Melissa is a self-taught and devoted crocheter. Today she creates her own patterns and teaches others the art of crochet.
Easier Than You Think
The double and half double crochet are actually very easy once you get the hang of them. Once you have mastered the single crochet, the double and half double stitches are as simple as adding a yarn over.
But for beginners, these stitches can seem daunting, so I’m going to walk you through both stitches step by step. I’ve added pictures of each step to make it easier to visualize exactly what each step looks like on the hook.
You’ll need to grab a couple of things before you start. Namely a crochet hook and some yarn. I would suggest using a brightly colored, worsted-weight yarn to make it easier to see the stitches as you work them.
What Size Hook?
Since you’ll be using worsted-weight yarn, you should be using either a size G or H hook. This should make it fairly easy to work with the yarn without it slipping off the hook too easily.
If you use too small of a hook, the yarn will be difficult to grab. Use a hook that’s too big, and the yarn can easily get tangled.
Once you have your hook and yarn, make a slipknot and create a foundation chain of at least 11 chains.
This will allow you to practice the stitches a few times before you have to turn the work and start another row.
The Half Double Crochet Stitch
The half double crochet is a wonderful stitch for long patterns because it adds a bit of height to the pattern while still having the tightness of a single crochet, allowing the project to work up more quickly.
It works well for hats, hand bags, and just about any type of cozy such as a cell phone or cup cozy.
The first step in the half double crochet is to yarn over. Then insert the hook in the second chain.
Make another yarn over (pull the yarn over the hook).
Grab the yarn with the hook and pull it through the chain stitch and pull up slightly so that you have three loops on the hook.
Yarn over, and pull the yarn through all three loops on the hook.
You have just made a half double crochet stitch! Like the single crochet, this stitch is easy to work quickly once you get the hang of it.
Since you made ten chain stitches, work a half double crochet in each chain across until you get to the end of the row.
After working the last stitch, chain two because the next row will be double crochets.
The Double Crochet Stitch
Double crochet stitches are an excellent (and fast) way to add height to any project. They also make wonderful decorative stitches. However, it’s important to keep in mind that they are not tight stitches like single or half double crochets.
If you’re working on a project that needs tight stitches, such as a bag or hat, it’s best to avoid the double crochet. It works well for blankets and clothes or any project that needs a bit of “give” to it.
You may be wondering why you had to chain two at the beginning of this row. Because the double crochet adds a lot of height to a piece, chaining two at the beginning of a row helps the piece lay flat and typically acts as the first stitch of the row.
Depending on how the pattern reads, you will either insert the hook into the next stitch or insert the hook "into the same stitch as the beginning chain two."
This part can be confusing. If you are inserting the hook into the "next stitch," this means that you are using the second to last stitch of the previous row.
If you are inserting the hook into the "same stitch as the beginning chain two," you are using the last stitch of the previous row. It's also the stitch after which you chained two stitches.
For this tutorial, we will be using the "same stitch as the beginning chain two" version so that you can clearly see in the photos which stitch that actually is.
The double crochet has one more step than a half double crochet and two more steps than a single crochet. Just like in the half double crochet, you'll start with a yarn over.
Then insert the hook into the first stitch. Yarn over and pull up a loop.
Yarn over again, but this time, you’re only going to pull the yarn through the first two loops on the hook. This will leave you with two loops on your hook.
Yarn over and pull the yarn through both loops. You’ve just made a double crochet!
Finish the row by working a double crochet in each stitch until you get to the end.
Both of these stitches are relatively easy once you get the hang of them, but they do require some practice. I highly recommend making small “swatches” about four inches in width and as tall as you want them. This gives you the added satisfaction of finishing quickly while also providing much-needed practice.
If you make at least two of these swatches the same size, you can sew them together and make either a cell phone or crochet hook cozy.
You can easily add a strap to this cozy by chaining 20 or 30 stitches and securing it to the project with a single crochet.
Uses for the Double Crochet
The double crochet is a very versatile stitch. It is most commonly used when making decorative stitches such as the shell or the crocodile stitch.
The crocodile stitch has become quite popular recently and uses the double crochet as the primary stitch.
It has been used most commonly as decorative edgings for baby booties and hand warmers. I wanted to try this stitch and decided to just start crocheting with no pattern in mind.
I ended up creating a very unique cell phone cozy that has become one of my favorite crochet projects.
Although the stitch uses a considerable amount of yarn, if you want a pattern that adds protective padding (such as for an expensive cell phone), this is the stitch to use!
© 2013 Mel Flagg COA OSC
This was very helpful. on June 03, 2016:
I have crocheted since I was a child, but I learned from my Great Aunt who was a lefty & insisted I watch through mirror. She never told me the names of the stitches or how to read a pattern. She had them all in her head & just showed me what the he steps were to make whatever I wanted to make. Since she has been gone many years, I need to help of watching someone make the pattern, then I can do it. Still don't always know the names of the stitches or how to read a pattern. This video cleared up a problem I was having making a baby's Afghan. Thank you.