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How to cover an upholstered chair back

Damaged Chair
Damaged ChairCatherine Hill

Recently, I was given a perfectly nice office chair that had one little problem - the previous owners' cats had shredded part of the upholstery. These folks know I am a cat owner and a needle craft enthusiast, so they knew I could easily handle the problem.

For this job, I decided to use my own idiosyncratic version of double crochet. Every time I look at the videos, I see another wrinkle, so I just do what works. The folks who have received my little double crocheted handbags have certainly appreciated them! For a job as big as covering a rent in upholstery, I decided to use chunky Lion Hometown Brand acrylic yarn and my largest (11.11) crochet hook.

Damaged Chair
Damaged Chair Catherine Hill

Damaged Chair

This damage was not a really big problem.  I decided to double crochet a ten inch cover for the entire circumference of the chair.  To do this, I chained 103 stitches of Lion Hometown Yarn (extra chunky).  I used bits of rolls I had on hand and bought two new ones.

First, yarn over
First, yarn over Catherine Hill

First, yarn over

The first step in double crochet is to YARN OVER the hook with your working yarn (the stuff still attached to the ball).  You do not, as I first thought, have to thread the working yarn through a loop.  The job is simpler than that.

Hook your FOURTH loop
Hook your FOURTH loop Catherine Hill

Hook your FOURTH loop

Double crochet is a tall stitch, so SKIP the first three loops on your chain.  Bring the hook through the FOURTH loop.  That's why I chained 103 for this project.

Yarn Over again
Yarn Over again Catherine Hill

Yarn Over again

Now you YARN OVER again!  Now you have four loops, and you must push the middle two over the hook.  I generally pick the middle two up physically and lift them over, but experienced practitioners do it much more deftly.  Do whatever works for you.

Two loops again!
Two loops again! Catherine Hill

Two loops again!

Now you still have two loops on your hook.  What to do now?  YARN OVER again!  Now you pull the first two loops over the new one, and you have a completed stitch!

Completed double crochet stitch
Completed double crochet stitch Catherine Hill

Completed double crochet stitch

This is the way a completed double crochet stitch looks using my method.  According to some of the videos, I've left out an additional YARN OVER, but this produces a pleasing and useful result.

Completed line of double crochet
Completed line of double crochet Catherine Hill

Completed line of double crochet

This is what a completed sample line looks like.  It does not have the zig-zag effect of single crochet and generally lies flatter.  (Use single crochet for your dish cloths; that's where those little bumps have scrubbing power!)

Starting the next row
Starting the next row Catherine Hill

Starting the next row

Like I explained earlier, double crochet is a TALL stitch.  You don't want to keep skipping stitches as you continue, so you CHAIN THREE loops to start the next row.  This counts as your first stitch.

Starting your next stitch
Starting your next stitch Catherine Hill

Starting your next stitch

Now YARN OVER and push your hook through the first stitch of the previous row.  From now on, you will be doing the same actions over and over until you complete your item.

Two rows of double crochet
Two rows of double crochet Catherine Hill

Two rows of double crochet

This is what two rows of double crochet look like.  As you can see, it lies flat and produces a very pleasant pattern.  I generally use this stitch with acrylic yarn to make handbags, totes, and other items that can be simply sewn together.

Front cover
Front cover Catherine Hill

Front cover

Here is the completed front of my chair cover.  I simply stretched the fabric all the way around the chair and pinned the top in place before sewing it up with a large-eyed plastic needle.  This needle I got with the Martha Stewart Knit and Weave Kit.

Back of chair cover
Back of chair cover Catherine Hill

Back of chair cover

Once the top was stitched in place, I pinned and sewed up the right side to complete a variegated, washable chair cover.  This may not be textbook double crocheting, but it will last a long time and add color to my workspace.