What are yo, hdc and dc? – Crochet Basics

In my last crochet basics entry, I covered four of the most basic concepts in the art form. The next two basic stitches are shown in patterns as hdc and dc.

If you already know how to do the single crochet stitch, you’ll know how to do this. YO stands for “yarn over”. It’s done by looping the yarn over your crochet hook from behind, and it’s used in every crochet stitch.

It’s also used to leave small holes in the project for either decorative purposes, or to serve as button holes.

This abbreviation stands for “half double crochet”. It’s a bit taller than the sc, but not quite as tall as the next stitch. It’s actually pretty easy to do.

When starting a row with an hdc, chain on 3 extra stitches. That’s because you’ll start in the third stitch from the hook when doing this technique. You need to skip those stitches in order to keep the stitching even across the row.

The arrow points to the stitch you’ll start.

For the first stitch on the first row, follow these instructions:

1. Yarn over
2. Slip your hook into the third stitch from the hook, yo, and pull the loop through. You’ll now have three loops on your hook.
3. Yarn over, and pull the loop through all three.

For all subsequent stitches in the row, just do steps 2 and 3. Easy enough, right?

Here’s what the steps look like.

If you’ll be doing a second row of hdc, chain on three new stitches after turning your work, and start in the first stitch of the last row. From there, the process is the same. I’ve put together a graphic to illustrate the process for you.

In crochet, dc stands for “double crochet”. It has this name because it’s twice as high as the single crochet stitch. Although it’s very similar to the hdc, there are a couple of key differences to the technique.

For starters, instead of starting in the third stitch from the hook when beginning a project with this technique, you’ll start from the fourth, which means you’ll need to chain on 4 extra stitches.

Convenient black arrow is conveniently pointing out the stitch to start in.

From there, these are the steps to follow:

1. Yarn over.
2. Slip hook into fourth stitch down.
3. Pull loop through the stitch. You’ll now have three stitches on your hook.
4. Yarn over, and pull loop through the first two stitches on your hook. You should now have two stitches left.
5. Yarn over, and pull loop through the remaining stitches on the hook.

Like with the hdc, subsequent stitches in the first row will each be done with the dc. No need to skip any.

When you want to do a second row of dc, chain on three extra stitches, like the hdc. Then start in the first stitch of the last row, and repeat the above steps. Here’s a graphic of what it’ll look like as you work your second row.

The dc and hdc stitches are commonly used to add interest to pieces, or as a way to add a little extra bulk. Once you get the hang of them, they’re very easy to do, but they are commonly confused when you’re first getting started.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below, and remember to check back every week for the next installment of this series.

Happy crocheting!

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