Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Ins and Outs of INTERMESHING

I took Margaret Hubert's class on Intermeshing at the CGOA regional conference held in Portland, Oregon last week. Intermeshing is like crocheting two separate pieces of fabric, usually simple filet (chain 1, double crochet in the next double crochet), but you are interweaving them as you work a row of one piece and then the other, so it's a whole new way of experiencing filet crochet. The possible variations are infinite!

Although I had learned how to do this intriguing technique months ago thanks to Bonnie Pierce's downloads (scroll halfway down) and James Walters' excellent material generously made available via the internet, intermeshing is a type of crochet that is also exciting in a class setting. When I saw that Margaret was offering this class, I knew I had to be there.

I brought enough yarn for two very different swatches: one is that new Glow in the Dark yarn (white) by Bernat paired with a ball of blue discontinued Debbie Bliss yarn; my son loves how brightly the Bernat yarn glows in the dark, so I plan to turn this swatch into a small pillow that doubles as a nightlight. This yarn glows all night long! It glows brighter and less green than my camera captured here.

Margaret's class project was a simple bag and that's what I'll turn my second swatch into, so I brought colors for me: a deep rich red chenille (discontinued Reynolds Paris) paired with charcoal Lion Brand Cotton Ease. (see first photo, above.)

Intermeshing requires a certain kind of focus at first. I find that after awhile I can get into a comfortable rhythm, but until then, the logic of it is tricky for me--especially the beginning and ending of rows. Can you spot all the errors? Keep in mind that the edge is meant to end with a solid vertical bar of blue....

Below is my first swatch from months ago, in size 10 threads, turned into a wrist cuff. I was curious how it would look to pair a variegated thread (Manuela) with a solid neutral color (Cebelia). I wear it often because it goes great with jeans, but as a jewelry design I think it would have more punch if both colors were solid instead of variegated. Photos of it "in action" can be seen here.
I recommend Margaret's class to anyone interested in learning intermeshing. She brought some inspiring samples and her class handout is first-rate. I haven't shown any variations here, but Margaret had an afghan with a combination of intermeshing variations. Check out her blog entries about the class (scroll down to Sept. 16 and Aug. 3).

Update: see also this site about "Double Filet" as intermeshing is called in the UK (thank you, nic): http://www.craftgroupsevenoaks.co.uk/dfCrochet.php
In the US for 2010, Susan Lowman will be teaching a class on this technique at CGOA's Chain Link conference (July, Manchester NH).