Twisted Half Double Crochet Stitch

Twisted Half Double Crochet Stitch by Janice

When you think "twisted" you probably think mistake, and it normally is a crochet error, however, it may be an intential deisgn feature.

Twisted Half Double Crochet Stitch: 
Yarn Overs Vs. Yarn Unders

When I was trying to get certified as a crochet instructor through the Craft Yarn Council, I had one of those "Aha" moments.  There are two ways to crochet and I had chosen to crochet all wrong.

I'm not sure where I picked up this "bad" habit, but my master teacher, Edie Eckman, suggested I might want to rework some of my swatches. 

That's when I learned that you can create a twisted look to your crochet through wrapping the yarn under rather than over.  I don't know how long I had been doing this, but I was using the yarn under for all types of crochet stitches. 

That's when I had to retrain myself, my fingers and my brain.  But everyone once in awhile I like to work Yarn Unders (YU) because they look totally different.

If you have always placed your yarn over the hook before making a crochet stitch, working a yarn under may seem awkward.  It is something that is not hard, but it does require some concentration as our brains tend to revert back to a method that seems more natural.

Yarn Over - Yarn Over:  What's the Difference?

Yarn Over (YO)

When you yarn over, your working yarn is on the right side of the hook. 

You then take the yarn from the right, over the hook and then either pull through or insert your hook, depending on what stitch you are making. 

This probably looks and feels normal to you, or not?

The yarn over crochet techniques demonstratedYarn Over

Yarn Under (YU)

If you wrap the working yarn under the hook, you are making a yarn under. 

To Make a half double crochet yarn under:

  • With the yarn on the left side of the hook, wrap the yarn over and behind the hook and twist slightly.
  • Insert your hook into both top loops of the next stitch.
  • With the yarn on the left of the hook, twist the hook sightly and catch the working yarn.  There are 3 loops on the hook.  
  • With the yarn on the left side of hook, place yarn from the left and over the hook.  Pull through all three loops. You may need to twist the hook slightly to be able to pick up the three loops.

Single Crochet Stitch (sc):  You would YU twice.

Half Double Crochet (hdc):  You would YU three times.

Double Crochet (dc):  You would YU four times.

It's easy to work both yarn unders and yarn overs in the same stitch especially if you are making half double or double crochet stitches, but that is not a full yarn under.

Demonstration of the yarn under in crochetYarn Under

Are Chain Stitches Worked with Yarn Unders Also?

NOTE:  When making the twisted half double crochet stitch with yarn unders, you have a choice to make your turning chains with either yarn unders or yarn overs.  In the swatches I crocheted all of my turning chains and foundation chain was worked with yarn over.

If you have never done a yarn under, you probably think that it feels odd or unnatural and it is.  When you switch to yarn under, it requires you to rethink and retrain your brain and it can be disconcerting.  Some crocheters claim that doing a yarn under can cause wrist pain.  I'll leave you to make up your own mind.

Differences Between the Yarn Over and Yarn Over Methods

There are definite differences between placing the working yarn over or under the hook, first being appearance.  Take a look at the swatches I crocheted below.  Both were worked in a half double crochet stitch beginning with 13 chain stitches.

Yarn Over

  • Yarn Over (YO)
  • Stitches have little legs that are straight or "normal looking
  • Stitches are taller
  • Stitches use more yarn
  • Create loose stitches
  • More gaps in fabric
  • More drape in fabric
  • Fabric is more stretchy
  • Often used by crocheters that make a wide variety of projects

Yarn Under

  • Yarn Under (YU)
  • Stitches have little legs that are crossed or look like little X's
  • Stitches look shorter
  • Stitches use a less yarn
  • Create tight stitches
  • Fewer gaps in fabric
  • Less drape
  • Fabric is more stiff 
  • Often used by crocheters that make mostly amigurumi projects
A comparison of two crochet swatches of the half double crochet stitch, one worked with yarn over and the other yarn under technqueYarn Under is shown on the left, and Yarn Over is on the right.

As you can see in the photos these differences are obvious in the half double crochet stitch.  It's clear that yarn unders may not work for all projects.

Projects that work well for the Yarn Under Technique

As you can see from the photos, Yarn Unders produce a fabric that is dense and stiff with few holes showing through.  Any project that requires a fabric where drape is not an issue would work for this technique.

  • Potholders
  • Placemats
  • Table Runner
  • Pillow cover
  • Coasters
  • Purses and bags
  • Cup cozies
  • Amigurumi

Twisted Half Double Crochet Stitch Made with the Yarn Under Technique:  Last Words

There are two ways to wrap your working yarn when crocheting, over the hook (Yarn Over) and under the hook (Yarn Under).  The typical way we work is by wrapping the yarn over the hook.  However, it's fun to consider another way that creates a fabric that looks and feels differently.

The fabric produced with a yarn under is tighter, denser and the stitches are smaller.  It also uses less yarn which might make the project more economical.

Working yarn unders is not difficult but it does require some concentration especially if you have always wrapped your over your hook.  Try it out and see what you think.

Happy Hooking, Smart Crocheter,


Twisted Half Double Crochet Stitch Made with the Yarn Under Technique:  Pin for Future Reference

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