Crocheting is a versatile and enjoyable craft that allows you to create beautiful handmade items. Among the many stitches used in crocheting, the half double crochet (HDC) is a fundamental stitch that every beginner should learn.
Today, we’ll walk you through the steps of mastering the HDC stitch while also offering helpful advice on how to improve your crocheting. Whether you’re new to crocheting or looking to expand your stitch repertoire, learning the HDC stitch will open up a world of creative possibilities and enable you to explore countless free crochet patterns.
Understanding the Half Double Crochet (HDC) Stitch
The half double crochet stitch, also known as HDC, is a functional stitch that lies halfway between single and double crochets in height. It creates a fabric with a slightly taller and looser texture, making it ideal for various projects such as scarves, blankets, hats, and more. The HDC stitch is known for its simplicity and speed, making it a popular choice for both beginners and experienced crocheters.
Benefits of Learning HDC Stitch
Having this stitch in your repertoire is a must if you want to advance on your crochet journey. It gives a lot of creative freedom for crocheters of all skill levels. Let’s see why people are choosing this stitch for their projects:
- Versatility – you can use it in a wide range of projects, from garments and accessories to home decor and blankets.
- Speed – it works up quicker than taller stitches, and provides more height per row than single crochet.
- Texture – this stitch creates a dense fabric with a subtle texture. It looks fantastic when combined with other types of stitches.
- Easy to learn – if you’re familiar with single crochet, you will master half double in no time.
- Adaptability – you can easily adapt it to various project requirements, such as adjusting the height of stitches for shaping.
How to Make a Half Double Crochet Stitch
First of all, let’s see how many chains are in a turning chain for a half double crochet.
The turning chain for a half double crochet is two chain stitches and it counts as a stitch.
The half-double crochet stitch is slightly taller than the single crochet. It’s versatile and great for scarves, blankets, and hats.
Video Tutorial by Crochetpedia
- Start with the turning chain of 2, or a foundation chain with additional 2 chain stitches.
- Wrap the yarn over your hook from back to front.
- Insert your hook into the third chain from the hook or in the first stitch in the row (not in the turning chain).
- Yarn over again: Wrap the yarn over your hook.
- Pull the yarn through the chain, so you have three loops on your hook.
- Yarn over once more: Wrap the yarn over your hook.
- Pull the yarn through all three loops on your hook.
You’ve completed a half-double crochet stitch! Continue these steps across the row to create a half-double crochet fabric.
Tips for Perfecting Your HDC Stitch
- Maintain consistent tension throughout your work to ensure even stitches.
- Pay attention to the height of your turning chain. Two chains are typically used for HDC stitches, but patterns may sometimes require a different number.
- Practice counting your stitches regularly to avoid accidentally skipping or adding stitches, especially when working on larger projects.
- Experiment with different yarn weights and hook sizes to achieve varying textures and densities in your HDC fabric.
- Explore online resources and books for free crochet patterns that incorporate the HDC stitch. This will help you apply your newly acquired skill and create beautiful projects.
Mastering the half double crochet (HDC) stitch is a significant milestone for any crochet enthusiast. With its versatility and ease, the HDC stitch opens up a wide range of possibilities for creating unique and stunning handmade items. By following our step-by-step guide and incorporating the provided tips, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this essential crochet stitch. Remember to explore the wealth of free crochet patterns available, which showcase the beauty and versatility of the HDC stitch.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Not counting stitches correctly
- Forgetting to yarn over before inserting the hook
- Not pulling through all three loops on the hook
Tips for fixing mistakes
As with all errors in crochet, it’s essential to remain calm and assess the issue before taking any action.
If you happen to drop stitches or unintentionally increase, use a crochet hook to gently unravel the stitches back to the mistake. When you fix the mistake, simply rework the rest of the pattern, ensuring proper tension and following the instructions closely.
Working in the round
Working half double stitch in the round doesn’t require any adjustments, but it’s good to know how to increase and decrease. Use stitch markers to make sure where the round starts and ends. Pay special attention to stitch count and keep the right tension.
What is the difference between a half double crochet and a double crochet?
The main difference between these two stitches lies in the height.
Both half double and double crochet involve yarn over, but the next step is quite different for each. When you have three loops on the hook, half double requires you to pull the yarn through all of them. In the case of double crochet, you work the first two loops, and then another two, which results in more height.
Can I use a half double crochet stitch for amigurumi projects?
Yes, however, it is less common than tight and dense single crochet. When choosing half double for amigurumi, remember to use a hook size smaller than recommended. It will prevent stuffing from showing through the gaps.
How do I increase and decrease with a half double crochet stitch?
Increase (2 hdc in the same st)
As the abbreviation suggests, increasing requires working two half double crochet stitches in the same stitch.
To decrease, follow these steps:
- Yarn over, insert the hook in the stitch and pull up a loop. It means working the stitch normally until you have 3 loops on the hook.
- Do not pull the yarn through the loops!
- Yarn over once, insert the hook in the next stitch, and pull up a loop. You should have 5 loops on the hook.
- Grab the yarn and pull through all 5 loops.
- You have successfully decreased with HDC.
Can I use a half double crochet stitch for blankets or other large projects?
Of course you can, as it will provide a balance between speed of work and beautiful texture. To prepare for this task, however, first make a gauge swatch to assess how much yarn you need to achieve the desired size.
What is the best yarn to use for a half double crochet stitch?
You can work this stitch in any yarn, so explore all the possibilities. It’s always a good idea to start with a medium-weight one and explore from there. When choosing the yarn for a project, consider its qualities, content and visual interest.
Can I combine a half double crochet stitch with other stitches in a project?
Combining this stitch with others is a great idea, as it allows for the creation of unique textures and designs. For example, alternating rows of half double with taller stitches will result in an interesting effect.
How do I create texture with a half double crochet stitch?
When in doubt, experiment with post stitches (both back post and front post), or work in one loop only. The latter is known as FLO or BLO – front loop only and back loop only. Incorporating puff stitches or bobbles will surely add dimension to your work.
From versatility to speed, mastering half double crochet offers an array of benefits for crocheters. It’s suitable for a wide range of projects, such as garments, accessories, or blankets. It’s easy to learn and will be a great addition to any crocheter’s skill set!