If you've been spending your quarantine time getting your needlework on, chances are you've given crocheting a try. And if you've been crocheting, you've probably seen the letters HDC, which stand for half double crochet. You might be thinking that half of a double is a single, but not in crochet land. This is actually a really beautiful stitch and gives you slightly more height than a single but not as much as a double.
If you've already got your single and double stitches down, it's a great time to learn the half double. You can use it in all kinds of patterns and projects to add more depth and interest to your stitching. Let's check it out.
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via: AmazonBefore you start, you'll want to select your yarn. You can do this stitch with any size of yarn, so the sky is the limit. This pack of colorful yarns is great because you'll have almost every shade you need for any project.
via: AmazonYou'll also need a crochet hook to do this stitch. The size of the hook will depend on the size of your yarn. I love this pack of hooks and accessories for just that reason. No matter what size of yarn I have, I'll be able to use the right hook to match it. Plus there are stitch markers and stitch holders to keep me going throughout the project.
via: AmazonIf you don't need quite as many options, this kit has 14 sizes of crochet hooks, which is enough for almost any size of yarn you'll find. I particularly like that they're color-coded so I know easily which one I want. They've also got really comfortable handles so that my hands don't cramp up during a long project.
You're going to start with a foundation chain.
via: Getty ImagesNow that you have your tools, you'll begin the same as any crochet pattern with your first row of chain stitches. You can make this as long or as short as you need it to be depending on your project. When you get to the end of the row and start back the other direction, you're going to want to crochet into the chain that is three away from your hook.
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Now is where the half double really starts. Yarn over and insert your crochet hook into the stitch (remember it's the third one down). Yarn over again and pull the yarn through the stitch. You should see three loops on your hook now.
Final yarn over!
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Then pull the yarn through all of the loops on your hook. You've made your first half double! Keep going to finish up your row. When you get to the end you'll want to chain two to make your turn, then start your next half double in the next stitch.
Keep it up!
via: Getty ImagesWith this stitch, you can keep on going through any pattern with a consistent number of stitches in the row. But you can also go a little bit further and increase or decrease the number of stitches. It's not too tough: to increase, simply stitch two half doubles into your final stitch of the row. To decrease, follow these steps: yarn over and insert your hook into the stitch. Yarn over and pull through. Yarn over and insert your hook into the next stitch. Yarn over and pull through. Now you've got five loops instead of the three you'd have with a normal half double. Yarn over and pull through all of them. You've brought two stitches together!
via: AmazonAs you stitch you may have materials, patterns, yarn, and hooks that you want to keep track of. I like to use this lovely tote to manage my supplies without getting confused and messy. You can feed your yarn out of the grommets to keep it from getting tangled. Plus I can bring my project with me anywhere.
via: AmazonIf you're excited about using your new stitch, you may be on the hunt for some new patterns. I love this book from Jessica Carey, which not only has tons of beautiful patterns to try out, but also some great life advice. You'll be stitching your half doubles in no time.
Don't forget to appreciate your final piece!
via: Getty ImagesOnce you've mastered the stitch and made your first piece with it, make sure you take some time to appreciate what you've done. You've learned something new and created art with just your two hands. That's impressive!