Easy crochet tutorial on how to make a straight seam with half double crochet stitches when you are working in the round.
Isn’t half double crochet annoying? Well, not in general, it’s a lovely stitch after all and I am using it a lot. But I am talking about the seam. That dreaded seam when you are working in the round.
If you have ever tried making a hat with half double crochet stitches, you know exactly what I am talking about. All other stitches stay nice and tall and producing a nice straight seam when crocheting in the round. But the half double crochet? No! Absolutely not!
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It insists on creating a slanted seam that is so annoying! Why? Why can’t he play nicely like all other stitches?
Well, it’s basically because of its unique shape. The fact that we yarn over and then pull all three loops on the hook, might have to do something with its preference of slanting to the right. The base of the stitch and the space that you place the stitch of the top row are not in alignment. This definitely helps push every round just a little to the right.
What can we do to crochet a straight hdc seam? Some simple tricks that can be applied to almost every pattern out there will do a fine job.
Keep reading or watch the small video tutorial on how to crochet a straight hdc seam.
How to create a straight hdc seam
This method will work if:
1. You are crocheting in joined rounds. That is when you get to the end of a round, you will join with a slip stitch and then continue with the next round.
2.The chain at the beginning of the round does NOT count as a stitch.
3. The number of half double crochet stitches in each round stays the same (no increases).
This method is explained by other people out there but what I like to do a combination of two techniques. The first technique is by skipping a stitch and increasing at the end of the round, and the second is the invisible join method.
Let’s start explaining things.
First technique: Skipping and adding
How this basically works is by misplacing a stitch in every other round.
Work your first round as you would normally do. One half double crochet stitch in each stitch around. Join with a slip stitch in the first hdc stitch of the round.
In the next round skip the first stitch, work one half double crochet stitch in each stitch around until you get to your last stitch. Make 2 hdc in that last stitch. Join with a slip stitch in the first stitch of the round, which is actually in the second “spot” since we skipped that first stitch.
Making two half double crochet stitches in the last stitch is actually an increase, but since we skipped that first stitch the final stitch count stays the same.
No matter what, keep joining in the first stitch of the round and not the chain. Keep alternating those two rounds for as long as you have to. You may have to do some experimenting yourself because I have found that the way someone crochets, tights or loose, may affect the results.
Also, different kinds of yarn weights may affect the result. I have found that the heavier the yarn the harder it will be to hide the seam.
How it works
By skipping the first stitch you create a slight slanting to the left to overcorrect the natural right slant of the half double crochet.
Let’s see now how this will look in a pattern. Let’s say you have 20 stitches in every round.
R1: fhdc 20 (or chain 21, hdc in the second chain from the hook and in all chains), sl st, ch 1 (20)
R2: hdc in each st around, sl st, ch 1 (20)
R3: sk first st, hdc in 18 sts, 2 hdc in last st, sl st, ch 1 (20)
Keep working R2 and R3 for as long as you have to.
I have seen people repeating only R3. And it works fine for them. For me, after a while, the seam starts slanting to the left. That’s why I mentioned that you might have to do some experimenting yourself.
Try with a small swatch, like the one I mentioned above, and your preferred yarn and hook, and give it a go, before you dive in and try it in a pattern that you may have to frog multiple times.
Or, if you want to give it a go in an actual pattern, I used this technique in my crochet fingerless gloves, and it worked like a charm!
Second technique: The invisible join method
You may have noticed that I didn’t mention much about chaining at the beginning of the round in the first technique explanation. That’s what we are going to cover now.
First of all, I always like to chain 1 when I work hdc in the round. The standard used to be that you chain 1 for a sc, 2 for a hdc, and 3 for a dc. I believe that is the old way of doing things and that it creates additional bulk at the beginning of a round.
But then again, it’s only preference and it may work differently for you based on the way you crochet.
To make a join almost invisible, you really have to do one simple thing. Tighten that slip stitch join as much as you can. That’s it!
Make a slip stitch in the first stitch as I mentioned before and before you chain 1 and proceed with the next round, pull that slip stitch up. This will tighten the stitch making it almost invisible. Repeat the same process with the chain 1. Check out the photo tutorial below.
Make the slip stitch as usual but pull the loop up to tighten it.
… and pull again the loop up to tighten it. That’s it! Proceed as usual.
How it works
By tightening the slip stitch and the chain 1, you are actually making the seam smaller and less visible by reducing the space it consumes……
I would like to stress out again that different yarns will produce different results. The thinner the yarn, the better the result. The seam will be almost invisible with fingering weight yarn, but you will be able to see it when you are using bulky yarn or something thicker.
But it will be much better than the usual seam. With some yarns, you may have to totally omit the chain 1. Try it out! Experiment. See what works best.
And that’s it! I have found great success when I combined those two methods. Will you try it? Share your progress in the comments below.