After our research earlier this year, I have already published 2 articles about classic & self-compensated stitches. The idea behind these 2 crocheting styles is that classic stitches are more slanted than self-compensated, which is the main reason for slanted seams.
Find explanations for Double Crochet stitches (DC) in this article –> Mystery of Slanted Seams and Crochet Stitches.
Find explanations for Single Crochet stitches (SC) in this article –> The Exception That Proves The Rule.
Just like for DC & SC, there are 2 ways to make Half Double Crochet (HDC) using YARN OVER or HOOK OVER methods:
- CLASSIC HDC: Yarn over, insert the hook into indicated stitch, YARN OVER & pull up a loop (3 loops on the hook); yarn over & pull through all loops on the hook.
- SELF-COMPENSATED HDC: Yarn over, insert the hook into indicated stitch, HOOK OVER & pull up a loop (3 loops on the hook); yarn over & pull through all loops on the hook.
Will the “magic” happen if you crochet using self-compensated HDC throughout the project? The answer is “Yes” & “No”.
HDC stitches are slanted about 2 times more compared to other stitches due to its unique construction. The extreme slanting is caused by pulling working yarn through 3 loops on the hook (loop + yarn over + loop) rather than working through the pairs of loops. Let’s look at some examples: In the picture below you can see that the seam of the Classic HDC hat base has 30° slanting angle, while the seams of the Classic SC & DC hat bases have only 15° slanting angle.
Self compensated stitches will only compensate about 15° slanting angle. Which means you can manage to make a straight seam for SC or DC hat base, but that compensation is not enough to straighten up a seam in HDC hat base (see example below).
“YES” – HOOK OVER method will compensate slanting for the same amount in all kinds of stitches – SC, HDC, DC (approximately 15°angle).
“NO” – HOOK OVER method will not compensate 100% of the extreme slanting in HDC stitches.
How to avoid slanted HDC seams?
You can probably find many ideas regarding this issue, but here are the easiest 2 methods to avoid slanted HDC seams:
- TURN after every joined round if you make something with stripes. In this case the extreme slanting will be compensated by the same amount of slanting when you work each round in the opposite direction.
- Work in SPIRAL rounds without joining if you do not have color changes. When there is no seam – there is no visible slanting!
Some interesting facts…
Unlike any other crochet stitches, HDC has 3 bars on top of the stitch that create a set of double-sided V’s. The first row of front-facing V’s is pointing in the clockwise direction > (or counterclockwise direction < for left-handed) & the second row of back-facing V’s is pointing in the counterclockwise direction < (or clockwise direction >for left-handed). Each set of front & back-facing V’s has 1 mutual bar in the middle. The front-facing V is always the one that is on right side (RS) or the work.
To make a regular Classic or Self-Compensated HDC, we normally insert the hook under the 2 bars of the front-facing V. However, you can also improvise and create different textures by inserting the hook differently. Here are some examples and what you should know:
- You can insert the hook under all 3 bars of HDC. This will create an unusual & very nice texture with relatively straight seam. In the example below I used HOOK OVER method (Self-Compensated HDC). Keep in mind, that your gauge will vary from the regular HDC when you insert the hook under 2 front bars.
- You can also insert the hook under the third back-facing bar, leaving the front-facing V unworked. This method is also called “HDC in the third loop” & it creates a gorgeous knit-like texture. In the example below I used HOOK OVER method (Self-Compensated HDC) & I worked in spiral rounds without joining. The gauge will be similar to regular HDC widthwise, but shorter lengthwise…so you might need to add extra rounds.