As in the photo above, you’ll start by wrapping your yarn around your hook. This is what we call a “yarn over”, usually abbreviated “yo”.
Next, insert your hook under both loops of the next stitch or chain, then it should look something like the photo above.
Then, wrap your yarn around your hook again and pull this through the stitch, by catching it under your hook as you pull your hook through the stitch. I usually turn my hook a little toward the left as I slide it. It catches the yarn well, and slides through the stitch more easily. If I were writing these instructions into a pattern, this part would say “yo, pull up a loop”.
In the photo above, the loop closest to the hook is the loop that I just made by pulling my yarn over through my stitch.
Now, yarn over again, and pull this through all 3 loops on your hook. Now, I do this quickly because I am used to it, but you may find that pulling through the first two loops goes smoothly, and then you need to change the direction of your pull slightly to get through the 3rd loop. I tend to push the non-working end of my hook up into the air a little more as I go through that 3rd loop.
Ta-da! All finished.
How to do a Half double Crochet Decrease
Now, for the decrease stitch. You’ll see this one abbreviated like this: hdc2tog. This is short for “half double crochet two stitches together”, which means that you are going to turn two stitches into one stitch, or decrease by one stitch. This is helpful when you are doing something besides making squares and rectangles. You use decreases when making hats, or amigurumi (3-D crochet stuffed animals or dolls), or when shaping garments. In the project I’m working on in these photos, I am using decreases to shape a raglan seam in a garment. So, here’s how to do it:
Here’s how it looks before.
Yarn over (or wrap your yarn around your hook).
Insert your hook under both strands of the next stitch.
Yarn over, and pull that yarn through the stitch, just as you did for the half double crochet.
Now, yarn over again, but don’t pull this through the three loops.
Instead, insert your hook into the next stitch.
Yarn over again, and pull this through the stitch.
Now, yarn over one more time…
And pull that yarn over through all five loops! Finished!