I have completely fallen for the crossed hdc (xhdc) stitch. I love the texture it creates and the easy repetitive pattern that also keeps my brain awake. I’m very excited to tell you I have a new pattern collection featuring a pretty combination of half double crochet (hdc), crossed half double crochet (xhdc) and 3rd loop, which when combined together create a gorgeous texture and visual delight. This post is all about the cowl crochet pattern, the first of the Cute When You’re Cross collection (named after my adorable wee monsters who are so cute when they’re cross!).
So far in this collection I have been working on this cowl, a beanie hat in 5 sizes (you might meet the wee monsters modelling theirs!), full and fingerless mitts also in 5 sizes and a bag too. There may be more, I love this stitch combination so much!
I decided to release the cowl first, as it has no shaping, making it a great introduction to working with these stitches. It works up really quickly and makes a fantastic gift idea. The crochet cowl PDF pattern includes both sizes, instructions for single colour and two-colour, along with a photo tutorial for the stitches.
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Both sizes have been tested by my wonderful team of testers so you shouldn’t have any problems, but, as always, if you do, please just get in touch so I can help you.
The pattern is written in US crochet terminology with UK in brackets in the abbreviations.
In exploring this pretty stitch combination, I wanted to create a neat raised line all the way around, including the join. I also found that the slanting join we always get in joining rounds was particularly noticeable on the cowl. This join also behaves like a crease, so the cowl tends to fold over on itself in a diagonal line! This means you would have to pay attention when you put it on to put the joining seam at the back.
I’m a busy mama, I’ve no time for that when I’m flying out the door! So the pattern has been written using simple techniques (clearly indicated in the pattern) to resolve these issues.
The pattern recommends the use of the invisible join to finish the round before the 3rd loop round. And moving the starting stitch on the 2nd round of the hdc/hdc. The result is a less noticeable join. The photo below shows the comparison between the two joins, with the staggered join on the top and a standard slanting join at the bottom. It’s not as clear from the picture as it is on a physical item, and is a minor detail that may not even be noticed by many, but it bothered me.
Aran/Worsted #4 Weight – 90-135 yards (50-75g) depending on size made.
Suggested yarn: Hobbycraft Women’s Institute Soft & Smooth Aran (100% acrylic). It’s beautifully soft and anti-pilling so keeps the cowl looking great for longer. Alternatives: Deramores Studio Aran weight (also anti-pilling) or your preferred #4 weight yarn.
Hook & Other Materials
- US Size J (6mm) crochet hook
- Yarn needle
- Stitch marker
Adult: 11” wide (22” circumference) by 7” height
Child: 9.5” wide (19” circumference) by 5” height
St – Stitch
Sts – Stitches
Sl st – Slip stitch
Ch – Chain
Sk – Skip
Yo – Yarn over
Fsc – Foundation Single Crochet (Fdc – Foundation double crochet)
Hdc – Half double crochet (UK Htr – Half Treble)
Xhdc – Crossed half double crochet (UK Htr – Crossed Half Treble) – see special stitches
Hdc3lp – Half Double Crochet worked in 3rd Loop (UK Htr3lp – Half treble worked in 3rd loop) – see special stitches
FO – Fasten off
Fsc (Foundation single crochet/chainless foundation). This technique creates your stitch and chain at the same time. It creates a more stretchy edge than doing them separately. Ch 2, insert hook in 2nd ch from hook through both loops, yo, pull up loop, yo, pull through 1 loop – chain made, yo, pull through both loops -1st Fsc made. Turn work clockwise, now *Insert hook under 2 loops of the chain just made, yo, pull up loop, yo, pull through 1 loop, yo, pull through both loops. Repeat from * until you have the desired number of stitches. A photo tutorial is included in the PDF.
Hdc3lp (Hdc 3rd loop). Stitch is worked in the 3rd loop instead of the usual top 2 loops. The 3rd loop is located behind the top 2 loops. Tilt your work towards you slightly to see. You’ll see another loop behind the back loop, that’s the 3rd loop. Working in this stitch creates an attractive raised line from the top 2 loops. Note the first stitch won’t have the 3rd loop in this place. It slopes so looks different to the rest. In the red yarn photo below, I’m pointing to the 1st 3rd loop.
Invisible Join. When you have worked the last st of the round, take the loop off the hook and thread through both loops of the 1st st (where you would do a sl st to join), the loop is now at the back of your work, insert hook onto the loop again and begin the next round. I made a Tutorial for this technique for my Free Sparkle Star Coaster pattern, and the basics are the same. See it here.
Crossed half double crochet (Xhdc): Hdc worked back over a skipped stitch. Worked in pairs of hdc and xhdc as follows: sk1, hdc, xhdc in the skipped stitch, next pair is worked by skipping over the next unworked st, hdc in next then xhdc in the skipped st. (see Swatch section for photo tutorial). Note: The first st you make in the next round will be in the xhdc of the previous round pair. If done in the hdc you won’t get the same slant and your stitch count may go wrong. The close-up picture below shows how it should look.
- The cowl is worked in 1 piece and is worked in rounds after the foundation row is joined.
- The starting ch 2 of the foundation row and ch 1 of the last round do NOT count as a stitch.
- Chains are not used to start the remaining rounds, just do the stitch indicated. This minimizes the appearance of the join.
- A staggered join (alternating the starting st) is used in the xhdc rounds to avoid a slanting join line.
- Stitch count is shown at the end of each round. Always check your stitch count once you’ve joined a round to ensure you don’t miss or add any stitches.
- It is helpful to use a stitch marker to mark the first stitch.
- Begin with an 8-10” tail of yarn. You will need this to connect the base of the first st to the last fsc when you are weaving in ends at the end.
- It’s easy to adjust the size, e.g. if you like a longer cowl, increase the number of stitches in round 1 in multiples of 2. If you want it to be taller or shorter then you can adjust the round repeats.
2 hdc/xhdc pairs (4 stitches) x 2 row = approx.1” (2.5cm). Check your gauge by making a small swatch.
With J (6mm) hook, ch 11, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch, turn. 10
Row 1: Sk 1st st, Hdc in the next st, xhdc in skipped st, *sk, hdc, xhdc, repeat * to end. Swatch complete. Pic 1: the hook points to where you do the 1st hdc. Pic 2: the xhdc. Pic 3: points to where the next hdc goes. Pic 4: swatch complete.
Now measure your swatch along the top of the stitches. In a couple of places if you want to be doubly sure. If 4 stitches are bigger than 1”, go down a half or full hook size and re-do swatch. If they are smaller than 1”, go up a half or full hook size. Repeat swatch to check again.
Got your supplies and ready to make your gorgeous Cute when you’re cross cowl? The adult side only is shown below. For both adult and child sizes, plus additional two colour instructions, you can buy the inexpensive ad-free, easy print, PDF below.
I’d love to see your finished cowls so please share your work on Ravelry with a project and tag me in your social media posts. Use the hashtags #cutewhencrosscowl and/or #thecraftytherapist @thecraftytherapist on Instagram and @thecraftytherapy on Facebook.
Instructions – Single Colour ADULT sized Cowl
Round 1: Ch 2, work 1 fsc into 1st chain (2nd ch from hook), make 2nd fsc in the base of the first fsc and repeat until you have the number of stitches needed for the size plus your starting ch 2 (does NOT count as a stitch). Join with sl st to 1st st. 70
Round 2: Hdc around. Join with invisible join to 1st st. 70
Round 3: Hdc3lp around, join with sl st to 1st st. 70
Round 4: Sk 1st st, hdc in next, xhdc in skipped st,*sk, hdc, xhdc in skipped st, repeat from * around, join to 1st st. 70
Round 5: Sl st into next 2 st to move to next hdc/xhdc pair, hdc in next, xhdc in prev sl st, *sk, hdc, xhdc in skipped st, repeat from * around, work last pair over the sl sts at the start of the round, join to 1st st (hdc). 70
Round 6: Repeat round 4, join with sl st to 1st st. 70
Rounds 7-16: Repeat rounds 2-6 70
Rounds 17-18: Repeat rounds 2-3. 70
Round 19: Ch 1, sc around, join with sl st or invisible finish. Fasten off.
Sew your starting tail to the base of the last fsc to join, weave in ends.
I hope you love the pattern but if you have any problems please get in touch through social media messenger. Remember if you’d like this adult size in easy print format and the child size plus additional two colour instructions, you can buy the inexpensive ad-free, easy print, PDF below.
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