Have you ever heard of the third loop of single crochet?
Normally, when a pattern mentions the third loop, you immediately and rightfully associate it with crocheting in the third loop of half double crochet.
However, also the single crochet has a sort of third loop, and I’ll show you where to find it and why you should learn how to crochet in that loop.
Save this tutorial for later by pinning it HERE.
What is the Third Loop of a Single Crochet?
The third loop of a single crochet is the horizontal bar on the back of the stitch.
In the picture below, you can see the right side of a single crochet square right next to the wrong side of the same square.
Now, you’ll see that when you turn your work, there is a horizontal bar just below the top chains of the stitch.
That is the third loop!
However, as we learned in the anatomy of crochet stitches, calling it “third loop” is not entirely correct.
What is the third loop?
Technically, only half double crochet stitches have the third loop.
The third loop of a half double crochet forms as a consequence of the yarn over that you make at the beginning of the stitch, and the fact that you close all 3 loops on the hook at once.
Instead, when you close a double crochet, you yarn over and pull through 2 twice. So, the “third loop” stays in the middle of the stitch.
However, if you take a look at the wrong side of a double crochet, you’ll see that it does have a horizontal bar just below the top of the stitch. Exactly like the one that we just saw for a single crochet!
In the case of a double crochet, that horizontal bar comes from the first yarn over-pull through 2 when you’re closing the stitch.
On the other hand, for a single crochet, the horizontal bar originates from the first loop that you pull up after inserting the hook into the indicated stitch.
Actually, the horizontal bar is the norm in crochet stitches, and it’s present even in half double crochets right below the proper third loop (take a close look at the pic above)!
So, do we start calling everything on the back of a stitch “third loop”?
I wouldn’t say so. But in the case of single crochets, it is convenient to use the same terminology as for a half double crochet and call that horizontal bar “third loop”.
After all, sometimes, the third loop of half double crochets is referred to as a horizontal bar!
Now that we cleared the air around third loops and horizontal bars, let’s see how to crochet in this weir loop!
How to Crochet in the Third Loop of Single Crochet
To crochet in the third loop of single crochet, insert your hook into the third loop and work your stitch as you would normally do.
If you’re working in rows, the third loop will be on the side of the work that is facing you.
When working in the round, like in the example in the picture below, the third loop is to the back of your work.
So, you will need to bring your hook to the wrong side and insert it into the third loop.
Since the third loop of single crochet can be quite tight, you can find it difficult to just slide your hook into it.
Instead, it might be easier to literally hook the loop using the tip of your crochet hook, and then, slide the hook into the loop!
Why should you crochet in the third loop of single crochets?
Just like crocheting in the third loop of half double crochets, working in the third loop of single crochet can help you get a nice texture, but that’s not it.
I personally love to use the third loop of single crochet to work the body of crochet baskets and boxes, or for Amigurumi cubes and cylinders, since it gives a nice and much more defined shape compared to crocheting in the back or front loop only.
BLO vs Third Loop
In the picture below, you can see two versions of the same Amigurumi little box.
The only difference is that for the white one, the body was worked in the back loop only, while for the green one, in the third loop of single crochet.
Find more free crochet tutorials here on the blog…