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A discussion of various crochet techniques, including Interlocking Crochet™, a unique crochet technique which creates a double-sided fabric.

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How do I design my own unique, multi-paneled Interlocking Crochet™ afghan or baby blanket?

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The best way to design your own multi-paneled Interlocking Crochet™ afghan or baby blanket is to make a sample. It's not as hard or as time consuming as you might think. Actually since you'll be able to see if the designs work together and catch any problems before you begin your project, it can actually save you time and effort.

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Start by choosing your designs. Take note of the statement – "This interlocking pattern works even over a multiple of # A-colored boxes." Obviously, each design you use must work out mathematically with the other designs in your project. For example, if one design works evenly over 2 boxes and the other requires 4 boxes, you know you'll be able to fit these together in adjacent panels.

However, if one design requires an odd number (4 + 1 A-colored boxes), then you'll need to find another design, realize the even numbered design will not be centered perfectly or make some adjustments when working with the even numbered design (such as adding a plain box at the beginning or end of the even numbered rows) or just. You can work out these adjustments as you crochet your sample.

Don't make the sample too large. Crochet a foundation mesh that will give you an adequate view of what the project will look like. For the designs requiring multiples of 2 boxes for the first panel, 4 boxes for the second panel and 2 boxes for the third panel, a foundation of 12 A-colored boxes should be sufficient.

Begin crocheting your first design. After one completion of the rows required to create that design, you'll know how it will look and fit. You can make any adjustments needed for this design.

Add the first divider mesh rows. Carefully note: Are you working on the RS or WS? Do you drop the Color B to the back or front as you begin the row? Divider Row 1A is it dcib (worked in the back) or dcif (worked in the front)? Divider Row 1B is it dcib (worked in the back) or dcif (worked in the front)? Be sure to make these notations for each divider row until it is as wide as you wish, ending on WS.

Turn the entire piece and begin your next design. Continue adding the next divider and third panel in the same way as above until you are happy with your results.

Not only will you know how your afghan/baby blanket will look, you'll uncover any problems or adjustments that need to be made before you have invested a lot of time or effort. You'll also save yourself a lot of frustration by having a sample you know works instead of finding out in the middle of your project things just aren't fitting together properly.

Afghan Sample 2

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Tanis learned the basics of Interlocking Crochet™ at a class presented by James Walters and Sylvia Cosh. For the next 14 years she experimented with this technique – creating new designs and developing unique ways to use it. Tanis is an award-winning crocheter, an experienced teacher and a bestselling crochet author. She is a member of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA), and has a CGOA Master of Advanced Crochet Stitches and Techniques.

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