Happy Monday, friends! Welcome to How to Crochet part 5!
Previous lessons can be found under “How To Crochet” in the Topics Menu, which is either on the right of this post (if you’re on desktop) or at the bottom of the page (if you’re on mobile).
This week we’re learning the Double Crochet stitch. Please don’t be intimidated by the length of this tutorial. There’s a ton of pictures and I’m being incredibly specific about what happens where and when. It’s nowhere near as difficult as it looks.
By this point, you should know how to at least chain and single crochet. This is important, because all crochet stitches are based on an understanding of those two things, so if it’s been awhile and you’re feeling foggy, I recommend you take a peek back and refresh your memory.
And with that, let’s begin!
There are two ways to handle a foundation row when you’re planning to use double crochet (abbreviated as DC in most North American crochet patterns you’ll come across, or Tr in UK crochet patterns. Check which terminology the pattern uses before attempting any new piece! I always use North American terms, being a Canadian and therefore located in North America myself). One way is to do a single crochet foundation row on top of that chain and switch to the double-crochet stitch on the first row after the foundation row, and the other is to start the double crochet directly into the chain and therefore have a double crocheted foundation row. I tend to prefer the latter, myself, but ultimately it doesn’t matter THAT much. Do what you’re more comfortable with. If you’re doing a single crochet row as your foundation row, however, you might as well skim over the next little bit of text.
For you double crochet foundation row types, however: chain as usual. When you get to the end of your chain (and if you’re making a dishcloth to practice, I suggest chaining 20 – 40, depending on how large you’d like it to be), turn your piece around with the expectation of making your foundation row.
My son’s little Pikachu toy is cheering us on in the background. I’m a Charmander woman, myself, but I appreciate Pikachu’s enthusiasm in this.
With the piece turned, wrap the yarn over the top of the hook (called “yarn over” or “YO” in patterns. Now that we’re accumulating multiple stitches in our repetoire, we’re going to start using some of the proper language of crochet):
and insert your hook into the third chain from your hook:
You want to work the stitch into the third chain from the hook because this stitch is taller than single crochet and we need to build up the height, so be sure to leave the two empty chains between the chain wrapped around the shaft of the hook and the chain you insert the hook into for the new stitch. Otherwise the first stitch will look like it’s being pulled to one side, and won’t be as tall as the rest of the stitches in the row.
Now, yarn over (remember, that’s wrapping the yarn over the end shaft of your hook from the top) again
and pull through, which will leave you with three loops on the crochet hook. Yarn over yet again, and pull the hooked strand of yarn through the FIRST TWO LOOPS ON YOUR HOOK ONLY and yarn over again. You should be left with something like this on your hook at this point:
To complete the stitch, pull that last hook of yarn through those remaining two loops, leaving you with one loop on the hook and the stitch beneath it, like so:
To review what we’ve done: Yarn over, insert hook in third stitch from shaft, and yarn over again. Pull through, yarn over yet again, and pull through two stitches only. Yarn over again. Pull through remaining stitches to complete the stitch. It’s basically two single crochet stitches on top of one another.
Keep in mind that the only time you skip a chain is at the end/beginning of each row. Make a stitch in each chain of the row from here on out. Continue until you’ve run out of chains, and therefore have completed your double-crochet foundation row.
Okay, single crochet foundation row lovers, you can come back now. It’s time for the main event.
So that it doesn’t interfere with the flow of the stitch, I want to talk about inserting the hook into the row beneath it first. A double crochet stitch looks, close up, like this:
Do you see how there’s two little rectangles in each space between the stitches, a smaller one atop a bigger/taller one? When you insert the hook, you want to insert it right into that top smaller rectangle, NOT the bigger one beneath it.
Width-wise, you also want to make sure you both loops of the stitch (there are some situations where you would use the back loop only or the front loop only, but unless it’s specified you want to be sure to get both. To illustrate what I mean, this is what the row of crochet looks like from the top:
Looking at the light blue stitch, I have it marked as “one loop” and “other loop” (I hope it’s clear which I mean, I’m terrible with computery things. But it’s the two that are lying flat when you’re looking at the room top-down). When you insert your hook, you need to make sure it’s been inserted under BOTH loops.
Now that we understand exactly where we’re inserting our hook when it’s time: when you’ve reached the end of the foundation row, chain 2 and turn. For those of you who skipped the double crochet foundation row instructions, the extra chain is because this stitch is taller than single crochet and needs the extra stitch to allow for the height needed for each new row of double crochet.
Now yarn over and insert the hook into the third loop from the hook (which will be even with the row beneath it)
And, while the hook is still inserted, yarn over again:
And pull that yarn through, so that you have three loops on the shaft of your hook:
Yarn over again, pull that yarn through the first two loops only, leaving two loops on the shaft:
Yarn over again, and pull through the last two loops, leaving you with a single loop on the shaft and the completed stitch beneath the hook.
Let’s review all the parts to a double crochet stitch: Yarn over, insert hook in third stitch from shaft, and yarn over again. Pull through, yarn over yet again, and pull through two stitches only. Yarn over again. Pull through remaining stitches to complete the stitch.
I find that chanting the steps to myself when I’m learning a new stitch is helpful for the first few rows or so. In a more abbreviated form “yarn over, insert, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, pull through two, yarn over, pull through all.”
The only loops you have to skip are the two when you’re starting each row, so from here on out, do each new stitch in the loop next to the last stitch you made until the end of the row (at which point chain two, turn, and carry on in third loop from the hook).
And congratulations, you’ve learned double crochet! Well done!
If this is waaaay too many words to follow in a multi-stage stitch like this one, take heart: I’m starting to write and film the tutorial videos, and I should have a full tutorial for last month’s lessons up (so, beginning to end of a single crochet piece) by the end of February, and a full beginning-to-end of double crochet by the end of March at latest. Hopefully between the two, we can bring as many of you as possible into the ranks of crocheters 🙂
That’s all for this week! Next week, triple crochet!
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Be happy, healthy, and safe!