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From Beginner to Pro: Mastering Double Crochet [+Video]

Welcome to yet another article from my Beginners’ Series, where I talk about basic crochet stitches. Today’s hero is a double crochet stitch, which stands in line right next to a single crochet and a half double.

In the world of crochet, where each stitch tells a story, it’s crucial to know the cornerstones of the craft. The double crochet stitch offers a fantastic blend of speed, adaptability, and elegance. It’s a beloved choice for crocheters of all skill levels.

What is Double Crochet Stitch?

This stitch is one of the basic crochet stitches, often used in drapey, flowy projects. Thanks to its height, it creates lighter and more breathable fabric than a single crochet, for example. Crocheters often pair double crochet stitches with other basic techniques in a wide range of projects – blankets, garments, accessories, and more.

This technique is called Double Crochet (dc) in US terms, and Treble (tr) in UK terms, so remember to check the differences in the table. In crochet diagrams, it’s usually marked by a T-shaped symbol with one crossbar on the stem.

How to Double Crochet Stitch Step-by-Step

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Start with three additional chain stitches (turning chain), or work into the third stitch from the hook.
  2. Yarn over, that is wrap the yarn on the hook back to front.
  3. Insert the hook in the stitch.
  4. Pull up a loop, so that you have three loops on the hook.
  5. Grab the yarn and pull through the first two. You now have two loops on the hook.
  6. Grab the yarn again and pull through.

Repeat these steps for each stitch across the row, turning your work at the end of each row to continue.

Video Tutorial for Right-Handed Crocheters

This tutorial will show you how to make a double crochet.

Video Tutorial for Left-Handed Crocheters

This tutorial will show you slowly how to make a double crochet if you are left-handed.

Photo-Tutorial

Learn more on how to make a double crochet in the article I wrote for YourCrochet.com.

How to work Increases and Decreases with Double Crochet

Shaping crochet pieces is crucial if you work with accessories and garments.

How to 2 dc in one st (Increase)

If you want to increase with double crochet, make two of these stitches in the same stitch.

How to dc2tog (Decrease)

To decrease, follow these steps:

  1. Start as if you were making a regular double crochet, but don’t pull through the last time; you should have two loops on the hook.
  2. Yarn over once and insert your hook in the next stitch.
  3. Pull up a loop – you now should have four loops on the hook.
  4. Grab the yarn and pull through the first two. Now you have three.
  5. Grab the yarn and pull through all.

Tips for Beginners

Learning will be easier if you follow the best practices.

Start with the Basics

A deep understanding of the basics will be a strong foundation for your crochet skills. Learn how to properly hold the yarn and crochet hook, and become a master of a foundation chain.

Observe closely how the stitches are made, so you can understand what you’re doing and quickly fix mistakes. The hours of practice you’ll put into the skills will pay off in the long run, making you comfortable and confident in trying more advanced techniques.

Choose the Right Yarn and Hook

Beginners should start with a smooth, medium-weight yarn and an appropriately sized crochet hook. If you want, you can go bigger and use bulky yarn but don’t go for fine yarns just yet.

To learn basic stitches easily, you should see what you’re doing – a small hook won’t be optimal at this point. Learn more in my article about choosing the right yarn for your project.

Practice Consistent Tension

Keeping the right tension means that your stitches are not too loose, and not too tight. It depends on two major factors: your ability to hold and guide the yarn while working, and your choice of hook size.

You can ensure the former by practicing, practicing, and practicing (there’s no other way!). The latter is also a matter of experience but it’s much easier to achieve. Learn all there is to know about hook sizes and how to match them to your yarn weight. When in doubt, consult the yarn label or experiment.

Count Your Stitches

After every row or round, always count your stitches (twice, if you have the time!). It’s crucial for keeping the edges straight and ensuring that your project stays on track. Use stitch markers to mark the beginning and end of each row – it truly helps!

Seek Help and Resources

Don’t hesitate to reach out for help – whether to crocheters online, facebook groups, or to consult online tutorials and videos. As you may need additional support and encouragement as a beginner, joining online communities or crochet classes is worth considering.

Common Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Learning means making mistakes, so see how to identify and fix them quickly.

Difficulty with Turning Chains

While making turning chains is quite straightforward, working the stitch into one is another story. When you reach the end of the row, your last stitch goes into the turning chain of the row below – a challenge in itself.

If you have problems with this, try using a larger hook size for your turning chains to create bigger stitches, or use alternative methods, such as standing double crochet to ditch the turning chain whatsoever.

Yarn Splitting

Some types of yarn consist of multiple strands that are loosely twisted. You may notice that this yarn tends to split, especially when paired with a small or medium crochet hook with a pointy head. It’s messy, annoying and results in uneven stitches.

Remember to use a smooth crochet hook with a rounded tip and don’t put too much pressure when inserting the hook into the yarn. Let it slide between the strands instead of piercing right through. Always smooth out the split fibers with your fingers and block the piece after you finish.

Miscounted, Skipped, or Extra Stitches

Unintentional mistakes in stitch count will distort your project in terms of shape, texture and overall look. As I mentioned before, counting the stitches as often as possible and using stitch markers are the best ways to make sure you’re on the right track.

If you follow a crochet pattern that tells you to increase or decrease the number of stitches, take notes after each row. This way you will be able to see and fix the mistakes early on.

Crooked Rows

You can end up with crooked rows for multiple reasons, so see if you’re not making these mistakes:

  • You don’t turn the work in the same direction at the end of each row.
  • Your turning chains are inconsistent- you have too many or too few chains.
  • The last stitch of the row doesn’t go into the turning chain.
  • You miscounted the stitches in a row – made too many, or too few.
  • Your tension is inconsistent throughout the piece.

FAQ

What is the difference between double crochet and other basic crochet stitches?

The double crochet stitch is one of the taller stitches – much taller than the single crochet, a little bit taller than the half double, but shorter than the treble crochet stitch. It creates a less dense, drapey fabric.

You can make a double crochet stitch with any yarn and hook, but medium-weight yarn creates the best results. It provides a balance between thickness and flexibility. Choose a crochet hook ranging from 5.5 mm to 6.5 mm, but remember that your choice will affect the look and drape of your fabric.

Can I use double crochet for working in the round?

Sure, you can make circular or tubular crochet projects with double crochet. Popular choices are bags, mandalas, hats, and infinity scarves.

How do I change colors when working double crochet?

You change colors the same way as in other crochet projects. See my tutorial on how to change colors in crochet to learn more.

Can I create textured or lace patterns with double crochet?

Of course, double crochet stitch is often used in textured or lacy patterns. One great example is the alpine stitch, which uses post stitches to make the surface more interesting.

Are there alternative methods for starting a row of double crochet?

Yes, you can use a foundation double crochet method, which doesn’t require making a chain, or go for a standing double crochet to start in the middle of the row. These methods create a neater and more seamless edge.

Can I use double crochet for making garments and accessories?

Absolutely! Double crochet is a common choice for garment patterns such as sweaters, tops, or cardigans, as well as scarves, bags, and shawls. The structure it creates is light and breathable, perfect for wearable pieces.

Summary

As you can see, the double crochet stitch is a fundamental stitch in one’s repertoire of crochet techniques. Its simplicity and versatility have won the hearts of designers all around the world. The combination of height and texture makes it a fantastic choice for crochet garments, accessories, and home decor.

I hope that by understanding the basics and practicing, you can master the double crochet stitch to use it in your future projects. The possibilities are endless, inviting you to experiment and innovate!


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