Are you tired of the frustrating struggle that comes with chain starters in your crochet projects? Well, say goodbye to that annoyance and get ready to say hello to a game-changing stitch that will revolutionize your crochet experience. In this article, I will break down each step as I show you how to foundation half double crochet.
No more dealing with those pesky chain starters! Get ready to elevate your crochet skills to new heights as I guide you step-by-step through this transformative technique using written steps, photo tutorials and a video tutorial. So grab your crochet hook and let’s dive in!
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UNDERSTANDING THE FOUNDATION HALF DOUBLE CROCHET:
To truly appreciate the beauty and power of the foundation half double crochet stitch, it helps to understand its inner workings. This technique not only eliminates the need for chain starters but also lays the foundation for a strong and flexible structure to your crochet projects. By taking the time to grasp the fundamentals of this stitch, you’ll be well on your way to creating stunning and seamless designs.
At its core, the foundation half double crochet stitch combines elements of both the chain stitch and the half double crochet stitch. It allows you to create a sturdy base row while simultaneously working the first row of stitches. Essentially, you’re making your chain AND your first row of half double crochet at the same time.
I KNOW, right!?
This eliminates the need for a separate starting chain and ensures a more durable and even result.
FOUNDATION HALF DOUBLE CROCHET ABBREVIATION:
The foundation half double crochet is also commonly referred to as the “chainless foundation half double crochet”. In a pattern using US terms, the foundation half double crochet stitch abbreviated: fhdc. In UK terms, it is called the foundation half treble crochet. Moving forward in this article, for simplicity, I often refer to the stitch using just it’s abbreviation of “fhdc”.
THE MAJOR BENEFITS:
One of the biggest advantages of using the fhdc stitch is its versatility. Unlike traditional chain starters, this stitch allows you to simultaneously create the foundation chain and the first row of half double crochet stitches. This means you can easily adjust the length of your foundation row as you go, making it easier to achieve the desired size for your project. No more counting and recounting chains to ensure you have the right length — the foundation half double crochet stitch simplifies the process, giving you more time to focus on the creative aspects of your project.
In addition to its flexibility, the foundation half double crochet stitch also creates a more even and professional-looking edge. With traditional chain starters, it’s common to see a noticeable gap between the foundation row and the subsequent rows, which can affect the overall appearance of your project. However, with the fhdc, this gap is significantly reduced, resulting in a seamless transition between rows. This not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your projects but also provides a more polished and refined finish.
Another beautiful thing about this stitch is that it starts your project off with the proper tension. Starting chains are often tighter than the second row of your project, creating an awkward difference in tension and length between the two rows.
Furthermore, the foundation half double crochet stitch offers greater stability and durability to your crocheted items. By eliminating the chains at the beginning of your projects, you eliminate a potential weak point that could easily stretch or distort over time. This is especially beneficial for projects that will be subjected to regular wear and tear, such as blankets, scarves, or garments. With the fhdc, you can be confident that your creations will stand the test of time.
So let’s learn how to do it!
HOW TO FHDC:
As with any new technique, mastering the foundation half double crochet stitch may take some practice. However, the rewards are well worth the effort. Once you become comfortable with this stitch, you’ll no longer dread those chain starters and you’ll be able to approach your crochet projects with newfound confidence and excitement.
To begin, grab your crochet hook and yarn of choice. Remember to choose a hook size that complements the weight of your yarn. As with any new technique, it’s always helpful to practice with a scrap piece of yarn before diving into your main project.
To execute the fhdc, begin by forming a slip knot on your hook and chain 2. Then, yarn over and insert your hook into the 2nd ch from the hook. Next, yarn over and pull up a loop. Yarn over again and pull through one loop on your hook. This creates the chain stitch that serves as the base of your foundation row. Finally, yarn over again and pull through the final 3 loops on your hook. This last step creates your first half double crochet.
FHDC WRITTEN STEPS:
- Slip knot onto your hook and chain 2
- Yarn over and insert your hook into the 2nd ch from the hook
- Yarn over and pull up a loop (3 loops on the hook)
- Yarn over again and draw the yarn through the first loop on your hook. (3 loops on your hook)
- Yarn over again and draw the yarn through all three loops on your hook.
Each foundation half double crochet stitch moving forward will follow the same steps (2-5) except for on step 2, instead of inserting your hook into the 2nd chain, you’ll be inserting your hook under both loops of the chain you made in Step 4 above.
WRITTEN STEPS WITH PHOTO TUTORIALS:
1. Slip knot onto your hook and chain 2
2. Yarn over and insert your hook into the 2nd ch from the hook
3. Yarn over and pull up a loop (3 loops on the hook)
4. Yarn over again and draw the yarn through the first loop on your hook. (3 loops on your hook)
5. Yarn over again and draw the yarn through all three loops on your hook
VIDEO TUTORIAL – HOW TO FOUNDATION HALF DOUBLE CROCHET:
TROUBLESHOOTING ISSUES WITH THE FOUNDATION HALF DOUBLE CROCHET:
The main issues that come up when making your fhdc row are tension related. These are the top 3 issues that come up when making this stitch. If you notice any of the following concerns, take note of these tips:
SYMPTOM: My foundation half double crochet is bending like a banana!
Diagnosis: Your “chain row” is coming along tighter that your “half double crochet” row on top
Treatment: When you pull up your loop in Step 3, be sure you’re pulling up enough yarn. It should match the height of all the loops on your hook when you’re holding your row vertically (UP AND DOWN).
SYMPTOM: My foundation half double crochet has so many gaps and looks “unravelled”!
Diagnosis: Your tension is too loose
Treatment: Tighten up on your yarn in your yarn-working hand so you’re not pulling through as much yarn when you’re making your stitches.
SYMPTOM: My foundation half double crochet is so rigid. There’s no flexibility to it!
Diagnosis: Your tension is too tight
Treatment: Loosen up on your yarn in your yarn-working hand so you can easily pull through more yarn as you’re making your stitches so they won’t be so tight.
The foundation half double crochet stitch is a game-changer for any crochet enthusiast. By understanding and mastering this stitch, you can bid farewell to the frustrating chain starters that have held you back. With its flexibility, improved edge, and enhanced durability, this stitch truly revolutionizes the way we approach crochet.
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LOOKING TO LEARN OR REFINE SOME OTHER CROCHET SKILLS? Here are some articles you might like:
- How to Foundation Single Crochet (fsc)
- How to Single Crochet Stitch (sc)
- How to Half Double Crochet Stitch (hdc)
- How to Double Crochet Stitch (dc)