Half double crochet – watch those loops!

In this series on working through one loop only, we have come to the last stitch, the half double crochet (hdc).

Previously, we explored the double crochet and the single crochet.

The half double crochet is so much more than a compromise between those two. It deserves our full attention, for two reasons (according to me).

First, it might be the stitch that has the best potential for this kind of stitch pattern. Not too tall, not too squat, the hdc combines drape and subtlety when worked in one loop only.

Second, because it’s the stitch that is the most misunderstood when it comes to working in one loop only, and with which I see the most confusion and mistakes when it comes to the different loops it holds.

But it’s not hard to identify these loops when you know what to look for – and that’s what we’re going to discuss in this tutorial!

This is a swatch in solid hdc worked back and forth. We are about to start a new row. Everything looks great – it’s so easy to see both loops in the previous row! Except that, no, those are not the loops we’re looking for.

In order to see the two loops at the top of the stitch – those very loops that we have been discussing for awhile now – you must tilt the work towards you to see the row from above. The back loop is at A, and the front loop at B.

To insert your hook in the front loop, you need to aim for the loop indicated by the arrow, not the one below.

The first few stitches in the row of hdc flo have been made. At the base of the stitches, a loop is still clearly visible. It’s the “third loop,” resulting from the yarnover made at the beginning of each hdc in the previous row.

Now let’s make a few hdc blo. As explained above, you will need to tilt the work towards you to be able to see the back loop hidden behind.

At the beginning of the row in progress, you can see how a row of V’s lying on their side remains at the base of the stitches just made. The upper leg of each V is the front loop, and the lower leg is the third loop.

Not only can this third loop decorate the surface of your fabric – you can, of course, work into it!

The stitches made by inserting the hook in the third loop completely hide the top of the stitches – there is no free loop remaining at the bottom of the current row.

However, when we tilt the work towards us, we can clearly see the tops of stitches turned to the back.

In the following video I show how to work into the different hdc loops, and discuss the resulting stitch patterns.

How do you use half double crochets worked through one loop only? Do you find theses stitches useful, interesting or completely irrelevant? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

This is the last tutorial in this mini-series on inserting your hook under one loop only. However, there are many ways to insert your hook to obtain different fabrics. We’ll continue to explore them in the next tutorial.

See you soon!

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