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.!
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:
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.
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.
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:
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):
Then, to finish the hdc, we yarn over and pull through all 3 loops:
And another shot after I got carried away editing that picture:
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:
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:
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.
Just keep repeating these two rows for as long as you want…and that’s it!
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!