Granny squares are traditional and awesome but as a kid I thought they looked old fashioned. What I did like were the puffy shell shaped stitches and my Mimmie tried to teach me but I had a hard time. Instead, she wound up showing me how to do the granny stitch in a straight line instead of a square. I got my shell shape but I wasn't stuck with squares.
As an adult, I find that I like the stitch when I want to do stripes. Either bold and chunky or by alternating every row, this stitch can be versatile in spite of the fact that it is very simple.
Crochet your chain in increments of three. Add one. Now add three more to act as our first double chain.
Double crochet into the fourth chain from your hook. Then chain once.
Now we're going to form our first shell shape. Crochet in the third chain from your recent double crochet, essentially skipping two chains in the process.
Double crochet two more times in the same chain you just used. See how you can see the hole where you went through the first go?
See how your shape formed? Chain once.
Skip two chains and double crochet three times into the third. Chain once. Repeat until you reach the end.
When you get to the end, you'll have three chains left. Double crochet once into the final chain.
Chain three times to act as your first double crochet and turn over.
Now instead of going through chains, we're going to go through the gaps. Double crochet once through the first gap. Chain once.
Continue to double crochet three times into the gaps until you run to the end. To finish each end, double crochet once into the last slot. Chain three times and turn over.
Double crochet once into the gap. Chain once and resume your double crochets in 3s down the piece.
FYI, hen you look at your work, you'll notice that you have one double crochet on one end and two on the other and that it alternates row per row.
The granny stitch works up pretty quickly. It has a look similar to the granny square, but you aren't bound to the square shape. If you need a rectangular afghan you can rock it out with this stitch!
This piece was originally meant to be a bath mat to match a shower curtain I think I'm going to sell on Ebay. I'm not sure what I was thinkin of buying a colorful curtain from Ikea... I'll stick with my white cotton waffle weave I think.
Besides, it turns out that my dog Aggie is kind of in love with this thing. Looks like somebody's got a new mat!
If you'd like to learn other crochet stitches, including the basics like how to chain, single crochet, double crochet as well as how to make traditional granny squares, please visit my crochet project gallery.