Half Double Crochet and hdc Decrease

Today's mission is to show you how to make a half double crochet stitch, and also, how to make the most basic half double crochet decrease. In the photos I'm sharing here, I'm working on one of my crochet designs, Primary Sweater Dress. It is available in girls sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. Click the photo below to see the pattern on Ravelry.

First off, when you see the abbreviation "hdc" in a pattern, it means half double crochet. This stitch is sort of half way between a single crochet and a double crochet, both in it's height, and in the way you make it. So, here we go...

As in the photo above, you'll start by wrapping your yarn around your hook. This is what we call a "yarn over", usually abbreviated "yo".

Next, insert your hook under both loops of the next stitch or chain, then it should look something like the photo above.

Then, wrap your yarn around your hook again and pull this through the stitch, by catching it under your hook as you pull your hook through the stitch. I usually turn my hook a little toward the left as I slide it. It catches the yarn well, and slides through the stitch more easily. If I were writing these instructions into a pattern, this part would say "yo, pull up a loop".

In the photo above, the loop closest to the hook is the loop that I just made by pulling my yarn over through my stitch.

Now, yarn over again, and pull this through all 3 loops on your hook. Now, I do this quickly because I am used to it, but you may find that pulling through the first two loops goes smoothly, and then you need to change the direction of your pull slightly to get through the 3rd loop. I tend to push the non-working end of my hook up into the air a little more as I go through that 3rd loop.

Ta-da! All finished.

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Now, for the decrease stitch. You'll see this one abbreviated like this: hdc2tog. This is short for "half double crochet two stitches together", which means that you are going to turn two stitches into one stitch, or decrease by one stitch. This is helpful when you are doing something besides making squares and rectangles. You use decreases when making hats, or amigurumi (3-D crochet stuffed animals or dolls), or when shaping garments. In the project I'm working on in these photos, I am using decreases to shape a raglan seam in a garment. So, here's how to do it:

Here's how it looks before.

Yarn over (or wrap your yarn around your hook).

Insert your hook under both strands of the next stitch.

Yarn over, and pull that yarn through the stitch, just as you did for the half double crochet.

Now, yarn over again, but don't pull this through the three loops.

Instead, insert your hook into the next stitch.

Yarn over again, and pull this through the stitch.

Now, yarn over one more time...

And pull that yarn over through all five loops! Finished!

I hope this was helpful to you! Please visit me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Ravelry, or Pinterest! I love hearing from you! Interested in this project I was working on? It's my latest crochet pattern! Primary Sweater Dress.

Happy stitching!

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  1. While working on some amigurumi, the author gave an alternative way to do a single crochet decrease using just the front loops stating that this made the stitch harder to see. I wonder if that would work for the hd decrease as well.
    Love the color on your project. :)

    1. Thanks Jamie! I have seen other bloggers/designers suggest other ways to decrease in half-double crochet. I actually don't mind the way this one looks, so I've never worried myself much about it. However, if others are trying to find a way around it, you can't be the only one that dislikes the look of it. Now, weren't you the one that taught me about keeping the top of the butter completely smooth and even??? ;)