This website uses US crochet terminology. Please refer to the US-UK terminology chart to translate US terminology into UK terms.
Padding stitches are the only stitches that use a third dimension of placement – behind in the meaning of “on the back side of” a special stitch.
These stitches use the free top loops of a stitch that was skipped for a special stitch in a previous round.
Padding stitches increase the special 3D effect of the pattern and bring the skipped stitch behind the special stitch up to the level of the current round.
Black Sheep crochet square, triangle and border patterns often use different 2 padding stitches (and occasional, especially explained variations of those) – hdcbb and dcbb
What is a dcbb?
A dcbb is a double crochet that is worked into the top loops of the stitch behind and 2 rounds below the next stitch, which is usually a special stitch.
Technically, this is a dc_0-2-b, double crochet behind the st 2 rounds below the next stitch, but we leave it as a dcbb.
In order to avoid unwanted increases, we usually skip a stitch behind each special stitch we make, for example a front post stitch or a stitch worked into the front loop of a stitch in a round further below (unless instructed otherwise). This leaves the top loops free, in which we can then work into in the following round.
The dcbb is useful to close gaps behind special stitches and to make a motif more dimensional, as it brings the front stitches forward. It can be used when working in rounds as well as with forwards-and-backwards rows.
How to work the dcbb
A dcbb is easy to work.
When the pattern calls for it, you will have the tops of stitches behind a stitch from the previous round (that has been worked into a front loop or around another stitch) available to work into.
Without turning your work, flip the top edge of the work slightly down (forward) so that you can see the free / skipped stitch in the back. Sometimes the skipped stitch can be a bit hidden. Make sure you find the correct loops to work into and that the special stitch stays in front.
Work a normal dc into the top loops.
hdcbb or dcbb into the free top loops
of the st 2 rounds below the next stitch
= behind and below the next stitch of
the previous round (indicated loops)
find the free top loops of the st behind and 2 rounds below the next st (special stitch)
yo, insert hook in top loops,
yo and pull through
yo and pull through two loops
yo and pull through both loops on the hook
Sometimes the pattern calls for a hdcbb, which is worked in a similar way, except finishing the stith as a hdc instead of a dcbb.
Comparison: dcbb vs single crochet
Working a dcbb behind a special stitch brings the overlay stitches forward. The top loops of the special stitches will stay free, which means they can be worked into later.
The top edge of the stitch can appear rough and unfinished, which may be a wanted effect, or will be covered by a front post stitch made around the special stitch.
Working single crochets into the top loops of the special stitches in comparison to dcbb seems ‘finished’ and closed. The skipped stitch behind the special stitch stays free and leaves a gap.