Friday, June 14, 2013

Filet crochet. Don't get frustrated.

Some time ago one of my readers asked me a question about filet crochet. She was frustrated because every time she would make an attempt to follow a pattern her garments turn out too wide and too short.
I wasn't able to help her at that time because I haven't done any filet crochet for years and even back then all I made was table cloth.

I feel bad that I don't remember who asked me, so I decided to do that post since I went through that frustration myself yesterday.
My latest project involves filet crochet. I must say I admire this kind of crochet, it's simple yet the result is always beautiful if made neatly.

I read some tutorials to fresh up my memory and what you do to make an open block is: 2 chain (ch), 1 double crochet (dc), 2 ch, 1 dc....
and to make a closed block: 4 dc, and 3 dc for every additional square, since 2 neighboring squares share 1 dc between them.

What most tutorial don't tell you while open block turns out actually a true square, closed block doesn't, it's actually a rectangle. That's why my friend's garments were spreading out in width.

Some say you can make closed block by making 3 dc, and 2 more dc for every other mesh instead of 4 dc (3dc for every next), but the blocks don't look filled enough in that case.

So I tried some different approaches and found my own way, which satisfied me completely, since my filet sample 16*16 blocks turned out a true square.
There is nothing wrong with  rectangles, but a perfectionist inside me kept kicking me, I needed my filet to be perfect.

The upper sample is the one I made using my technique, which is instead of making 2 dc to fill out a solid mesh, I make 2 dc together (above open block). To make closed block above another closed block make  2 - double crochet cluster (CL2) in 2 dc tog or CL2 of the previous row. It looks a bit different, but I like it and the best part it's not stretching and looks closed.

The closed blocks in second sample are made traditional way: 4 dc (plus 3 dc for every next one). As you see it's wider. If you choose traditional technique, to avoid frustration, keep in mind, solid blocks are wider than open blocks.

These are not hand-made:


  1. I understand how you did rows one and two. However, when you crochet two together, you only have one do you complete row three with closed blocks?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I should make adjustments to the post. Stupid me. I make 2 DC tog in that one stitch (2 DC tog) of previous row. I am going to fix it now. Thank you again!

    2. OK, I made a new diagram. Thank you again!

    3. Natalia,

      Thank you so much! I have been practicing and I am really pleased with the results. This is amazing!


  2. Hi Natalia! that's how a square must like! SQUARE! thanks for the all the thinking, the trying, and the time and care you put to make this post and diagram! I (like you) have made a lot of filet crochet in the past, but most of it were tablecloths or runners, but the crocheted piece always looks wider and that stopped me to try a beautiful diagram into something wearable. Now I may try!

    1. Thank you, Lauri! I am glad my post was helpful. Please, share your creations with me and 11K for now other crocheters on my Facebook page:

  3. I do my filet crochet a slightly different way to get squares instead of rectangles… I use an elongated DC for all DC stitches. This entails first doing a chain one to start the stitch in the appropriate place, then completing the DC. It works perfectly. Depending on your own crochet "hand", one might also try doing a ch4 at the beginning of the row. Everyone has a slightly different tension, depending on how tightly one crochets, so experiment. Make a small swatch square with a simple geometric pattern to test.

    1. Thank you, BarbieCat, for taking time to comment. I don't understand your technique though, could you explain it to me? Is it so true about the fact that everybody's crocheting so differently!