Mile-A-Minute crochet consists of oblong panels joined together.
Mile-A-Minute is a crochet technique where the item is constructed from long, thin panels or strips that are joined by borders. Some Mile-A-Minute patterns require you to whipstitch the panels together. This is a quick process because the borders on the panels match each other stitch for stitch.
The Center Column
A centre column consisting of short rows of double crochet shells.
The Mile-A-Minute crochet technique can be used on clothing, afghans, or even bookmarks: anything that can be constructed from oblong strips of crochet. Start with the centre column. Some patterns will have you crochet a cluster of stitches and chain loops in very short rows to create a long ladder that will be the base of your panel. Another method is to start with a very long chain where you stitch into both sides to create the oblong shape. The pattern will indicate how many panels you need to make for the design, and it's quicker to make all of the centre pieces first, then work on the borders.
Borders are stitched around the centre column.
Work borders around the centre columns. This widens the strips and defines the rounded, oblong shape that is associated with the term "Mile-A-Minute." When placed side-by-side, the completed panels will resemble a line of Popsicle sticks. Make a bookmark by crocheting a single, small-scale Mile-A-Minute panel with crochet thread.
Join the panels with simple crochet stitches, such as single crochet or chains, or whipstitch them together, matching the side stitches. Because the panels are identical, matching the stitches to assemble them is very easy.
Double crochet and chain stitches used in a Mile-A-Minute pattern.
The stitches used in Mile-A-Minute designs tend to be the basic crochet stitches even beginners are familiar with, such as chain stitch, single crochet, or double crochet. That along with the repetitive nature of the patterns and the short rows of the centre column make them quick to crochet. An entire afghan can be made in a day using this method.
To resize a Mile-A-Minute pattern, increase or decrease the width by adding or subtracting panels from the final design. To change the length, you just need to adjust the length of the centre strip.
Crochet over loose ends as you go.
Mile-A-Minute patterns typically involve several colour changes between the centre column and the border rows. Hold the loose ends against the stitches as you crochet to cover the yarn ends with the next row's stitches. This will leave you with less weaving in to do when the project is complete.
- More Mile-A-Minute Marathon Afghans; various authors; Annie's Attic, Inc., 1996
- Afghans to Love; Anne Van Wagner, Editor-in-Chief; Leisure Arts, 1996
- Our Best Afghans A to Z; various authors; Leisure Arts, 1998