Sometimes all the difference in a handmade piece is the finishing. One of my favorite ways to finish a piece is with edging, and one I really like is the reverse single crochet, sometimes known as the “crab stitch”.
Crochet names, like “crab stitch” does not often tell you anything about the stitch, but at least “Reverse Single Crochet” gives you an idea…and it is pretty accurate. Essentially you are working a single crochet in the reverse direction.
You work the single crochet in the same manner, inserting your hook into the next stitch, yarn over, pull through a loop, yarn over and pull through two loops, but the difference is that instead of working in the normal direction of your crochet rows it is worked in the opposite stitches. So if you are right handed you will be working in the stitches located to the right of your work, and if you are left handed you will be working in the stitches to the left. This is in the opposite direction than you usually work.
The most common error made when working this stitch is reversing the processes even further by inserting the hook from the wrong side of the fabric, this actually creates a single crochet stitch, but it is just a single crochet, just as if you had turned the work. So always insert the hook from the front of the fabric and complete the stitch.
Starting this stitch can feel very awkward, and the first couple of stitches may look a little odd, but after you work a few you will start to see a stich that looks almost like a rope. It is this twisted effect of the stitch that really allows it to be used only as an edging.
Not only do I use this stitch as an edging, I occasionally use it as a joining stitch. I place the fabrics I am joining together wrong side together and work this stitch through both fabrics. It creates a raised rope at the edges of the fabrics. I find that this creates a nice textural effect as well as visual interest.
There is one tip I can offer to working this stitch, relax with your tension and pull up your loop a little higher than usual, this makes it a little easier to work in this different direction.