The half double crochet (hdc) stitch is great for beginning crocheters to learn once they have mastered the single (sc) stitch.
This crochet stitch is about halfway in between the single and double stitches. You will create a row that is taller than the single but shorter than the double.
Once you have learned how to do a half double crochet stitch, you will be able to make many different patterns for warm scarves, headbands, hats and even crochet socks.
What is a Half Double Crochet?
The half double crochet stitch is abbreviated hdc. It lies about halfway between the single crochet stitch and the double crochet stitch in terms of height. The rows of the hdc are taller than rows of a single but not as tall as rows from the double stitch.
The hdc creates a tight stitch and therefore a denser fabric than the double stitch, which makes it perfect for cold weather accessories such as scarves, hats, ear warmers and even purses and tote bags.
Since it works up faster than the single stitch, the half double is a favorite stitch for many blankets and afghans, as well.
Free Crochet Abbreviations Chart
Get a free printable chart of all the crochet abbreviations you need to know when working on patterns.
The free download is in our pattern library.
How to Work the Half Double Crochet Stitch (Step by Step)
See our list of essential crochet supplies you actually need! And nothing you don’t!
1. Do a Yarn Over
Holding your crochet hook (with the chain) in one hand and the working yarn in the other, grab the working yarn from underneath with the hook so that you have two loops on the hook. This is called a Yarn Over.
(Note: I hold the hook in my right hand and the working yarn in my left hand (I’m right handed).
To help me maintain even tension, I wrap the working yarn over my index and ring fingers but under the other fingers. This helps me maintain even tension on the yarn.)
2. Insert the Hook in the Third Chain
Next, you will insert the hook into the third chain from the hook and again, Yarn Over (grab the yarn with the hook).
Note: the last two chains are the turning stitches and therefore do not count toward the final stitch number of the row. So, if you want your piece to be 10 stitches wide, you will chain 12 stitches when using the half double.
3. Pull the Yarn Through the Chain Stitch
With the working yarn you just grabbed on the hook, pull it backwards through the chain stitch, creating a third loop on your hook.
4. Yarn Over
Do a third yarn over by grabbing the yarn with the hook from front to back.
5. Pull Yarn through all loops
Finally, you will pull the yarn backwards through all three loops on your crochet hook.
This may take a little practice, especially with the Yarn Over loop. That one is at a slightly different angle and is not as easy as the other ones.
Just take your time! When you are just starting out, it helps to pull the head of the hook through each loop separately rather than all three loops at once.
Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to pull it through all of them in one motion.
This completes the first half double crochet stitch. For the next stitch, you again Yarn Over but then you will insert the hook in the next chain stitch from your first hdc. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 above.
Continue making a half double in each of the remaining chains, all the way to the end of the row.
See the video for making a half double stitch:
Working the Second Row of hdc
Chain Two: to start the next row, we need to raise the height of your stitches. You do this by making two chains at the end of the row.
Then you turn the whole thing over (so the hook is on the right side again).
Now make a half double stitch in the first and in all of the other stitches to the end of the row. (You only work into the third stitch at the beginning of the first row)
When you reach the end of the second row, make two chain stitches (ch) or turning stitches and begin the first half double stitch in the first stitch from the row below.
Continue working rows of hdc stitches until your piece reaches the desired height.
When you are ready to tackle a project, have a look at these free patterns using the half double.
Also check out these Double Crochet Patterns.
What is the Difference Between Half Double Crochet and Double Crochet?
The half double crochet stitch is basically half of the double stitch. As you saw in the instructions above, in the last part of the hdc, you Yarn Over and pull the yarn back through all three loops on the hook.
With the double crochet stitch, however, you pull the yarn through only two of the loops, Yarn Over again and pull it through the remaining two loops.
Free Baby Crochet Patterns:
- Baby Hat and Beanie Patterns
- Free Baby Headband Patterns for Newborns
- Free Baby Blanket and Baby Afghans
- Baby Sweater and Cardigan Patterns
- Adorable Baby Booties and Socks Patterns
Is Half Double Crochet Faster Than Single Crochet?
Since the hdc or half double stitch creates a taller row, it is much faster than working rows of single stitches alone. Basically, you are creating 1 1/2 times the height for each crochet row versus the singles rows.
Be sure to Pin This Half Double Crochet Stitch Tutorial for Crochet to save for later!
Related Stitch Tutorials:
- How to Make a Crochet Magic Circle
- 6 Beginner Crochet Stitches
- Shell Stitch Step by Step
- Easy Waffle Stitch
- How to Make a Puff Stitch
- How to Work the Triple Crochet Stitch (tc or tr)
- Front Post Double Crochet Stitch Tutorial