Learn how to half double crochet! Half double crochet (or an hdc crochet) is a strange crochet stitch, fitting neatly between single crochet and double crochet. If you are looking at the height of stitches, it can be confusing, because height-wise, half of the double crochet is actually single crochet! The half double crochet has more height than a single crochet but is not as tall as a double crochet.
How to Half Double Crochet Tutorial for Beginners
Half double crochet is one of the basic crochet stitches that has a yarn over similar to double crochet and the width of that extra yarn over is what gives it a little bit of extra height and a third loop. It gives a very pleasing texture, too, not as solid and tight as single crochet, and not as loose and floppy as double crochet!
Abbreviations for Half Double Crochet
The abbreviation for half double crochet is hdc. This is a US term. There is no hdc crochet in the UK, the same stitch in the UK is called a half treble crochet, and its abbreviation is htr. Remember to check where your crochet pattern originates, so you know which stitches you will be doing.
|United States (US)||United Kingdom (UK)|
|Single crochet (sc)||Double crochet (dc)|
|Half double crochet (hdc)||Half Treble Crochet (htr)|
|Double crochet (dc)||Treble crochet (tc)|
|Yarn over (yo)||Yarn over (yo)|
|Slip Stitch Crochet (sl st)||Slip Stitch (sl st)|
Supplies for Learning How to Half Double Crochet
Choose your yarn and a crochet hook size suitable for that yarn to make your sample swatch of half double crochet. Use the recommended hook for your yarn thickness, which is usually printed on the yarn band which is wrapped around your skein. If you are using scraps to practice on, use a lightweight yarn (Double Knit) and a G/6 to H/8 (4-5 mm) hook.
- Yarn Weights – Standard Weights for Crochet & Knitting
- What is Worsted Weight Yarn – The Basics
- Types Of Yarn – For Crochet and Knitting
Half Double Crochet Tutorial Video
If you are a visual learner, here is a slow and easy video I have made on doing the half double crochet stitch. Follow along at your own pace and pause if you need to.
How To Half Double Crochet Stitch Step by Step
The steps for doing a hdc crochet can be summarized as:
- Foundation chain
- Yarn over, insert into 3rd chain
- Yarn Over, pull through
- Yarn over
- Pull through 3 loops
Step 1 - Half Double Crochet Foundation Chain
Create a slip knot and make your foundation chain stitch in your desired length. The turning chain for half double crochet is 2 chains. Add these extra 2 chains to your foundation chain and make sure you have an even number of stitches.
Step 2 - Yarn Over & Insert into 3rd Chain
- Wrap your yarn from back to front around your crochet hook once.
- Insert your hook into the third chain from the hook. Don’t count the chain which is on the hook.
Step 3 - Yarn Over & Pull Through
Note - This is the same movement as if you were making a double crochet stitch. If you were doing single crochet, there would be no yarn over. This extra wrap of yarn is what adds height to your half double crochet stitch.
- Pull through and draw up a loop. There should be 3 loops on your hook.
Step 4 - Yarn Over & Pull Through 3 Loops
- Yarn over again.
- Draw this last loop through all 3 loops on your hook at once.
Step 5 - Rest of First Row
Well done, you have made your first half double crochet stitch! Continue making half double crochet stitches all the way along your foundation chain.
- Yarn over
- Insert hook through next chain stitch (through the 2 loops)
- Pull the yarn through so you have 3 loops on the hook
- Yarn over
- Pull through all 3 loops so you have 1 loop on the hook.
Step 6 - Second and Subsequent Rows
Chain 2 and turn your work. The back of the work will now be facing you. Remember not to start in the first chain from the crochet hook unless the pattern tells you to do so.
Continue working in hdc all the way across your row, inserting the hook into both the top loops of each hdc from the previous row.
When you get to the end, work the last half double crochet into the second chain of the 2 chain turn.
Half Double Crochet vs Double Crochet
You will see that in making this stitch you cut out a step from the double crochet stitch. In double crochet, you would only draw your hook through 2 loops, then yarn over and draw through again. Here you just finish the whole stitch off quickly by drawing through all 3 loops on your hook at once.
Half double crochet is one more step than single crochet, and one less step than double crochet.
How to Half Double Crochet In The Round
Some amigurumi patterns suggest that you use half double crochet, instead of single crochet. More about how to crochet a circle.
If you are working hdc in the round, join each row with a slip stitch, and chain 2 for the first stitch of the next round. It may help to mark the beginning of each row with a stitch marker.
How to Half Double Crochet Shaping
Increasing Half Double Crochet Stitch
This is relatively easy, you simply work 2 stitches into 1 chain or 1 stitch from the previous row.
Decreasing Half Double Crochet Stitch
There are three ways to go about this.
Method 1 - Decreasing by Skipping
This is by far the simplest method. It may look like a large hole since I have used extra thick yarn, but in a fine yarn, this is hardly noticeable.
- Simply skip a stitch in your desired spot.
Method 2 - Decreasing (Half Double Crochet 2 Together)
Here is how to half double crochet 2 together:
- Yarn over, insert hook into first stitch and draw up a loop. There will be 3 loops on your hook.
- Yarn over, insert hook into next stitch and draw up a loop. There will be 5 loops on your hook.
- Yarn over and draw through all 5 loops on your hook at once.
Method 2 - Invisible Half Double Crochet Decrease
- Yarn over, insert hook into front loop only of next stitch. Insert hook into front loop only of the following stitch.
- Yarn over and draw through 2 loops. There will be 3 loops on your hook
- Yarn over again and draw through all the loops on your hook.
Counting Stitches in Half Double Crochet
You can either count the ‘v’s’ formed by your stitches, or the loops at the top of each stitch. Or you can count the ‘posts’ of the stitches, which are the bits which go down vertically.
At the end of each row, count your stitches to be sure you have the correct number. If you have too many stitches you may be working into the turning chain of the row.
If your crochet fabric has uneven edges, this could also be from working into the turning chain.
Crochet Projects Using Half Double Crochet
You can use half double crochet for many projects. It makes up faster than single crochet and is still warm and dense.
Variations on Half Double Crochet Stitch
Here are 3 variations using the half double crochet:
- Crochet Ribbing - HDC can be used to make a rib-like stitch that is perfect for scarves and beanies. Instead of stitching through both loops of the row underneath, you insert the hook through the back loop only (blo).
- Wide Half Double Crochet - This is made exactly like a normal hdc, but when you get to your second row of hdc, you must wrap the yarn over, then insert the hook under all 3 loops of the stitch. (Instead of just the top 2 loops.)
- V Stitch - Just as you can make a V stitch with double crochet stitches, you can make a tighter V stitch using half double crochet. Your ‘v’s’ will not be as clear as double crochet V-stitch but you will end up with a lacier-looking fabric.
More Half Double
How to Half Double Crochet Stitch - In Conclusion
An interesting fact about crochet, in general, is that crochet works up into fabric faster than knitting, which is great if you want to finish your item quickly. BUT it also uses much more yarn than knitting does, to complete your item. Because of this, it has been found that crochet decreases in popularity whenever there is an economic downturn!
Half double crochet results in a lovely textured fabric without holes, but it is still soft enough to drape nicely. It is suited to a wide variety of crochet projects, such as cushion covers, scarves, and sweaters. Many patterns use half double crochet for making t-shirt style tops. It is ideal for these, as it makes a pretty fabric without all the lacy holes. This is great if you don’t want to wear an extra layer beneath your top!
I hope you enjoyed learning how to do a half double crochet. After you have experimented with your half double crochet swatch, try making up a simple garment using this stitch. It really is rewarding and satisfying, and you will be pleased that you took the time to learn the half double crochet stitch.
- Crochet Hook
- Chain to your desired length then add 2 chains for a turning chain. Yarn over. Insert hook into the 3rd chain.
- Yarn over. Pull the loop through. (Now 3 loops on the hook)
- Yarn over. Pull through 3 loops.
- Repeat for rest of row.
- Chain 2 for turning stitch.
- Turn. Repeat half double crochet stitches for next row.
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