A Study of Double Crochet Stitches
Have you ever wondered why your stitches or joined seams look slanted? Here are some interesting facts we discovered with our testing team. This post is all about Double Crochet stitches (Part 1 of our crochet study). You can also check out Part 2 – A Study of Single Crochet and Part 3 – A Study of Half Double Crochet.
Note: This article is written using American Crochet terms. It’s been updated Nov 8, 2020.
We found that there are 2 ways of making dc stitches that affect the appearance of stitches, as well as your overall project appearance, and even your gauge. Both methods are widely used by crafters around the world and they both have their own benefits. Therefore, I am not going to call them right or wrong, I will only try to explain the differences.
Yarn Over Method (Traditional) – Yarn over, insert the hook into the stitch, Yarn Over & pull up a loop; [yarn over & pull through 2 loops on the hook] 2 times.
Hook Over Method (Untraditional) – Yarn over, insert the hook into the stitch, Hook Over & pull up a loop; [yarn over & pull through 2 loops on the hook] 2 times.
Illustrations and video for LEFT-handed crochet:
So basically, the main difference between making these stitches is that one of the yarn-overs in untraditional dc is worked as hook-over, which is also known as Yarn Under.
When you look at the close-up of the stitches, the traditional (yarn over) dc are straight, while the untraditional (hook over) dc are slanted. The examples below are done by working in the round, where rounds are joined with sl st in top of beg st.
For right-handed crochet, the rounds are worked in a counterclockwise directions, which makes untraditional stitches look slanted to the left.
For left-handed crochet, the rounds are worked in a clockwise directions, which makes untraditional stitches look slanted to the right.
Overall Project Appearance
When you insert the hook under both loops of the stitch below, the new stitch is naturally shifting to the right (for right-handed crochet) as the top of the stitch is not exactly above the post of the stitch. This effect occurs both, traditional and untraditional dc. Since traditional (yarn over) dc are straight, their offset placement creates a right-leaning joining seam. Untraditional (hook over) dc are slanted to the left from the offset point, which compensates and balances out the right-leaning joins. Thus, untraditional joining seam is straight.
For left-handed crochet, the joining seam in traditional (yarn over) method will be leaning to the left, and the untraditional (hook over) dc will make the seam look straight.
Symmetrically designed patterns that are worked in the round are often tricky for traditional crocheters as the right or left-leaning direction of work distorts the symmetry of the entire piece. However, it is not an issue for untraditional style and the finished pieces are always symmetrically balanced.
On a good note, the offset stitch placement would only be noticeable for working each row/round in the same direction. When you work back and forth, the slanting will be balancing out in each row. In fact, if you change the direction of your work in every row/round, there is no need to worry about issues with symmetry.
The traditional and untraditional crochet could also affect your gauge. For example, if you successfully matched your stitch gauge but having issues with the row gauge, switching styles may work as charm for you. Also, the row gauge can often be fixed by adding or omitting rounds of your project without changing styles.
What Are Your Benefits
As you can see, both methods can be very useful for achieving different tasks. Personally, I like switching between traditional and untraditional crochet, depending on my projects and mood. Here are several reasons for that:
- Traditional dc stitches are straight and beautiful, so I prefer using them when working in rows (back and forth crochet), especially when I crochet colorwork in rows and I want to achieve smooth color changes. If you struggle with sore joints from crocheting, your wrists will thank you for using traditional crochet style.
- Untraditional dc stitches create beautiful straight seams and symmetrical appearance. I love using this method for working in the round, especially when the rounds are not spiral.
It’s important to remember though…if you are using one style or the other, do not switch them in the middle of your project, but work the entire item using the same style.
59 thoughts on “A Study of Double Crochet Stitches”
Thank you so much for your inf
Thank you very much for this article, it is very helpful for me. Do you think this also works with single crochet stitches in Amigurumis for example?
You are welcome, yes it works with any stitches.
even hdc’s?? & how to do it plz & thx
Hi Cindy, hdc are trickier as both methods (classic hdc & self compensated hdc) are more slanted compare to sc & dc, which is caused by that unworked yo we have in all hdc sts. I hope to finish my article soon with more explanations.
thank you IRa!
Thank you so much for this information, I get so frustrated cause of crooked seams.
You are welcome, hope it helps 🙂
I’m left handed and a classic crocheter and my seams are straight . Just made a hat and it’s perfect.
Hi Susan, thank you for sharing. Yes you can manage to get a straight line with classic crochet as it also depends on everyone’s joining style. However, the symmetry would be an issue in some projects since the stitches are offset and are not slanted. Some of our testers had straight seams with classic dc, but the projects were out of shape in symmetrical patterns. Self-compensated dc fixes both issues when the project is worked in the round (not just a straight seam).
I read an article about getting straight seams instead of slanted when working in the round. They said not to begin the round with the increase sets first, but to do the regular stitch first. Example round 1: 2 dc in each stitch round 2: *dc in first stitch, 2dc in next stitch, * repeat from * to *. That way the round was not off set by one each time since the increase was done second. I’ve found that works for me and I’m a classic crocheter. My seams used to slant but now they don’t.
Thank you! And thank you for including left handed!
You are welcome, the left handed was easier than I thought 🙂
This is awesome. Thank you so much! It will definitely help my projects turn out better.
Wow! This is absolutely revolutionary! Thank you so much for sharing this. I tried it and it WORKS!!!
You are welcome, so glad it helped 🙂
Would you need to crochet the entire round piece in HO to get the straight seam or could you just do the first and last stitches in each round?
The entire piece.
This is quite fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you for your tips on blocking. I am crocheting Josephina and have had some questions, but after seeing your advice on wet blocking, that answers my questions. I love this elephant and have enjoyed making for my great granddaughter
I’ll put into practice, thanks so much! ♥♥
I’m learning, and I love the crochet ♥
I am a complete novice with crochet, but I have been doing this naturally as it seem a more natural action. Lots to learn still but encouraging to know I got something right, yeah me!
In the hat example, you do the entire project with self compensating stitches? Do you find it uses more yarn?
That’s correct, the entire project. It does not use more yarn, but it may depend on your gauge for each method. My gauge for classic stitches is the same as for self-compensated sts.
Wow, fascinating. Thank you so much. I am a YO but am definitely going to try the HO for hats etc. Thank you again for sharing.
You are welcome. Classic stitches have many benefits as well. For example, the corners would be more straight in granny square patterns made with classic dc as you work in space between the sts (not in the top of every stitch throughout).
I am an advanced crocheter and am right handed. I have tried this method over and over and it isn’t working for me. My seam is still slanted. I do a lot of crocheting for Babies in NICU units and really would like my seam to be straight. What code I possibly be doing wrong?
Hi Dianna, just make sure you work every stitch the same (not only the first and the last sts). If that does not help due to your personal style & habits, you can always work in a spiral without joining to make your hats seamless.
Dianna, try doing your increases second in each repeat on each round. In other words 1st round is all increase, 2nd round instead of starting with the increase, do the single stitch first, then the increases. Ex: Round 2: *2 sc in 1st st., sc in next st. Repeat from * Now instead of doing it like that, try it like this Round 2: * sc in first st, 2sc in next st. Repeat from *. That way it should not lean or slant. The increase stitch done first makes it move over one stitch. Hope that helps!
This is really fascinating. I’m a crochet teacher and I noticed several of my students using the hook over method but have never gave it much thought and just let them get on with it. I’ve noticed the slant on my seams. I now realize HO is something I’ll have to try for certain projects. Thank you for doing this research.
Thank you so much for this info. Like all the commenters above I have struggled with the seam problem and never heard of Hook Over. I am a fairly new crocheter and can use all the help I can get!
This is really interesting, and the video tutorial was really helpful (I’m a visual learner) ~ I wonder if I am coordinated enough lol 🙂 Definitely going to try it, as seams bother me ~ I thought it was just something I had to deal with … until now 🙂 Thanks!
I noticed the slanted seam and never thought about figuring out how to straighten it up. But my seams tended to expand with each row until I discovered stitch markers about a year ago, so a slanted seam was the least of my worries. Besides using stitch markers when I need them, I also gave up on rows and started crocheting “in the round” or in a spiral so there is no seam to worry about.
It’s good to know there’s an option to straighten up that seam when I need to stitch something like that.
Hello, I like your sample that shows hat NOT slanting when using the Hook over. I was a little confused that the video show YO/HO/YO BUT the left-handed diagram shows HO/YO/YO, does that mean both ways under self-compensated work?
Thanks again for sharing this method.
Hi Jean, all dc stitches begin with yarn over (in classic and self compensated), but the next 3 steps are different. The picture and the video are the same, you can see HO in 1:00 time frame; then YO in 1:05 time frame; and the final YO in 1:07 time frame….just as shown in the picture HO-YO-YO. Hope it helps.
Thank you for clarifying that!
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What is with the “Yarn Over” and “Hook Over” fancy talk? Literally the only difference is the direction of the yarn, going to front or to back.
There is one catch to these stitches that didn’t come across when I first looked at these pictures, but noticed immediately when I tried–the stitches are crossed at the bottom. It seems to make them more coarse and less fluffy.
Anyway thank you for teaching this…unfortunately there’s no undoing my intarsia afghan I’ve already started, I’ll just have to do my best with blocking it.
Oh, it was not my intention to change your crocheting method. I simply explained the differences between crochet styles and how this minor detail (YO or HO) can affect crochet items. Of course, blocking has always been our life saver, I wouldn’t unravel an afghan either.
this information is amazing!
so, the Hook over stitches don’t slant at all? I wish I had known this years ago!!
I’ve made a graphed piece in center sc, with starting each row on the same edge ~ I was hoping the center sc would not slant, but it actually slanted left. I’m in the process today of blocking it, but I’m not hopeful since it is 100% acryllic yarn.
it is one side of a pillow, so I will be making another piece for the other side and would like to get rid of the slant ~ do you think the hook over process will work with center sc?
Hi Judy, I have not tested center sc, but it works with regular sc in the round, we also have an article for self compensated sc –> https://blog.irarott.com/blog/2017/03/10/the-exception-that-proves-the-rule/
Hdc are more tricky.
So basically would work perfectly for amigurunis since they are worked in the rounds and beanies? I did notice my first ami the stitches are slanted and did not know why! What a revelation!
Yes it’s perfect for amies and hats 🙂
Thank you so much..now I understand why my whiskers were scew…. this article helps a lot
Thank you for this info! I’m a left hand crocheter and your video was great. I will remember to use the OH method on the next hat I make. This is an interesting concept! Thank you for your hard work and research.
Thanks for your advice, I can switch from classic to compensated stitch easily even though it is my first try.
I haven’t tried this technique yet, but I have (unsuccessfully) tried about 10 others and this one seems the most promising (and simple) by far. THANK YOU!
Thanks for the advice. I’m fairly new at crocheting, so may use the wrong terms… Bear with me! Im making toys, in the round with no seams, just a stitch marker that i move each row. Your yarn back method seems to have reduced the slant, but not eliminated it. (And as someone else commented, makes the end piece more bumpy). Since the pattern Im using has various shaped parts, the continuing slant is giving my toy a very deformed look! Is there anything more i can do to reduce it. Its a bottom left to top right slant. Thank you!
Hi Yan, when you work in continuous rounds, you should not have any visible slanting for either of these methods. If I am wrong, maybe someone else can answer your question in this thread. I am not sure if I can call it “bumpy”…you are probably referring to the cross-stitch look of the hook-over method?
I started working on a pattern called Navajo diamonds, it is worked going on way only and the slant was horrific. Then I found this site and started over, now the slant is better but I’m still having problems. Is there anything you could suggest?
Hi Sandra, unfortunately I am not familiar with that pattern, but maybe someone else can answer your question in this thread.
Is there anyway I can show pictures? It might be helpful.
You can try to show your project in our Facebook group.
I don’t have/do Facebook 🙁
Thank you, for 50 years my granny square blankets have come out ‘squiff’ I have tried turning work every 2 or 3 row which helps.
At last. Now I know why and how to fix it.
Bless you. I need to learn a ‘new,’ HO method.