What’s so special about the Herringbone Double Crochet Stitch?
The Herringbone stitch is used in several crafts including embroidery, knitting, and crochet. It is named as the stitch, once made, resembles the spine on the Herring fish; in some crafts the Herringbone pattern is also called the ZigZag Chevron pattern. You can also find this pattern most commonly in brick work, tile work, roads, and fabrics etc. Per, “Cables, Diamonds, Herringbone: Secrets of Knitting Traditional Fisherman’s Sweaters”, historically, the Herringbone pattern represents the “fisherman’s catch and thus for success in one’s career.”
The Herringbone Stitch creates a firm fabric that has a smooth surface. It has some give, but is not an overly stretchy stitch. Most often, this stitch is used to create smaller flat projects, like coasters, dish rags, scarfs, etc. and larger projects like blankets and garments (however, the garments cannot be made in the round (see more about this below)). The Herringbone effect is only produced when this stitch is worked back and forth on a piece; this stitch does not work in-the-round, as the zigzag / chevron pattern will not appear.
There are several stitches that can be made in crochet, including the Herringbone Half Double Crochet Stitch and the Herringbone Double Crochet Stitch. The Herringbone Double Crochet, most commonly abbreviated as HBDC in patterns, is considered a simple variation on the basic stitch. It takes the classic Double Crochet stitch and elevates it by adding a slight tilt, or arrow shape, to the rows. The tilt, when worked in back and forth rows creates the Herringbone Pattern; however rows must be worked in multiples of two (one row down and the second row back) to create this effect. Each row will tilt, or lean, in the direction that the stitches are made; which is why two rows must be worked to create the zigzag effect. The Herringbone Double Crochet stitch is slightly taller than the Herringbone Half Double Crochet stitch and creates a more defined stitch.
Because of the similarities to the Double Crochet Stitch, when designing or making a pattern you can change the stitch pattern or the color of the yarn worked after the second row of the Herringbone stitch is completed.
The stitch starts very similarly to that of the classic Double Crochet by completing the yarn over and inserting the hook into the next stitch. However, this is where it gets elevated! There are three more yarn overs made in total to complete the Herringbone Double Crochet stitch! Yes, three! After the yarn over and inserting the hook into the stitch is complete, the first yarn over acts as a slip stitch by pulling the yarn over through the first stitch on the hook. The next yarn over then acts as an extended stitch by completing the yarn over and pulling up a loop through one loop on the hook. The final yarn over pulls through all remaining loops on the hook, similarly to that of the Double Crochet Stitch. Step by step instructions with images are below.
A video tutorial on this stitch can be found at:
The stitch chart for the Herringbone Double Crochet stitch looks like:
A link on how to read stitch charts can be found here:
How to Complete the Herringbone Double Crochet Stitch:
To start, chain any number of stitches plus two for your turning chains.
Step 1: Skip the first three stitches. Yarn over, insert your hook into the next stitch.
Note: When inserting the hook into the next stitch, the hook must be inserted into both loops of the stitch of the row below.
Step 2: Yarn over and pull up a loop through the stitch and through the first loop on your hook (this acts as a slip stitch). At this point you will have two loops on your hook (similarly to the double crochet).
Step 3: Yarn over and pull up a loop through the first loop on your hook (this is similar to an extended stitch and helps create the tilt to the row). You will have two loops left on your hook.
Step 4: Yarn over and pull up a loop through the remaining two loops on your hook.
You’ve done your first Herringbone Double Crochet!
How to Complete a Foundation Row using the Herringbone Double Crochet:
Step 1: Chain two. Yarn over and insert the hook into the second chain from the hook.
Step 2: Yarn over and draw up a loop.
Step 3: Yarn over and draw a loop through the first two loops on the hook.
Step 4: Yarn over and draw a loop through the first loop on the hook.
Step 5: Yarn over and draw a loop through the remaining two loops on the hook.
You’ve created your first Herringbone Double Crochet Foundation Stitch!
To continue the foundation row, yarn over and insert the hook under the two loops at the bottom of the stitch you’ve just made. Then, complete steps three through five above.
Time to Swatch!
To practice, I used a 4.5mm hook with Knit Picks Brava (sport weight) yarn. For my full list of recommended yarns for amigurumi, click here!
Row 1: Complete 20 of the Herringbone Double Crochet Foundation Stitch.
Row 2: Chain one. Complete the Herringbone Double Crochet in each stitch across to the end of the row. Turn.
Repeat Row 2, until you have completed 15 total rows or until you have reached your desired length for the swatch. (Remember: the Herringbone Double Crochet stitch will only work if the rows are worked in multiples of two and only in back and forth rows.)
Note: The Herringbone Double Crochet will create a zig-zag edge. If a straight edge is required for the piece you are making, simply complete a regular Double Crochet (DC) as your first and last stitch in each row.
I hope you like the Herringbone Double Crochet as much as I do!