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The eyelet stitch is an alternative way from chaining to form open spaces. It is useful for making a series of open spaces or button holes. This also gives a different look to the open spaces. The return 'horizontal bars' look more like sideways double crochet stitches and you can see how it blends nicely and gives a more oval shape instead of the block look of chains.
All you have to do to make the eyelet stitch is make a 'yarn over' in the forward pass for every stitch that is skipped then return in the standard manner.