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How to Double Crochet Stitch (dc) for Beginners

The Double Crochet Stitch is one of the most popular and versatile crochet stitches around. It’s a very simple stitch that you can learn quickly!

Ready to learn how to work double crochet? This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to double crochet with written instructions, as well as photo demonstrations. I’ll give you lots of tips and tricks for working with double crochet in patterns, too.

After reading this tutorial, you’ll know everything you need to know about double crochet. You’ll be crocheting like a pro in no time!

close up photo of a blue crochet swatch and a pink crochet hook, demonstrating double crochet texture

Double crochet is one most popular and versatile of all crochet stitches. It’s a simple stitch that’s easy to learn and fun to do.

The double crochet stitch, abbreviated DC, is one of the six most common crochet stitches. You can work double crochet in rows, joined rounds, or continuous spiral rounds.

How to Double Crochet

Briefly, here’s how to make a double crochet stitch. (Note: This tutorial uses US terms.)

  1. Yarn over. Insert hook into the next stitch, yarn over, and pull up a loop.
  2. Yarn over, and pull through two loops on the hook.
  3. Yarn over again, and pull through both loops on the hook.

Yes, a double crochet stitch is really quite simple, once you know what you’re doing. Here are a series of photos showing the steps described above.

photos of blue yarn showing how to make a double crochet stitch
photos showing the steps to make a double crochet stitch

If you are looking for a more detailed breakdown of the double crochet stitch, keep reading. In the rest of this tutorial, I’ll cover all aspects of the double crochet stitch. We’ll talk about the anatomy of the stitch, how to work it in rows and rounds, and how to increase and decrease. Plus, I’ll answer your frequently asked questions about double crochet and warn you about some common beginner mistakes to avoid.

Grab your favorite crochet hook, and let’s begin!

About Double Crochet Stitch

The double crochet stitch is one of the most basic crochet stitches. Even so, it can still be quite intimidating to new crocheters.

The good news is that once you know how to do one crochet stitch, the others are not too hard to learn! Double crochet very similar to single crochet – it just has a couple of extra steps.

Abbreviation

In the US, it’s called double crochet and abbreviated DC. In UK terms, it’s called treble crochet and abbreviated TR.

Chart Symbol

You will see the single crochet represented by a long “T” shape with a diagonal cross in crochet charts. For a complete list of crochet chart symbols, refer to this table.

Height

A double crochet stitch is a relatively tall stitch. It’s taller than a half double crochet stitch, but shorter than a treble crochet. It’s about twice the height of a single crochet. 

Turning Chain

To start a new row of double crochet, make a turning chain of 3 chain stitches. (For reference, a turning chain is a number of chain stitches you make at the beginning of a row to bring the yarn up to the correct height for the next row of stitches.)

The ch-3 often does count as a double crochet stitch. That means you’ll skip the first stitch and work the first double crochet into the second stitch.

Important Note: Some patterns will ask you to make only two chains for a double crochet turning chain. And some patterns will not count the turning chain as a stitch. So, if you’re ever in doubt, check your pattern.

turning chain of three chain stitches to start a new row of double crochet
Make a turning chain-3 to start a new row.

Fabric Made from Double Crochet

Rows of plain single crochet will make a fairly solid crocheted fabric with a good drape. It’s not too dense or stiff, so it’s perfect for making sweaters, baby blankets, scarves, and other items.

When to Use Double Crochet

You can use double crochet stitches whenever you need a solid fabric that works up quickly. It’s great for items like afghans, granny squares, coasters, and other projects that require stability and flexibility.

Double Crochet Step-by-Step Tutorial

Let’s make a swatch of double crochet fabric so I can show you:

  • how to double crochet into chain stitches
  • how to turn double crochet
  • how to work double crochet in rows 
  • how to fasten off double crochet

Note: This tutorial uses US crochet terms and shows right-handed instructions.

To get started, choose a yarn and corresponding hook size. I recommend using a smooth, medium-weight yarn and an ergonomic crochet hook. For beginners, I suggest choosing yarn in a light color to make it easier to see your stitches.

How to Double Crochet in Rows

Follow along with the following pictures to make a sample swatch of double crochet in rows. (Video tutorial is on the way.)

Foundation Chain

Start with a slip knot. Chain 16. (The first 13 chain stitches make the foundation chain, while the last 3 make the turning chain.)

photo diagram pointing where to make the first double crochet stitch into the fourth chain from the hook

Row 1

1. Yarn over from back to front, and insert the hook into the fourth chain from the hook. (Don’t count the loop that’s on the hook.)

Note: When you work into chain stitches, insert the hook through the center of the “V” of the chain and under the back bar. Be careful not to twist the chain as your work.

2. Yarn over the hook from back to front, and draw the yarn through the center of the chain stitch. You should have three loops on the hook.

3. Yarn over, and draw the yarn through the first two loops on the hook. You should now have two loops on the hook.

4. Yarn over again, and draw the yarn through the remaining two loops on the hook.

The double crochet stitch is complete. You should have one loop remaining on the hook.

photo diagram showing the steps to make the first double crochet stitch into a foundation chain

Continue across the row. Make one double crochet stitch in each of the remaining chain stitches in the foundation chain.

At the end of the row, count your double crochet stitches. You should have 14 stitches: 13 “true” double crochets stitches plus the turning chain. (Remember that in double crochet, the turning chain counts as a stitch.)

Row 2

Now, it’s time to make the second row of double crochet. Leave the hook in the work, and turn the piece over so that the backside (wrong side) is facing you.

side by side photo showing the front and back of the first row of a crochet swatch made from double crochet stitches

1. Make three chain stitches to bring the yarn up to the correct height for the next row. This ch-3 is called the turning chain.

Remember: Since the turning chain counts as a stitch, you’ll make your first “true” double crochet stitch into the second stitch of the previous row.

2. So, skip the first stitch (the one that’s directly below the turning chain), and insert the hook into the next stitch. Be sure to insert the hook under both top loops of the stitch.

close up photo of a crochet swatch showing where to make the first double crochet of the row into the second stitch from the previous row

3. Continue across the row, making one double crochet stitch in each of the remaining stitches.

4. When you reach the end of the row, make the last double crochet in the top chain of the previous row’s turning chain. Insert the hook through the center of the “V” and under the back bar.

close up photo of crochet swatch showing where to work the last stitch of the row into the top of the turning chain from the previous row

Take a minute to count your stitches at the end of the row. You should have 14.

Note: It can be easy to miss the last stitch! If you’re missing a stitch, go back and double-check.

Finishing Steps

Repeat these steps to make additional rows of double crochet. After the row, cut the yarn, leaving a 6-inch yarn tail. Draw the hook straight up, pulling the yarn tail completely through the stitch. Pull on the yarn tail to tighten the stitch, and weave in the ends.

How to Double Crochet in the Round

Working double crochet in the round is as easy as working double crochet in rows. There are two ways to work double crochet in the round

  • in joined rounds
  • in continuous spiral rounds.

Joined Rounds

Here’s how to work double crochet in joined rounds: Start a new round with a chain-3. The chain counts as a stitch. Continue around to the last stitch. Make the last stitch of the round. Join the last stitch of the round with a slip stitch to the top of the ch-3. This closes the round.

photo showing how to crochet double crochet in the round in blue yarn

Continuous/Spiral rounds

It’s a little less common to work double crochet in continuous rounds, but you can do it.

To work in continuous/spiral rounds: When you get to the last stitch of the round, simply continue to the first stitch of the following round. There is no slip stitch to join the rounds, and there is no turning chain between rounds.

Tip: When working in continuous rounds, mark the beginning of each round with a stitch marker. That way, you won’t lose your place.

Increases and Decreases

How to do a Double Crochet Increase

A double crochet increase is very easy to make. In patterns, you may see it written as “dc inc”. You may also see it written as “2 dc in the next st”, which tells you to work two double crochet stitches in the next stitch.

To make a DC increase, simply make 2 DC in one stitch. The increase will add one stitch to your stitch count.

You can make even larger increases by working three or even four double crochets into the same stitch.

close up photo showing a double crochet increase in blue yarn with a pink and gray crochet hook

How to do a Double Crochet Decrease

Crochet decreases turn two stitches into one. There are a few ways to decrease in double crochet. If you are following a pattern, the pattern notes should tell you which style of decrease to use.

Traditional Double Crochet Decrease

In patterns, you may see the double crochet written as “dc dec” or “dc2tog”. Here’s how to make it.

  • Insert the hook into the first stitch. Work a double crochet until the last step, where two loops remain on the hook. Keep those two loops on the hook.
  • Insert the hook into the next stitch. Work another double crochet until the last step. There should be three loops that remain on the hook.
  • Then, yarn over and draw through all three loops on the hook. This completes a normal double crochet decrease.
photo showing the difference between the traditional double crochet decrease (dc2tog) and the invisible double crochet decrease

Invisible Double Crochet Decrease

If a normal double crochet decease is too bulky for you, here’s a way to make a less visible decrease.

The key with invisible decreases is to decrease the base of the stitch rather than at the top.

To make an invisible double crochet decrease:

  • Yarn over, insert the hook into the front loop of the first stitch.
  • Do not yarn over, but immediately insert the hook into the front loop of the next stitch.
  • Then, proceed with the rest of the double crochet: yarn over and draw through the first two loops. Yarn over and draw through the next two loops. Yarn over again and draw through the last two loops.

Variations on Double Crochet

Once you’ve mastered the basic double crochet stitch, you can start to explore its many variations.

Working in Different Loops: You can work double crochet in either the front or back loops to create different textures.

Double Crochet Ribbing: If you work rows of double crochet in the back loop only (DC BLO), you can create a stretchy ribbing that’s ideal for sweater hems and cuffs.

Herringbone Double Crochet: This stitch technique will give you a solid fabric with a beautiful zig-zag effect.

Front Post/Back Post Double Crochet: This technique allows you to create crochet cables, stretchy ribbing, and ultra-textured stitch patterns like the waffle stitch and the basketweave stitch.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some issues that beginners have when they first learn double crochet

Stitch count errors: If it looks like your swatch is growing, shrinking, or skewing diagonally, you may have some stitch count errors. You might not realize it, but you are probably adding or subtracting stitches where they don’t belong.

Here are some tips to fix it. 

  • The turning chain counts as a stitch, so don’t make a dc into the first stitch of the row. Doing so produces an extra stitch. So, make the first dc into the next stitch. 
  • Make the last dc of the row into the top of the turning chain from the previous row. Missing this last stitch will subtract a stitch from your stitch count.
  • Be sure to count your stitches frequently to ensure you haven’t accidentally gained (or lost) any stitches along the way.

Uneven edges: If you find that you have unsightly gaps at the beginning of the row, try chaining two instead of three stitches for the turning chain. This shorter turning chain can help minimize the appearance of holes at the beginning of the rows.

close up overhead photo of crochet fabric swatch made with rows of double crochet

Patterns Using Double Crochet

Now that you know how to work double crochet, here are a few free crochet patterns that use it.

More Crochet Stitch Tutorials

If you liked this article on double crochet, you might be interested in these related crochet stitch tutorials:

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How to Double Crochet Stitch (dc) for Beginners

How to Double Crochet Stitch (dc) for Beginners

Yield: 1
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: 1

This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to double crochet with written instructions, as well as photo demonstrations. I’ll give you lots of tips and tricks for working with double crochet in patterns, too.

Materials

Tools

Instructions

  1. Start with a slip knot. Chain 16. To make the first double crochet:
  2. Yarn over from back to front, and insert the hook into the fourth chain from the hook.
  3. Yarn over the hook from back to front, and draw the yarn through the center of the chain stitch. You should have three loops on the hook.
  4. Yarn over, and draw the yarn through the first two loops on the hook. You should now have two loops on the hook.
  5. Yarn over again, and draw the yarn through the remaining two loops on the hook. The double crochet stitch is complete. You should have one loop remaining on the hook.
  6. Continue across the row. Make one double crochet stitch in each of the remaining chain stitches in the foundation chain. (14 stitches)
  7. Make the next row: Turn work, chain 3. Skip the first stitch and work a double crochet in the second stitch.
  8. Work a double crochet in each stitch across the row.
  9. Work the last double crochet of the row in the top of the turning chain from the previous row. (14 stitches.)
  10. Continue making more rows, or fasten off.

Notes

See the post for step-by-step photos and more information.

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