Learn how to half double crochet! Half double 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. The stitch has a yarn over similar to double crochet and the width of that extra yo is what gives it a little bit of extra height. It gives a very pleasing texture, too, not as solid and tight as single crochet, and not as loose and floppy as double crochet!
Half Double Crochet
Abbreviations for Half Double Crochet
The abbreviation for half double crochet is hdc. This is a US term.
There is no hdc 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)|
Supplies for 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
How To Half Double Crochet
Step 1 - Foundation
Make your foundation chain stitch in your desired length.
Step 2 - Turning Chain
The turning chain for half double crochet is 2 chains. Add these extra 2 chains to your foundation chain.
Step 3 - Yarn Over
Wrap your yarn from back to front around your crochet hook once.
Step 4 - Insert into Chain
Insert your hook into the third chain from the hook. Don’t count the chain which is on the hook.
Step 5 - Yarn Over Again
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.
Step 6 - Pull Through
Pull through and draw up a loop. There should be 3 loops on your hook.
Step 7 - Yarn Over
Yarn over again.
Step 8 - Draw the Loop
Draw this last loop through all 3 loops on your hook at once.
Step 9 - 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.
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.
Step 10 - 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. I have worked my second row in a different color so that you can see how a row of hdc should look. When you get to the end, work the last half double crochet into the second chain of the 2 chain turn.
How to Half Double Crochet In The Round
If you are working 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.
Some Amigurumi patterns suggest that you use half double crochet, instead of single crochet.
More about how to crochet a circle.
How to Half Double Crochet - Increasing and Decreasing
Increasing in Half Double Crochet
This is relatively easy, you simply work 2 stitches into 1 chain or 1 stitch from the previous row.
Decreasing in Half Double Crochet
There are two ways to go about this.
Method 1 - Decreasing
- 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.
Variations on Half Double Crochet
Here are 3 variations using the half double crochet:
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.)
- So you will be inserting the hook between the posts, (the tall part), of the row below.
- Yarn over and pull through all 3 loops on the hook.
This means that you are making the same hdc movements, the only difference is where you insert your hook each time to make the next stitch. You are inserting the hook further down into the row below. You will get slightly wider gaps between stitches this way.
There are other variations on half double crochet very similar to this, where you just insert the hook into the FRONT loop of the previous row, or just into the BACK loop of the previous row. Each of these results in a slightly different texture and appearance of your hdc stitches.
V Stitch Using Half Double Crochet
Just as you can make a V stitch with double crochet stitches, you can make a tighter V stitch using half double crochet.
- Start with the usual foundation chain, then 2 chains for turning.
- Make a half double crochet into the third chain from the hook.
- Chain 1
- Skip the next chain and half double crochet
- Repeat, (hdc in next ch, ch1, hdc in same ch. Skip next ch.) Repeat the sequence in brackets all the way across the row.
- At the end of the row, chain 2 and turn. (turning chain).
- Half double crochet into the next half double crochet.
- Chain 1 and work 1 v stitch into the top of each v stitch across the row. (Ch 1, skip next ch, work 1 hdc into each of the last 2 stitches).
- Keep repeating this row until your fabric is the desired length.
- End off, securing the last stitch by cutting your yarn, leaving a 6” (15cm)tail and pulling the tail through that last loop.
Your ‘v’s’ will not be as clear as double crochet V-stitch but you will end up with a lacier-looking fabric.
Puff Stitch Using a Half Double Crochet
This makes up a very textured fabric which is lovely and warm for scarves or blankets. It also has more insulation if you are making a tea cozy, a potholder or a hot pot stand.
It is based on half double crochet, but has extra loops and wraps to complete the stitch.
- Begin with your usual foundation chain.
- Start off as you would for the hdc. Wrap the yarn over the hook, insert the hook into the next stitch and pull it through.
- Instead of continuing with the hdc, wrap the yarn over the hook again, insert the hook into the same stitch, hook it and pull it through again. Make sure all your wraps are fairly loose!You will have 5 loops on your hook.
- Repeat these movements all one more time. You will have 7 loops on your hook. Yarn over once more and gently pull it through all the loops on your hook. This makes one puff stitch.
- Because each stitch is so fat and puffy, it is advisable to then chain one, skip one before starting the next puff stitch. This gives some space in between each stitch to accommodate the width of each ‘puff’.
- End the row with a hdc.
- When you turn for row 2, start with a hdc, then insert your hook each time into the chain space as you work along the row.
Keep going in this way until your work is the required length.
Half Double Crochet - 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!
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.