Saturday, April 12, 2014

How To: 3 DC Filet Crochet

    I remember the first time I tried to tackle a filet crochet project on my own. It was made in 3 DC filet, was only written using the mesh terms, and the meshes were not explained in the instructions. I thought, "I can do this, every square equals 3 double crochet!". If you know filet crochet, you may be laughing before I explain that after the first row, the pattern wasn't working.
   I let confidence get in my way. My skills are advanced, so I know what I'm doing, right? I grumbled, assuming the pattern was written incorrectly. I moved on to another project, this time a charted pattern with no written instructions, also in 3 DC filet.
  I'd like to invite you to share my memories of that project.

  It was supposed to be an afghan. Sixty dollars in yarn later, hook in hand, I was ready. Over 200 stitches across, beginning chain made, I began.

  The first ten rows of the afghan were all solid mesh, with no color changes. Can you guess what happened? Over 2,000 stitches later, I discovered my stitches were off.
  I stopped to count my stitches. Hmm...I had the correct (so I thought) number, why wouldn't it work?
  With my confidence knocked down a peg, I turned to my collection of crochet books and magazines. I brushed up on the technique, and moved on to smaller, more simple projects. I never had the heart to try the same pattern again, and I don't wish the same mistake on anyone else. 

  With this tutorial, you'll be able to follow just about any pattern or chart using 3 DC filet. You can follow along later to learn a few ways to use each mesh, but let's begin by learning the meshes.

Solid mesh - Creates a solid block of fabric. 

For solid mesh at the beginning of a row: Chain 3, 1 dc in each of next 2 stitches.

For regular solid mesh (over another solid mesh): 1 dc in each of next 2 sts.

For solid mesh over a chain space: 1 double crochet in chain space, 1 dc in next stitch.

Open mesh - Creates an open block equal to the size of a solid mesh.

For beginning open mesh: Chain 4, skip first stitch, 1 double crochet.

For regular open mesh: Chain 1, skip 1, 1 double crochet.

Long mesh - Usually worked over a lacet. (See below.) Creates a double open mesh space. Always worked across 2 squares.

For beginning long mesh: Chain 6, double crochet in last stitch of lacet; or skip next 3 stitches, 1 double crochet.

For regular long mesh: Chain 3, double crochet in last stitch of lacet; or skip next 3 stitches, 1 double crochet.

Lacet - Creates a larger, angled open space suitable for lacy fabric. The word itself translates from French for "lace". Also known as a fancy mesh. Always worked across 2 squares.

For beginning lacet: Chain 5, skip first stitch, 1 single crochet. Chain 2, skip next stitch, 1 double crochet.

For lacet: Chain 2, skip 1, 1 single crochet, chain 2, skip 1, 1 double crochet.

Note - The last double crochet of a lacet will count as the first double crochet of the next mesh.

  Now let's make sure we understand what all that means. Why do you need to make a mesh differently at the beginning of a row?

  The term 3 DC is used because each mesh represents three double crochet. But did you know that after the first mesh in a row, each mesh shares a common stitch? 

  Take a look at the chart used for this tutorial. The first mesh (square) in each row will always be worked over 3 stitches. When you see a solid or open mesh (one square), after the first mesh in a row, it will only consist of two stitches.

  When you see a lacet or long mesh (two squares), it will be worked across five stitches.

The end result of the chart will look like this:

Let's move on to figuring our starting chain. Yeah math! No, no, no, don't run away, it's simple!

Count the number of squares across the chart below. Multiply the number of squares by two (2).

Add one (1) to that number.

Then add three (3) for your turning chain.

This chart is seven squares across, so the starting chain would be:

7 x 2 = 14

14 + 1 = 15

15 + 3 = 18

Beginning chain = 18

  Now let's practice how to make these mesh and a few different ways to place them. Grab whatever yarn and hook you are comfortable with, and get ready to begin 3 DC filet crochet.

How to double crochet

The chart is worked from the bottom left to right, the next row right to left, and so on.

Chain 18.

To make the first solid mesh, make 1 double crochet in the 4th chain from hook and in the next stitch.

To make the next open mesh, chain 1, skip 1, double crochet.

The next solid mesh will be 1 double crochet in each of the next 2.

Can you see how the two meshes together make what looks like one block of three stitches? Remember, they share a common stitch together.

Now, see if you can finish the row. Follow the chart and you should get this:

The next row begins with an open mesh.

Chain 4, skip 1, double crochet.

To make the next solid mesh over an open mesh, place 1 double crochet in chain space, double crochet in next double crochet.

Chain 1, skip 1, 1 double crochet over next solid mesh.

Finish the row according to the chart.

Row 3 is a whole row of open mesh for practice. Here's the first mesh if you need help:


The next row is all solid mesh. Remember, 1 double crochet in the chain space, 1 in the next double crochet.


 Here's the chart again so you don't have to scroll all the way back up.

Begin Row 5 with a solid mesh. Now for the lacet:
Chain 2, skip 1, 1 single crochet.

Chain 2, skip 1, 1 double crochet to complete the lacet.

Finish Row 5. Notice the last double crochet of the lacet is shared with the next mesh, just as the last double crochet of the solid mesh is shared as the first stitch of the next lacet.

Make a solid mesh to begin the next row. For the long mesh, chain 3, 1 double crochet in the last double crochet of the lacet.

See if you can finish this row by yourself. Again you can see how the long mesh shares a stitch with the mesh next to it.

Let's repeat those two rows again. This time, the lacet is going over the long mesh. As before, chain 2, but this time, single crochet in the chain-space. Complete the lacet as before, and finish the row.

The last row is worked the same as before:

You can keep practicing from there if you want. Repeat the chart I provided, or work with your own combination to see what you can do.


  1. Thanks so much! The pattern I tried was written in 3dc= 1 block, but it doesn't SAY it. I thought I was going crazy. This saved my sanity. Thanks again!

    1. You're welcome, Sandee! So glad it helped!


Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed your time, and feel free to ask questions.