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How to Work Half Double Crochet Stitch (HDC)

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If you are wondering How to Work Half Double Crochet Stitch (HDC) it is easy to learn. Use this versatile stitch for a wide variety of projects, from baby blankets to scarves, to hats.

Crochet Basics

If you are new to crochet, once you have mastered basic crochet stitches such as the chain stitch and single crochet, then you are ready to learn the half double crochet stitch. It just might become your favorite stitch.

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What is a Half Double Crochet?

The half double crochet stitch is very similar to a single crochet with the only difference being an extra yarn over in the beginning before inserting the hook. Additionally, when you pull the yarn through the loops to end the stitch, you pull it through three loops on your hook rather than two. The height of this stitch is a bit taller than a single crochet, yet a little shorter than a double crochet.

How to Half Double Crochet
How to Half Double Crochet

In crochet patterns, the abbreviation for the half double crochet is HDC. The half-double crochet stitches can be used in rows and when crocheting in the round.

It is a beautiful stitch that adds a nice texture to crochet projects.

Here are the basics to completing a half double crochet (HDC) stitch:

  1. Yarn over, insert hook through both loops of the next stitch
  2. Yarn over and pull up a loop. There should be three loops on the hook.
  3. Complete the stitch. Yarn over one more time and pull the loop through all three loops on the hook.
What is a a Turning Chain
What is a a Turning Chain

What is a Turning Chain?

A turning chain is a specified number of chain stitches worked at the beginning of a row to bring the yarn up to the correct height of the stitch being worked.

Does the Turning Chain Count as a Stitch?

The turning chain may count as a stitch depending on the crochet pattern designer’s instructions.

In general, if the turning chain does NOT count as a stitch, you will make the first half double crochet in the first stitch. Sometimes referred to as the same stitch, which is the base stitch of the turning chains.

If the turning chain DOES count as a stitch, then skip the base stitch and make the first stitch of the row in the second stitch of the previous row.

How to Crochet HDC

Step-by-Step Half Double Crochet for Beginners With a Picture Tutorial

Once you choose your yarn and crochet hook, begin your crochet project.

Hint: if this is your first time working this stitch, I recommend using a worsted weight yarn or medium weight yarn with a crochet hook size H or I.

If you are starting a new project, make a slip stitch, sometimes referred to as a slip knot, to get the first loop on the crochet hook.

Begin with Foundation Chain Stitches

Work the desired length of foundation chain stitches. The starting chain can be any length. If you are following a crochet pattern, it will specify the number of starting chains to use.

Place the first half double crochet in the third chain from the hook. (The loop on the hook is not counted when counting stitches).

Begin HDC in the 3 rd Ch from the Hook
Begin HDC in the 3 rd Ch from the Hook

Make the first half double crochet stitch in the foundation chain.

Step 1: Yarn Over, insert the hook in the 3rd chain from the hook.

Step 2: Yarn over, pull the loop through. There should be three loops on the hook.

Step 3: Complete the stitch. Yarn over, pull the loop through all three loops on the hook.

Complete the HDC Stitch
Complete the HDC Stitch

Work the next half double crochet stitch.

Step 4: Yarn over, insert the hook into the next chain stitch.

Step 5: Yarn over, pull the loop through. Yarn over one more time and pull the loop through all three loops on the hook. Continue working one half double crochet stitch in each remaining chain stitch across the row until you reach the end of the row.

Work the next HDC Stitch
Work the next HDC Stitch

Row Two Instructions

The stitches in the next row are repeated throughout the pattern until your desired size is reached.

Start of a new row.

Step 6: Turn your work.

Step 7: Chain 2. We will count the chain 2 as the first half double crochet for this tutorial. Therefore, in the next stitch, work the first half double crochet.

Step 8: Yarn over and insert the hook through the top two loops of the stitch in the previous row. Yarn over and bring the loop through. There should be three loops on the hook. Yarn over and bring the loop through all three loops on the hook.

Step 9: Continue working the HDC stitch in each stitch across ending with a half double crochet in the last stitch.

Row Three Instructions and Beyond

Repeat steps outlined in row 2.

Variations to the Half Double Crochet Stitch

This stitch is used in many crochet patterns. However, sometimes you will see that the stitch is modified. Here are a few examples of what you might find.

  • Front Loop half double crochet
  • Back Loop half double crochet
  • HDC through both front loops
  • HDC around the front post or back post

Depending on where the crochet hook is inserted before yarning over, will change the look of the stitch. Once you learn how to work the basic stitches, you can experiment with different ways to find your favorite method. It is a beautiful crochet stitch.

Video Tutorials for the Half Double Crochet Stitch

Right hand half double crochet tutorial

Left hand half double crochet tutorial

Crochet Patterns That use the Half Double Crochet Stitch

This blooming crochet star stitch blanket uses the half double crochet and the single crochet in a two row repeat for a lovely result.

Make a velvet yarn blanket using this stitch.

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