Friday, April 4, 2014

How To: 4 DC Filet Crochet

  Filet crochet is a style of crochet most often worked from a chart. Instead of working from a written pattern, symbols are used to represent multiple stitches together, called a mesh, or colors will be used for color changes. Each symbol makes a block of fabric made of three or four stitches, or a mesh such as a lacet can be worked over two squares. The chart is worked from the bottom left to right, then from the right to the left for the next row up, and so on.

  Filet crochet can be difficult to understand if you're not familiar with reading charts, but once you understand the concept, you can turn any graphed picture into a crochet project. However, before you do that, you need to decide to work it in 3 DC or 4 DC. This tutorial is focused on teaching you about 4 DC filet crochet.


  4 DC means that every square of a chart will represent four stitches, with the beginning and last stitch always being a double crochet, or worked to the same height. Each square forms a block of fabric, or an open space. Although  each square represents four stitches, each square shares a common stitch with the square next to it.

  Wait, what?..So, 4 DC actually means each square is made of 3 stitches?

  Yes and no. Technically, each square is worked as three stitches, and is only "borrowing" a stitch from another square. Two squares next to each other will represent seven stitches, not eight. Because each stitch still needs to represent four stitches, one extra stitch is added to the beginning chain.

How to double crochet

Let's begin by learning the different types of mesh:

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 3 stitches.

  For regular solid mesh (over another solid mesh): 1 dc in each of next 3 sts.

  For solid mesh over a chain space: 2 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 5, skip first 2 stitches, 1 double crochet.

  For regular open mesh: Chain 2, skip 2, 1 double crochet.


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

  For beginning long mesh: Chain 8, double crochet in last stitch of lacet; or skip next 5 stitches, 1 double crochet.

  For regular long mesh: Chain 5, double crochet in last stitch of lacet; or skip next 5 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 6, skip first 2 stitches, 1 single crochet. Chain 3, skip next 2 stitches, 1 double crochet.

  For lacet: Chain 3, skip 2, 1 single crochet, chain 3, skip 2, 1 double crochet.
The last double crochet of a lacet will count as the first double crochet of the next mesh.

  Let's work together to understand how to figure the staring chain and the stitches thereafter. For the examples, I'll be using a size F/5 - 3.75MM hook and worsted weight (4) yarn. Use whatever you are most comfortable with, and let's start with the basics.

To begin, count the number of squares going across the chart. This one is eight squares.



Multiply the number of squares by three:
8 x 3 = 24.

Add one for the beginning stitch:
24 + 1 = 25.

Then add three for your turning chain.
25 + 3 = 28.

So for a chart eight squares wide, you will need to chain 28, resulting in a row of 25 stitches.

So, to begin: Chain 28.



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1. Let's practice the solid mesh first. Double crochet in the fourth chain from the hook,



 and in each of next 3 stitches. (1st mesh made)


(Double crochet in each of next 3 stitches)  7 times. (8 meshes, 1 row made)

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Obviously, if you were to continue all in solid mesh, you would end up with a solid fabric with no pattern. Now practice combining different meshes in the same row, using solid mesh and open mesh. Being worked over a row of solid stitches, this one's pretty easy. I'm pretty sure you can do it without step by step help.

2. Chain 3 (counts as 1 dc), turn. 1 double crochet in each of next 3 stitches. Chain 2, skip 2, 1 dc. (1 solid mesh, 1 open mesh made)
Make an open mesh again, make 2 solid mesh, make 2 open mesh. End with 1 solid mesh.

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Next, let's reverse that pattern. When working a solid mesh over a chain space, work 2 double crochet in the chain space, then 1 double crochet in the next double crochet.

3. For beginning open mesh, chain 5, skip 2, 1 double crochet.
Make 2 solid mesh, make open mesh twice, 2 solid mesh, 1 open mesh.




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Now let's practice a full row of open mesh.

4. Chain 5 for beginning open mesh., skip 2, double crochet.


(Ch 2, skip 2, double crochet) 7 times. (8 open meshes made)


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Now you've covered solid mesh and open mesh. Got it? Let's move on to cover the lacet and its companion, the long mesh. We'll begin by making an entire row using the lacet.

5. For beginning lacet, chain 6, skip 2, 1 sc. Chain 3, skip 2, 1 dc.


(Chain 3, skip 2, 1 single crochet, chain 3, skip 2, 1 double crochet) 3 times. (4 lacets made)


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Now, let's make a row of long mesh over that.

6. For beginning long mesh, chain 8, double crochet in last double crochet of lacet.


(Chain 5, skip lacet, double crochet in last double crochet of lacet) 7 times. (4 long meshes made)


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Practice working the lacet over the long mesh. 


7. For beginning lacet, chain 6, skip 2, 1 sc, chain 3, skip 2, 1 double crochet.


To complete the row, make one lacet over each long mesh. (8 lacets made)


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8. Make a row of long mesh again. Let's see if you can do it by yourself this time. Refer to step/row 6  if you need help.


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What goes above the long mesh? Anything, really. Let's practice the solid and open mesh one more time for an example. Work as for step/ row 2, that will be: Solid mesh, 2 open mesh, 2 solid mesh, 2 open mesh, 1 solid mesh.

9. For beginning solid mesh, chain 3, 3 double crochet in chain space.


To make the first open mesh, chain 2, 1 double crochet in last double crochet of long mesh.


For next open mesh, chain 2, 1 double crochet in chain space.


Place 2 double crochet in chain space, 1 double crochet in last double crochet of long mesh for first solid mesh.


Work all 3 double crochet of following solid mesh in next chain space.


Chain 2, double crochet in last double crochet of long mesh, chain 2, double crochet in next chain space for final 2 open meshes.



For the last solid mesh, work 2 double crochet in chain space,



1 dc in chain-3 of turning chain.


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There you have it! Now you've covered the 4 DC meshes, and a combination of how to place them. You can combine the knowledge you've learned here to crochet just about any 4 DC pattern.


What will you make?

2 comments:

  1. This is an excellent tutorial. Lacets just escaped me when I was trying to figure them out from a book I had borrowed from the library. They seem so obvious now. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I'm happy to know it was more informative than a book from the library! Thank you so very much for the feedback. I'm also working on a tutorial for 3 DC filet; hopefully it will be just as helpful.

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