How to do a Half Double Crochet Stitch (hdc)

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In the previous lessons, you learned how to create a slip stitch, make a chain and work the single crochet stitch. This tutorial will show you how to easily work the Half Double Crochet (hdc) stitch.

The half double stitch is great for beginning crocheters to learn once they have mastered the single (sc) stitch.

It falls about halfway in between the single and double stitches, creating 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 tackle many different patterns for warm scarves, headbands, hats and even crochet socks.

(The abbreviation for this stitch is hdc)

hdc or half double crochet stitch
rows of hdc or half double crochet

What is a Half Double Crochet?

The half double crochet stitch is abbreviated hdc and as I mentioned above, it lies about halfway between the single crochet stitch and the double, 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.

It creates a tight stitch and therefore denser fabric than the double which makes it perfect for cold weather accessories such as warm, winter scarves and hats, thick earwarmers and even purses and tote bags.

Since it works up faster than the single, this is a favorite stitch for many blankets and afghans, as well.

Basic Supplies

This is my favorite book of crochet stitches!

In order to work this stitch, we need to have some yarn already on the crochet hook. Therefore, we will begin by making a slip knot and then adding some chain stitches to the hook.

Make a slip knot and crochet a chain

As with many crochet patterns, you will begin by making a slip knot on the hook and then adding chain stitches.

To make the slip knot, simply loop the yarn into a circle and pull one of the ends partially through the circle, forming a loop. Put your crochet hook through this loop and pull the yarn around the hook.

You can find complete step by step instructions for making a slip knot in this post.

making a slip knot on the crochet hook

Next, we need some stitches on the hook to work with. To make a chain stitch, hold the hook (with the slip knot) in one hand and the working yarn in the other.

Using the hook, grab the working yarn and pull it partially through the loop, creating a new loop.

Repeat until you have the number of chains desired. See this article for complete instructions for making a chain.

Crocheting a chain

How to work the hdc stitch (step by step)

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.)

Yarn over the crochet hook

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.)

beginning the half double crochet stitch
beginning the half double crochet stitch
(Insert crochet hook into the 3rd chain)
Yarn over the crochet hook
(Yarn Over)

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.

pulling the yarn through the chain stitch

4. Pull Yarn through all loops

Finally, to complete the half double stitch, you will do a third Yarn Over by grabbing the yarn from underneath with the hook and then pulling it 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.

Third yarn over in the half double stitch
completing the half double crochet stitch

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.

hdc or half double crochet 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.

Chaining two

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)

Beginning the second crochet row
Yarn over again
(Yarn Over)
Pulling a yarn loop
(Insert hook in first stitch, Yarn Over again and pull loop through stitch)
yarn over a third time
(Yarn Over)
Completing the half double crochet
(Pull yarn through all three loops on the hook)

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 featuring the half double.


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.

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.

Tutorial - making the half double crochet stitch
making the half double crochet stitch Tutorial

How to do a Half Double Crochet Stitch

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