Interlocking Mosaic Crochet
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So this week, I decided to crack open Mosaic Magic. I picked out the pattern Baby Blocks because the pattern allowed me to do a smaller sample without a lot of math to get a swatch size. Each block is only 25 stitches! PERFECT.
I cannot share the pattern here due to copyright laws, but if you have the book, you could follow along with me.
I decided to use Cascade 220 wool in two highly contrasting colors so I could see my stitches.
Here is a peek at how I started.
As you can see that you start with a chain and one row of one color then 2 rows of the contrasting color. You will also notice that all three rows are single crochet. As I paged through the book, every pattern starts in this way. Doing 2 rows of each color allows you to change colors on the same side. This allows you not to have to cut the yarn when you change colors. Sure, you will have strands going up the side, but I love that bit because an edging will cover that right up!
Now in this next picture, you can see the 4th row. The “X”s you see are made with crossed double crochet stitches worked 3 rows below. The bottom left corner of the “X” is made in the 4th stitch from the edge of the last “X”. That is a very long reach for that double crochet. In between the two crossed double crochets is single crochet that is made in the single from the previous row. To make that single, I had to drastically push the double to the right (I’m right-handed) so I could make the stitch in the correct stitch.
As I continued, it was easier to see where the stitches should go, but I still had to manipulate the first leg of the “X” to get the next single crochet in the right spot. After doing a couple more repeats I thought I would try with triple crochets. I did loosen up the doubles a bit, but I had to be careful not to make them too loose otherwise the “X”s would be floppy.
I LOVE the fact that I can carry the yarn up using the interlocking method. I am all about as few ends as possible! This version makes it easy to add an edging to the fabric and that edging will cover up the yarn that carries up the side.
One thing you have to be mindful of, however, is that when you do your long doubles, you need to make sure that you do catch the legs of previous long stitches, as seen in the photo below.
What I learned:
As I worked up this square I had a lot of thoughts. I ripped out a lot, and I thought about things I would do next time:
- Instead of working a chain then single crocheting into it, I would use the foundation single crochet to start the project. The first 3 rows are always singles so this would make the curve you see at the bottom of the square go away!
- Keep the long stitches loose, but not too loose.
- The long stitches work like the stitches of the front and back post of cables and other textured stitches. When you work down below, make sure you are skipping the corresponding stitch at the top of the previous row that you worked.
- Be mindful of previously made long stitches. Don’t catch them in the long stitches that you make later on.
- You will always work the long stitch in the same color row as the color you are working with.
So, while I love this way of doing mosaic crochet for a lot of reasons there are some caveats I want to mention.
- While I love cushy fabrics, the fabric can get very dense. This is because you are working through rows of stitches. You will have to take care to keep your long stitches loose so that they don’t gather up the rows you are working over. Working these stitches more loosely will also keep some drape in the fabric.
- Those long stitches will take more yarn to complete the project since you are wrapping two sides of the fabric, which could be a cost concern for some crocheters.
- Since I used a book that was published in 1999, there were no pattern charts at all in the book. I would love to see patterns and books using this version of Mosaic Crochet with charts. I think I would have been less frustrated as I tried to work out the pattern.
Overall though, I love this technique. Knitters had been doing mosaic knitting for a long time before this book finally was released for crocheters. I think Lily is the best teacher out there for this technique.
Want more patterns from Lily Chin? You can find her on Interweave Press with all of her classes and patterns.
Have you done this version of Mosaic Crochet? Do you have this book? Do you want to try it out?