nice and quickly and gives a softer, more draping fabric than single crochet does.
What is Double Crochet?
Double crochet is a common type of stitch where the yarn is wrapped over from back to front and before putting the hook through the stitch. It produces a higher stitch than single crochet so makes up items faster. It also looks a little more lacey or open than single crochet.
ABBREVIATION - Double crochet is written as dc on a pattern.
How to Double Crochet US vs UK
It is important to note that the UK and US terms for double crochet are different. When following crochet patterns, it is always necessary to know what county the designer is in. I will show you both methods here.
|United States (US)||United Kingdom (UK)|
|single crochet (sc)||double crochet (dc)|
|double crochet (dc)||treble crochet (tr)|
Here is what the UK and US call a double crochet. You can see the UK version is much denser with tighter stitches.
How to Double Crochet - Supplies
When learning how to double crochet, you just need a hook and yarn.
- YARN - You can use any type of yarn. Try to choose one that doesn't split easily. Read more about types of yarn for crochet.
- HOOKS - Use the recommended hook for your yarn thickness, which is usually printed on the yarn band which is wrapped around your skein. Read more about crochet hook sizes including conversion charts for different countries.
- BASICS - It is also useful to have a pair of scissors and a tape measure handy, once you start working on specific items.
- SUGGESTIONS - If you are using scraps to practice on, use a light weight yarn (Double Knit) and a G/6 to H/8 (4-5 mm) hook.
How To Double Crochet - US Version
If you have a crochet pattern from the US, this is the stitch they are referring to when you see dc in the instructions.
If you are new to learning to crochet, read my article on how to crochet for beginners to get an overview.
Step 1 - Chain
Start with a slip stitch and make a chain (ch) of your desired length then do 3 extra stitches. For example, if you do 23 stitches - 20 of these stitches form your foundation chain, the other 3 are your turning stitches.
Tip: A double crochet stitch is the same height as 3 chain stitches.
Step 2 - Yarn Over
Wrap your yarn over the hook from back to front. (Written as yo which means yarn over)
Step 3 - Insert
Insert the hook into the fourth chain (ch) from the hook. This gives the turning 3 chains, and your first double crochet (dc) will be into this fourth loop.
Step 4 - Yarn Over Again
Wrap the yarn over the hook again.
Draw this loop through the chain stitch and up onto the hook. You will now have 3 loops on your hook.
Step 5 - Pull Through
Bring the yarn over from back to front again.
Draw this loop through only the first 2 loops on the hook. You will now have 2 stitches on the hook.
Step 6 - Wrap and Pull
You will still have 2 loops on your hook. Wrap the yarn over again and draw it through the last two loops on your hook. You will end up with one stitch.
Step 7 - Repeat
Well done! Your double crochet stitch is now complete. One loop remains on the hook.
Now wrap the yarn over again, insert the hook into the next chain stitch, and repeat the instructions. Continue all the way along your row of chain stitches.
Step 8 - Turning Double Crochet
Each double crochet stitch looks like a little column. When you get to the end of your foundation row of chain stitches, turn your work around so that the back is now facing you, and you will be working from the right-hand side again. (For right-handers)
Chain 3 stitches again. Once again this is your turning stitch and will be counted as 1 dc.
Put the yarn over hook again, from back to front. Skip the first double crochet stitch below your turning chain, and insert your hook into the second stitch.
IMPORTANT - You must insert the hook through the top TWO loops of this stitch.
Repeat the steps again to work double crochet stitches in each remaining stitch along the previous row.
When you get to the end of the row, your last double crochet will be inserted into the top chain of the previous row. Chain 3 and turn around again.
Tip: Do not work a double crochet stitch into the first stitch of your previous row. Always skip that stitch, or you will find you have an extra stitch on each row. This will make the fabric that you are creating wider and wider as you go along. Keep counting and checking that you have the correct number of stitches.
How to Double Crochet - UK Version
As previously stated, double crochet in the UK is the equivalent of the US's single crochet!
- Chain stitch your desired length plus 2 stitches.
- Insert the hook into the second chain.
- Yarn over the hook.
- Pull the yarn back through the chain stitch. You now have 2 stitches.
- Yarn over the hook.
- Pull the yarn back through the 2 stitches. You now have one stitch.
Variations of Double Crochet
Once you have mastered the double crochet stitch, you can easily move on to the V stitch, which just uses double crochet and chain stitch in combination, and gives you a lacier effect.
All crochet stitches (except chains) require you to insert the hook into the existing stitches of the previous row. If inserting directly into a stitch, usually you will insert the hook into the top two loops as discussed above.
However, when a stitch or group of stitches is positioned over a chain or multiple chains, the hook is often inserted into the gap made by the chain. If following a pattern read the instructions carefully, because it will make a difference to the appearance of the design whether you insert the hook into the space, or into the actual chain stitch.
How to Do Double Crochet V-Stitch
When making the V stitch as discussed below, your double crochet stitches must go into the gap created by the chain stitch. The V-stitch uses the US version of the double crochet.
Step 1 - Chain Stitch
Crochet a foundation chain that is a multiple of 3 +7 stitches.
Step 2 - The First V Stitch
- Double crochet (dc) in 4th chain stitch (ch) from the hook.
- Chain 1
- Miss one chain of your foundation row.
- In the next chain, work 1 double crochet, chain 1, and again double crochet 1. All into the same chain stitch. It will make a v shape.
Step 3 - The Next V Stitches
- Skip 2 chain stitches.
- Repeat across your row of chain stitches, until there are 4 chains left.
Step 4 - The End of the Row
- Chain 1
- Skip 2 foundation chains
- Dc in each of the last 2 stitches
In this way you will have 2 ordinary dc stitches on each end of each row, which gives a nice firm edging.
Step 5 - Turning to New Rows
- Turn your work and chain 3 for your new row.
- Double crochet into the next double crochet stitch
- Chain 1
- Now work your next V stitch into the 1 chain space of your previous row of V stitches. So it will be dc, ch, dc into each ch space along the row.
- Continue along the row of V stitches, working the steps all the way along, until the end, where you will work a double crochet in each of the last 2 stitches.
- The bottom of the second row of V’s fits into the top of the previous row.
This may look awfully intimidating broken down into steps like this, but as long as you can do double crochet and chain, you can do this easily!
This stitch is superb for creating larger, lacy items like shawls or blankets.
What can I Make With My Double Crochet Stitches?
- Use your practice squares to make dishcloths or face cloths.
- Coasters or mug rugs
- Cowls or scarves
- Shawls or shrugs
- Place mats
These can all be made with simple squares or rectangles of double crochet fabric. (Or V stitch!)
How to Double Crochet - Increasing and Decreasing
If you want to create items of clothing which need to be shaped, you will need to learn to increase and decrease stitches.
To increase: Simply crochet 2 dc into only one stitch in the row below.
To decrease: There are two methods.
- The first, simplest method is to skip a stitch, which, in effect turns your two stitches into only one in the next row. The disadvantage of this quick method is that sometimes a gap will be created where you have skipped the stitch.
- The second method is slightly more complex, but gives you a smoother, more even finish. Start your dc stitch as normal, but just before you do the final yarn over, leave those 2 loops on the hook. Now start another dc, (leaving your 2 loops on the hook). Continue until the final yarn over again. You will have 3 loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull through all 3 loops.
How to Double Crochet - In Conclusion
In conclusion, I simply can’t resist telling you about all the health benefits of crochet! Many studies have been made connecting crochet and knitting with numerous health benefits. The most obvious is that they improve your fine motor skills and dexterity. As well as this, they have been shown to relieve stress and to help relieve depression. They encourage creativity and build self-esteem. They have even been shown to reduce or delay dementia symptoms.
So get out there with your yarn and your hook and experiment to see what you can create. You will have such a feeling of accomplishment when you have created something, however small. And you will build on your skills to make more and more interesting designs! Double crochet is your stepping stone to a huge number of other crochet stitches, which will be discussed in due course!