I like half-double crochet (hdc, half-treble in UK terms). It’s one of those modest crochet stitches: not as low and humble as the single crochet, not as tall and exuberant as the double crochet. It’s just about the right height, leaving the perfect amount of space between stitches for a nice spring/summer top without showing too much.
But there is one thing about the hdc that really annoys me… those pesky loopy rows it leaves on both sides of the fabric.
If like me you also despise loopy rows, fear not my fellow crocheter, for I have got your back! Today I will show you how to avoid those extra loops using…
The loop-free hdc stitch!
Have you ever noticed that the hdc stitch has 3 loops? Seriously, have a look:
In a hdc stitch there are always 3 loops: the two top loops that form when you work any crochet stitch (red and blue) and a third one that just sort of hangs down on the hdc stitch (green). By working these 3 loops in different ways, you can avoid those loopy rows to show on the right side of your fabric and I will teach you how!
In all pictures henceforth, regardless whether you’re working on the wrong side or on the right side, the 3 loops will be colour coded in the following way:
Red – back loop, the loop furthest way from you
Blue – middle loop
Green – front loop, the loop closest to you
This will help you understand the instructions throughout this tutorial.
Now lets start with the right side (RS) of your work facing you. You have worked your foundation chains and a couple of hdc rows.
When the right side of your work is facing you, you will only see 2 loops: the middle and the front loops, marked in blue and green, respectively. The red loops will be at the back, you can see them if you tilt your work a little.
When working on the right side, you will always work your hdc on the middle and front loops (blue and green).
Work the entire hdc row like that, always on the middle and front loops. See? It’s looking neater already!
This is because you are sending all the extra loops to the back of your work. So this is what the wrong side (WS) should be looking like:
Now when working on the wrong side (WS), you will work your normal hdc on the back and middle loops (red and blue), leaving the front loops (green) hanging down.
Work like this until the end of the row.
Continue working your middle and front loops on the right side and your back and middle loops on the wrong side. If you are working in the round without turning, that means you will always be working on the right side, so keep working on those middle and front loops all the way!
This will make a much more even look on the right side, without any extra loops hanging around.
And the wrong side of your work will be evenly looped, just in case you actually like the loopy look!
Now go on, pick up that hook and give it a try! You know you want to! 😉