Tutorial – Intermeshing Crochet Basics

Intermeshing crochet is a technique of working 2 layers of crocheted mesh together. It creates a thick, squishy fabric with fun, geometric designs. Learn the basics in this photo and video tutorial.

Intermeshing Crochet Basics - Photo and Video Tutorial on Stitches n Scraps

Make the blanket shown in this tutorial, and enter to win one of 3 great prizes! The Jazzberry Baby Blanket Crochet-Along will be starting on 8/22/18.

Intermeshing Crochet Basics – Photo Tutorial:

(scroll down for video tutorial)

Abbreviations

I’ve used the following abbreviations in this tutorial:

  • sc = single crochet
  • dc = double crochet
  • ch = chain
  • sp = space
  • st = stitch

 

Getting Started – Common Method:

The method I’ve most commonly seen for starting a piece of intermeshing crochet is to first make two separate sections of (dc, ch 1) mesh.

Layers of mesh - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

Place one piece on top of the other, so that the stitches from one line up in the open spaces on the other, and so that the front piece is lower by half a row.

Overlapping layers of mesh - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

Then work the intermeshing crochet pattern of your choice over these two layers, to join them together.

Common starting method - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

I don’t particularly like this technique of starting. It leaves a floppy, open section at the bottom, where the two pieces of mesh aren’t connected. To seal it, you have to go back later and do an edging.

Floppy edge - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

Getting Started – Alternate Method:

Starting Edge:

I prefer to start with a row of single crochet in one color – we’ll call this the outside color. (The other color will become the inside color.) This gives us a nice edge to join everything together from the beginning. For this tutorial, make a starting row of 21 sc (multiple of 4 + 1).

Row 1: Ch 22, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across. 

Row 1 - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

Creating the Mesh:

Each row will now be worked twice, once in each color.

Remember from the previous method, our layers of mesh need to be offset by half a row, which is about the height of an sc stitch. To achieve that, for row 2 only, we will work one color in sc, and the other in dc. First, let’s create an sc mesh with our outside color:

Row 2.1: Ch 1, turn, sc in first st, (ch 1, skip next st, sc in next st) across.  

Row 2.1 - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

Pull your working loop up big so it won’t pull out, and remove your hook. Now we need to join the next color.

Adding the 2nd Color:

Go back to the beginning of the row and find the skipped stitch under your first ch-1 sp. We’re going to join the inside color into this stitch.

Skipped Stitch - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

For this particular design, we want our first inside stitch to be behind this ch-1 space. So insert your hook from the back, underneath the chain space and into that skipped stitch.

Insert hook under ch sp - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps
Insert hook under ch-1 sp from the back
Pull stitch out to back - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps
Scoop up skipped st below ch-1 sp and pull it out at the back

 

Join the inside color yarn with a slip stitch. Chain 4, which counts as your first dc and ch-1 sp. Notice that this stitch is now seated behind the ch-1 sp of the other color.

First dc - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

Now we are going to continue working into those skipped stitches, alternating between working in front of and behind the chain spaces. You will need to know 2 special double crochet terms – dcf, and dcb. Let’s work a dcf into the next skipped stitch.

Double Crochet in front of the ch-1 sp (dcf):

Yarn over and insert your hook into the indicated stitch as normal, being careful not to go under the chain space at all, and draw up a loop. Your working yarn, loops, and hook should all be in front of the chain space.

dcf insert hook - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps dcf pull up loop - - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

Finish your double crochet as normal.

dcf - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

This completes your dcf. Note that this stitch is in front of the chain space. Chain 1 to create a space, and then dcb in the next skipped stitch.

Double Crochet behind the ch-1 sp (dcb):

Yarn over, insert your hook from the back, under the chain space above the indicated stitch, then insert your hook into the stitch, bringing it out to the back of your work. This is exactly like when we joined the new color at the start of the row.

dcb insert hook - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

Pull up a loop in that stitch. Your working yarn, hook, and all your loops should be behind the chain space.

dcb draw up loop - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

Finish your double crochet as normal.

dcb - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

This completes your dcb. Note that this stitch is behind the chain space. Continue across the row working (ch 1, dcf, ch 1, dcb) into the skipped stitches, until you get to the end of the row. You will end with a dcf.

Row 2.2: Do not turn. Go back to the start of the row to begin working in the skipped sts below the ch-1 sps from 2.1. Working behind the first ch-1 sp, join inside color with a sl st in first skipped st, ch 4 (counts as dc and ch-1), sk next st, dcf, (ch 1, sk next st, dcb, ch 1, sk next st, dcf) across to last st, skip last st, drop working loop at back of work.

Row 2.2 - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

Now we have established an interlocking mesh pattern that is joined together nicely at the starting edge.

Dropping the yarn:

Notice the last instruction in row 2.2 says to drop the working loop at the back of your work. When working on the inside color, it is important to drop the yarn (working loop and working yarn) to the correct side of the work as indicated by your pattern.

Drop to back - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

When you start the next row, you will be “trapping” that yarn in place on whichever side it’s on, making it impossible to work from the other side if you have to. If you go to pick up your yarn again and find you have dropped it on the incorrect side, you will need to either cut the yarn or undo the whole row to fix it.

dropped yarn locked in place - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

Continuing the pattern:

From this point forward, you will always be working into the same color as the yarn you are working with. This means if you are working with the outside yarn, you will work only into outside color stitches. If you are working with the inside yarn, you’ll only be working into inside color stitches.

I prefer to start my rows with a chainless starting double crochet (csdc), but if you do not like or know this technique, you can use a ch 3 (counts as dc) instead. Be sure to still add another chain after that, for the ch-1 sp.

Row 3.1: Turn, pick up outside color, csdc in first st, ch 1, dcf, ch 1, (dcb, ch 1, dcf, ch 1) across to last st, dc in last st, drop working loop. 

Row 3.1 - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

Row 3.2: Do not turn. Pick up inside color, working in front of the ch-1 sp, csdc in first st, ch 1, dcb, (ch 1, dcf, ch 1, dcb) across, drop working loop at front of work.  

Row 3.2 - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

This creates a very basic, stair-step or zig-zag pattern. You can create all sorts of patterns with interlocking crochet, just by changing when you work in front of the chain space, and when you work behind it.

Finishing:

When we are done with our intermeshing pattern, we need to create an even, finished top edge that combines both layers again. Our rows are offset by half a row. To correct that, we will be working a dc (keeping our front and back pattern) into each of the lower, outside color stitches, while working an sc into each of the higher, inside color stitches.

Working top edge - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

Row 4:  Turn, pick up outside color, csdc in first st, (sc in next inside st, dcf in next outside st, sc in next inside st, dcb in next outside st) across. 

Finished sample - Intermeshing Crochet Basics on StitchesnScraps

Now we have a nicely joined edge! To make the top edge match the bottom, work one more row of sc in your outside color.

Intermeshing Crochet Basics – Video Tutorial:

 

Ready to try it out? Take your skills a step further with the Jazzberry Baby Blanket Crochet Along. The CAL starts on 8/22/18 and we will be making the blanket shown in this video. Join in the fun and enter to win a prize!

 

 

7 Comments

  • Judy

    Thanks for this fun technique. I am very confused about something, however. You say it’s important to drop the loop on the correct aide of the work, but I can’t seem to figure out which side that is. I THINK maybe it doesn’t matter for the outside color, because that is always on the edge anyway. I THINK maybe the inside color always gets dropped to the BACK at the end of a row, so after you turn, it will get trapped in the FRONT by the outside color. Is this correct? Or does it alternate by row? Does the first CSDC with the inside color always get created on the front side?

    • Pia Thadani

      For the specific design shown in this tutorial, you are correct that where you drop the outside color doesn’t matter. However this may not always be the case – not all designs start and end with the same color so not all of them will have an “outside” and “inside” color.

      As for which side to drop the inside color on for this pattern, that will change from row to row. In the blanket shown in the video, it actually changes from section to section too, because the pattern shifts with each section. Anytime it matters, the pattern should specify which side to drop it on. So by “correct” side, I simply meant whatever the pattern says to do for that row.

      Basically, what it boils down to is that you want to drop the color on the side where you’re going to want to pick it up later.

      Hope that helps!

  • Margaret-Rose Stringer

    Fascinating stuff ! I discovered your YouTube video when looking for mosaic crochet; and am now somewhat confused by the similarities-but-not-the-same-ness of the two methodologies. I get it that intermeshing crochet lives up to its name, while mosaic utilises ‘drop’ or long surface stitches; but I feel as if there must be some specific purpose for each .. be it for what one produces or what one’s intentions are.
    Ah, never mind: you are a good instructor, Pia !

    • Pia Thadani

      Thank you, and there is! Intermeshing produces an airier, fluffier fabric. It’s also often reversible, with a different design on the back (or the same but reversed). Mosaic tends to be flatter and produce stripes at the back 🙂

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