Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Beginner's Guide to Interlock Crochet

If you are ready for a challenging crochet project, then this is it! I am a quick learner who loves a challenge! Rarely do I find a project or technique that makes me feel like giving up. Is it really worth it to stick it out and conquer this thing? YES! My goal here is to save you all the beginner's mistakes and teach you everything you'll need to know to complete your first Interlocking Crochet project.

What is Interlocking Crochet?

Interlocking Crochet is a method of crocheting two layers of filet-style mesh sheets in such a way that the two layers are woven together to create a single, reversible fabric. Depending on the stitch used, it can create the same pattern on the front and back or two completely separate designs on the front and back.

5 Things You Need to Know Before You Begin

Pick contrasting colors to make the design pop. You'll need TWO colors to start: Color A and Color B.

Each row of the pattern has a Row1A and Row1B. You will work Row1A with Color A from right-to-left (or left-to-right if you are a leftie). Then, you will work Row1B with Color B from right-to-left (or left-to-right if you are a leftie).

Color A is always crocheted into Color A. Color A yarn over will never wrap around Color B. The same is true with Color B.

Check and match the gauge provided! Since this is a new technique to most of us, we can't just assume that our "normal gauge" will work.

Special Stitches for this Technique

Chain (ch)
Double-Crochet (dc)
Double-Crochet in Front (dcif)
Double-Crochet in Back (dcib)
With Yarn B in Front (WYIF) -- only used at the start of each row.
With Yarn B in Back (WYIB) -- only used at the start of each row.

Every interlock crochet project begins by having you crochet two mesh pieces with one piece being slightly shorter than the other. I will provide instructions in the project post for creating these base foundation pieces.

To start Row 1, you will lay the Color A piece on top of the Color B piece with the working yarn of both pieces at the same edge. This will be the right edge if you are right-handed or left edge if you are left-handed.

For my project, White is my Color A yarn, Red is my Color B yarn.

The most important thing to pay attention to at the beginning of each row is whether the Color B (red) yarn should be placed in front (WYIF) or in back (WYIB). Photo at left shows WYIB and the photo at right shows WYIF.


Note that in the photo where Color B is in front, the chains and working tail for Color B are BOTH in front.

Notes on Double-Crochet in Front/Back (DCIF/DCIB)

Both the DCIF and DCIB are normal double-crochets. You will yarn over, then insert your hook into the next double crochet, finagle the top two loops a bit, then complete the dc. 

You have to finagle the two loops you are crocheting into so that you do not force Color A to wrap around Color B or vice versa. By pulling the loops to the front (DCIF) or to the back (DCIB), this frees the dc to continue to be independent of the other color.

Double-Crochet in Front (DCIF)

Insert hook from front to back into the next double-crochet. In photo 2, you may be tempted to yarn over and complete the double crochet. Resist the urge! Just pull the two loops to the front as seen in the 3rd photo. With the loops in the front, complete the double-crochet as normal. 

Click to see larger photo.

Double-Crochet in Back (DCIB)

Insert your hook through the back working through the "window" formed by the opposite color and come up through the front of the dc. Pull the loops to the back and complete the double-crochet as normal.

Photo 1: below shows that I have inserted my hook from back to front and came up through the two loops of the dc I plan on working next. 

Photo 2: Use the hook to pull these two loops to the back.

Photo 3: I have yarned over and pulled up a loop. The purpose of this photo is to show that the white yarn never wraps around the red yarn.

Photo 4: The completed double-crochet.

Do you learn better by video?

Here is a list of YouTube videos for Interlock Crochet.

And that's everything you need to know for your first project!

Want to try it out? Here's a free pattern for the ZigZagging Hot Pad!


  1. I've wanted to try this for a while. That looks super awesome!!!!!! Thank you for the great tutorial!

    1. You're welcome, BreeAnna! Did you ever get a chance to try this out?

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  3. I Posted here:
    Entrela├žando croche -Facebook
    thank you for your tutorial, I translate to Portuguese,
    Ana Maria

  4. Hi, I loved your neat and clear tutorial. Thanks for sharing!!
    I made a purse with zigzag pattern, posted here.....

  5. would you be interested in doing a video tutorial?

    1. Hi, I found this one that may be helpful:

      I'll add it to the blog post for anyone else who may find it helpful. :)

  6. Love this! What size hook did you use?

    1. Hi, Casey -
      This technique can be used with any yarn and you would use a hook that matches the yarn. For example, worsted weight would use an "I" and a lighter weight would use a "G".

      The pattern linked below provides materials and hook size to make a dish cloth. It's great for beginners who want to try something new.

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  9. My question relates to a border for this stitch. I have been learning this technique and have made several small projects, but with the two layers and colors, i am finding it difficult to put a nice border around the project. I want learn this before I move on to make a bigger blanket.


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