American Half-Treble Crochet Stitch (htr)By A Guest Writer – 33 Comments
A Guest Post by Suzann Thompson.
My Oma indulged a teenaged me by buying me German knitting and crochet magazines. (What a wonderful Oma!) I found a cute short-sleeved top with a wavy crochet stitch pattern: sc, hdc, dc, trc, dc, hdc, and repeat. We bought the yarn. I started crocheting.
It was just a small thing, but after the first row, I was bothered by the fact that the treble crochet stitches buckled. The difference in height between the double crochet and the treble was too large. Each treble had to bend to meet the double crochet stitch on each side of it.
On the next row, the wavy pattern shifted so that the trebles had single crochets on them, and vice versa. This evened out the texture and the finished project looked fine. The issue of the buckling trc faded from my mind.
Then, in the fall of 2006, the buckling trc returned to haunt me. I was designing flowers and leaves, trying to squeeze as much shaping as possible into a small space. There was often no second row or round to even out the texture. Suddenly the difference in height between the trc and dc was too much. I needed a stitch that was taller than a dc, but shorter than a trc.
We already have one intermediate stitch in the crochet arsenal: the half-double-crochet, or hdc. It makes the half-step transition between the sc and the dc. Following from that, it made sense that a stitch that steps up from a dc, yet is shorter than a trc, might be called a half-treble-crochet, or htr.
So how would a person make this so-called htr stitch? Once again, I turned to the hdc for inspiration. The hdc begins like a dc, only when you have three loops on the hook, you yarn over and pull through all three of the loops, instead of working them off two by two.
“I will start as if I’m going to make a trc,” I said to myself. “When I get to the point where I have three loops left on my hook, I’ll just yarn over and pull through all three. And that will be my htr!”
It worked. The stitch was indeed about halfway between the dc and the trc in height. It was sturdier than the spindly trc. Here’s how to make the American htr:
- Yo twice. Insert hook in next stitch and draw up a loop (4 loops on hook)
- Yo and draw through two loops (3 loops on hook)
- Yo and draw through remaining loops (1 loop on hook)
“Why call this the American htr?” you may ask. Good question. Because there’s a British htr equivalent to the American hdc. The British term for the American htr would have to be “hdtr,” or half-double-treble.
Had I invented a new stitch? No, I felt certain that others had gone through the same thought process as I had.
Recently, I found out that one of the “others” was the incomparable Thèrése de Dillmont, author of The Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework (see Notes, below). In her chapter on crochet, under the section “Triple and quadruple trebles,” she writes:
When a series of gradually lengthening trebles is to be made, in every other treble the last [yarn]over is drawn through the last three loops…
…which is exactly how the htr is made: the last yarn over is drawn through the last three loops. But de Dillmont takes it further, suggesting the technique to produce half-steps between longer stitches, like double trebles and triple trebles. Who knows to which wobbly heights we can stretch this technique?
de Dillmont ends the section by saying, “This variation in the length of trebles is often necessary for making flowers, leaves, indented edges, and scallops.”
My thoughts exactly!
Suzann Thompson first published the htr in her book Crochet Bouquet (Lark, 2008). Her next crochet book also has htr sts in it. Look for it in the Spring of 2012. Suzann lives in rural Texas, surrounded by family, animals, yarn, and books. See more of Suzann’s work at http://www.textilefusion.com and please follow the links to her blogs.
Note: The Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework, by Thèrése de Dillmont, (Anniversary Edition, Running Press, Philadelphia, PA, 2002), pp. 284-285. This book uses British crochet terms.