Sunday, June 29, 2014

Crochet Tutorial: Interlocking Loops

A few weeks ago I shared with you dearies my little loopy loo cushion I had made with some chunky yarn. I am still seriously digging the texture of this cushion, and it so simple to make that it took me no time to whip up a sample and write up some instructions for you.

In my cushion I used chunky yarn, but this will work with any thickness, really. In this sample I'm going to use regular old worsted weight and an H hook, and I'll be writing in US terms, so keep that in mind if you're used to UK directions. You'll need to know how to chain (ch), single crochet (sc), and change colors (if you want a stripey effect--this could actually be really nifty in a solid, too, as the texture is what stands out more than the yarn).

I suppose in theory you could use any multiple you wanted as long as you kept things evenly spaced, but I'm using a multiple of five to keep it simple. I recommend making a swatch first when learning a new stitch, so this will be a good size for that before you embark on more adventurous hooking endeavors.

So, to start chain 25. Then insert your hook into the first chain (see where my needle is below) and do 5 sc.

Chain 10. Then sc 5 more, leaving that loopy chain bit swinging free and easy.

In this photo I didn't ch 10 yet, but my needle shows where you should carry on with your sc after you have.

Carry on this way, doing 5 sc, then chaining 10, then 5 sc, and so on all the way across. You'll be stitching into each chain stitch but you'll have long loops like the below at regular intervals.

So that's row one. When you get to the end, chain 1 and turn. Insert your hook into the first stitch like I have pictured below.

For row 2 we're going to sc our way back across the row, but we're not going to throw in any chain loops. So you'll do 5 sc and then you hit your chain. What do we do here? Tuck the loop away from you, pretend it doesn't exist, and just keep on going with your sc, until the end of the row (see below). Chain 1, and turn.

Rows 3 and 4 will be the exact same thing as row 2--sc in each stitch across, and ch 1 at the end before you turn. So those first four rows are the first section finished. The first row is all loopy, and the others are solid single crochet. The back should look nice and solid--

--and the front will look loopy--

If you're working solid, you'll be starting a new section (you might want to use a stitch marker to mark the first row to keep track of things). If you're going stripey, you'll need to attach your new color now.

Then repeat the whole thing. Sc 5, chain 10, sc 5, ch 10, all the way across for the first row.

Then do 3 rows of sc. Easy peasy, right? After the second section is done you'll have this on the back--

--and this on the front.

Attach your next color (or keep going if you're going for the solid look). And repeat those 4 rows again.

It's a little too early in the year for candy corn :) so I'm doing one more section before I show you how to finish it off. If you're making something larger you're obviously going to keep working the stitch pattern until your piece is the desired size. For the last section that you stitch, you do the first three rows in the pattern, then hit the pause button.

We need to interlock our loops so it looks nice and neat instead of like a hot mess. So, take the second loop (in my case the orange) and loop it through the first (the yellow).

Then take the third loop (white) and loop it through the second (orange). Keep going that way, with each loop linking into the one below until they're all hooked up.

Pick your hook up again, as we're going to lock those loops in place. You simply single crochet across, but every fifth stitch you incorporate the loop into your sc. So you'll sc 4 stitches, then in the 5th you'll put your hook through the sc stitch (as you normally would) AND the loop (see below), yarn over and pull through 2 (the loop and the stitch), then yarn over and pull through two again. Work across the row this way, taking care that your loops don't become unlinked.

When you reach the end of the row, all of your loops should be nice and secure. My piece looks like this from the back:

and like this from the front.

I suggest weaving in your ends as you go as it makes the task so much less daunting that way. This stitch produces an effect similar to the Jacob's Ladder afghan pattern some of you may be familiar with, but I find it easier to link the loops on one side like this.

For my cushion that I made, I stitched up a piece in this pattern the same way Lucy at Attic 24 did for this cushion. At the start I measured my chain against the pillow form I was using until it was the right width, and then stitched. I ran out of yarn near the button flap so it's a little shorter than perfect, but I love the effect of alternating the colors every row (which was forced by a yarn shortage) as it reminds me of a bracelet or a belt or a headband or some accessory I had in seventh grade or thereabouts. I did my button holes the same way as Lucy, but I added an extra row, so I had five rows in the buttonhole section instead of four, with the buttonholes in the center of that strip. Before I stitched my buttonholes, I laid out my buttons in a way that I liked and just fudged with my stitch math until everything was nice and even (it took a few tries and some ripping, but it's not a big piece so it wasn't a bother). I just really wanted all the buttons to be visible instead of the end ones hiding to the sides like in the first cushion I made.

Obviously I love color so that's always my first choice, but I'm thinking in just the right shade of gray or cream this would look like a nifty chunky sweater pillow (gift for a guy, maybe? Christmas is less than six months away, just sayin').

So there you have it. It's a lot of pictures and words because that's how I roll, but it really is super easy. Once you've gotten the hang of my mumbo-jumbo above, you can just follow these directions:

Chain in multiples of five.
Row 1: Starting with the first chain from the hook, sc 5. Ch 10. Sc 5, ch 10. Repeat until the end of the row. Ch 1, turn.
Row 2, 3, 4: sc straight across, chaining 1 at the end of each row before you turn.
Change colors every 4 rows, unless you're going for the solid look.
When you come to your last section, stitch as per the pattern for 3 rows. Pause. Link your loops. Then, in your final row, include the chain loops as part of your sc every 5th stitch.

If you have any questions please let me know and I'll do my best to help you out. Happy hooking!


  1. That looks MUCH easier than I expected! Thank you for sharing! =)

  2. Thank you! I got yarn this would be great for. I've been waiting for the tutorial.

  3. Good Tute! I want to try this stitch out!
    xo Kris

  4. Great tutorial. I really enjoyed making my loopy cushion. Thank you

  5. Wow! You're instructions are awesome! I'm a novice at best, but totally sure I can do this...thanks to you!

  6. Wow! You're instructions are awesome! I'm a novice at best, but totally sure I can do this...thanks to you!

  7. Can you do this with double crochet too?

    1. I imagine that you could, but you'd get a looser fabric. If you want to keep the stripe height the same you'd only do one row of dc instead of 2 rows of sc. If you want fatter stripes in dc, you might have to chain more on the loopy parts to make sure they're long enough to interlock. I recommend making a small swatch so you can figure out what works best for the project you have in mind.

  8. Wow - just found this on pinterest. This is so lovely, can't wait to try it. Thank you so much for sharing your pattern.



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