How to Crochet in the ‘Third Loop’

You’ve learned the basic stitches – slip stitch, single crochet, half-double, double crochet stitches and maybe even front loop only and back loop only…but what the heck does it mean to “crochet in the third loop!?” The ‘third loop’ is a loop that is created when working with a half-double crochet stitch. Working in this space is suggested in a few of my patterns, including the recently released Flora Granny Square. Read below to find out how to find this loop and place your stitches in the right spot!

Image depicts a granny square blanket featuring whimsical flowers with gold centers and peach and pink petals. The squares are joined together with a sage green border. The image links to the crochet pattern for the blanket, called the Flora Blanket
The Flora Granny Square pattern uses the back loop only and third loop technique in crocheting parts of the flower.

A half-double crochet stitch is made by yarning over, inserting your hook into the stitch, yarning over and pulling through all loops on the hook. The third loop is created on the back side of the half double crochet stitch by that extra yarn over. This tutorial will review how to find the third loop when working in the round, though you can look use the info to find the third loop when working in rows as well.

When working in the round, the third loop is always on the backside of your work. Looking at the top of your work, you will see there is a “v” stitch. You can identify the front loop and the back loop of the v-stitch on the top of the work. If you angle the work, you will see that there is also seemingly another line across the back of the yarn, below the v-stitch. This is the third loop! To crochet in this loop, place your hook through this space. You will noticed that the v-stitch on top of the work is pushed towards the front when you work in the third loop. This creates a neat texture to the front as it pushes the stitches forward.

To crochet in this loop, place your hook through this space. You will noticed that the v-stitch on top of the work is pushed towards the front when you work in the third loop. This creates a neat texture to the front as it pushes the stitches forward.

In a few of my patterns, it specifies to work through both the BLO (back loop only) and the third loop. So…what does this mean!? In these instances, you will work your stitch through the back loop only of the v-stitch AND the third loop at the same time. You will still have a bit of a ridge on the front of the work, but I think this helps give stability to the stitches, rather than working through one loop alone.

That’s a brief glimpse at how to find the third loop and how it is typically worked in some of my patterns. It is an easy way to give some varying texture to a design and a fun technique to play around with!

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