I did post my question on Ravelry, and guess what.. I was not the first. There was already a thread about this and one user did not only link to that but also answered it all in one posting. The user was AmberShrugged. She rocks, in my eyes.
I did ask her permission to copy her post here and did receive it. Here is what she wrote and linked to:
AmberShrugged (links re-entered by me)
Take a look at this thread on the Tunisian Crochet group. That thread has been archived, so here is a summary of the findings:
This is actually knit, not crochet. The stitch is called the woven basket stitch, and here is a pattern that uses it: Woven Basket Stitch Dishcloth.
The picture is a stock photo that was taken from a site by someone for the article who doesn’t know crochet; it doesn’t actually show the lady from the article crocheting. The only crocheted portion is the edging (which is why the pic shows a crochet hook). iStockPhoto source
The crochet stitch which probably comes the closest to duplicating this look is the granite stitch/seed stitch as shown in Love Scarf, Seed Stitch Square, and Seed Stitch Trivet.
So, does that answer everything?
Edit: I just had to try it.
Well, you have to work relatively loosely. But here is my sample.
I don't think this is the fastest stitch I ever worked but it isn't bad either.
I would recommend not to cast on your full amount of stitches for garter stitch base rows. Mine flares a bit and I would say: cast on a few less and increase evenly in the row before the woven stitch. For my 20 stitches I might have done will with 4-5 stitches less.