IC Technique

Steps 1 & 2

As I begin offering Interlocking Crochet for-sale patterns, I wanted to cover the basics for anyone who wants to learn the technique or simply review it. The next several blogs will walk you through the steps and include links to video tutorials and previous blog information.

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Videos:
Interlocking Crochet™ – #1 Introduction
Interlocking Crochet™ – # 2 Mesh Foundation

Foundation:
A filet mesh consists of a series of dc stitches with ch-1 spaces in between. These ch-1 spaces create a “window” between the dc posts, forming a box. The Interlocking Crochet foundation begins with one row of filet mesh worked in color A and one row of filet mesh worked in color B. The number of windows or boxes in the B-colored row is always one less than the A-colored row.

Mesh FoundationsFoundation Row A (Blue): With A, work a foundation ch with a multiple of 2 sts + 4, and work Row 1 of filet mesh, set aside. Each box = 2 ch so to have 5 boxes you would ch 14 ([5 x 2] + 4 = 14), dc in 6th ch from hook, *ch 1, skip next ch, dc in next ch; repeat from* across.

Foundation Row B (Red): With B, work a foundation ch that is 2 chains (or one box) shorter that the A-colored foundation ch and work Row 1 of filet mesh. Each box = 2 ch so to have 4 boxes you would ch 12 ([4 x 2] + 4 = 14), dc in 6th ch from hook, *ch 1, skip next ch, dc in next ch; repeat from* across.

Whenever you put one foundation aside, extend the last loop or use a stitch holder to prevent unraveling.

Layering:
Mesh LayeringPlace the A-colored layer (Blue) on top of the B-colored layer (Red) with the working yarn of both pieces at the same edge – right if you are right-handed, and left edge if you are left-handed. The B-colored posts should peek through the A-colored windows or box spaces. Each row begins and ends with an A-colored post.

Working Across the Rows:
Side 1 is the right side (RS) and Side 2 is the wrong side (WS). Each row is worked twice. First the A-colored row is worked and then the B-colored row is worked. After completing both rows, the entire piece is turned to continue. Before beginning the next row, the B-colored yarn is dropped to the back or front of the piece per design or pattern instructions.

Step 3

Interlocking Crochet is worked mainly with two stitches – the Double Crochet in the Back (Dcib) or Back Stitch and the Double Crochet in the Front (Dcif) or Front Stitch.

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Video: Interlocking Crochet™ – # 3 DCIB or Back Stitch

Stitches of the A-colored layer are always worked into stitches of the A-colored layer, and stitches of the B-colored layer are always worked into stitches of the B-colored layer. The two layers of mesh are never directly connected to each other. When working a dcib/Back Stitch be sure to work the stitch completely behind the other layer. Do not encase a stitch of the other layer within a dcib.

Double Crochet in Back (dcib) or Back Stitch
Picture demonstrates working A-colored row (Blue) behind B-colored row (Pink), working through B-colored mesh window.

1: Back1Yarn over, place the hook behind the B-colored mesh and passing the hook through the B-mesh window, insert the hook from front to back into the top 2 loops of the A-colored dc.

2: Pull those 2 loops of the A-mesh dc through the B-mesh window and to the back of the work to make the rest of the dcib easier.

3: Back2Complete the dcib as you would a normal dc: Yarn over and pull through 2 top loops of dc (3 loops on hook). Yarn over and pull through 2 loops on hook. Yarn over and pull through the remaining 2 loops, completing the Row A dcib.

Back3

A dcib or Back Stitch is always worked BEHIND the other colored layer. Sometimes you have to work through the other colored layer window as in the pictures above. However, sometimes the layer is ALREADY behind the other colored layer. In that case you just work a plain mesh (ch 1, dc in next dc) across the row WITHOUT working through the other colored layer window.

Step 4

Interlocking Crochet is worked mainly with two stitches – the Double Crochet in the Back (Dcib) or Back Stitch and the Double Crochet in the Front (Dcif) or Front Stitch.

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Videos: Interlocking Crochet™ – # 4 DCIF or Front Stitch

Stitches of the A-colored layer are always worked into stitches of the A-colored layer, and stitches of the B-colored layer are always worked into stitches of the B-colored layer. The two layers of mesh are never directly connected to each other. When working a dcif/Front Stitch be sure to work the stitch completely behind the other layer. Do not encase a stitch of the other layer within a dcif.

Double Crochet in Front (dcif) or Front Stitch
Picture demonstrates working A-colored row (Blue) in front of B-colored row (Pink), working through B-colored mesh window.

1: Front 1Yarn over, place the hook in front of the B-colored mesh and passing the hook through the B-mesh window, insert the hook from front to back into the top 2 loops of the A-colored dc.

2: Pull those 2 loops of the A-mesh dc through the B-mesh window and to the front of the work to make the rest of the dcib easier.

3: Front 2Complete the dcib as you would a normal dc: Yarn over and pull through 2 top loops of dc (3 loops on hook). Yarn over and pull through 2 loops on hook. Yarn over and pull through the remaining 2 loops, completing the Row A dcif.

Front3

A dcif or Front Stitch is always worked IN FRONT OF the other colored layer. Sometimes you have to work through the other colored layer window as in the pictures above. However, sometimes the layer is ALREADY in front of the other colored layer. In that case you just work a plain mesh (ch 1, dc in next dc) across the row WITHOUT working through the other colored layer window.

Step 5

Is there a difference in how you end an Interlocking Crochet A or B row? The answer is “yes” and “no”.

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Video: Interlocking Crochet™ – # 5 How to End A & B Rows

The A color row will always begin with a chain four and end with a double crochet. The A color will always be the color on both edges of the fabric.

On the other hand, because the B color foundation mesh is always one block shorter than the A color foundation mesh, the B color will always be inside (enclosed within) the A color. The B color will never be the edge-of-the-fabric color.

To finish off an A color row, make a double crochet either into the third chain of the beginning chain four or simply insert the hook inside the box and wrap the double crochet around the outside post. Going into the box and wrapping around the post is usually the easiest way.

When reading the Interlocking Crochet patterns, the last stitch will be written as a back stitch (dcib) or a front stitch (dcif). With the A row, regardless of the name used, it doesn’t make any difference. The last stitch of the A row is just a plain double crochet – either made in the third chain of the beginning chain four or wrapped around the last post. The different stitch notations are used to keep the writing of the design consistent.

However, it does make a difference in the B row. The last stitch of the B row is written as a back stitch (dcib) or a front stitch (dcif) and it is important to execute the stitch as it is written because it will make a difference in the design outcome.

In the B row you can either go through the third chain of the beginning chain four or you can work into the box, wrapping the double crochet around the last B post. As in the A row, it is easier to work into the box and wrap around the last B post. However, examine the design results to see how it affects the outcome. When working squares, I noticed wrapping around the final B post actually pulls the corner so it distorts the square. In that case, if I worked into the third chain of the beginning chain four for that final B stitch; it did not pull the square out of shape. It now matched the other squares in the design. Therefore, always review the design to be sure the way you end the B row keeps the design consistent.

Step 6

Now that you have finished your Interlocking Crochet panel or baby blanket, how do you unite the A and B sides into one fabric?

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Video: Unite A & B Sides into One Fabric

Start on the B-color side. With the B-color yarn and working in the B-color layer only, make a half double crochet (hdc) in the corner. Each corner mesh will have three hdc. Continue along the sides working one hdc in the post and one in the space. After working around the panel, slip stitch into the top of the first hdc. End off B-color yarn.

Turn the fabric over to the A-color side. With the A-color yarn and working in the A-color layer only, make a single crochet (sc) in the corner. Work three sc in the corner. Continue along the sides working one sc in the post and one sc in the space. After working around the panel, slip stitch into the top of the first sc. Do not end off the yarn.

To unite both sides, continue with A-color yarn. With A-color (RS) facing, working through the back loop of the A-color layer and the front loop of the B-color layer, sc through both loops.

hdc centerIt can be confusing to find the front loop of the B-color layer hdc. Looking at an hdc, there are actually three loops to choose from – a front loop, a center loop and a back loop. Even though it is usually referred to as the front loop, it is actually the center loop. You’ll know you are using the correct loop, because there will be a line under the B-color side border and a line under the A-color side border.

 

A Side RidgeB Side RidgeAlso, because the A-color side is usually two stitches larger than the B-color side, you’ll have to incorporate those extra stitches in the side edge. Work a sc through the back loop of the next A-color stitch and the same center loop of the previously worked B-color stitch. I usually work the special stitch towards the beginning of the side. As I get to the end of the side, I’ll count the A-color stitches left to the corner stitch. Then I count the B-color stitches to the corner stitch. There is usually one extra A-color stitch so I will use that special stitch to include that extra stitch in the edge.

Continue to work around and slip stitch into the top of the first sc. End off yarn and weave in ends. This edging gives the panel a neat, finished border.

 

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