Stripes the cat and I have an uneasy relationship.

She is not entirely certain of how she feels about me, and I have similar ambiguous feelings about her, but when the topic is crochet, she and I are of one mind: Crochet is awesome.

Despite the fact that Stripes has decided that the stools at the breakfast bar in the kitchen are elevated scratching posts, and the fact that she routinely causes household mayhem, she seems to have a genuine appreciation for crochet, and she neither disturbs projects while they are being made nor damages them.

The striped rug that Stripes is surveying in the above photo was very easy to make. I crocheted it using two strands of Red Heart Super Saver yarn and an N hook. The colors I used were Linen, Country Blue, and Windsor Blue, and a stitch I call “Annie’s Stitch” because the student who first introduced me to this stitch is named Annie.

I had taught Annie the basics of crochet one afternoon, and she was an enthusiastic and able crocheter. About a week after our first lesson where I had taught her (and she seemed to have mastered) the basics of crochet: how to make a slip knot, a chain, and a single crochet stitch, she returned to my office for help with the project she had recently begun, an afghan made entirely of single crochet stitches.

Or so she thought.

When she showed me the already sizable afghan, I quickly realized that not only was it not a single crochet stitch, and that I, in fact, had never seen the stitch she was using. I cautiously asked her what stitch it was, and she told me that it was the stitch I had taught her. Knowing that I had not taught her how to make this stitch that I had never seen, I asked her to refresh my memory and show me how she made the stitch.

What she showed me was not a traditional single crochet, but a stitch that is much more like a half-double slip stitch, produced by making a yarn over before inserting the hook into the stitch being worked, and then completed as one would a slip stitch, pulling the yarn through both loops on the hook.

The result of this kind of a slip stitch is a fabric that is both supple and very dense, a combination not easily achieved in crochet. In addition to this unusual and interesting texture, the stitch reversible, and there is a lot of opportunity to do interesting things with color and texture as each row is recessed from the other.

Part of what I love about crochet is the opportunity for innovation and exploration, and this seems to be a point on which both the cat and I agree.