Following are directions and hints for crocheting the roll stitch, also called a bullion crochet stitch, along with a photo of the stitch in progress.
This stitch consists of a coil of wraps around the hook, through which the thread is drawn. It is not a stitch for crochet beginners but is recommended for experienced crocheters who are looking to advance their crochet skills.
Wind thread around the hook smoothly 10 times (or as many times as called for in your directions); insert hook in work, wrap thread over hook and draw a loop through, wrap over hook again and draw carefully through the coil of all the loops on the hook, (you may find it necessary to pick the loops off the hook with your fingers, one at a time, while getting used to this stitch), wrap thread over hook again and draw through the remaining stitch.
The length of the roll stitch (bullion stitch) is determined by the number of wraps around the hook.
Designs that use the bullion stitch can be found in modern patterns as well as in antique publications. Handbook of Crochet, published in the early 1900s, says this about the roll stitch (a.k.a. bullion stitch): "A slender needle, tapering to the hook, is better for the purpose than a straight one, and its passage through the coil or roll is facilitated if the latter be held firmly between the thumb and finger of the left hand as the hook is worked through by the right."
Perhaps you are wondering about the reference that was made in the antique publication for using a needle to make a crochet stitch. In the early 1900s, crochet hooks were often called crochet needles (just a different name for the same crochet tool).
Photo source: resized from antique book Handbook of Crochet No. 2, Needlecraft Publishing Company, Augusta, Maine; No date in publication, circa early 1900s.