Filet crochet is a style of needlework that uses a hook-ended needle to stitch open and closed spaces, creating delicate and intricate details. The basic idea is quite simple for anyone who has dabbled in the art of crocheting.Here is a brief explanation of the procedure. (Though this standard formula calls for the double crochet, half-double may also be used.) Half-double crochet is a stitch similar to the double crochet. It is just as wide as the double, but only half as tall, producing a somewhat different effect from the original double crochet. Three or four double crochet stitches are stitched to form the solid mesh, or closed spaces, and a [double crochet/a few empty spaces/final double crochet stitch] combo is used to create the open mesh, or open spaces. This technique produces a lovely two-toned effect; it almost looks like two colors! Usually, the pattern itself will be done in solid mesh, with the background stitches in open mesh. Working with a combination of open and solid meshes, crocheters can create highly intricate designs and pictures. Very fine thread can also be used to crochet names or favorite phrases onto finished items.
Many types of thread, yarn, cord, or ribbon can be used to filet crochet, so long as it is supple enough to be worked by the needle. Cotton thread, though, is best for this artful handiwork as it is thin and lightweight, allowing it to run quickly and smoothly through the needle. Worked in rows, filet crochet is commonly used to fashion home items such as linens and wall hangings. However, filet crochet is far from limited to such pieces. With a minimal amount of practice, one can produce many beautiful and delicate pieces such as snowflakes, doilies, tablecloths, table runners, placemats and curtains.
Terms and Special Characteristics
A common stitch used in Filet crochet is the treble treble (triple triple). This stitch is one of the lesser known in crocheting, and slightly more complicated than the original treble stitch. Begin by yarning over four times, and inserting the needle into the eighth stitch from the hook. Continue by yarning over, and pulling the needle through the chain. The stitch finishes by yarning over again, pulling through two loops on the hook, and repeating this step four times (until only one loop is remaining on the hook). This is the treble treble stitch. Two more terms you ought to familiarize yourself with, as you will come across them often in filet crocheting, are increasing and decreasing. Increasing is simply adding an additional square(s) to the set number of squares in the pattern. Decreasing, obviously, is the opposite. A number of shapes and styles can be produced using this technique. Another beautiful stitch that is unique to filet crocheting is called the lacet stitch. This is a "V" shaped stitch designed within the pattern. It adds a stunning contrast to the already lovely filet crochet pattern. Try one, or try them all. Any variety of filet crochet will yield gorgeous results.
Tips for Filet Crochet:
Here are a few tricks that will help you with your filet crocheting.
1. Remember, the last stitch of a solid or open mesh is the first stitch of the next mesh.
2. Always make a sample swatch of the pattern you are following to ensure that the gauge (needle size) you are using is the correct one. You don't want to be using a needle for your entire project only to find out it was too big or small at the end!
3. Bear in mind that different brands of thread will produce slightly larger or smaller results than the pattern says. It's a good idea to buy one more spool of thread than the pattern calls for, as it can sometimes be difficult to find the same color twice. Rather have extra thread than run out in the middle and be forced to leave a nice project unfinished.
4. For many filet crochet pieces, white thread is best. It gives an elegant look to any table or wall, and you won't have to worry about the color fading with time.
5. Good quality thread should be used for these projects. It will ensure long-lasting pieces, and will minimize frustrations during the crocheting.
6. For beginners, use bigger thread. Better to get some practice before attempting the more intricate projects that use finer threads.
Whatever project you choose, you are bound to have fun along the way, and end up with a definite keepsake or family heirloom!
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| November 20, 2018
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