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How to Crochet the Camel Stitch Tutorial HDC in 3rd Loop

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In this tutorial learn how to crochet the camel stitch with photos and video. This half double crochet stitch goes in the 3rd loop, which runs along the back.

The step by step tutorial will help you identify the 3rd loop on the back of a hdc stitch and learn how to crochet into it.

When you repeat rows of this beautiful stitch creates a ribbed look.

Orange ribbed crochet fabric of camel stitch.

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hdc tlo = half double crochet in the third loop only

This stitch abbreviates as tlo in some crochet patterns, and by the name Camel Stitch in others. You’re only inserting your hook under one loop, the back bar, not both like usual.

Normally we work into the top of the stitches, the top two loops. The half double crochet is special, in that it has a unique “third loop.” This loop is the one that is on the back, when you look at the post of your hdc stitches.

Pink crochet cardigan with camel stitch lapel laid flat on boards.
Here the Hygge Cardigan features the camel stitch ribbing around the neckline and lapel.

This is one of my favorite crochet stitches. I love the texture of the camel stitches. That’s one reason I use it in the Hygge Cozy Cardigan Pattern.

It’s a great stitch that gives a knit look to the fabric when you work it over a one row repeat. They’re also stretchy, so it’s a great ribbing.

Once you get going the only difference between the front of the work and the back is the first row of stitches.

Hook inserted under 3rd loop for crochet camel stitch.
Here the crochet hook is inserted under the 3rd loop on the back of a hdc stitch.

Normally we crochet under both the top loops – the front loop and back loop. The 3rd loop on the hdc is underlined in blue below.

Where to insert hook for crochet camel stitch underlined in blue.

To help define the third loop of each stitch, in this picture above the 2nd, 3rd and 4th stitches in the row are underlined in blue. This horizontal bar of yarn is only visible on the back of your work.

Crochet Patterns Featuring the Camel Stitch

The crochet camel stitch creates this cozy ribbed neckline with one repeat row in the Hygge Cozy Cardigan Pattern.

The ridges created by the camel stitch are excellent for pumpkins. You might like the Ribbed Crochet Pumpkin a free crochet pattern here on the blog.

Or if crochet hats are a favorite to make, then the crochet pumpkin hat makes excellent use of this stitch.

You might also find these stitch tutorials helpful: how to hdc in the back loop, back post half double crochet stitch.

Crochet camel stitch ribbing on sweater hem.
The ribbing of the Briones Sweater works up quick in chunky yarn.

You can use the camel stitch to crochet ribbing for sweaters, like I did here for the Briones Sweater. This free pattern features bulky yarn and bobbles in the front!

Materials

  • any weight yarn pictured here is I used Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton in Glowing, any #4 medium worsted weight will work.
  • compatible hook with your yarn
  • scissors, measuring tape, stitch marker

My favorite Hooks are Furls* and Clover*!

Notes

  1. You”ll need to start with a row of hdc stitches to find the third loop.

How to Get Started

  1. To start a row of half double crochet stitches begin with any number of chains, plus 2.
  2. Hdc in the 2nd chain from hook and in each chain across. This is the front of your work.
  3. Turn your work at the end of the row so you’re looking at the back of the first row.
  4. Ch 2 to start a new row.

Stitches/Abbreviations (US Terms)

ch(s) – chain(s)

hdc – half double crochet

sl st – slip stitch

yo – yarn over

Gauge

Your pattern will give you gauge information. For this tutorial swatch my gauge is 12 sts x 9 rows in the pattern.

Level

Easy

Video Tutorial

You can watch the full video tutorial on how to crochet the camel stitch on my YouTube channel.

Scroll down for the step by step crochet stitch tutorial!

Swatch of ribbing from 3rd loop half double crochet stitch.

How to Crochet Camel Stitch

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 1 minute
Active Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 32 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $1

Learn how to half double crochet in the 3rd loop, also known as the Camel Stitch. This step by step tutorial will help you identify the 3rd loop on the back of a hdc stitch and learn how to crochet into it.

Materials

  • Any weight yarn pictured here is I used Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton in Glowing, any #4 worsted weight will work.

Tools

  • Your crochet hook that's compatible with your yarn. I'm using a 5 mm crochet hook here.

Instructions

    1. First you'll need regular half double crochets to find the third loop. To start a row of half double crochet stitches begin with any number of chains, plus 2.
    2. Hdc in the 2nd chain from hook First hdc in chain. and in each chain across.First row of half double crochet stitches.
    3. Turn your work at the end of a row. 3rd loops on back of half double crochets.The yarn strand that runs horizontal and are underlined in blue here are what you will insert your hook under.Where to find 3rd loop on back of hdc stitch underlined in blue.
    4. Ch 2 (this counts as the turning chain and not a stitch) to start a new row. Now you will always be looking at the wrong side of the previous row.
    5. To make the first stitch YO and insert your hook under the first horizontal bar (3rd loop), Yarn over insert your hook under the vertical third loop.
    6. YO and pull up a loop (3 loops on your hook) Yarn over and pull up a loop.
    7. YO and pull through all 3 loops to complete a hdc normally.Yarn over and pull through to finish half double crochet.
    8. Repeat steps 5 -7 for the next st and in each st across the row.
    9. Tip: Sometimes the last stitch can be tricky to identify. Use a stitch marker to mark it. And count the number of stitches each row until you get the hang of it.

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