How to Read Filet Crochet Charts

Recently a coworker emailed me with a crochet question that had been baffling her. What is filet crochet? She had searched the term in the Crochet Me Shop and found a bulky weight scarf, a sportweight tank, and a stunning wool shawl. And while she appreciated the beauty of each crochet pattern, she could not decipher what they all had in common.

Diamonds & Dots Filet Chart

The words "filet crochet" bring to mind table runners, lace edgings, and other home décor items worked in thread. In fact, my first filet project was an off-white-thread dresser scarf for my mother. But while filet crochet has most often been worked in thread, the technique can be worked in any weight.

Filet crochet is a technique in which "solid" shapes and designs are created with double crochet stitches and surrounded by square mesh. Most filet crochet patterns are illustrated with a chart where the shape or design is represented with gray or filled-in squares, and the mesh is represented with unfilled white squares. A gray square is worked by crocheting three double crochet stitches, while a white square is worked by crocheting a single double crochet and two chain stitches.

If a white square is positioned on the chart above another white square, double crochet in the double crochet, chain two, and skip the next two chains. If it is positioned above a gray square, double crochet in the next double crochet, chain two, and skip the next two double crochet stitches.

Diamond Sage Wrap by Jill Wright

If a gray square is positioned on the chart above another gray square, simply double crochet in the next three double crochet stitches. If it is positioned above a white square, double crochet in the next double crochet, then work two double crochet stitches in the chain-two space of the white square.

The darker line, sometimes a colored line, indicates the pattern repeat.

Filet crochet charts invite creativity. A delicate-thread edging can easily be transformed into a bold scarf when the chart is worked instead in a bulky-weight yarn.

Crochet the Diamonds & Dots filet chart (pictured above) in your choice of yarn or thread. Are you making a bookmark, a scarf, or a wrap? When you're done, upload your pictures in the Crochet Me member photo gallery. I would love to see what you create.

Continue your filet crochet exploration and download a fabulous filet crochet pattern from the Crochet Me Shop. Expand your view of filet crochet and create works of art with more than just thread.

Best wishes,

P.S. Have you knitted a filet crochet project? Leave a comment and share your experience with us?

Other topics you may enjoy:


Crochet for Beginners, Crocheting Lace, How to Crochet
Toni Rexroat

About Toni Rexroat

Toni Rexroat is the Online Editor of Crochet Me. Outfitted with several crochet hooks and surrounded by bins of yarn, she has been the assistant editor for Interweave Crochet magazine as well as PieceWork, Interweave Crochet’s sister magazine. She was born and raised in a little town in Wyoming where she was exposed to wool and other fibers at an early age, and began crocheting in her early teens. Enjoying a wide variety of fibery hobbies from crochet and knitting to sewing, she is determined to learn to spin so she can crochet with her own yarn.

12 thoughts on “How to Read Filet Crochet Charts

  1. I’m currently living in Brazil and they use filet crochet alot! I’ve made rugs and covers for propane tank & 20 liter water jug. The charts allowed me to make things when I had limited knowledge of Portuguese – the dictionaries aren’t much help for craft terms!

  2. I have done filet crochet in thread, a fine yarn and a worsted weight yarn. All projects were lovely when done. The result is a sturdy, stable fabric. It is a fun technique.

  3. I loved this article. Its been ages since I’ve done any filet crochet and the Diamond Sage Wrap pattern is just the thing to get me back into it. More, please, on filet crochet!

  4. Hi! I so love your website and especially appreciate the free E-books! I was wondering if you have any patterns or E-books that feature crocheted jewelry (like bracelets, necklaces, or earrings)? My daughters love jewelry and I was thinking what a perfect gift that would be for both of them. Thanks!

  5. Is it possible to crochet this wrap without using beads? Could I just follow the instructions for the filet crochet and ignore the directions for adding beads?

  6. I have made the angel baby afghan featured in the Dec.2008 crochet world and love seeing the results. Have given it 4 times as shower gifts and it is always a hit.

  7. i am disappointed in your filet article. you have chosen to write it in a more ‘modern’ method of trying to say that the blocks are represented by 3 stitches. this is very confusing to any ‘new’ person attempting filet when they read all of the standard instructions.

    basic 4 -st blocks of filet count the last stitch of the last block as the first stitch of the next block.

    your instructions don’t account for this. PLUS you don’t mention that there are other ways to do filet. such as 3 -st filet.

    if you are going to introduce a type of crochet then you should stick to the methods that are used predominantly throughout the rest of the crochet world.

    at the moment, i have been stuck on trying to explain to someone that NO, you really aren’t trying to tell her to put 3 stitchs in the middle of the block that really it’s a 4 count stitch and explaining it so that she can go to ANY filet webite and be able to understand what they are talking about.

    plus, if you don’t understand the basic concept of each side by side block sharing a stitch then it becomes very difficult to understand how to do the foundation chain with a count of (#blocks x 3 + 1 ). this accounts for the sharing of the inner stitches in the count. OR to understand how many dc should be present if you do a long row of solid blocks which you count by (#blocks x 3 + 1) again, accounting for the sharing of the inner stitch that borders each block.

    i am really disappointed. if you don’t really know how to do a particular type of crochet then please, don’t muddy the waters out there and confuse others who don’t know what you are talking about either.

    i wouldnt have even read your article except that i was referred here by someone who was confused trying to figure out how 3 stitches worked into the “4-count” open block. i have spent over 24 hours and many postings trying to explain it but she is stuck on the number 3 and tha fact that you said there were only 3 stitches.

    yes, in theory there are only 3 with an oddball on the end. But if you teach it this way then there is NO longer any concept of a block.

    filet has been around for 100+ years as a 4-stitch concept.

  8. Im new to crochet. I have made a blanket, a baby doll blanket, a baby doll pillow and a dress for my 2 year old. I am now trying to make a blanket for my dad. its a filet pattern. Ive heard so many ways it can be done. I understand some of it. but every forum and youtube video says different.
    Can you filet crochet using a HDC?