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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

FILET CROCHING

Most crocheters have become familiar with the fact that many crochet laces originated as attempts to replicate other forms of lace. Filet crochet is yet another example of this phenomenon. In some cases, it is an attempt to replicate net darning, also called “real filet.”

Like “real filet,” filet crochet is composed of blocks and spaces. The blocks in filet crochet are usually composed of 3 dc, the spaces of 2 chs followed by 1dc. The use of these blocks and spaces allows crocheters to introduce all manner of patterns, mottoes, and pictures – from the whimsical to the sub-line – into your work.

During the early part of filet crochet’s history, mottoes and pictures were often cleverly combined. For instance, an antimacassar bore the words, “Take a” and a picture of a chair; a cover for rolls had the inscription “Hot rolls make the” and a picture of a butterfly.

Most filet crochet today is worked from charts, often combined with a minimal amount of written instructions. Charts are generally read from right to left for RS (right side) rows and left to right for WS (wrong side). Since the pictures or patterns are presented on a chart comprised of squares, the ratio of stitch to row gauge is particularly important in filet crochet if you do not want the picture or pattern on your finished piece to be distorted.

For the most part, unless some type of adjustment has been made in the execution of the design on the chart, you want your row and stitch gauge to be identical; i.e., if you get 5 spaces to the inch, you also need to get 5 rows to the inch. Too much of a variation in this ratio will result in a finished piece with the pattern that is either elongated or flattened, depending upon in which direction the ratio is off.

As I previously mentioned, filet crochet is usually worked with double crochets (dcs), but it has been found that a triple crochet (tr) worked with ch-2 spaces will give a better stitch (st) to row gauge, hence a finished piece that will reflect the design as it is presented, without distortion from your simple easy crochet pattern.

Perhaps you already have a favorite simple easy crochet filet pattern that is too pretty to hide away in the house. Then why not take it out and about with you by turning it into a purse, dressy or causal, to suit your taste. While the entire design may be too large for your purpose, you can isolate an element to work on as you have the time.

You can also try using a finer thread and a smaller hook. Or, if your chosen design is too small, try a heavier thread and a larger hook. Keep making swatches until you find a thread and hook that will give you the right size and an appropriate fabric for your intended project.

Filet crochet also lets you to give it your personal touches. You can personalize any design by adding color. Instead of working it entirely in white or ecru, work the image of the pattern in a color that will match your d├ęcor.

I hope this article has been helpful to you. Just unleash your imagination and enjoy the distinctive results.

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