A few months ago I was designing this popular Bow Arm Warmers crochet pattern, when I hit a problem. It’s something that happens often, but because my projects were wider, it wasn’t an issue before: the diagonal seam. These arm warmers had a seam wrapping around them like a spiral, and I didn’t like it one bit. But what to do? I wasn’t willing to change the stitch, hdc will always be my favorite, pretty little stitch. So I experimented. I am pleased to say that I found an easy way to fix the problem: how to crochet a straight seam with hdc stitches.
The main problem is the natural shape of the hdc stitch. Since you are finishing by pulling yarn through 3 stitches, the top loops will always pull to the right. Always. So we can’t fix that. But we can fix where the round ends and begins, thus changing were the seam is.
Please note: This method only work is you are NOT counting the chain as a stitch ( I rarely do anyway), for those who are used to counting the chain, it will take a bit of practice.
So, if you were working these Dainty Bow Arm Warmers, and you were starting on the second row after working a hdc in each chain, you would ch 1, sk the same st. Hdc in next st, and hdc in each st around, except the last st. This is where we move where the round ends. Because you skipped the same stitch as the chain, you will be short a stitch on your total row count. To compensate for this and to push the seam to the left, you will work 2 hdc in the last stitch.
However, because this compensation isn’t perfect, you will need to work TWO rounds this way, and then the third round should be worked normally, by working your first st in the same st. Otherwise, you will face a new and different problem of a seam that pulls to the left.
That’s all well and good for a tube shape, but what about a hat?
I’ve got you covered! The method works in a similar fashion, with a few tweaks due to the existing increases in a hat.
Here is the gist of the method: you need to skip the same st, but still need to compensate for the lost stitch, and move the seam over. If you work your hats like I do, starting with 8 stitches, the increase rounds will already end with an increase, so you need to add extra increases at the end.
This pattern is for a 12 month-old-sized hat, but I am hoping you can see how the rows are worked and use it in any sized pattern you need.
12 Month Baby Hat – Straight Hdc Seam
Begin with a magic ring
1. Ch 1. Hdc 8 in the ring. Join with sl st with first st.
2. Ch 1. 2 Hdc in same st. 2 Hdc in each st around (16 sts)
3. Ch 1. Sk same st. Hdc in next st. *2 hdc in next st, hdc in next st* work 5 times. 2 hdc in last 4 sts. Join with first hdc (24 sts)
4. Ch 1. Hdc in same st. Hdc in next st. 2 hdc in next st. *Hdc 2, 2 hdc in next st* work 7 times. (32 sts)
5. Ch 1. Sk same st. Hdc in next st. Hdc 2. 2 hdc in next st. *Hdc 3, 2 hdc in next st* work 6 times. Hdc in next st. 2 hdc in next 2 sts. Join with beginning hdc. (40 sts)
6. Ch 1. Sk same st. Hdc in next st. Hdc 3. 2 hdc in nexts t. *Hdc 4, 2 hdc in next st* work 6 times. Hdc 2. 2 hdc in next 2 sts. (48 sts)
7. Ch 1. Hdc in same st. Hdc 4. 2 hdc in next st. *Hdc 5, 2 hdc in next st* work 7 times. Join with beginning hdc. (56 sts)
8. Ch 1. Hdc in same st. Hdc 55. Join with first hdc. (56 sts)
9. Ch 1. Sk same st. Hdc in next st. Hdc 53. 2 hdc in last st. Join with first hdc. (56 sts)
10. Work row 9.
11. Work row 8.
Once you are done increasing, begin working the pattern of 2 rows of skipping and increasing, and 1 regular row.
You can experiment as well and just use your eyes as your guide, checking to see if your seam is staying in the same general area. It does a slight zig-zag pattern as it pull one way and you bring it back, but overall it makes a straight seam.
I hope you find this method for crocheting a straight seam with hdc useful! It saved me for sure.