How to Filet Crochet

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Shows preview of crochet video and filet crochet chart. Text reads: how to read filet crochet charts. Beginner crochet tutorial. Free written and video instructions.

I created this little tutorial as a precursor to a fun, little, filet crochet for beginners pattern that will be released in a few days. So, give this technique a practice and keep an eye out for a lovely, fall table runner that is surprisingly quick to work up.

In the meantime, let’s learn how to filet crochet!

Before Your Start

Skill Level: Easy/Intermediate


  • (US size D) 3.25 mm crochet hook,
  • 20 yards of size 3 yarn in 100% cotton
    • (I used Patons Grace, 1.75 oz/50 g., 135 yds/125m in the color “natural”),
  • scissors,
  • tapestry needle for tucking ends.
  • Optional: blocking boards and pins

Construction: Filet Crochet worked in rows

Language: US terms

Stitches Used:

  • CH:     chain
  • DC:     double crochet
  • SLST: slip stitch

Important Notes:

  • No matter your skill level, I always suggest that you read through the pattern from beginning to end before beginning your work just to be sure you don’t have any questions that might cause frustration in the midst of your project.
  • The initial CH-3 at the beginning of each row is not included in the filet chart but is always assumed.

How to Filet Crochet for Beginners:

Just a note: In the swatch section, there will be a link to a video walking you through the swatch chart and pattern. We’ll work the swatch together.

Filet crochet is a way of making fabric that entails the use of only two stitches, the chain stitch and the double-crochet. The pattern is designed in a grid fashion and includes both a grid-chart and written instructions.

The openwork of the fabric can be used in a myriad of designs from intricate florals to simple geometrics. In our pattern, today, we’re keeping it pretty simple with a basic leaf pattern.

To form the filet fabric, the grid is created by working blocks of stitches with each block being either filled or empty.

Filled block: ⬛ Empty block: ⬜

Image of the grid used by working blocks of stitches to form a filet fabric. The blocks are either filled or empty.
A basic filet pattern might look like this

Filled Blocks

Filled blocks are shown on the written pattern as an X and are created by working a block of 3 double-crochets (one double crochet in each of three consecutive stitches).

  • ⬛ is represented by X.
  • X equals 3DC.
  • So, X would look like this on a traditional chart:

⬛⬛⬛  on a chart would read X3 on a written pattern and would require 3 blocks of 3-DC (so 9 DC total).

If you’re new to Filet, this may seem complicated, but stick with me because we’re going to walk through a little swatch together.

Empty Blocks

Empty blocks are shown on the written pattern as an O and are created by working a block of two chains, skipping two stitches, and working a double crochet into the third stitch.

  • ⬜ is represented by O.
  • O equals (CH2, SK2, DC) or (chain 2, skip 2 stitches, DC)
  • So, O would look like this on a traditional chart: (working right to left)

⬜⬜⬜ on a chart would read O3 on a written pattern and would require 3 blocks of (CH2, SK2, DC).

Remember, from the important notes, above, each row of filet crochet starts by chaining 3 and turning. This starting stitch isn’t shown on the chart, but I’ve added it to the written pattern for your convenience.

As you work the filet crochet, you may feel like your design isn’t coming through, but be patient, once it is finished and blocked, you’ll be able to see your lovely design stitched right into the fabric.

Still feeling intimated, don’t worry! This swatch is a filet crochet for beginners that will have you feeling like an expert in no time.

Create Your Swatch

While gauge is not important with this piece, if you’ve never worked filet crochet before and are not familiar with the Xs and Os format of a filet crochet pattern, a swatch will help you feel confident in the process moving forward.

Let’s create this:

Photo of crochet swatch filled with Xs and Os format of a filet crochet pattern.
A basic filet crochet swatch pattern.

In the written pattern, RS means the right side is facing you and WS means the wrong side is facing you.  We’ll be working a grid of 5 blocks plus the turning stitch and beginning from the bottom up and right to left.

Filet crochet is easily translated for left-handed crocheters. Simply work the design left to right.

Let’s begin!

Check out this video where I walk you through these 5 rows:

Or watch on YouTube, here:

CH18. Begin Row 1 by working in the 4th chain from your hook

← Row 1 [RS]: CH3, turn,  CH3 (counts as DC here and throughout), turn, X, O, X, O, X
→ Row 2 [WS]: CH3, turn,  CH3, turn, O, X, O, X, O
← Row 3 [RS]: CH3, turn,  CH3, turn, X5
→ Row 4 [WS]: CH3, turn,  CH3, turn, O, X, O, X, O
← Row 5 [RS]: CH3, turn,  CH3, turn, X, O, X, O, X

And that’s it! You are, officially, a filet crocheter.

Now, keep an eye out for my Autumn Leaves Table Runner, coming soon!

Click this image to pin the Filet Crochet Tutorial to your favorite Pinterest board!

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