Third Loop Half Double Crochet

Welcome crocheter to the 3rd loop half double crochet stitch tutorial! This is a new stitch I’m excited to work on as well using Amber’s tutorial below and her crochet patterns too :) I can’t wait to see what you make using this tutorial!! After the tutorial there is a list of crochet patterns you can go to when you want to make something using your new found knowledge of the 3rd loop half double crochet as well as the previous crochet stitch tutorials also found here.

By Amber Bliss Calderón


Amber has been crocheting since she was 8 years old. At 11, her grandma taught her to read patterns and make doilies. She hasn’t put her hook down since. Her favorite items to crochet are jewelry and amigurumi toys for her children. Her favorite yarn is cotton. Recently, she discovered a passion for creating crocheted garments. When she isn’t crocheting, she is caring for her two children, hanging out with her husband, and teaching English as a Second Language to international university students. You can find Amber’s patterns on her Ravelry.


Half-double crochet is a versatile stitch that gets used in so many patterns. The following tutorial will give you a few new ways to use the stitch to give some texture and individuality to your pieces. This technique is called third-loop half-double crochet (3L hdc). It creates a great ribbing texture by pushing the front and back loops of each hdc stitch (that you would traditionally crochet into) forward on your project so that they create a braided look. There are several ways to create beautiful texture with 3L hdc. A few are described below.


3rd loop hdc

Step 1:

Chain desired number +2. Hdc in 3rd chain from hook and each across.

Third Loop Half Double Crochet

Step 2:

Ch 2, turn. Hdc in the 3L of each stitch across. The third loop is in front of and below the front loop of the stitch.

3rd loop hdc

When working into the 3L, you are working on the back (wrong side) of your work.

3rd loop HDC

You can turn the work over and notice that the front and back loops of the row below have been pushed forward and create a braided look.

3rd loop HDC

Step 3:

Ch 2, turn. Hdc in the back loop of each stitch across. Now you are working on the front (right side) of your work. When working on the front, you will notice that the 3rd loop and the front loop create a similar braided look.

3rd loop HDC

Step 4:

Continue repeating steps 3 and 4 until you have achieved your desired length.  

3rd loop HDC

This shows you what the back (wrong side) of your work looks like.


HDC 3L Alternatives.

3rd loop HDC

 Alternative 1: Hdc in the 3L of each row.  This will give the right and wrong sides of your piece the same look.


3rd loop HDC

Alternative 2: Alternate rows of hdc and sc. Sc into the 3L of each hdc. When crocheting your hdc row, crochet over both loops of sc.


There are many ways to make beautiful ribbed or braided work. Experiment with your rows and the loops that you crochet into. I hope you enjoyed learning about crocheting into the 3rd loop of half-double crochet stitches.


Note - at this time there are no affiliates links below.  If this changes I (Michele) will make note of it here.

Crochet Skirt Pattern


Here are a number of patterns that use the above stitch so you can practice and make some of your first crochet pieces!!!


Topaz Skirt is a beautiful skirt all worked in the 3rd loop HDC and does include the use of the treble crochet stitch.


Crochet Pouch Pattern

Take-Me-to-Market Pouch is an awesome pouch using the 3rd loop HDC and can be used for anything from holding your crochet hooks to a travel purse.


Also, here is a stitch tutorial for the 3rd Loop HDC from the left hand, for those that are left handed.

If you have arthritis or issues with your hands here are some extra tips specifically designed with you in mind. :)

The Arthritis Foundation has an article with specific tips for knitting, crocheting, and cross stitching with arthritic hands. They have specific tips for each craft on things you can do to help make manage your arthritis while still allowing you to enjoy the craft you love.

Every Day Health has an article all about how to knit/crochet with Arthritis with 10 tips for how to keep crocheting/knitting. They even encourage you to crochet and craft with Arthritis because it can actually help you with managing it.

All Free Crochet has a full Crochet and Arthritis Tip Guide for those that have arthritis or issues with their hands complete with information about how to help your hands each time you crochet or craft and tips on how to adjust for your craft based on whether you have a good day or a bad day.

You can also find ergonomic crochet hooks (recommended for those with hand pain to ease it and allow you to crochet longer or at all) among the amazing crochet hook shops of Etsy in an earlier round up of crochet hooks.

For those of us trying to prevent hand pain from repetitive motion hand pain, Yarn Obsession has written an article specifically for us :) She goes through several recommendations for how to keep our hands healthy as well as ways to stretch and items that could help if you crochet a lot (for work or pleasure).

YouTube has several videos where people have discussed tips that have helped them with crocheting or knitting with Arthritis or other health issues that cause your hands and body to be stiff.

Holly Orcutt’s split crochet holder

Holly Orcutt’s split crochet holder

Jen B discusses how she crochets in this 3 minute video and shows you how to best hold the yarn and more.

Holly Orcutt discusses how she uses her split crochet holder to help relieve her hands of pain and fatigue. You can find more of her designs in her Etsy Shop and see one of her designs in the picture to the right.

Motion Works Blog has an article on tips for crocheting and using your hands despite having arthritis and also gives several stretches that you can do to help your hands while crocheting or crafting.

Laughing Hens has an article specifically about stretches (complete with pictures!) that are great for both crocheters and knitters. I think I’ll start doing these too to help my hands when I’m working on a variety of projects!

Thank you for joining us for this 3rd loop half double crochet stitch tutorial! What crochet stitches are you wanting to learn about? I’d also love to hear from you about what types of resources you want more information on as well as Makers you would like to nominate for a Maker Feature! Please email ( or leave a comment on this article! Looking forward to hearing from you and have a great day!