A Step-By-Step Guide To Master The Half Double Stitch Easily At Home

The world of crochet offers a plethora of stitches, each unique in its design and texture. Among these, the half-double stitch stands out as a favorite for many crafters.

double and half stitch

Sitting comfortably between the simplicity of the single crochet and the height of the double crochet, the half-double stitch strikes a harmonious balance. 

It provides a dense yet somewhat stretchy fabric, making it ideal for various projects, from cozy blankets to snug hats. Whether you’re a beginner just venturing into the realm of crochet or a seasoned expert looking to revisit the basics, mastering the half-double stitch can open doors to a vast array of creative possibilities. Dive in, and let’s explore the beauty of this versatile stitch together.

What Is Half Double Stitch Crochet?

The half-double crochet (often abbreviated as hdc) is one of the basic stitches used in crochet. It sits between the single crochet and double crochet in terms of height, giving it a unique texture that’s versatile and essential in various crochet patterns.

To make a half double crochet

  • Yarn over (wrap the yarn around your hook).
  • Insert hook into the desired stitch.
  • Yarn over again and pull the yarn through the stitch. You should now have three loops on the hook.
  • Yarn over once more.
  • Pull the yarn through all the (three)loops on the hook.

What Are Tools And Materials Required For Half Double Stitch?

The half-double crochet stitch, like other basic crochet stitches, doesn’t require any special tools or materials outside of the standard crochet essentials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Crochet Hook: The size of the hook will depend on the yarn you’re using and the desired tightness or looseness of your stitches. Hooks come in various materials, such as aluminum, bamboo, plastic, and steel.
  • Yarn: Any type of yarn will work. The label on your yarn skein will typically recommend a hook size for best results. The yarn’s thickness and texture will determine your half-double crochet fabric’s final look and feel.
  • Scissors: To cut the yarn when you finish your work or change colors.
  • Yarn Needle: This is useful for weaving in ends once you’ve finished your crochet piece.
  • Stitch Markers: These are particularly useful if you’re working on larger projects or if you need to mark specific stitches or rows.
  • Row Counter: If you’re following a pattern that requires a specific number of rows, a row counter can be handy to keep track.
  • Pattern Or Tutorial: Especially for beginners, having a written or video tutorial can be beneficial to ensure you’re executing the half-double crochet stitch correctly.
  • What Are Variations For Half Double Stitch?

    The half-double crochet (hdc) stitch, while being a fundamental stitch in crochet, also serves as the base for various variations and adaptations. These variations can impart different textures and looks to your work. Here are some popular variations of the half double crochet stitch:

    • Extended Half Double Crochet (Ehdc): Before pulling via these three loops on the hook, you yarn over and pull via one loop first, extending the height of the stitch.
    • Half Double Crochet In The Third Loop: Instead of working the stitch into the top two loops, you work into the third loop found at the back of the hdc from the previous row. This creates a “knit-like” texture.
    • Herringbone Half Double Crochet (HHDC): After yarning over and inserting the hook into the stitch, you pull the yarn through the stitch and the first loop on your hook. It gives the fabric a slight slant, reminiscent of the herringbone pattern.
    • Half Double Crochet Decrease (Hdc2tog): This method decreases the number of stitches. You’ll start the hdc in one stitch and finish it in the next, effectively turning two stitches into one.
    • Foundation Half Double Crochet (Fhdc): Instead of creating a chain to start, this technique simultaneously establishes a foundation row with chains and hdc stitches. It offers more stretch and can be more comfortable than starting with a simple chain.
    • Linked Half Double Crochet: This technique links stitches together, reducing gaps. After yarning over, you insert hook into the horizontal bar of the previous stitch before proceeding with the standard hdc in the next stitch.
    • Puff Stitch Using HDC: Instead of using single crochet or double crochet, you can use multiple hdc stitches pulled up to the same height and joined at the top to create a puff stitch.
    • Beaded Half Double Crochet: This involves incorporating beads into your crochet fabric. Before completing the hdc, you slide a bead up the yarn and complete the stitch, securing the bead in place.
    • Camel Stitch: While it’s closely related to the hdc in the third loop, this variation involves working the hdc in such a way that it creates a beautiful, rich texture reminiscent of knitting.
    • Half Double Crochet Cluster: This combines multiple incomplete hdc stitches worked into the same space or stitch, then completed together.

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    How To Increase And Decrease Half Double Stitch?

    Increasing and decreasing stitches in crochet allows you to shape your work, whether you’re making a garment, toy, or any other structured item. Here’s how to increase and decrease using the half double crochet (hdc) stitch:

    Increasing Half Double Crochet (Adding Stitches)

    Increasing in crochet often means working more than one stitch into the same stitch or space from the previous row or round. For the hdc (half double crochet):

    • Yarn over (yo) and insert (slide) hook into the desired stitch.
    • Yarn over again and pull (tug) up a loop. Now you will get three loops on the hook.
    • Yarn over and pull via all these (three) loops.
    • Now, in the same stitch where you just made that hdc, make another hdc.
    • You’ve increased by one-half double crochet stitch.

    Decreasing Half Double Crochet (Removing Stitches)

    Decreasing with hdc stitches usually involves the hdc2tog (half double crochet two together) method, which turns two stitches into one:

    • Yarn over and insert hook into the following stitch.
    • Yarn over again and pull (tug) up a loop. Now you will get three loops on the hook.
    • Without finishing that stitch, yarn over again and insert hook into the following stitch.
    • Yarn over and pull up another loop. You should now have five loops on the hook.
    • Yarn over and pull via all five loops.

    What Are Different Patterns Made Using Half Double Stitch?

    The half-double crochet (hdc) is versatile and can be the foundation for numerous stitch patterns, either by itself or combined with other stitches. Here are some popular stitch patterns that use half-double crochet

    • Hdc Ribbing: You can create a ribbed effect by working only hdc stitches in the back loop of each stitch. This pattern is excellent for cuffs, brims of hats, and edgings.
    • Hdc Mesh: Alternate between hdc stitches and chain stitches, skipping a stitch in between. In the next row, work the hdc in the chain space from the previous row. This creates a mesh-like appearance.
    • Waffle Stitch: This stitch combines double crochet and hdc stitches to create a textured, waffle-like appearance. The “raised” squares of the pattern are made by working double crochets around the post of the stitch below.
    • Half Double Crochet In The Third Loop: This creates a knit-like texture, primarily when worked in the round.
    • Diagonal Raised Stitch: By working hdc stitches around the post of a stitch a couple of rows below and offsetting these in each row, you can create a diagonal texture.
    • Bead Stitch: This is a combination of a hdc, and a puff stitch worked around the post of the hdc. It results in a textured pattern that looks like little beads.
    • Crossed Half Double Crochet: This involves skipping a stitch, working one hdc in the next stitch, and then working another hdc in the skipped stitch, crossing over the previous hdc. It creates a crisscross texture.
    • Alternating Half Double Crochet: Alternate between front loop and back loop hdc stitches. This pattern creates a subtle, ridged texture.
    • Hdc V-Stitch: Work two hdc stitches, separated by a chain (usually ch 1 or ch 2), all in the same space or stitch. In the subsequent rows, work the V-stitches in the chain spaces of the V-stitches below.
    • Half Double Slip Stitch Combo: Alternate between hdc and slip stitches across the row. It creates an interesting texture with varied stitch heights.

    Step-By-Step Instructions To Make Half Double Stitch Crochet

    Skill Level




    • The half double crochet (hdc) sits in height between a single crochet and a double crochet.
    • It provides a more dense fabric than double crochet but is looser than single crochet.
    • Remember to always yarn over before inserting the hook into the stitch.

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    • Starting Chain: Begin by making a foundation chain. The number of chains depends on your project. Add two additional chains to your desired length, which will serve as the turning chain and the height of the hdc.
    • Starting The First Row: Yarn over, then insert hook into the third chain from the hook.
    • Pull Up A Loop: Yarn over again and pull (tug) up a loop. You will get three loops on the hook now.
    • Completing The Stitch: Yarn over once more and pull via all the three loops on the hook. This completes one hdc.
    • Continue The Row: Yarn over and repeat the process, inserting hook into the next chain and completing the hdc. Continue this across the row.
    • Turning And Starting The Next Row: Once you’ve reached the end of the row, chain two (this serves as the turning chain and height of the hdc for the next row). Turn your work.
    • Working Into Stitches: Instead of working into chain spaces, you’ll work into the stitches. Yarn over (yo) and insert (slide) your hook under the top two loops of the first hdc from the previous row. Complete the hdc as before.
    • Continuing The Project: Keep repeating the process, building rows upon rows of hdc stitches until you reach the desired length for your project.
    • Finishing: Once you’re satisfied with the length, cut the yarn, leaving a tail. Yarn over and pull via the last loop on the hook, pulling tightly to secure. Use the tapestry needle to weave in the ends.

    What Are Basic Abbreviations For Half Double Stitch?

    In the crochet world, abbreviations are commonly used in patterns to simplify instructions and make them more concise. For the half double crochet stitch and its related techniques, here are some basic abbreviations:

    • Hdc – Half Double Crochet: This is the basic stitch.
    • Hdc2tog – Half Double Crochet Two Together: This abbreviation refers to the decrease method in which two half double crochets are combined.
    • Fhdc – Foundation Half Double Crochet: This technique allows you to create a foundation row that combines the chain stitch and the hdc stitch simultaneously.
    • Ehdc – Extended Half Double Crochet: A variation of the hdc that has an extra yarn-over step to make the stitch slightly taller.
    • HHDC Or Hbhdc – Herringbone Half Double Crochet: This is another variation of the hdc that creates a diagonal texture.
    • BLO – Back Loop Only: While this isn’t exclusive to the hdc when you see something like “hdc in BLO”, it means you’ll be working the hdc stitch in the back loop only of the stitch below.
    • FLO – Front Loop Only: Similarly, “hdc in FLO” indicates only working the stitch in the front loop.
    • 3rd Loop hdc – Half Double Crochet in the Third Loop: Refers to working the hdc in the third loop found at the back of the stitch.

    How To Choose the Right Yarn For Half Double Stitch?

    Choosing the suitable yarn for your crochet project, including those utilizing the half double crochet (hdc) stitch, involves considering the item’s purpose, the desired texture, and other factors. Here’s a guide to help you select the suitable yarn

    Purpose of the Project

    • Wearables: For clothing, softer yarns like cotton, bamboo, or a soft acrylic blend can be ideal.
    • Home Décor: Durability is essential, so consider cotton, acrylic, or wool blends.
    • Baby Items: Choose soft, hypoallergenic, and machine-washable yarns like cotton or soft acrylics.
    • Toys: Acrylic yarns or cotton are popular choices because of their durability and ease of care.

    Weight of the Yarn

    • The hdc stitch works with any yarn weight, from lace to super bulky. The yarn weight determines the drape and density of the fabric.
    • Lighter weights (like fingering or sport) yield a delicate fabric, while bulkier weights produce a sturdy, warm fabric.

    Texture and Color

    • Yarns with a smooth texture will highlight the definition of the hdc stitch.
    • Variegated or self-striping yarns can add visual interest without changing stitches.
    • Yarns with too much texture (like bouclé or thick-and-thin styles) might obscure the stitch definition of the hdc.

    Fiber Content

    • Natural Fibers (e.g., cotton, wool, bamboo): These can be breathable and have a luxurious feel. Wool is warm and elastic, while cotton is excellent and sturdy.
    • Synthetic Fibers (e.g., acrylic, polyester): They tend to be more durable, hypoallergenic, and cost-effective. They can also mimic the qualities of natural fibers.

    Care Instructions

    • If you’re making an item that needs regular washing, like baby clothing or kitchen items, opt for machine-washable yarns.
    • Some yarns, especially natural fibers, may require hand-washing or specific care to prevent shrinking or felting.


    • Yarns with good elasticity, like wool or wool blends, make maintaining consistent tension in stitches easier.
    • Non-elastic yarns, like pure cotton, can result in a firmer fabric.
    • Swatching
    • Before committing to a particular yarn, create a swatch using the hdc stitch. This helps determine how the yarn behaves with the stitch, the drape, and the final look of the fabric.

    How To Choose The Hook Size For The Crochet Stitch?

    Choosing the right hook size is crucial for achieving the desired outcome in your crochet project. Here’s how you can determine the best hook size for your stitch:

    Check the Yarn Label

    • Most yarn skeins have a label that suggests a recommended hook size for that particular yarn. This is a great starting point.
    • Remember, this recommendation is based on standard gauges and may not match your personal tension or the requirements of a specific pattern.

    Consider the Project

    • Drape: If you’re making something that requires a loose drape, such as a shawl, you might opt for a larger hook size than recommended. Conversely, use a smaller hook for items like amigurumi toys with a tight stitch to keep stuffing inside.
    • Texture: Some stitch patterns, like lacework, may require larger hooks to highlight the design. Tight patterns might need a smaller hook for definition.

    Make a Swatch

    • This is an invaluable step. Creating a swatch lets you gauge how the yarn and hook work together.
    • Consider moving up a hook size if the fabric feels too tight or stiff. If it’s too loose or has gaps, try a smaller hook.
    • Measure your swatch to check if it matches the gauge specified in your pattern, especially for garments.

    Personal Tension

    • Every crocheter has a unique tension. Some crochet tightly, while others have a looser hand.
    • If you typically crochet tightly, you might need a larger hook than recommended, and vice versa.

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    Hook Material

    • The material of the crochet hook can affect your tension and the slide of the yarn.
    • Aluminum and steel hooks tend to allow the yarn to glide more smoothly, while bamboo or wooden hooks provide more grip.

    Type of Stitch

    • Some stitches, especially more intricate ones, may have specific hook size recommendations to ensure the design comes out correctly.

    Consult the Pattern

    • If you’re following a specific pattern, it will usually indicate a recommended hook size. However, this is based on the designer’s gauge, so you must still ensure it matches your tension.

    How To Count The Number Of Stitches In Half Double Stitch?

    Counting stitches in crochet is crucial to ensure that your work remains consistent and authentic to the pattern. Counting your stitches in half double crochet (hdc) is relatively straightforward. Here’s how to do it:

    • Identify The Top V: Each stitch in crochet creates a “V” shape at the top. This “V” is what you’re counting. In hdc, these “Vs” are pronounced and easy to spot.
    • Starting Chain: Remember, the initial chains you skipped at the beginning of the row often count as the first hdc. Depending on the pattern, when you skip two chains for hdc, those chains typically count as one stitch. Always check the pattern’s instructions, as this can vary.
    • Count Across The Row: Lay your work flat and count each “V” shape across the top of the row from one side to the other. Each “V” is one hdc. Ensure you’re counting the turning chain if it’s considered as a stitch in your pattern.
    • Double Check: It’s good practice to count your stitches at the end of each row to ensure you haven’t added or missed any stitches. This helps keep your edges straight and your stitch count consistent.
    • Counting Rows: If you want to count how many rows of hdc you’ve completed, count the number of “posts” or vertical bars stacked on top of each other. Each set of these represents a row of hdc.
    • Using Stitch Markers: If you find it challenging to keep track, especially in more extensive projects, consider using stitch markers. Place a marker in every row’s first and last stitch (or every few rows). This can help you identify where rows begin and end, making counting easier.

    Key Takeaways 

    • Versatility: The hdc sits between a single and double crochet in height, offering a balance of density and speed in crochet projects.
    • Texture: It provides a unique texture, more pronounced than a single crochet but less open than a double crochet.
    • Starting Chain: Typically, two chains are skipped at the start, often counting as the first hdc, depending on the pattern.
    • Counting Stitches: Each hdc produces a precise “V” shape at the top, aiding in easy stitch counting.
    • Popular In Patterns: Due to its intermediate height and texture, hdc is favored in many patterns, from wearables to home décor.
    • Easy Learning Curve: Suitable for beginners, hdc builds upon basic crochet skills, introducing a new dimension to projects.

    Frequently Asked Questions 

    What’s The Primary Difference Between A Half Double Crochet And A Double Crochet?

    The main difference lies in their height and the steps involved. The hdc is shorter than the double crochet, and it involves pulling through three loops on the hook at once, while a double crochet has an additional yarn over and is worked in two steps.

    Can I Use Any Yarn Type For Hdc Projects?

    Yes, the hdc stitch is versatile and works with a wide range of yarn types. The key is to match your hook size to your yarn for the desired effect.

    How Do I Keep My Edges Straight When Working With Hdc?

    Consistently counting your stitches at the end of each row helps ensure you have yet to add or miss stitches. Remembering whether your turning chain counts as a stitch in your pattern is also crucial.

    Why Does My Work Curl When Using Hdc?

    Curling can happen due to tight tension or not having enough turning chains. Try loosening your tension or increasing your turning chain by one to see if it helps.

    Can I Use HDC in Circular Or Amigurumi Projects?

    Absolutely! The hdc can be worked in rounds or spirals, making it suitable for hats, amigurumi, and other circular projects.

    How Do I Increase Or Decrease With Hdc?

    To increase, work two hdc stitches into one stitch from the previous row. To decrease, hdc two stitches together, turning them into a single stitch.

    Is Hdc Suitable For Beginners?

    Yes, hdc is a great stitch for beginners to learn after they’ve mastered the basic single crochet, as it introduces them to the concept of yarning over before inserting the hook.

    Sarah Reed
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