This post is a little bittersweet for me. I have been working on this blanket for so long I won’t know what to do with myself now that I am done! The story for this blanket began in February of 2014 at the Winter Woolfest held in Wamego, KS. Along with Crafting Chrissy and a fiber loving co-worker we made the trek from Kansas City out to BFE Kansas for a day of fiber-filled fun. There was a market place filled with vendors selling crafting supplies, raw wool, yarns of all types and colors and some finished products for sale. Upstairs they had the rooms divided up into classrooms where mostly free sessions were being taught by volunteers. I took a lovely lesson on joining motifs, one that taught me several new crochet stitches and the one that inspired this blanket – an introduction to Interlocking Crochet.
This technique uses a repeating DC, CH1 stitch to weave two layers of fabric together while making designs that are distinct but beautiful on both sides of the material. Interlocking crochet creates a two layer fabric that is so soft and luscious you could easily lose yourself in it. The blanket is heavy and dense making it perfect for a cold winter.
The book, Interlocking Crochet by Tanis Galik, does a good job explaining the technique and provides somewhere around 50 distinct stitches that you can combine to make beautiful creations in addition to the included patterns in the book.
I began this blanket as one of the samplers but knew after about 10 rows that I had to go alone and do my own thing with it. I opted to create nested window panes to show off a variety of stitches. Since I had already begun the blanket the number of stitches in a row was set and my outermost border pattern had already been decided. How to know what other stitches should be used? Each design in the book is created as a repeat over a certain number of x stitches or x stitches + set number of stitches.
To help me determine which stitches would fit in a decreasing panel size I created an excel spreadsheet that had all of the stitches listed, their location in the book and the value for a repeat. For example, the outermost pattern I used is called Zig-Zag and it repeats at 2x stitches. The next pattern is called Squares and Crosses and repeats at 3x + 2 stitches.
The next tab I created a table that listed the required number of stitches for each pattern over any number of repeats. That way when I was ready to move onto the next stitch I would know that I needed something to repeat cleanly over 54 stitches, for example, and I could quickly reference the chart to see which stitches would fit. From there it was a little trial and error to make sure I liked the transition between each pattern. I did find when trying to do the Native American Geometric Bands & Trees (the third nested pattern) that it didn’t fit quite the way I wanted and I had to modify this stitch to fit my needs. I have a detailed list of all stitches I used on my Ravelry Project Page so head on over and check it out.
Time to talk to me! Do you want to try Interlocking Crochet? What other techniques have you learned that I should try out?