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How do you crochet a half double crochet?

For me, half double crochets are the bread and butter of crochet. They're the perfect middle stitch: not short, like single crochets. And not tall and skinny, like double crochets. The thing that sets a half double crochet apart from a single crochet is the extra yarn over. This creates an extra ridge on the backside of the stitch. This ridge is used in several varieties on this stitch such as the 'third loop stitch', also known as camel stitch.

The extra yarn over provides the stitch with extra body. However, it also means that you will use more yarn crocheting a row of half double crochets, compared to a row of single crochets. I do like the suppleness of the resulting fabric, so this is my go-to stitch for many patterns.

How to crochet a half double crochet

1. Yarn over. There will be 2 loops on your hook; one from the previous stitch, and the yarn over.

2. Insert your hook in the designated stitch or space.

3. Yarn over again.

4. Bring back your hook and pull up a loop. This means that there are now 3 loops on your crochet hook. 1 from the previous stitch and 2 from the yarn overs.

5. Yarn over again. This now means there are 4 loops on your hook.

6. Pull the last loop through all loops on your hook. You now have 1 loop left on your hook, and your stitch is finished.


The 'third loop'

If you flip over your row of half double crochets to the backside, you will find that it looks like two loops are stacked. You crochet in between these loops when working your next row. The bottom of these two loops is dubbed 'the third loop'. It's created by the first yarn over that you work for this stitch. This loop lends itself to create a special variation on the half double crochet: the third loop stitch (a.k.a. 3rd loop stitch camel stitch). This stitch is worked in the third loop of the row below, resulting in a slightly slanted stitch that has both top loops angled forward. It resembles the knitted stockinette stitch when crocheted with proper tension, and is also called 'the knit half double crochet'. Third loop stitch, Camel Stitch, Knit half double crochet: it's all the same word for one stitch.

Chains counting as half double crochet

In some patterns, you will find that the first stitch in a row is substituted for several chains. This is to gain 'height' to crochet your stitches. The first stitch in a row will look cramped if you don't do this. Sometimes these chains count as an actual stitch, other times they don't. The pattern usually specifies this at the beginning of the pattern, or in the instructions themselves.

For a half double crochet I like to crochet 2 substitute chains to reach the desired height.

Abbreviation for half double crochets in crochet patterns

Half double crochets are always abbreviated to 'hdc' in US crochet patterns. For example: 2hdc, 3 hdc, 10hdc.

Abbreviations (US Terms)

  • hdc
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