Knit-Look Crochet Tutorial: How to do Third-Loop HDC in Rows

If that title sent you running, come back! It’s not rocket-science, although it can be hard to explain in words…which is why this post will be chock-full of pictures!

But first I want to mention what I’ll be using in this tutorial. Recently I went shopping with my lovely aunt and uncle, and they got me a pulchritudinous wooden hand-carved crochet hook. *cue squealing* I will be posting a “review” (really just me fangirling about this hook) soon, but all I can say is I’m absolutely in LOVE and I never want to crochet with anything else again. Thank you, Great and Auntie T.! 

IMG_4188

I’m sure some of you have heard of the magical third-loop half-double crochet (half-treble crochet for my UK friends). If you haven’t, check out this Moogly tutorial before you proceed. Basically, by working hdc into the “hidden” loop, you get a squishy, knit-look ribbing that looks like this:

Third-Loop HDC in rows

Third-Loop HDC in rows (these first 2 pictures have NOT been rotated – iPhoto didn’t want to cooperate)

I’ve seen this used in a lot of patterns, and I absolutely love it. But one thing always bothered me: the “ribs” are really far apart. Since you’re turning your work, every other row is facing away from the right side (RS). If you work in rounds, you can avoid this, but not every project is done in the round.

Third-Loop HDC in rounds

Third-Loop HDC in rounds

For ages I’ve wanted to figure out a way to do the 3rd Loop HDC in rows, and still have it look like the above picture. But since all my experiments failed, I stopped trying.

Until last Friday night, when I was aimlessly crocheting. I was double-crocheting and accidentally dropped the loop from my hook. It was far from the first time I’ve messed up while crocheting, but I still studied it for a minute.

A loop on the hook, a loop coming out of the next stitch, and a strand of yarn connecting them.

A loop on the hook, a loop coming out of the next stitch, and a strand of yarn connecting them.

If we’re looking at the Anatomy of a Half-Double Crochet, that connecting strand is what forms the third loop. It wraps over the hook like this:

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And then we put the hook into the stitch and pull up a loop (that pull-up-a-loop is the one sticking out in this picture):

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Then, to finish the hdc, we yarn over and pull through all 3 loops:

Hdc complete! You can see the third-loop in this picture.

Hdc complete! You can see the third-loop in this picture.

And another shot after I got carried away editing that picture:

IMG_4166

This is where my epiphany occurred. The third loop appears at the back of the stitch because that’s how we wrapped that “connecting” yarn around the hook. So if we wrapped it a different way, the third loop could end up at the front, without changing anything else about the stitch.

We’d have a fabric that looked like THIS:

Third-loop HDC in rows, alternating YO and YU

Third-loop HDC in rows, alternating YO and YU

Exciting, isn’t it? It opens up a whole new world of crochet st –

Wait, I see an opportunity…

Sorry! I cannot resist an opportunity to quote Disney movies!

Anyway, have I drawn this out long enough? Do you want me to stop monologuing and show you how to do the stitch? Very well, your wish is my command. 🙂

How to do Third-Loop HDC in Rows

I’d suggest starting with a row of Foundation HDC, because it makes the first row look a lot better. But if you really don’t want to do that, then chain the # of stitches you want for your project, then add 2. I’d try 12 for making a swatch. Then hdc in the 3rd ch from your hook and in each ch across.

Whichever method you choose, this will be the RIGHT SIDE of your work. Mark it with a safety pin/stitch marker/random scrap of yarn you found on the floor if that makes it easier.

Wrong-Side Rows: Chain 2 and turn, then yarn-under hdc across in the third loop of the previous hdc. Don’t panic, here are some step-by-step pictures:

At the end of the first row (I did 10 foundation half double crochets.)

At the end of the first row (I did 10 foundation half double crochets.)

You're going to be sticking your hook under the third-loop of that last HDC (marked by the helpful purple paperclip.)

You’re going to be sticking your hook under the third-loop of that last HDC (marked by the helpful purple paperclip.)

But first we need to Yarn Under (hereinafter referred to as

But first we need to Yarn Under (hereinafter referred to as “YU”.) So pull the yarn up and over the hook as shown.

Then stick your hook into the indicated stitch.

Then stick your hook into the indicated stitch.

This next step is kind of odd, but basically, you'll be yarning OVER - except since you just yarn UNDERed, it will look a bit strange. Just make sure it looks like this picture, and you'll be good.

This next step is kind of odd, but basically, you’ll be yarning OVER – except since you just yarn UNDERed, it will look a bit strange. Just make sure it looks like this picture, and you’ll be good.

Then pull up a loop. This and the next picture are some in-progress shots.

Then pull up a loop. This and the next picture are some in-progress shots.

Another in-progress picture.

Another in-progress picture.

Finished with three loops on the hook. In a normal hdc, the middle loop will be slanted from back to front, but see how it's going from front to back? That's how you can tell it's a YU hdc.

Finished with three loops on the hook. In a normal hdc, the middle loop will be slanted from back to front, but see how it’s going from front to back? That’s how you can tell it’s a YU hdc. To finish the stitch, yarn over and pull through ALL THREE LOOPS.

So do YU HDCs all the way to the end of the row. But the last stitch will be a little different because you want to put the hook under two loops, so it doesn’t stretch out. I took a picture of this, but the picture mysteriously disappeared, so I hope this makes sense. You can use a random loop from the front of the hdc – it’s fairly intuitive if you’re doing it. If you can’t figure out the two-loop thing, don’t worry about it…there might be some bigger spaces along the side, but nothing life-threatening. (I don’t think crochet is life-threatening anyway, unless you’re allergic to yarn – or if you’re crocheting while you walk and fall off a cliff or something. But I digress.)

Now for the Right-Side Rows: Chain 2, turn, hdc in the third loop across, making last stitch as described above.

Chain 2, turn, yarn over and put your hook into the indicated stitch (thank you, purple paperclip!)

Chain 2, turn, yarn over and put your hook into the indicated stitch (thank you, purple paperclip!)

Here's a picture showing the two loops you should use at the end of the row. :)

Here’s a picture showing the two loops you should use at the end of the row. 🙂

After three rows, the ribs are already forming!

After three rows, here’s what it looks like for me. I love Lucy yarn! 🙂

Just keep repeating these two rows for as long as you want…and that’s it!

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I hope this all made sense, and I didn’t bore you with my ramblings – I just wanted to share my accidental discovery with you all. 🙂 Now I’m off to work on some blog-related things…hope you have a wonderful day filled with yarn and chocolate!

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