Author Archives: Underground Crafter

About Underground Crafter

My name is Marie Segares and I’ve been crafty for a long time. My maternal grandmother taught me most of the needlearts at a young age, but the only one I’ve done continuously since childhood is crochet. As an adult, I picked up (again) sewing, quilting, embroidery, and knitting. My parents were also big creative influences, especially my dad, who is a fine artist. He had a kind of creativity “boot camp” program in place after school, on weekends, and in the summer time. (He was the Drill Sergeant, and I was the new recruit, in case you were wondering.) I live and work in New York City and am currently on the endangered species list as a Native New Yorker. By day, I work in higher education administration/college access. By night (and weekend) I make cool creative stuff and teach people to do the same.

Interview with double filet crochet evangelist, Barbara Mann (also known as mulenga)

Underground Crafter's Crochet Specialty of the Month: January 2015 intermeshing crochet
Welcome to my themed blog series, Crochet Specialty of the Month! Each month in 2015, I’ll feature a specialized crochet technique, stitch pattern, or project type through several posts.

This post contains affiliate links.

Today I’m sharing my last interview in this month’s series on intermeshing crochet. Barbara Mann, also known as mulenga, is a designer, teacher, and all around advocate for double filet. (Nickerjac, a fellow member of the East London Crochet Group, shares her thoughts on the difference between double filet and intermeshing crochet in this interview.)

Barbara lives in London and can be found online as mulenga on Ravelry, or via the Double Filet website of the East London Crochet Group. Images are copyright Barbara Mann and are used with permission.

Barbara Mann in a double filet crochet serape and hat.

Barbara Mann in a double filet crochet serape and hat of her own design.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet?
Barbara: My Dad learned to crochet while a prisoner of war, and taught my Mum and me after his release, when I was about 7. I remember knitting the body of my school cardigan while my Mum knitted the sleeves. My motto through the years has been Each one teach one, and my two daughters are competent knitters, crocheters and designers – and teachers.

These double filet crochet designs are based on the Berlin Ware theme. Designs by (clockwise from top left) carolserena, nickerjac, mrspammy, and mulenga.

These double filet crochet designs by the East London Crochet Group design team are based on the Berlin Ware theme. Designs by (clockwise from top left) carolserena, nickerjac, mrspammy, and Barbara Mann.

UC: How did you become involved with the East London Crochet Group?
Barbara: It started around our kitchen table with a group of friends exploring Double Filet crochet! We decided to put on a workshop in our local church hall, which became a regular three-monthly fixture. We called ourselves the East London Crochet Group because that’s where most of us came from to start with, but people started coming from all over London and further afield, one even from Scotland. Several years on, from 2003 we added a 3-day residential workshop. We are affiliated to the Knitting and Crochet Guild, some of our contacts came that way, others through SkipNorth, others in manners lost in the mists of history.

In this double filet design, Barbara used elements of  Central Asian carpet design in a shape known as "elephant’s foot."

In this double filet design, Barbara used elements of Central Asian carpet design in a shape known as “elephant’s foot.”

UC: Your group seems to have developed a strong interest in intermeshing crochet, or double filet. How did you learn this technique and what do you enjoy about it?
Barbara: I attended a free-form crochet course in 1991 with Sylvia Cosh and James Walters. James showed us an experimental sample of Double Filet crochet (similar to the first sample here – ironically about as far from free-form crochet as you can get). I was hooked, and knew immediately where my next twenty years were going! What do I enjoy about it? Creativity, colour, texture, practical results (dramatic capes and afghans), designing …

Barbara combined bullions with a double filet frame in this design.

Barbara combined bullions with a double filet frame in this design.

UC: Do you design your own projects or do you mostly work from patterns?
Barbara: I rarely work from patterns unless from one our design team! Between workshops a group of close colleagues meet round our kitchen table twice a month to plan the next workshop, and we normally come up with a dozen or so pages of ideas and drawings suitable for different levels of experience, or to encourage folk to design their own. Each year we pick a different region as a source of inspiration (the Celtic world, the Mediterranean, Russia, Africa …), developing designs from all manner of crafts.

A double filet afghan designed by Barbara.

A double filet afghan designed by Barbara.

UC: What are your favorite crochet books in your collection?
Barbara: [Laughs]. Barbara Walker‘s Mosaic Knitting. Not crochet, but adaptable. Our crochet Bible is the Harmony Guide to Crochet Stitches compiled by James Walters and Sylvia Cosh. But usually we have a pile of books around our theme, e.g., for Japan: some 10 books on traditional gardens, embroidery (sashiko), kimonos, amigurumi, Japanese prints, bonsai, heraldic motifs …

Barbara created the sample for this Icelandic cushion front design was adapted by carolserena from a needlepoint pattern by Jóna Sparey.

Barbara created the sample for this Icelandic cushion front design was adapted by carolserena from a needlepoint pattern by Jóna Sparey.

UC: Do you have any crafty blogs or websites you visit regularly for inspiration or community?
Barbara: I am beginning to be more computer literate, and am thoroughly enjoying Ravelry. No doubt this blog is one that I should start to follow!

Barbara's double filet design was influenced by a 12th century jewelled reliquary from Cologne.

Barbara’s double filet design was influenced by a 12th century jewelled reliquary from Cologne.

Thanks so much for sharing your time with us, Barbara, and for your kind words about my blog!

New Patterns in February 2015 Issue of I Like Crochet!

I’m excited to share two new crochet pattern releases!

This post contains affiliate links.

Both are in the February, 2015 issue of I Like Crochet, a relatively new digital crochet magazine that is available for your desktop or iPad. New issues are released every two months.

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My first pattern in the issue is the Scrappy Shells Blanket.

Scrappy Shells Blanket, crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

Image (c) ILikeCrochet.com.

Although you could definitely make a scrappy stashbusting project with this pattern, I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in seven colors for the sample.

Scrappy Shells Blanket, crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

I love the way it turned out! As you may have noticed, I love asymmetry, and I’ve included an asymmetrical edging on just one side of the blanket.

Scrappy Shells Blanket, crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

My second pattern is the Shimmery Valentine Bangles.

Shimmery Valentine Bangles, crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter.

Image (c) ILikeCrochet.com

These are super quick and easy to make and are a fun project for teens. I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Glamour in 3 colors to add some bling for my samples.

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One of the things I love about I Like Crochet is how many patterns are included in each issue (more than 30). My favorites from this issue are Nazanin Fard‘s Berry Sherbet Shawl, Beth Graham‘s Scraptastic Log Cabin Blanket, Olivia Kent‘s Cherry Tart Cowl, Patti Notestine‘s Forever in Love Slippers (available in 3 sizes), Dora Ohrenstein‘s Plum Raspberry Pullover (available in 4 sizes), and Suzanne Visch‘s Lime-Trimmed Cardigan (available in 5 infant and toddler sizes).

There’s also a great tutorial for the spike cluster stitch along with a pattern for the Spike Cluster Clutch (also by Dora Ohrenstein).

You can find the table of contents for the February, 2015 issue here. What’s your favorite pattern in the issue?

Crochet Groundhog Pattern Roundup

With New York City under a blanket of snow from Winter Storm Juno, I’m trying to remain hopeful about a cloudy Groundhog Day next week. Crocheting a groundhog seems like the best way to woo spring, so today I’m sharing a roundup of my favorite groundhog patterns.

Crochet Groundhog Free Pattern Roundup by Underground CrafterThis post contains affiliate links.

1) A little groundhog amigurumi by Tea, Love, Crochet. This little critter is made with Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn. I love the teeth and the expression!

2) Groundhog on Yarnspirations. This groundhog is crocheted with Lily Sugar ‘n Cream. I love the little legs.
3) If you’d like a bit more support, try out the Happy Groundhog Day pattern with photo tutorial on Genuine Mudpie. I love how this dude seems to be dancing.

4) (Not pictured) And, although it isn’t free, I think Stacey Trock‘s Amigurumi Phil the Groundhog is just adorable!

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If you like this roundup, you may enjoy my Amigurumi – Crochet board on Pinterest!

Tuesday PIN-spiration Link Party Week 36

 This week, I’m thrilled to join Amy from The Stitchin’ Mommy and Rhondda from Oombawka Design for the Tuesday PIN-spiration Link Party! Read on for more details.

Tuesday PIN-spiration Link Party Week 36Welcome to the Tuesday PIN-spiration link party! Make sure to stop by and pin the projects that you love the most and check out the Tuesday PIN-spiration Pinterest Board!

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Free pattern: Triptych Sampler Infinity Cowl

Triptych Sampler Infinity Cowl, free crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter
Welcome to my themed blog series, Crochet Specialty of the Month! Each month in 2015, I’ll feature a specialized crochet technique, stitch pattern, or project type through several posts.

This post contains affiliate links.

Back in November, I talked about the yarn my family brought me back from their trip to New Zealand.

Countrywide Opals yarn on Underground Crafter blog.

Countrywide Opals, a DK acrylic yarn my mother and sister bought me back from their trip to New Zealand.

I loved the contrast in colors, and when I began this series, I knew this yarn would be the perfect fit for a design using the intermeshing crochet technique.

Triptych Sampler Infinity Cowl, free crochet pattern including intermeshing crochet, post stitches, and puff stitches by Underground Crafter

I also knew I wanted to create a circle scarf with that was completely reversible and combined the multi-color appearance of intermeshing crochet with solid blocks of color.

Triptych Sampler Infinity Cowl, free crochet pattern including intermeshing crochet, post stitches, and puff stitches by Underground Crafter

Rather than fumble through an intermeshing crochet pattern in one color, I decided to make a sampler, using two other reversible stitch patterns.

Triptych Sampler Infinity Cowl, free crochet pattern including intermeshing crochet, post stitches, and puff stitches by Underground Crafter

I combined a basketweave pattern made with front and back post stitches along with a shell stitch using puff stitches to add a little texture.

Triptych Sampler Infinity Cowl, free crochet pattern including intermeshing crochet, post stitches, and puff stitches by Underground Crafter

I hope you enjoy the pattern! I gave the sample to a dear friend, and she loved it!

If you’re new to intermeshing crochet, you can check out my roundup of free beginner tutorials here. Or, let me know in the comments if you’d like to join in the free crochet-a-long for this pattern, which will include detailed tutorials.

Until then, add the Triptych Sampler Infinity Cowl pattern to your queue or favorites on Ravelry!

Triptych Sampler Infinity Cowl

Crochet Pattern by Underground Crafter

03-intermediateUS terms 50 3-light 50Explore 3 stitches and techniques to create a stunning color blocked cowl that wraps around the neck 3 times!

Triptych Sampler Infinity Cowl, free crochet pattern including intermeshing crochet, post stitches, and puff stitches by Underground Crafter

Finished Size

  • Adult: 4” (10 cm) wide x 84” (213 cm) long (blocked).

Materials

  • Countrywide Yarn Opals (100% acrylic, 1.75 oz/50 g, 145 yd/133 m) – 2 skeins ea in 15 (CA) and 49 (CB), or approximately 280 yd (256 m) in each of 2 contrasting colors in any light weight yarn.
  • US G-6/4 mm crochet hook, or any size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Yarn needle.

Don’t have access to Countrywide Opals? Two great yarn substitutes are Schachenmayr Bravo and Cascade Cherub DK, both available on Craftsy!

Gauge

  • 21 sts x 8 rows (1A & 1B) in intermeshing pattern = 4” (10 cm) across. Exact gauge is not critical for this pattern.

Abbreviations Used in This Pattern (✪ see Special Stitch Patterns, below)

  • BPdc – back post double crochet – Yo, insert hook from back around front to back of st in previous round, yo and draw up a loop, (yo and draw through 2 loops) twice
  • ch – chain
  • dc – double crochet
  • dc/b – double crochet in back of ch-1 sp of alternate color piece
  • dc/f – double crochet in front of ch-1 sp of alternate color piece
  • ea – each
  • FPdc – front post double crochet – Yo, insert hook from front around back to front of st in previous round, yo and draw up a loop, (yo and draw through 2 loops) twice
  • hdc – half double crochet
  • hdc2tog – half double crochet 2 sts together (decrease) – (Yo, insert hook in next st, yo and draw up a loop) twice, yo and draw through all 4 loops on hook.
  • pf – puff st – (Yo, insert hook in st, yo and draw up a loop) 3 times in same st, yo and draw through all 7 loops on hook.
  • rep – repeat
  • sk – skip
  • sl st – slip st
  • sp – space
  • st(s) – stitch(es)
  • * Rep instructions after asterisk as indicated.

Special Stitch Patterns

  • BPdc – back post double crochet – Yo, insert hook from back around front to back of st in previous round, yo and draw up a loop, (yo and draw through 2 loops) twice
  • dc/b – double crochet in back of ch-1 sp of alternate color piece
  • dc/f – double crochet in front of ch-1 sp of alternate color piece
  • FPdc – front post double crochet- Yo, insert hook from front around back to front of st in previous round, yo and draw up a loop, (yo and draw through 2 loops) twice
  • hdc2tog – half double crochet 2 sts together (decrease) – (Yo, insert hook in next st, yo and draw up a loop) twice, yo and draw through all 4 loops on hook.
  • pf – puff st – (Yo, insert hook in st, yo and draw up a loop) 3 times in same st, yo and draw through all 7 loops on hook.

Pattern Notes

  • This infinity cowl/circle scarf is crocheted flat in two panels which are then joined. Each panel includes 3 different techniques/stitch patterns using 2 colors of yarn.

Pattern Instructions

Cowl

First Panel

Intermeshing Crochet

This intermeshing crochet stitch pattern is reversible.

This intermeshing crochet stitch pattern is reversible.

 

  • With CA, ch 24.
  • Foundation Row: Turn, sk 5 sts (counts as dc + ch-1 sp), dc in next st, *ch 1, sk 1 ch, dc in next st; rep from * across. Set aside. (21 sts)
  • With CB, ch 22. Rep Foundation Row. (19 sts)
  • Place CA piece in front of CB piece.

 

  • Turn so working yarn is on right (if right-handed, or left, if left-handed). Drop CB yarn to front of project.
  • Row 1A: With CA, ch 4 (counts as dc + ch-1 sp, here and throughout), dc/b in next st; *ch 1, sk ch-1 sp, dc/b in next st; rep from * across, drop CA and do not turn.
  • Row 1B: With CB, ch 4, dc/f in next st, *ch 1, sk ch-1 sp, dc/f in next st; rep from * across.
  • Rep Rows 1A & 1B until intermeshing crochet piece measures approximately 13” (33 cm). Rep Row 1A, fasten off CB.
  • Row 2: Turn, ch 2 (counts as hdc here and throughout), *hdc through next st of both layers (CA ch-1 sp and CB dc), hdc through next st of both layers (CA dc and CB ch-1 sp); rep from * across to last st, hdc in last CA st. (21 sts)
  • Row 3: Turn, ch 2, hdc in next st and ea st across.

Post Stitch Basketweave

Triptych Sampler Infinity Cowl, free crochet pattern including intermeshing crochet, post stitches, and puff stitches by Underground Crafter

This basketweave pattern, crocheted with front and back post stitches, is reversible.

  • Row 1: Turn, ch 3 (counts as dc, here and throughout), FPdc around next 2 sts from prior row, *BPdc around next 3 sts from prior row, FPdc around next 3 sts from prior row; rep from * across.
  • Row 2: Turn, ch 3, BPdc around next 2 sts from prior row, *FPdc around next 3 sts from prior row, BPdc around next 3 sts from prior row; rep from * across.
  • Rows 3-4: Rep Rows 1-2.
  • Row 5: Rep Row 2.
  • Row 6: Rep Row 1.
  • Rows 7-8: Rep Rows 5-6.
  • Rep Rows 1-8 until basketweave piece measures approximately 13” (33 cm), ending after Row 4 or Row 8.
  • Row 9: Turn, ch 2, hdc2tog, hdc in next st and ea st across to last 3 sts, hdc2tog, hdc, changing to CB with last yo of final hdc. Fasten off CA. (19 sts)

Alternating Puff Stitch Shells

Triptych Sampler Infinity Cowl, free crochet pattern including intermeshing crochet, post stitches, and puff stitches by Underground Crafter

This alternating puff stitch shell pattern is also reversible using a 1 row repeat.

    • Row 1: Turn, ch 4, pf in same st, sk 2 sts, *(dc, ch 1, pf) in next st, sk 2 sts; rep from * across to last st, dc in last st.
    • Rep Row 1 until alternating puff stitch shells piece measures approximately 14” (35.5 cm). Fasten off CB.

Finishing Panel

  • With CA, join with sl st to unworked edge of Foundation Row A. Rep Row 2 of intermeshing crochet pattern to join pieces.

Second Panel

  • Repeat entire panel (intermeshing crochet, post stitch basketweave, and alternating puff stitch shells) alternating colors (reversing CA and CB).

Assembly and Finishing

  • Align short edge of alternating puff stitch shells from first panel to short edge of intermeshing crochet from second panel. Join with sl st across short edge. Repeat for other edge, being certain not to twist cowl before final join. With yarn needle, weave in ends. Spray block if necessary.

Don’t forget to add the Triptych Sampler Infinity Cowl pattern to your queue or favorites on Ravelry!

 

© 2015 by Marie Segares (Underground Crafter). This pattern is for personal use only. You may use the pattern to make unlimited items for yourself, for charity, or to give as gifts. You may sell items you personally make by hand from this pattern. Do not violate Marie’s copyright by distributing this pattern, the tutorial, or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group. If you want to share the pattern, point your friends to this link: http://undergroundcrafter.com/blog/2015/01/25/free-pattern-triptych-sampler-infinity-cowl. Thanks for supporting indie designers!