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How to do interlocking crochet

Today’s crochet book review is of a book that I’m just starting to dig into but I’m already loving it and want to recommend it for building your niche crochet skills. The book is Tanis Galik’s Interlocking Crochet .

About the crochet author

Tanis learned to crochet doilies from her grandmother when she was a young girl. Like many of us, she left the craft behind for a little while but that break was short lived. She re-taught herself crochet as a teenager and has been crocheting ever since. She learned the unique technique of interlocking crochet from a class that she took and immediately fell in love with it. She’s spent more than twenty years honing this craft. She shares her knowledge of this crochet niche with us in this great book. She blogs at the Interlocking Crochet website.

Who this crochet book is for

This crochet book is designed for people who already have a basic working knowledge of crochet (beginner level should work) and who want to explore a special niche of crochet. What is interlocking crochet? This type of crochet uses a filet mesh foundation and basic crochet stitches to create two-toned, usually reversible fabric.

Format of this crochet book

This crochet book is divided into three basic sections: a primer on interlocking crochet, a stitch library of interlocking crochet designs and a section with ten interlocking crochet patterns. Let’s take a closer look at each section.

Section One covers the basics of interlocking crochet:

  • An explanation of what this niche crochet type is all about (basically you’re putting two filet mesh pieces together and working on them at the same time to create unique colorful reversible designs)
  • Four-step guide to the process of creating interlocking crochet
  • Guide to the basic stitches (these are variations on your usual stitches, like the DCIB which is a double crochet in the back mesh filet piece as opposed to the front piece)
  • Some crochet basics like a yarn weight chart, tips on substituting yarns and the standard crochet abbreviations chart
  • Clear photo of the stitch.
  • Relevant notes about the stitch (like the zigzag design has a zig zag that starts in one corner on side a and the opposite corner on side b)
  • Description of the pattern including what happens with Color A and Color B
  • Row-by-row stitch instructions to create the pattern. The instructions are given in standard stitch guide style so that the patterns can be made to any size.
  • Occasional special pattern tips as needed.
  • Descriptive name of item
  • Detailed description of the item including color, fiber and design notes
  • Materials list including the specific yarn used in the photographed item
  • A photograph of the finished product 🙂
  • Gauge and finished measurements info
  • Row-by-row instructions and finishing information
  • Construction figure drawings as needed

Favorite examples and patterns

Two-Tone Business Tote

Reversible Autumn Woods Scarf

Reversible Crochet Pattern: Cathedral Windows/ Florentine Zig Zag

Reversible Granny Square Crochet Pattern

What’s unique about this crochet book

Obviously what makes this book unique is that it is about a niche type of crochet that typically isn’t covered in other crochet books. I think that one of the best things about crochet is that it’s a craft that is easy to pick up but also has endless areas of expansion. Interlocking crochet is one niche where you can expand your skills and make items completely different from what you usually make using stitches that you already know. So fun.

Have you ever tried interlocking crochet?

Updated Note from Tanis, the author of this book:

September 26, 2014 · Rhelena · 2 Comments

Interlocked crochet stole my heart the very first time I saw it! It’s great for scarves and cowls, belts, market bags and who know what else! I havn’t had a chance to crochet with it much, but I’m hoping to have some fun with it.

The fabric is totally different than regular crocheted fabric due to the amount of loops it contains. You can basically shrink it down to nothing or expand it super wide.

It may look difficult, but it’s actually very easy to do. However, I found that it requires a bit of patience when it comes to weaving in the chains and then having to work on both sides of the fabric. But the finished outcome is rather pretty and well worth the minor annoyance.

So without further ado, here is the photo tutorial on how to do interlocked crochet:

Step 1: If you havn’t already got a base, make some chains to get started.

How to do interlocking crochet Interlocked Crochet – Step 1

Step 2: You can use pretty much any stitches that you want, but for this tutorial I worked a half double crochet into the second chain from the hook. Again, you can crochet into as many stitches or chains, but I only made 3 half doubles, followed by a chain 3.

How to do interlocking crochet Interlocked Crochet – Step 2

Step 3: Continue that across, working into 3 stitches, chain 3, and then skipping 3 stitches. You can make up your own numbers here, but the general rule is to chain as many chains as you are skipping below.

How to do interlocking crochet Interlocked Crochet – Step 3

Step 4: Fasten off after each row or round, and start again with a new chain, same as in step 1.

How to do interlocking crochet Interlocked Crochet – Step 4

Step 5: Weave the chain through the spaces of the previous row.

How to do interlocking crochet Interlocked Crochet – Step 5

Step 6: Follow the same pattern as before where you work 3 half doubles, chain 3 and then skip 3.

How to do interlocking crochet Interlocked Crochet – Step 6

Step 7: Basically you rotate between working 3 stitches at the front and three at the back of the fabric.

How to do interlocking crochet Interlocked Crochet – Step 7

Step 8: When you go to weave the third row, make sure to weave it the same direction as the first row. Notice how the green in rows 1 and 3 falls below the first column of row 2, and then both rows come out to sit above the second column of row 2.

An easy way to remember is to start odd rows on the bottom (back) of work, and even rows at the front.

How to do interlocking crochet Interlocked Crochet – Step 8

Step 9: Notice that in the first column the green is on the bottom and tan on top and vice versa for the second column. This is what you want in order to create those pretty circles. (At the bottom is a better image showing the columns.)

But there is no right or wrong in crochet, so you could just as well start them all from the same side. However; that would give you a slightly different look.

How to do interlocking crochet Interlocked Crochet – Step 9

Step 10: You can work the interlocking stitches in rows or in rounds. If working them in rows, make sure to begin and end the row with stitches.

However, when working in rounds you want to end with chains in order to give you that last chain-space. In my case I made an extra 3 chains and also had 3 chains left on the bottom, which I did not crochet into.

Then join the round with a slip stitch in top of first half double crochet.

How to do interlocking crochet Interlocked Crochet – Step 10

Step 11: Take the tail end of the starting chains and join it to the bottom of the first stitch. I used a yarn needle and just secured it that way.

How to do interlocking crochet Interlocked Crochet – Step 11

Step 12: Follow the same steps for joining in following rounds, but make sure to weave the ends as necessary.

It’s best to join each round as you go to make it easier.

How to do interlocking crochet Interlocked Crochet – Step 12

Step 13: Here you see 2 rounds joined.

How to do interlocking crochet Interlocked Crochet – Step 13

So that’s it! That’s all there’s too it. Below is another picture of a market bag that I crocheted using this technique. And you can see the columns it creates in the two colors.

How to do interlocking crochet Interlocked Fabric

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How to do interlocking crochetInterlocking Crochet
Publisher: Krause Publications
ISBN: 978-1-4402-1239-0
Reviewed by: Christine Weiher, editor for AllFreeCrochet

Interlocking Crochet by Tanis Galik provides 80 crochet patterns as well as guides to various crochet techniques. This book is divided into three sections: interlocking basics, single designs (same design on both sides) and double designs (different designs on each side), and projects.

Each project provides the materials and stitches required to make that specific project. Each is also provided with a beautifully colored photo so you can see what your project should look like. There are also step-by-step illustrations of the crochet stitches that allow you to interlock your crochet fabric. You can find projects from scarves and bags to bulky afghans.

If a new technique seems intimidating to you, there is no need to worry. This book is here to walk you through it all! On many of the projects there are notes and insights to help clarify the pattern. Galik also provides personal pattern tips on some of the patterns that explain her own experiences.

I personally love the Two-Tone Business Tote on page 93. This tote can carry all your essentials including magazines or even your portfolio if you take it along on an interview. Not only is the pattern crisp, but the handles are nice and strong giving you that perfect tote you’ve always wanted. This tote is great because you can turn it inside out for a completely different look, hence the two-tone.

Interlocking Crochet is a fabulous book you won’t want to miss out on. Galik has been crocheting for many years, so her helpful insights are sure to make you a stronger crocheter!

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Before diving into this tutorial its important to know how to set up for interlocking crochet and how to work the basic stiches, trif and trib.

As you know, the pattern relies on working two meshes at the same time. The yarn A mesh is always bigger than the yarn B mesh. You will only ever work into stitches of the same colour as the yarn you are currently working and you never work into the chain spaces.

Because we have so much going on the patterns are written slightly differently to one of my standard crochet patterns. The pattern is written with two sets of instructions for each row, one for each yarn colour. Which will look like this:

Row 3 (RS): Drop B to front.
A: Ch3 (does not count as a stitch), miss first st, trif, ch1, *trib, ch1; rep from * to last 3 sts, trif, ch1, 1tr in last tr, 1tr in t-ch, do not turn. 74sts
B: Ch3(does not count as a stitch), miss first st, *trib, ch1; rep from * to last st, trif in last tr, ch1, trif in t-ch, turn. 72sts

It starts with the placement for yarn B. Pay careful attention to which direction yarn B is dropped in before you start working yarn A row – it matters!

You will then pick up yarn A and work the instructions for yarn A
into the yarn A mesh. When you have finished, place a stitch marker in the loop that was on your hook and place the hook into yarn B and work the yarn B instructions into the yarn B mesh. After this place the stitch marker into the loop on your hook and turn the work and begin working the instruction for A on the next row. And so on.

To make the pattern as concise as possible we make the assumption that you are always only working into a stitch of the same colour in the row immediately below. All chain spaces are missed but we don’t mention that each time.

The count (74sts/72sts in this example) at the end of the row is the stitch count of trebles (and sometimes including the turning chain but never the chain spaces) in that colour once the row is completed.

So lets give it a go with a simple sampler. Here is the pattern for those ready to dive in and below I will give a row by row tutorial and my top tips for getting it right

Simple Sample Pattern

Foundation Row: In yarn A, 21fdc, turn.

Row 1 (RS):
A: Ch1, *1dc, ch1, miss one st; rep from * to last st, 1dc in last st, do not turn. 11dc
B: Coming in from behind, attach yarn B in the first missed st at the start of the row, ch4 (counts as 1tr, ch1), working into the missed sts only, *trib, ch1; rep from * to last missed st, trib in last missed st, turn. 10tr

Row 2 (WS): Drop B to front
A: Ch4, *trib in dc, ch1, trif in dc, ch1; rep from * to last 2 sts, trib in dc, ch1, 1tr in last dc, do not turn. 11sts
B: Ch4, *trif, ch1; rep from * to last st, trif in t-ch, turn. 10sts

Row 3 (RS): Drop B to back.
A: Ch4 (counts as 1tr, ch1), *trib, ch1, trif, ch1; rep from * to last 2 sts, trib, ch1, 1tr in t-ch, do not turn. 11sts
B: Ch4, *trib, ch1; rep from * to last st, trib in t-ch, turn. 10sts

Row 4 (WS): Drop B to front
A: Ch4 (counts as 1tr, ch1), *trib, ch1, trif, ch1; rep from * to last 2 sts, trib, ch1, 1tr in t-ch, do not turn. 11sts
B: Ch4, *trif, ch1; rep from * to last st, trif in t-ch, turn. 10sts

Repeat Rows 3 and 4 for pattern, continuing until you have a square, or feel confident with the technique.

Let’s break it down

So lets step through it a little bit slower. The foundation row and Row 1 were as we worked in the set-up so you can see those in more detail here.

After you have worked Row 2A your piece should look like this:

How to do interlocking crochet

After row 2B it will look like this:

How to do interlocking crochet

How to do interlocking crochet

After 3B it will look like this:

How to do interlocking crochet

Now onto Row 4. After the Row A it should look like this:

How to do interlocking crochet

How to do interlocking crochet

How to do interlocking crochet

How to do interlocking crochet

Now you’ve mastered the pattern reading! I’ll leave you with my top tips for keeping things on track

Top Tips

  • Right and Wrong side are only to keep track of the two patterns, both sides can be beautiful if you choose the correct patterns.
  • Use another stitch marker to show the right side of the work to help you recognise where you are
  • If both your yarns are at the same end of the row then you have completed it, if they aren’t then you still need to work the Yarn B row.
  • Your meshes should interlock not the stitch, the yarn of the opposite colour should never get caught within the stitch.
  • Always use a stitch marker to keep the non-working yarn in place. No matter how big a loop you pull up, without a stitch marker to secure it, it always finds a way to unravel.
  • Always check you’ve dropped yarn B in the correct direction. You’ll have to undo the whole of the Yarn A row to correct it if you haven’t!

And you are ready to put it into practice:

Published: Fri, Jul 23, 2021

Filed in:

  • entwine
  • entwine shawl
  • interlocking
  • Stitch Library

How to do interlocking crochet

Dreadlocks have gone mainstream in recent years, and there’s no question why. The style has adorned the heads of hot celebs like Lenny Kravitz, Bob Marley, Rihanna, and Zendaya. People love the style because it is carefree and it looks unique.

How to do interlocking crochet

How to do interlocking crochet

If you are considering starting or maintaining dreadlocks using the interlocking technique but are unsure about how it works, this is the article for you. We’ll cover nuances specific to the technique, several interlock pros and cons, and much more useful information you can use. Let’s get into it.

Cantu Shea Butter For Natural Hair Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel

What is Interlocking and Why Should You Care?

The interlocking technique, called latch-hooking or root flipping, requires pulling the ends of a section of hair (or a dreadlock) through the root of that same section. This creates a “lock” of sorts and holds the hair in that position while a dreadlock forms.

Watch this How-to video by GlamNaturalLife on how to interlock locs.

How to interlock locs the right way! | loc maintenance with amazing locking tool

Interlocking for Maintenance

When interlocking is used for maintenance, it tightens the new hair growth to the scalp and locks it over time. Interlocks can be done with fingers, a specialized tool (interlocking tool), or a latch hook. A common way to interlock dreads is to use a 4 point interlocking pattern, in which the ends are pulled through the root in all four directions (North, South, East, and West).

How to do interlocking crochet

Interlocking To Start New Locs

Interlocking is often used to start new locs. Loose hair is repeatedly interlocked from ends to roots using one of the tools mentioned above. Depending on your hair type, condition, and density, it could take a couple of hours to interlock all of your hair. It takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years for the hair to lock and look like mature dreadlocks.

How to do interlocking crochet

Pros and Cons of Interlocking

There are several advantages and disadvantages of interlocking your dreadlocks. Let’s get into them here.

How to do interlocking crochet

How to do interlocking crochet

African Pride Black Castor Miracle Extra Hold Braid

This is a video tutorial on interlocking dreads (locs) with the crochet needle.

Interlocking dreads (locs) with the crochet needle

  • The method is relatively easy to learn how to do.
  • It’s not necessary to use a sticky product to help the hair hold its shape while it locks. L
  • The technique helps people with silkier, softer hair textures achieve dreadlocks. Other methods, like comb coils or twists, often unravel and leave clients with an undesirable result. People who are particularly active or sweat a lot will appreciate that interlocked dreads won’t unravel.
  • Interlocking produces a uniform dreadlock result.
  • You can wait a couple of months in between maintenance sessions. This is an extended amount of time compared to other methods like palm rolling or comb coiling, where you can rarely go more than a month between maintenance sessions.

How to do interlocking crochet

  • When your dreadlocks are not done by a professional, you could experience loc splitting, thinning hair, pain, and/or alopecia.
  • Residue has the potential to accumulate where the divets in the interlocking pattern are situated.
  • Resulting dreads will be a bit thinner than dreads formed from other methods.

All in all, people prefer a wide range of dreadlocking methods, and there is no one-size-fits-all method. Hopefully, this article has provided you with interlocking method information you can use to make the best decision for you and your hair. If you have additional questions about interlocking, be sure to ask a loctician (a hairdresser who specializes in dreadlocks).