Today’s lesson is doing the double crochet stitch into the next row after the chain (and beyond). This is where most people get frustrated if they don’t understand the parts of a stitch because they were not properly taught. Those picture instructions in the back of most crochet books don’t spell out where the last stitch of a row needs to go. This leads to wonky and lopsided projects. Believe me. I’ve done it on several occasions in the past. I still have the afghan to prove it.
Before you move onto this week’s lesson, please review last week’s post, The Double Crochet Stitch into the Chain. This will refresh your memory and together they will help you make sense of the double crochet.
Ready? Good. Let’s move onward.
The Double Crochet Stitch into the Next Row
You will chain 3 at the end of the last row so you can “step up” to the next row. However, unlike the single and half-double crochets, the chain 3 counts as the first stitch of the row. Let me repeat that since it might be hard to grasp the concept at first. The chain 3 counts as the first double crochet stitch of the row.
The chain 3 IS the first double crochet stitch of the row. It just looks a bit different because it is 3 chains.
Do you kinda get? I hope so. If not, maybe you’ll have a eureka moment a little later.
Turn your work. (Note: Some patterns have you do the chain 3 at the beginning of the row since it’s the first stitch of the row. I do it at the end before I turn because the chain gets a little bit twisted.)
You will put your first actual double crochet stitch into the second stitch of the previous row. Remember, the chain 3 counts as your first double crochet stitch. Don’t worry. There is going to be a gap between the chain 3 and the first double crochet. It’s because the chain 3 is tall and lanky compared to an actual double crochet stitch. This is why some pattern designers try to compensate by only chaining 2 instead of 3.
Reviewing the Double Crochet Stitch
Insert your hook into the stitch
Yarn over and pull up a loop
Yarn over and pull through 2 loops (there will be 2 loop on your hook)
Yarn over and pull through the remaining loops on your hook
The Middle of the Row
Continue making double crochets until you come to the end of the row (or what you think might be the end of the row). Look at the photo below. There are two more double crochets to be done in the row. Can you see them? The next stitch goes into the top of the last double crochet stitch while the last stitch goes into the top of the chain 3 of the previous row.
The Last Can Be the Hardest
Putting the last double crochet stitch into the top of the chain 3 can be difficult, especially if your chains are tight. Even I have trouble so I use my handy-dandy fingernail to open up a gap so I can put my hook through.
When you find the right space, make a double crochet stitch there. Congrats! You’ve done it! Your row is now complete.
You can always count the stitches in your row to make sure that you aren’t missing any stitches. It’s actually a good idea to check your stitch count every row or so. This will reduce frogging your project and redoing an insane amount of work if there is a mistake.
Do you have any questions about doing double crochet stitches into the next row? You’ll be using what I taught in this lesson quite often as you crochet so it’s important that you understand it. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment below. I am more than happy to help.
Have an excellent day!