Of the handful of simple crochet stitches that you will learn when first starting to crochet, the double crochet is among the most versatile and useful of the beginner stitches.
As you delve deeper into the world of crochet, you’ll find that the double crochet pops up a lot in patterns.
Meaning, once you have mastered the stitch, you’ll be ready to take on a whole new level of crocheting.
Before diving into the technicalities of the double crochet stitch, you’ll want to brush up on some of your fundamentals first.
Fundamentals such as the proper technique for holding your hook and the simplest yet most crucial skill, creating a slip stitch.
Holding Your Hook
There are two correct ways to hold a hook while crocheting. It’s up to you to determine which one is most comfortable for you. The first way is to hold your hook the same way you would hold your pen or pencil, between your thumb and index finger.
This particular method is most commonly used when you work with thread or lightweight yarn, as it allows for precision and delicate movements. This technique utilizes wrist movements.
Or you may find it more comfortable to hold your hook between your index finger and thumb, in the same fashion you might when using a knife to cut food on your plate.
Here you will be using your shoulder for movements more than you would your wrist. It’s definitely more commonly used when crocheting with yarn.
Quick Review of the Slip Knot
This can be done with your hook or just with your fingers. Slip knots are crucial in crocheting, as they are necessary to start your foundation chain.
Once you get this one down, the rest will be smooth sailing. Simply create a loop out of the end portion of your yarn between your fingers.
Then take the tail of yarn that is crossing in the front and loop it back, sticking the middle portion of that piece of yarn through the loop without pulling it all the way through. And there you have it, a slip stitch.
As Always, Begin with Your Foundation Chain
Before you can begin learning a double crochet stitch, a foundation chain needs to be created. If you are already well versed in creating a simple foundation chain, go ahead and crochet about 10-15 chains to give yourself some room to work with.
Unless you are working with a pattern, in which case it will instruct you on how long of a foundation chain to create.
Yarn Over and Insert Your Hook into the Chain
The first and most simple step in creating a double crochet stitch is to yarn over. Your hook is already positioned in the loop of the last chain you’ve created. You will take the working yarn and cross it over your hook.
Now that you have done your yarn over, you will stick your hook into the third chain from your hook. The reason being, the first two stitches that you skipped will count as your first double crochet. Doing this will make for a smoother, more uniformed look to the end of your work.
Yarn Over Again and Pull Through
Now that you’ve done your initial yarn over and hook insertion into the third chain from your hook, it’s time for the next step in the process. You will now yarn over your hook while it is still in the third chain. Then pull that yarn through the chain where you put your hook through initially (Third chain from the hook).
Again, only pull the yarn through the chain, not the initial yarn over that you did. You should now have three loops on your crochet hook.
Yarn Over Again, and Pull-Through Two Loops Only
Now you have three loops on your hook, and you are ready for the next yarn over step. This time you will yarnover while still holding your three loops on your hook and proceed to pull that yarn through the first two loops. This will result in you having two loops on your crochet hook.
Finally, Yarn Over and Complete Your Double Crochet
Now it is time to see the product of all of your yarning over and pulling through, as you are about to pull the whole stitch together and see your end result. With your two loops on your hook, you will now do your final yarn over and pull through your two loops. There you have it, a double crochet stitch.
It may not have come out perfect on your first try, but don’t give up. Once you have this stitch down it will become second nature to you. One day soon, you will find yourself sitting in front of the television mindlessly crocheting one double crochet after the next as you work to complete your second afghan before the cold weather comes around.
Summary of the Steps You’ve Just Learned
Real quick, here’s a run-through of the steps you’ve just mastered, in a few brief bullet points.
- Create a foundation chain
- Yarn over
- Insert your hook into the third chain from the hook (unless the pattern states otherwise)
- Yarn over once again
- Pull that yarn through
- Yarn over again
- Pull the yarn only through the first two loops on the hook
- Yarn over
- Finally, pull the yarn through the remaining two loops
- Now you have a double crochet
Completing a Row of Double Crochet
Remember those first three chains you skipped at the end of your foundation row, before beginning your double crochet?
That’s the only time in a piece of work that you will need to skip those (Unless instructed otherwise by your pattern).
To complete a row of double crochet stitches, you just need to repeat the steps above, over and over.
After each double crochet stitch, beginning the next in the chain directly beside it unless otherwise instructed.
Turning to Start a New Row
Once you’ve reached the end of the length of your foundation row in double crochets, that means it’s time to turn and start your next row.
Instead of skipping three to create what counts as your first double crochet, you will now chain three before proceeding with your first double crochet of the new row. These three single chains will count as your first double crochet in the new row.
Once you have done your chain three, you can go ahead and yarn over to begin the double crochet process again in the next stitch.
This is the process that you can continue on with as you move down the length of your foundation chain and beyond.
It is no lie that the double crochet stitch is incredibly versatile and useful in infinite patterns. Mastering the double crochet may take some time and serious focus initially, but as previously mentioned, it will be a piece of cake once you get going.
Soon you’ll be that person who tells themselves “one more row” before bed. That “one more row” will then turn into 30 rows and a half of a scarf.
The Versatility of the Double Crochet Stitch
Although the uses and variations of what can be done with a double crochet stitch are limitless, it’s only right that you get a small peek into all that can be done with this special stitch.
For instance, once you really get going with the double crochet stitch, choosing to work int the back loop rather than the front is a simple, yet major game-changer. As far as texture and appearance go.
Increasing and decreasing within your work; using double crochet stitches is also an option. You won’t always be creating something that is made of straight lines, squares, or rectangles. As your projects become more complex, you’ll need to be able to increase and decrease within your work.
This can easily be accomplished by putting two double crochet stitches into the same stitch (decrease) or two stitched into the row just below the one you are working on (increase).
Wrapping It All Up
As you continue on your crocheting journey, keep the double crochet stitch fresh in your arsenal of stitches. You will most definitely be needing it often. From afghans and scarves to hats and teddy bears, it serves a significant purpose in numerous yarn creations.
You will continue to learn many other basic and advanced crochet stitches, such as the half double crochet, puff stitch, star stitch, and so many others. The double crochet stitch will never fail to pop up in many future patterns that you intend to take on.
We hope you find this guide useful and we are eager to see what you make with it. Share some of your creations with us in the comments below!