Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please visit my About page for disclosures, Privacy Policy and more information.

Are you ready to learn a new technique that might just revolutionize your crochet-world? Welcome to the Foundation Half Double Crochet Tutorial where you will learn to ditch the long chains and start with a solid foundation of half double crochets. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

how to foundation half double crochet pin with picture of foundation row and hook

Below you will find the full photo tutorials for both right and left handed crocheters as well as a quick step by step walk through and tips for working with a foundation row in the round.

Don’t forget to save this tutorial on Pinterest so you can find it again and others can enjoy it.

How do you do a foundation half double crochet?

Here are the quick steps for how you do a foundation half double crochet:

  1. Chain 2, yarn over, insert hook into the second chain from the hook and pull up loop.
  2. Yarn over and pull through the first loop on the hook to make a chain stitch.
  3. Yarn over and pull through all three loops on the hook to make a hdc.
  4. Yarn over and insert hook into the chain stitch and pull up a loop.
  5. Yarn over and pull through the first loop on the hook creating another chain stitch.
  6. Yarn over and pull through all three loops on the hook.
  7. Continue working through steps 4-6 until your foundation row reaches the desired number of stitches.

Why is it called a chainless foundation hdc?

It seems like calling this technique chainless is a bit of a misnomer, since you are chaining and working the first row all at the same time. You are basically making a chain stitch then adding a hdc to it, then another chain stitch and another hdc and on and on.

So it isn’t exactly chainless BUT you do get to avoid those LONG starting chains that are hard to keep consistent and annoying to working into.

hdc foundation row and hook

How do I join a foundation half double crochet in the round?

You’ll be happy to know that you can even use a foundation half double crochet in the round. The technique works for both joined rounds and continuous rounds.

You’ll first want to work your foundation row (follow the tutorial below) until it reaches the correct number of stitches. Hold the beginning and the end of your foundation rows together being sure the row isn’t twisted.

(It is MUCH easier to make sure a foundation row isn’t twisted than it is too keep a chain row from twisting.)

For join rounds, slip stitch into the first half double crochet then chain up to start your next row. For continuous rounds, start the next stitch in the first half double crochet.

crochet stitches worked in the round
Foundation row joined with a slip stitch

Using a yarn needle, weave the tail through the last chain stitch of the foundation row and then back into the first chain. Weave in the ends to secure.

orange yarn needle working yarn through a stitch
Looking at the bottom of the row/round, work the tail through the last chain
orange yarn needle working yarn through a stitch
then work it back into the first chain.

Closing the gap on continuous rounds isn’t as smooth, but it does work! You can check out the North Shore Kid Scarf to see how it looks.

FHDC Tutorials

To get started, you will want to grab some yarn and a hook that is an appropriate size for your yarn.

In the tutorial below I used Vanna’s Choice Yarn which is a Category 4 worsted weight yarn for all of the step by step photos.

The hook is my Furls Odyssey in J/10 6.0 mm.

The finished swatches were done in Bernat Beyond Yarn.

Foundation Half Double Crochet Tutorial – Right Handed

First you’ll chain 2 and yarn over.

crochet hook with yarn and 2 chains

Insert your hook in the 2nd chain from the hook and pull up a loop. The loop you just pulled up will be the “chain” stitch under your first half double crochet.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Yarn over and pull through only the first loop on the hook.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

You’ve created the first chain and are now ready to complete the first hdc.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Yarn over and pull through all three loops on the hook.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Here is what the first completed foundation half double crochet looks like when turned the right way. You have see the chain at the bottom of the stitch with a completed hdc worked into that stitch.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Let’s continue on. Yarn over and now you are going to insert your hook into the chain stitch you made.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Pull up a loop.

Side note: When you pull up a loop for the chain, make sure it is as long as your other two loops on the hook. You don’t want your hook angling down toward the chain stitches or you will not get a straight foundation row.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Pull through the first loop on the hook.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Then pull through all three loops on the hook. You now have two completed chains and 2 completed half double crochets.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Continue working in the chains of the previous stitch until you’ve reached the desired length.

short foundation half double crochet row

Row 2 is worked just like a normal row of half double crochets (or whatever stitch you need in row 2.) I find my foundation row looks best when I do not count the chain 2 at the beginning as a stitch. I work the last stitch into the very first half double crochet and ignore the chain 2 in my stitch count.

last stitch in row 2 when starting with a fhdc

There you go! Wasn’t that actually pretty simple? Keep practicing it until you get the hang of your tension and can make each foundation stitch consistently.

2 rows completed when starting with a chainless foundation

You can see from the two images below that the foundation half double crochet only looks slightly different than starting with a chain row.

2 crochet swatches. one started with a fhdc and the other with a chain
2 crochet swatches. one started with a chainless hdc and the other with a chain

FHDC Tutorial – Left Handed

First you’ll chain 2 and yarn over.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Insert your hook in the 2nd chain from the hook and pull up a loop. The loop you just pulled up will be the “chain” stitch under your first half double crochet.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Yarn over and pull through only the first loop on the hook.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

You’ve created the first chain and are now ready to complete the first hdc.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Yarn over and pull through all three loops on the hook.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Here is what the first completed foundation half double crochet looks like when turned the right way. You have see the chain at the bottom of the stitch with a completed hdc worked into that stitch.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Let’s continue on. Yarn over and now you are going to insert your hook into the chain stitch you made.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Pull up a loop.

Side note: When you pull up a loop for the chain, make sure it is as long as your other two loops on the hook. You don’t want your hook angling down toward the chain stitches or you will not get a straight foundation row.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Pull through the first loop on the hook.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Then pull through all three loops on the hook. You now have two completed chains and 2 completed half double crochets.

crochet hook with yarn showing steps in a stitch

Continue working in the chains of the previous stitch until you’ve reached the desired length.

fhdc row completed

Row 2 is worked just like a normal row of half double crochets (or whatever stitch you need in row 2.) I find my foundation row looks best when I do not count the chain 2 at the beginning as a stitch. I work the last stitch into the very first half double crochet and ignore the chain 2 in my stitch count.

last stitch in row 2 when starting with a fhdc

There you go! Wasn’t that actually pretty simple? Keep practicing it until you get the hang of your tension and can make each foundation stitch consistently.

2 rows completed when starting with a chainless foundation

You can see from the two images below that the foundation half double crochet only looks slightly different than starting with a chain row.

2 crochet swatches
crochet swatches of hdcs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.