Happy Handy Half Double Crochet

The half double crochet stitch (UK terminology = Half Treble Crochet HTC) is one of the most versatile stitches in your crochet toolbox. Whether worked in rows or in the round the fabric you create has the solidness of single crochet stitches with the stretch of double crochet stitches. It is my preferred stitch to use for hats and slippers because of the stretch and cushioning quality of the finished fabric.

How to make the Half Double Crochet stitch

To make a half double crochet you wrap the yarn over once, then insert you hook in the indicated stitch, yarn over again,

pull up a loop thru the stitch you are working into, you now have 3 loops on your hook,

yarn over and pull thru all 3 loops on the hook.

Sometimes it can be a little difficult to get thru all 3 loops, one trick I use is to gently hold the loops between my thumb and forefinger of the yarn-holding hand. This allows me to ease thru the loops as I pull the final loop thru.

The completed half double crochet stitch from the front is pictured above. The yellow loop is the top of your stitch, the orange loop is the first yarn-over, the red loop is the second yarn-over, the loop on the hook is the final yarn-over.

The completed half double crochet from the back is pictured above. This is the way the stitches look to you when you are working turned rows. That first yarn over creates a floating “back bar” on the back of each stitch. Because of this back bar there are many different ways to work securely into the hdc to create subtle textures, and to take advantage of the shaping options in fabric worked with hdc.

When worked in the round the back of the fabric with have an almost flat smooth texture making it very comfortable to wear next to the skin. It is also great to use as the “right-side” of your fabric for a less textured appearance.

HDC Textures Swatch Patterns

  • The following patterns will help you experiment with the ways you can work into the hdc. These little swatches make handy coasters for your cold drinks while the weather is so hot here in the states.
  • For the swatches worked in rows do NOT work into the turning chain, instead let the turning chains “float” along the side of your work.
  • All swatches were worked using worsted weight yarn with a size I-9 (5.5mm) hook. Play with different yarn weights and hook sizes to see what kind of fabric you can create.
Swatch 1 Front View (RS)
Swatch 1 Back View (WS)

Swatch 1 – Standard HDC rows

Row 1: Ch 16, hdc in back bump of 3rd ch from hook, hdc in back bump of each ch to end of row. [14 hdc]

Row 2: Ch 2, turn, hdc in top of each st to end of row.

Rows 3 – 11: Repeat Row 2.

Swatch 2 Front View (RS)
Swatch 2 Back View (WS)

Swatch 2 – Alternate regular rows with back bar & front loop rows

Row 1: Ch 16, hdc in back bump of 3rd ch from hook, hdc in back bump of each ch to end of row. [14 hdc]

Working into back bar and front loop of stitches

Row 2: Ch 2, turn, hdc in back bar and front loop of each st to end of row.

Row 3: Ch 2, turn, hdc in top of each st to end of row.

Rows 4 – 11: Repeat Row 2 and 3, ending with a Row 3.

Swatch 3 Front View (RS)
Swatch 3 Back View (WS)

Swatch 3 – Alternate using top of st and back bar & front loop of st

Row 1: Ch 16, hdc in back bump of 3rd ch from hook, hdc in back bump of each ch to end of row. [14 hdc]

Row 2: Ch 2, turn,* hdc in top of next st, hdc using back bar and front loop next st*; repeat from * to * til reach end of row.

Row 3: Ch 2, turn,* hdc using back bar and front loop next st, hdc in top of next st*; repeat from * to * til reach end of row.

Rows 4 – 10: Repeat Row 2 and 3, ending with a Row 2.

Row 11: Ch 2, turn, hdc in top of each st to end of row.

Swatch 4 Front View (RS)
Swatch 4 Back View (WS)

Swatch 4 – Rows worked in front loop

Row 1: Ch 16, hdc in back bump of 3rd ch from hook, hdc in back bump of each ch to end of row. [14 hdc]

Working into Front Loop only

Row 2: Ch 2, turn, hdc in front loop of each st across row.

Rows 3 – 11: Repeat Row 2.

Swatch 5 Front View (RS)
Swatch 5 Back View (WS)

Swatch 5 – Continuous rounds with standard increase

Rnd 1: Ch 2, sc and 7 hdc in 2nd ch from hook. [1 sc, 7 hdc]

Rnd 2: 2 hdc in next 8 sts. [16 hdc]

Rnd 3: *hdc in next st, 2 hdc next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [24 hdc]

Rnd 4: *hdc in next 2 sts, 2 hdc next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [32 hdc]

Rnd 5: *hdc in next 3 sts, 2 hdc next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [40 hdc]

Rnd 6: *hdc in next 4 sts, 2 hdc next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [48 hdc]

Step down: Hdc next st, sc next st, loosely slip st next st, slip st next st. Fasten off.

Swatch 6 Front View (RS)
Swatch 6 Back View (WS)

Swatch 6 – Continuous rounds worked in back loop and back bar with standard increase

Rnd 1: Ch 2, sc and 7 hdc in 2nd ch from hook. [1 sc, 7 hdc]

Rnd 2: 2 hdc in first st, 2 hdc using back loop and back bar in next 7 sts. [16 hdc]

Rnd 3: *hdc using back loop and back bar in next st, 2 hdc using back loop and back bar next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [24 hdc]

Rnd 4: *hdc using back loop and back bar in next 2 sts, 2 hdc using back loop and back bar next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [32 hdc]

Rnd 5: *hdc using back loop and back bar in next 3 sts, 2 hdc using back loop and back bar next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [40 hdc]

Rnd 6: *hdc using back loop and back bar in next 4 sts, 2 hdc using back loop and back bar next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [48 hdc]

Step down: Working in back loop and back bar, hdc next st, sc next st, loosely slip st next st, slip st next st. Fasten off.

When using the same size yarn and hook for both Swatch 5 and 6 you can compare the sizes of the 2 swatches. Working into the back loop and back bar creates a smaller circle, and a slightly denser fabric.

If you are interested in trying more of my designs that use the half double crochet stitch check these out…

Spiraling Stripes Hat – M2H Designs Ravelry Shop

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