Wednesday, February 1, 2012

filet crochet

Yes, I'm still into filet crochet! LOL I'm planning to do a video tutorial on the method, but am waiting for a special cable to come in so I can move my camera further from the TV. I get feedback now in the form of a high pitched whine. *holds hands over ears*

In any case, I'm still making pieces. I would never have thought I'd get so into this method of crochet. I've known how to do it for years, but just never was inspired to delve further than making the tutorial at .

There are a few basic things you need to decide before starting a filet piece. These can be done in any order. This is just how I thought of them.

You need to decide if you will work with thread or yarn.

Then you need to decide if you are going to use a 3 dc mesh or a 4 dc mesh. I prefer 3 because I don't like a large hole. That is because I work with yarn, not thread. With thread, it wouldn't matter as much. 3 dc mesh (block or square)   means each mesh or block will use 3 stitches which will be either 3 dc or (dc, ch 1, dc).

Then you need to decide on a pattern. You can use just about any chart designed for filet or cross-stitch or make your own. To make the chart I am using now, I just made a table in Microsoft Word and put x where I wanted my design. You can use Excel or a photo program or even graph paper. Whatever works for you. There are programs out there that can take your photo and make a chart for you, too. I don't have that, however, so I used what I had. I like to add numbers to remind me what row/column I'm on as well. However, best to make sure you're DONE with your design before adding numbers as changing them afterwards is a pain.

Then you need to decide if you are going to use the open mesh or the closed block to make your design.

Some folks like to work with a triple crochet. This is fine. However, some pictures will not come out the same if you use a different type of stitch than the pattern suggests. That is because a triple crochet is taller than a double but the chain between the stitches remains the same size. So when you make (dc, ch 1, dc) it will end up a different height than (tr, ch 1, tr).

Below is a fleur-de-lis I made using a pattern designed for me by my daughter. I decided to use the open mesh to make my pattern. This is a 3 dc mesh. See where that tail is at the top? That is where I ran out of yarn, almost at the end. :-( I did not have a specific use in mind for the square but still ... For this pattern it doesn't matter in which direction you read the chart as it is symmetrical. In a non-symmetrical pattern, it is important to read the pattern chart right to left on odd rows and left to right on even rows.

To remember where I am in the pattern, I use two highlighters, a green and a pink. I mark each row as I finish it. Sometimes I mark as I go along if it is a lot of changes.

Here is the piece I finished last night. Remember when I did Austin for my niece's afghan a while back? I decided to use that same type of charting to make this one. Since it is worked in black, you can't see the individual stitches in the photo, but you can read the name. A disadvantage to filet is that you have to have a suitable background to be able to see the design.

For this afghan, the plan is to make a few filet pieces that relate to the recipient and supplement that with squares or ... something. It's just a general plan. LOL

Today is certainly a good day for crocheting as it is storming outside right now.

Oh, I guess I will also mention that figuring your foundation chain correctly is important too. That was confusing to me at first, but I think I have it down now.

What I do is count the number of blocks I need. I multiply that times 2, then add either 3 if my first block is solid, or 4 if my first block is open. That is my foundation chain for a 3 dc mesh.

While working the piece if there are a bunch of solid blocks in a row, you can figure how many stitches you need in the same way. Number of blocks x 2 plus 1.

The reason these are tricky is that if you have two blocks side by side they share one stitch. So 2 blocks would be 5 stitches, not 6. 2 x 2 = 4 + 1 = 5. Just remember that and easy peasy.

Good luck!

Happy crocheting!


  1. It's funny how you can suddenly get really interested in a niche area of crochet like filet crochet and get totally wrapped up in it. Love it!

  2. So true! I am wrapped up in filet at the moment.

  3. I love filet crochet too and chart my own patterns on graph paper.
    Eileen on Guam

  4. I love filet crochet too and chart my designs on graph paper--simple and easy. Tried a program once but it was too confusing for me.

    1. I make my charts with Microsoft Word but it IS limiting in size. Some things I've had to make several tables.