Crochet 101: Half Double Crochet

Now that your dishcloth is done, you’re ready to tackle even more crochet stitches! The next couple of posts will cover a even more basic stitches that pop up from time to time. Not the fancy kind like Crocodile Stitch or Broomstick Stitch, but really basic stitches that stand on their own. Since you’re already familiar with chains, single, and double crochets, there really are only a few more to cover before you have ALL the basics.

Let’s start with the Half Double Crochet. Much like it’s name implies, this stitch is basically the same as a double crochet with only one real difference: Rather that pulling through two loops, you pull through all the loops on the hook to make sort of a short double crochet.

So, wrap:

hdc-1xcf

go through your chain:

hdc2

wrap again:

hdc-3

and pull through three:

hdc4

and you’re set!

This stitch is great for getting a length that’s somewhere between a single and double crochet. It’s also slightly tighter than a double crochet, but not so tight as a single crochet, which makes it ideal for making baskets, purses, and other home accessories.

The other important thing to note about a half double crochet (or hdc for short), is that it is the ONLY basic crochet stitch that has a “right side” and a “wrong side” or a front and back if you prefer. The front looks like any other crochet stitch with the little “v” on top.

hdc-front

The back however looks like the “v” is facing you.

hdc-back

This happens because the three loops that you pulled through earlier are competing for space on the top. Since there can be only two on top, one gets shoved to the back.

v-3

Some patterns will have you work all three loops of a hdc and others will have you work normally on the “right side” of the stitch and work through the back two loops on the “wrong side” of the stitch.If you recently purchased my Gray and White Chevron Blanket Pattern, you’ll want to use this second method. When you’re looking at the “right side” of the blanket, you’ll be working on the “wrong side” of the stitch, so BE CAREFUL as you work. It may seem a little confusing at first, but once you’ve got it down, it’s going to be WAY easy.

If you’re trying to work the right and wrong sides of a hdc, this next part is for you. I am basing all this information on a pattern that I have coming out for a baby blanket, so you may find other authors ask you to do things differently.

hdc-front-arrow

When you’re working the front side of the hdc, your hook will go through the space underneath the “v” on the top. DO NOT pick up the “extra” piece in the back, just let it lay there.

hdc-back-arrow

When you’re working the back side of the hdc, your hook will go through the “extra” piece and half of the “v” on top. DO NOT pick up the other side of the “v” just leave it hanging out.

The point of this method is to create a ridged texture on the back of the work. Sometimes this is done for visual interest, in the case of my new pattern, this is done so that baby has something interesting to feel on the back  of the blanket. My son found that different textures on his “snuggle” were very comforting, so I thought other kids may as well.

 

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