How To Crochet Helena's Potholder Stitch

These instructions assume you know how to crochet at least a little. For instructions on the basics of crocheting, see the Crochet Network web site.
Starting chain stitches Make a chain of loops one chain stitch longer than you want the resulting article to be wide.
First row of single crochet stitches Insert the hook in the top side of the second-to-the-last loop (the yarn highlighted in yellow in the photo) and make a single crochet stitch. Repeat across the row of chain stitches. Make sure you always use the same side of loops on the original chain. At the end of the row, chain stitch once.
Before starting the second row of single crochets Hold the work vertically, with the newest stitches at the top, as in the photo. See how my thumbs are pointing to two stitches I've highlighted in yellow? You'll be doing a row of single crochets, but instead of putting the hook through loops in the top row of stitches, you will put it through these two loops instead.
Inserting the hook in the first two loops Carefully insert the hook in both loops, starting with the front loop from the row of single crochets and then the second loop from the chain row (this is why you need to make sure to always use the same side of the chains on the first row of single crochet stitches). Complete a single crochet stitch, drawing yarn through both loops.
Zipping up the loops Repeat across the rows. I find that the first pair of loops in a row is often the hardest loops to see; when you finish the first single crochet, the rest of the loops seem to "zip" together, like a zipper.
What the stitch looks like with a number of rows Repeat for as many rows as you want. The result is a dense "cloth" that feels thick and spongy -- perfect for potholders and cosy afghans.
The afghan I made
The afghan I made.

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