Working into the 3rd Loop of HDC

One of my very favorite ways to add a little extra dimension into a crochet design is to use this technique of working into what is commonly called the third loop of half double crochet (hdc) stitches. What it does is it forces the top two loops of the stitch (where we normally work into, either working under both loops or the front loop only or back loop only) to sort of pop forward and sit at more of an angle so that you get this row of Vs sitting on the surface of your fabric kind of like a braid.


Here are a few rows of half double crochets worked into the 3rd loop (seven rows to be exact, if you're wondering!):

The place where you insert your hook is located on the back side of the stitch and it is the loop that is created by the yarn over. It sits just below the top two loops (again, on the "wrong" side of the hdc) at a bit of an angle. Which way it angles depends on if you're crocheting right handed or left handed but it's the first "bar" you'll see down below the back loop of the V on top of the stitch.


You'll find the same sort of bar on the back side of single crochet (sc) and double crochet (dc) stitches, but the loop is much snugger on these stitches and so it's more difficult to work into than that yarn over that's left available with the half double crochet stitch.


If you've ever worked a series of graduated stitches, for example, if you did 5 sc, 5 hdc, and then 5 dc, then you may have noticed that the backside of your fabric will have a slightly different look for those hdc stitches. It's that yarn over that you notice on the back side of your half double crochet stitches!


Let's have a look.


So here's a swatch with those 15 stitches I mentioned above:

And here's the backside of it:

Can you see a bit of those extra looking angled loops in the middle there?


Here, let's point them out with some red:

Those are the yarn overs of the half double crochet stitches, and our target when working into the 3rd loop! They're about the same size


Just for giggles, here are the "third loops" of the single crochet stitches in yellow and the double crochet stitches in blue:

Do you see how much smaller they are? And it all but disappears on that last single crochet stitch, right!? So you CAN work into these loops to create a similar effect, popping those top two loops forward, but it's much more fiddly. As always, though, I encourage you to give it a try and decide for yourself what you do and do not like!


But I digress. Here's a look at a swatch with several of those rows worked back and forth and this, to me, is where those half doubles start to stand out:

Do you see the two "lines" created by the backside of the hdc stitches in the middle there? You could, of course, use this as a design element! But there's also a pretty easy way to avoid it - try the extended single crochet!


But I'm getting distracted again!


Let's have a look now at how exactly we work into those third loops, shall we?

Now, this was one of my first tutorial videos, so don't judge me too harshly! And clearly I decided I like the "informal" way of doing these because I've never done another highly edited tutorial video again! Simple and to the point is all I need.


This one focuses on working into the 3rd loop of half double crochets while working back and forth in rows, but you can also work it in the round, which I do touch on towards the end of the video. It's pretty similar, you just have to find the bar on the backside of your fabric while the front is facing, which means you're coming at the stitch from the top down instead of from the bottom up.


So. Here are some written instructions for you! I'll write out the steps for working both sc and hdc into the 3rd loop in both rows and rounds.


Written instructions for working into the 3rd loop of hdc:


Hdc in 3rd Loop in Rows:


Step 1: with Wrong Side of previous row facing, yarn over (yo) and insert hook from bottom to top under diagonal bar located directly below top 2 loops of hdc.


Step 2: yo and pull up a loop (3 loops on hook).


Step 3: yo and pull through all 3 loops on hook to complete hdc.


Hdc in 3rd Loop in the Round:


Step 1: with Right Side facing, yo and insert hook from top to bottom under diagonal bar located directly below top 2 loops on back side of hdc.


Step 2: yo and pull up a loop (3 loops on hook).


Step 3: yo and pull through all 3 loops on hook to complete hdc.


Sc in 3rd Loop in Rows:


Step 1: with Wrong Side of previous row facing, insert hook from bottom to top under diagonal bar located directly below top 2 loops of hdc.


Step 2: yo and pull up a loop (2 loops on hook).


Step 3: yo and pull through both loops on hook to complete sc.


Sc in 3rd Loop in the Round:


Step 1: with Right Side facing, insert hook from top to bottom under diagonal bar located directly below top 2 loops on back side of hdc.


Step 2: yo and pull up a loop (2 loops on hook).


Step 3: yo and pull through both loops on hook to complete sc.

And there we have it! LOTS of options for working into the 3rd loop of half double crochet stitches. You can, of course, work other stitches into the 3rd loop, too. Doubles, trebles, even multi-stitch sequences!


To be honest, though, with my own designs, I work single crochets into the 3rd loop more often than any other stitch.


Next time, I'll share with you some of the designs I've done using this technique!


In the meantime, if you'd like to peruse on your own, here's a gallery of my more recent patterns: https://www.crochetcetera.com/patterns


Check out my other tutorials, too! And yes, they're all "informal" just like this one! Just like I like it.


Cheers!

0 comments