Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Crochetville's 2016 Blog Tour: How to Make Your Own Filet Swatch and Chasing Triangles Scarf Pattern

Hello, and welcome to my stop along  Crochetville's 4th Annual National Crochet Month Blog Tour! I'm so glad you've joined me. I hope that you will also check out the other featured designers and yarn stores that share this day, along with the rest of the tour. The crochet community is a cornucopia of talent -- always giving!


Today's post is made up of three parts. The first part is an introduction to filet crochet. The second part will talk you through designing your own crochet swatch and offer suggestions for how to use it. The final part is a free example of a filet pattern, the Chasing Triangles Scarf. Let's get to it!

Part One: What is filet crochet?
Filet is a style of crochet that uses grids of either double or triple crochet stitches, as well as chain stitches between them, to make pictures. The pictures can be as simple or complex as the designer wants them to be. All turning chains count as stitches in filet. Generally, one would start by chaining a multiple of 3 plus 1 for the foundation chain. Then, add 3 more chain stitches for double crochet or four more for triple crochet. Finally, you add 2 more chain stitches if the first box on the grid is empty. Here is an example of a filet grid with no picture in it.
You can see where the slip knot began. Also, the base chain began with 31 chain stitches, then had four more added to count as the first triple crochet of row 1. Finally, two more stitches were added for horizontal gain. That would make a total of 37 stitches for the base chain of a ten-box filet grid with the first box being empty (If the first box was filled, only 35 chain stitches would be needed). You can see that there is a triple crochet post worked into every third chain across, with two chain stitches worked in between each triple crochet. On subsequent rows, empty boxes are made by working more triple crochet stitches into triple crochet stitches, and more chain stitches across chain stitches.

So, how would you add a picture to this swatch? It's easy! Simply exchange the chain stitches for triple crochet stitches in each box that you want to fill. Move on to Part Two to learn more.

Part Two: How to Make Your Own Filet Swatch
Let's add a picture to our empty swatch. In general, filet charts don't show each individual stitch. Instead, they show boxes filled in with color or Xs. Here is a filet chart with a heart design that is based on the same grid as above.




Notice that many of the empty spaces on the grid are now filled in. That's all there is to creating your very own swatch; filling in boxes to make your picture. You can draw your own grid by hand, use graph paper, or even use internet tools to create your swatch. Keep in mind that your unique gauge will affect your swatch. For me, double crochet is more rectangular and triple crochet is more square. Experiment to find out what looks best to you.

If you're still a little unsure about trying filet, follow the photo tutorial below to see how the above grid would be worked up.

I started with a foundation chain of 35 since I was working in triple crochet and the first box on the grid was filled in. I worked my first triple crochet into the 6th chain stitch from the hook. This left 4 chain stitches to count as the first triple crochet, and one chain stitch to serve as the corner.

Since the whole first row of the chart was filled in, I worked 1 triple crochet into each remaining chain stitch across. Next, I chained 4 and turned to start my second row. Notice that since the chain 4 counts as a triple crochet stitch, I skipped the first stitch of the second row.

Then I came to the second box of row 2, an empty box. I chained two and skipped the corresponding stitches below. I worked a triple crochet into the next stitch. I followed the same process for the next two empty boxes on the chart.

Notice that when I moved along to create more filled-in boxes, those boxes shared the same triple crochet stitch. It is important to count accurately when working up filet. Also, since each turning chain counts as a stitch, I worked into the top of each turning chain as show in the rightmost photo above.

When I needed to fill in a box that had an empty box directly below it, I simply crocheted over the chain stitches. On the right you see the finished swatch.

Filet is very versatile. Your filet swatch can be repeated over and over, either separately or worked as one piece. In worsted weight, it could be a blanket. In DK weight, it may be a scarf. In thread, it could be a table runner or valance. Be adventurous! Also, please note that filet often benefits from heavy blocking.

Part Three: Chasing Triangles Scarf Pattern
I used a self-made filet chart to create the Chasing Triangles Scarf. It is the perfect spring scarf; lightweight, bright, and delicate.



You can leave your scarf open-ended to show off all of the filet, or you can whip stitch the ends together like I did and show off bits of triangles here and there.

For my scarf I used a US size D3 3.25mm hook. The yarn I used was Schachenmayr Tahiti in Riviera, a fingering weight yarn that is mostly cotton. I used 1 skein, about 300 yards. However, you can use any fingering weight yarn that you desire for this project. Here is the free filet chart. I worked it in double crochet, which resulted in rectangular panels that had more balanced triangles in them. I repeated the 22 rows over and over until I ran out of yarn.


I hope you've enjoyed today's post. Have something you'd like to share about your forays in the world of filet? Feel free to share with us in the comments!

9 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for generously offering this inspiring tutorial and beautiful scarf pattern to celebrate NatCroMo 2016!

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    1. Aww, you're welcome! Thank you for the kind compliments.

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  2. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I've "played" with the idea, however the foundation chain specifics has always escaped me. No I have a new toy in my crochet and creative toy box. Thanks again.

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    1. Yay! I hope you go on to have all sorts of fun with filet.

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  3. Ah, that yarn is gorgeous. Beautiful scarf.

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    1. Thank you! Also, if you like the yarn... I may or may not be saving a second skein of it to do a giveaway with here on my blog sometime... ;)

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  4. Great pattern to try filet crochet and I love that yarn! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. I love the yarn, too! I'm so happy you like the pattern :)

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