Hdc is my go-to stitch when designing. It’s that in-between stitch that’s just right. It’s taller than sc, but not as floppy as a dc, It makes a nice solid fabric that’s not as stiff as sc but has smaller gaps than dc. The down side of hdc is the decreases, particularly at the edges of the fabric. I’ve always hated the hdc2tog stitch, because I find the traditional way of doing it just gets too bulky. So I do it a little differently.
Abbreviations used in this tutorial: YO = yarn over, st = stitch. Note that I usually start my hdc rows with chain 1 instead of the normal chain 2, but when I’m decreasing at the starting edge, I do start with the typical chain 2.
The traditional hdc2tog is worked as follows: (YO, insert hook into next st, pull up a loop) twice, YO and pull through all 5 loops on hook. Jessie at Home has a great traditional hdc2tog tutorial for your reference. Here’s a piece showing traditional hdc2tog stitches along the edge:
See how the decreases at the edges look a little bulky and uneven? My way simply eliminates one of the YOs, which results in a slightly less bulky stitch. The part I like best about doing it this way is that you can make the stitch lean a little, just like knitting decreases, depending on which YO you skip. The stitch leans away from the skipped YO.
So for example, if I’m doing a decrease at the beginning of the row and trying to create a nice smooth angle, I would want the decrease to lean to the left. To achieve that, I would skip the first YO and work the stitch like this: insert hook into next st, pull up a loop, YO, insert hook into next st, pull up another loop, YO and pull through all 4 loops on hook.
If, on the other hand, I’m doing a decrease at the end of the row, I might want it to lean to the right (again to make the edge nice and smooth). In this case, I would skip the 2nd YO and work the stitch as follows: YO, insert hook into next st, pull up a loop, insert hook into next st and pull up another loop, YO and pull through all 4 loops on hook.
On this swatch, I have worked a left-leaning decrease at the start of each row, and right-leaning decrease at the end of each row:
With some yarns, and for some applications, the traditional version might work better for you – for example if you want a more centered, cluster-like stitch. In other situations, my version might work better. Maybe you’ll find your own way that you like even better! The cool thing about crochet is that it’s ok to make it your own. If something about a stitch doesn’t work for you, you can modify it to try and fix whatever the issue is. In fact, that’s usually how new stitches are invented!