Half Double Crochet Cluster Stitch Tutorial and Free Pattern

The Half Double Cluster Stitch Crochet   by Janice Jones  

The cluster stitch family is a crochet classic. This name is given to the whole group of stitches with different names but similar crochet techniques.

For the half-double crochet cluster, you start with a stitch in the first stitch and continue it in the next stitch.That way you keep the same number of stitches you started with. The next stitch is started in the same space as the last stitch.

It may seem complicated at first, but it is actually very easy and once you get the hang of it, it is very fast.

A swatch of the half double crochet cluster stitch

It creates a decorative stitch that is very beginner-friendly and can be used to make a wide variety of different items, such as pillow covers, blankets, or dishcloths. It creates a thick textured fabric that looks good on the front and the back. The downside is that it uses a lot of yarn.

There are directions for making a pot holder at the end of this tutorial, so if you prefer, jump to the half-double crochet cluster stitch potholder free pattern.

You can crochet cluster stitches by using single crochets, half double crochet,  double crochets, or treble crochets. The number of stitches in a cluster can be different. The more stitches included in a group, the larger and more decorative stitch you will get.

In this tutorial, we will concentrate on the half double crochet worked over two stitches.

Step-by-Step Half Double Crochet Cluster Stitch Tutorial

A closeup of the half double crochet cluster stitch

To practice, you will need some yarn and the right-size hook for your chosen yarn. Before making clusters, you will need to create a slip knot and make a chain with any number of chains.

For this tutorial, I will be making a chain of 14 stitches. This is just a sample swatch for demonstration purposes. If you were making a scarf, you would want to create a chain for the width of the scarf or another project you are making.

Skill Level

Easy

Skill level easy per the Craft Yarn Council

Skills Needed

Notes

  • All Instructions are in US Terms. 
  • The cluster stitch I am demonstrating uses a one row repeat.  I've seen these done differently, but this is my method for doing them.
  • Achieving a good tension can be a little tricky with this stitch because you want to work a little looser than you might otherwise to be able to pull through all five loops on the hook. 

Abbreviations Used in this Tutorial

These are the abbreviations I will be using in this tutorial:

ch st = chain stitch

ch sp = chain space

yo= yarn over

hdc = half double crochet

Step One:  Slip Knot and Chain

Make a slip knot and loosely chain any number of chains for a practice swatch. 

Step Three:  Row One

  • Yarn over and insert your hook into the 3rd chain from the hook.  Yarn over and pull up a loop. Now before pulling through as you normally would, yarn over and insert your hook into the next chain and pull up a loop. (5 loops on the hook.)
  • Now, Yarn over and pull through all five loops.
  • To start your next cluster, yarn over and insert your hook into the same chain space as your previous cluster.  Yarn over and pull up a loop, then yarn over and insert your hook into the next chain space. Yarn over and pull through.  There are five loops on the hook.  Yarn over and pull through all five loops.
  • Do this across the row.  Chain 2 and turn.

Step Four:  Row Two

Row two is similar to row one except you will be working into the top of the stitches from the previous row and working the first stitch is a little tricky.

  • Begin a half-double crochet in the space at the base of the chain 2 that you just made:  Again, you will yarn over and insert your hook in the small space at the base of the chain 2.  Yarn over and pull up a loop.  Yarn over and insert your hook into the next stitch.  Yarn over and pull up a loop.  Yarn over and pull through all five loops on the hook.  
Swatch of the half double crochet cluster showing where to place the first stitch.Begin the row by yarn over and insert the hook into the small space at the base of the chain-2 turning chain.
  • Continue until you have reached the end of the row.  Chain 2 and turn.

Work row 2 until you reach your desired length and then fasten off.  Weave in Ends.

Tips for Making the Half Double Crochet Cluster Stitch

  • The trickiest part of making this half double crochet cluster stitch is assuring that you begin the new row by inserting your hook into the small space created at the base of your chain-2.  If you start the row as you normally wood in the first stitch, you will end up with one less cluster on each row.
  • Keep your tension loose especially on those rows where you are making single crochet stitches.
  • If you have difficulty pulling through all five loops on the hook, turn your hook so it is pointing to the side.  It should slide through easily.
  • You can use any weight of yarn with the corresponding hook.  The thicker the yarn, the larger the clusters will appear.

Practice Project:  Half Double Crochet Cluster Stitch Dish Cloth

This 10 inch dishcloth is an idea addition to any kitchen, or it can be used as a face cloth.  

Skill Level: Easy

Finished Size

10 by 10 inches square (25.4 cm x 25.4 cm)

Materials

  • Lily Sugar’n Cream 100% Cotton, CYC #4 worsted weight.  2 oz/56.7 g, 95 yds/86 m 2 colors, (color A and color B)
  • Hook:  Size US H/8 (5.0 mm)
  • Tapestry Needle
  • Scissors

STITCH GUIDE/ABBREVIATIONS

• ch(s) = chain(s)

• ch sp = chain space

• Hdc = half double crochet

• st/sts = stitch/stitches

• RS = right side

PATTERN NOTES

  • This pattern uses American crochet terms.

SPECIAL STITCH:  Half Double Crochet CLUSTER

Yarn over, insert hook into the first space and pull up a loop.  (3 loops)

Yarn over and insert hook into the next stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop. (5 loops on the hook).

Yarn over and pull through all five loops.

INSTRUCTIONS

With color A, Chain 31 loosely.

Row 1:  Begin the half double crochet cluster stitch into the 3rd chain from the hook.  Work half double crochet cluster stitch across the the row.  Chain 2 and turn.

Row 2:  Begin the half double crochet in the space at the base of the ch-2 turning chain and continue across the row.

Repeat row 2, 17 more times.  Change to Color B.  Ch 2 and Turn.  (18 rows of half double crochet cluster stitch)

Row 19:  (End Row) Work one Hdc in each stitch across the row.  Ch 1 and turn.

Row 20 and partial border:  Work on sc in each stitch across the row.  Work one more sc in same corner space and then continue sc down the side to next corner.  Work one last sc in corner, ch 2 and turn to work the end row.

Row 21: Work hdc in each stitch in end row across to the end.  Ch 1.

Row 22:  Work one sc back in the top of each hdc.  Fasten off.

Last side:  Attach Color B and make one last row of sc to complete border.  Fasten off.

Weave in all ends.  Block if desired.

Pin for Future Reference

Half double crochet cluster stitch worked into a washcloth, pin image

Last Words

I hope you have enjoyed learning about this stitch as much as I have liked writing it for you.  Please come back soon and check out other tutorials and free patterns.

Happy Crocheting, Smart Crocheter

Janice

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About Janice

Hi, I’m Janice, the voice behind Smart-Knit-Crocheting. I love to knit and crochet and even more, I love teaching others what I know.

Though I learned to knit and crochet as a child, I didn’t get serious about these amazing hobbies until I retired. I’m a certified knit and crochet instructor through the Craft Yarn Council and am working on becoming a Master Hand Knitter through The Knitting Guild Association.

I’m currently living with my husband of over 50 years and our 7 Shih Tzu dogs.

I love hearing from you, so please drop me a line and let me know what you’re working on, whether you love knitting or crocheting more, and if you have any questions. Please visit my about me page for more information.


Happy Crocheting