Crochet Science

A Study of Half Double Crochet Stitches

After I published our Crochet Study of Double Crochet Stitches (Part 1) and Single Crochet Stitches (Part 2), I received a lot of questions about traditional and untraditional methods for Half Double Crochet. So here is Part 3 of our crochet study, it’s all about Half Double Crochet stitches.

Note: This article is written using American Crochet terms. It’s been updated Nov 10, 2020.

Is there such a thing as Yarn Over and Hook Over (or Yarn Under) for making hdc? Sure there is…hdc can also be made traditionally and untraditionally, but the results are slightly different than in my previous 2 posts.

Yarn Over Method (Traditional) – Yarn over, insert the hook into the stitch, Yarn Over & pull up a loop, yarn over & pull through all loops on the hook.

Hook Over Method (Untraditional) – Yarn over, insert the hook into the stitch, Hook Over & pull up a loop, yarn over & pull through all loops on the hook.

So, will the magic happen to the joining seam when you work hdc using the hook over method? It sure worked perfectly for dc and sc stitches…but unfortunately, it’s not the case with hdc. Well, I should say it will be less slanted but not 100% straight.

The reason is that in addition to the offset stitch placement, hdc stitches tend to lean towards your dominant hand as you work (for both, traditional and untraditional methods). So now, the traditional stitches are no longer straight, but are leaning in the same direction as the offset stitch placement, increasing the angle of the slanted seam…while untraditional stitches are now straightened and do not compensate the angle of the offset stitch placement, making the seam look slanted.

How To Avoid Slanted Seams

  1. You can TURN after every round to compensate slanting by working in the opposite direction. The seam will be straight.
  2. You can also work in SPIRAL rounds without joining. You will not have a seam in this case.

Interesting Facts

Unlike other crochet stitches, the top of a hdc stitch is formed by a set of double-sided V’s. For right-handed crochet, the first row of front-facing V’s is pointing in the clockwise direction and the second row of back-facing V’s is pointing in the counterclockwise direction.

Front and Back Facing V - Right Hand

For left-handed crochet, the first row of front-facing V’s is pointing in the counterclockwise direction and the second row of back-facing V’s is pointing in the clockwise direction.

Front and Back Facing V - Left Hand

Each set of front and back-facing V’s has 1 mutual bar in the middle. The front-facing V’s are where you normally insert the hook to complete a regular hdc. For a change, you can improvise and create different textures by inserting the hook differently. Here are some examples below.

  • Hdc under 3 loops: You can insert the hook under all 3 top loop of hdc, which is basically a space between stitches. In addition to a lovely texture, you can get a relatively straight-ish seam by using the untraditional (hook over) method.
  • Hdc in third loop: Insert the hook under the third (back-facing) loop, leaving the front-facing V unworked. This will create a gorgeous knit-like texture and can be done using both, traditional and untraditional methods.

NOTE: The improvised hdc stitches will also compromise your gauge, so be sure to test the gauge if your finished size is important. You can add rows to match the height, so the stitch gauge should always be your priority.

Traditional or Untraditional?

First of all, check your gauge if you are trying to decide which method to work, as the height of your stitches could be slightly different for traditional and untraditional hdc. If the gauge is not important, choose what is more comfortable for you, but do not switch styles in the middle of your project…work the entire item using the same style.

  • Traditional hdc stitches create an extremely slanted joining seam, but they are easier to crochet if you have tendency for sore wrists. When you combine these stitches with other traditional stitches while working in rows (ex: 1 row of hdc, turn, 1 row of sc), your edges might be slightly slanted as traditional sc will not compensate slanting of traditional hdc.
  • Untraditional hdc stitches are straight and therefore, they are great to be combined with traditional dc and sc stitches, that are also straight.