Fhdc: Foundation Half Double Crochet

I always love learning new techniques to improve my crochet projects. Likewise, I then want to incorporate those techniques into my patterns so that you can improve your crochet projects too. One technique I learned a little over a year ago is the foundation half double crochet (abbreviated Fhdc), also referred to as a chainless foundation method. Using this approach will create a stretchy start to your project instead of a tight, unyielding chain.

Written Instructions

Ch 3, yarn over, insert hook in 3rd chain from hook, yarn over and pull up loop (3 loops on hook), yarn over and draw through 1 loop (1 chain created), yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook—1 foundation half double crochet created. *Yarn over, insert hook under the 2 loops of the chain created in the last stitch and pull up loop, yarn over and draw through 1 loop, yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook; repeat from * for length of foundation.

Picture Tutorial

1 - Ch 3
1- Chain 3.

2 - YO
2- Yarn over.

3 - Insert hook in 3rd ch from hook
3- Insert hook in 3rd chain from the hook.

4- YO and draw loop through
4- Yarn over and draw loop through.

5 - YO
5- Yarn over.

6 - Draw through 1 loop (1 chain created)
6- Draw through 1 loop (1 chain created).

7 - YO and draw through all 3 loops (1 hdc created)
7- Yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook (1 Fhdc created).

8 - YO
8- Yarn over.

9 - Insert hook through the chain created in previous stitch
9- Insert hook through chain created in previous stitch.

10 - This is how it should look when you insert your hook through the chain
10- This is how it should look when you insert your hook through the chain.

11 - YO and draw through a loop
11- Yarn over and draw through a loop.

12 - YO
12- Yarn over.

13 - Draw through 1 loop (another chain created)
13- Draw through 1 loop (another chain created).

14 - YO and draw through all 3 loops on the hook (another hdc create)
14- Yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook (another Fhdc created).

15 - Repeat steps 8 through 14 for the number of Fhdc specified in the pattern. Here is what 10 Fhdc looks like
Repeat steps 8 through 14 for the number of Fhdc specified in the pattern. Here is what 10 Fhdc looks like.

16 - Here is a view of the same 10 stitches from the bottom
This is a view of those same 10 stitches from the bottom.

Personalized Labels

I saw this idea a few weeks ago on Martha Stewart and knew I wanted to try it. My boys need to have their names inside of their coats for preschool, but I hate writing it in marker because it looks terrible when I do that. Plus I don’t want my younger son to always have his brother’s name in his coat (although he is growing so fast I think the hand-me-downs are going to start going in the opposite direction soon).

With this idea, you get a nice looking name label that you can just cut out of a garment when you want to pass it on or donate it. This is a really nice touch for handmade items too. After you spend so much time and put so much love into your handmade items, it would be a shame if they got lost or misplaced. I hope you will find this tip useful!


  • Alphabet Stamps (clear stamps may be easier to use than what I have pictured)
  • Tulip Soft Fabric Paint
  • Cosmetic Sponge (or similar craft sponge)
  • Twill tape wider than the height of you alphabet stamp letters
  • Scissors

Step 1: Cut a length of twill tape long enough to stamp your name, plus a little extra to turn under and sew. Press the twill tape smooth with an iron if necessary.

Step 2: Select the letters you need. The paint dries quickly so you will want to have your letters ready to go before making your stamp pad.

Step 3: Squeeze a little paint into the center of your sponge.

Step 4: Squish the paint into the sponge.

Step 5: Now you have a fabric ink stamp pad.

Step 6: Blot your stamp into the ink pad.

Step 7: Stamp your letter on the twill tape. Like I said, this may be easier with clear stamps so that you can see exactly where you are stamping. I still need a little more practice keeping mine straight.

Step 8: Repeat steps 6 and 7 for the rest of your letters.

Step 9: Allow the paint to dry. Then make sure you heat set the paint, following the instructions on your paint container.

Step 10: Fold the ends of the twill tape under and stitch down both cut sides. If you are sewing this in a hat, I would place the tag in the back and up high enough that it won’t rub on any little necks.

Making Fabric Yarn

I have always loved the idea of crocheting and knitting with unusual “yarn” sources. I have made napkin rings by knitting wire and a fluffy bathroom rug out of fleece. Those projects had such fun results, so I turned to fabric yarn again when I wanted to make a cover for plain and uncomfortable kitchen stool.

Here are the steps I used to make yarn from a piece of knit fabric.

Step 1: Fold the fabric in half with the folded edge closest to you.

Step 2: Cut into the folded edge at intervals of however wide you want your strips to be (I made mine 3 inches wide).

Step 3: Continue cutting across the width of the fabric until a few inches from the raw edges. It is okay if your cuts are not completely straight. Any mistakes will be hidden in the stitches.

Step 4: Cut through the raw edge of the top layer only on every other cut.

Step 5: Fold the top layer of the fabric back so that you can see the bottom layer.

Step 6: Cut through the raw edge on the bottom layer only on the cuts opposite of the top layer.

Step 7: Trim some of the fabric around the corners off so that there isn’t so much bulk in the places when the fabric yarn turns. Again, this does not need to be extremely neat.

My fabric was 2.5 yards long, so I continued using these steps for a few cuts at a time, and crocheted with whatever length I cut until I ran out. Then I made a few more cuts and so on. I found this method easier than trying to wind all of that fabric into a ball. Also you won’t cut fabric that you don’t need, so you can save it for another project.

Button Sewing Tip

I just released my Big Button Interchangeable Flower Pattern and I thought it would be a good time to share a little trick I picked up in junior high home economics class. When sewing on a button, you want to make sure that there is room between the button and whatever you are sewing it to. By creating a shank out of your sewing thread, it allows space for the button to function properly.

1. Since my flowers pattern uses a 1.5″ button, I chose to secure the button with embroidery floss rather than normal thread.

2. Use a double strand of thread. Securely attach the thread to the item on which you are sewing a button.

3. Bring your needle and thread through one hole in the button. Center the button over the stitch. Insert your needle into the other hole in the button and into the item on which you are sewing. Pull through. Slip a toothpick between the thread and button to create a space for the shank.

4. Make 3 or 4 stitches through each hole.

5. Bring your needle and thread to the right side under the button. Remove the toothpick.

6. Wind the thread several times around the button stitches to form a shank.

7. Secure the thread in your item under the button by making a knot or several small stitches.

8. Trim your thread and you’re done — a button with room to bloom!

Save Your Scraps

Here’s a quick tip that will keep your workspace clean and save you some cash in the future.

Don’t throw away your loose ends or toss those knotted skeins in the trash. Save them in a jar. Don’t worry about yarn weight, length, or color, just throw everything in.

Any container will do, but I prefer a jar with a lid to prevent spills. Picking up a mess of yarn is never fun. I started with a mayonnaise jar, but with all the crocheting I’ve been doing lately, I’m going to have to graduate to a bigger container.

Yarn Scrap Uses

  • Stuff your triceratops horns or amigurumi instead of using fiberfill
  • Use a different color yarn as a stitch maker
  • Cut and paste craft projects with children
  • Tie bags closed for a decorative touch of color
  • Gather a bunch of crazy colors for a monster hat

There are probably dozens of different ways to use up those scraps. If you’re not saving them already, grab a jar and start collecting!

How to Make a Magic Circle

I love learning new crochet techniques and incorporating them into my designs. Recently I have discovered the Magic Circle technique for starting crochet projects in the round. I love this method because it allows you to completely close the starting round of your project so that there is no unsightly hole in the top. Follow the steps below!

Step 1: Wrap yarn around your middle finger, forming an “X.”

Step 2: Place your thumb over the “X.” [Read more…]