For several weeks, we've been exploring this notion of where to put the hook to create different textures. Working in the back loop only (blo) produces a dense-looking fabric with a ridged appearance and quite a bit of vertical stretch. Working front loop only (flo) produces a drapey, smooth-finished fabric that is taller than regular double crochet and has some stretch. Alternating blo and flo produces a textured fabric with a lot of stretch in all directions.
Today's nifty project lets you utilize both the front and back loop of a stitch to create a very interesting fabric that has no stretch at all. What's very cool about this stitch is that it uses reverse single crochet (or crab stitch) within the fabric. Reverse single crochet is usually used only as an edging, because it is a terminal stitch; there's no place to stick the hook after you're done without disrupting the stitch pattern.
Here's how this fabric works: Do a base row of double crochet. Do not turn. Work reverse single crochet in the front loop only back to the beginning of the row. Note: Work the reverse single crochet from bottom to top of the loop to create the interesting "crab stitch." If you work from the top to the bottom of the loop, you will create a regular single crochet, which is a cool technique but creates a whole different look. Then, when you reach the beginning of the row, work double crochet in the back loop across the row.
You can find a pattern for a washcloth using this stitch on the blog. We've gilded the lily by working reverse single crochet all around the edge.
Some other ways to use this stitch: The front-loop ridge makes a fine border—try it at the cuffs and hem of a cardigan or child's dress, either in the same yarn or a contrasting color. You could make a choker-style necklace by working the stitch in thread, substituting the double crochet with a leggy triple or taller stitch. Worked in laceweight, this pattern would make a lovely scarf; you could try working just occasional ridges, rather than on every row.
Go wild—make your own thing. And share pictures of your FOs on CrochetMe!