Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Filet Crochet and Me

I wrote a review for the book Filet Crochet: More than 70 Designs with Easy-to-Follow Charts (Stitch Collection) at Crochet Spot. You might want to check it out at

I spotted this book at National Book Store, the biggest book store chain in the Philippines. My eyes goggled as I spotted the price tag: Php150.00--about USD4.00. I quickly snatched it up and marched straight to the cashier, convinced that they had somehow messed up the price (and determined to purchase it before they cottoned on to the error).

I was entranced with all the possibilities that filet crochet had to offer. Still, the newbie crocheter in me was too scared to try anything in the book. I was a little intimidated with the charts, the new techniques to master, and all the counting (!!!) involved.

Knowing I had to overcome this fear, I settled on an ambitious project: the Blessed Mother Prayer Shawl by Kim Guzman (free pattern). It was the perfect way to build my filet crochet skills. I had to undo my work a lot of times. I realized though that with each error I made, I learned something new. Read more about my experience on my Ravelry project page at

Since then, I've made a couple of filet crochet doilies from a Japanese pattern book. Then I moved on, learning other new crochet techniques (and promptly forgot about filet crochet projects). Looking through available patterns now, I came across a few intriguing free patterns that are definitely going on my queue:

Pretty Kitty by Maggie Petsch

Day of the Dead Skull Doily
by Maria Merlino

Jane Austen Cameo Doily
by Margaret C. Sullivan
I started working on the Jane Austen Cameo Doily this afternoon. I was charmed by the author's description:
"A silhouette of a young woman bearing the legend “L’aimable Jane” (the amiable Jane) was found pasted into a second-edition copy of Mansfield Park. It was thought at the time that the silhouette, being of a young lady named Jane and found in a book by Jane Austen, must therefore be a silhouette of Jane Austen. The provenance is a bit dodgy, but Janeites have long accepted the silhouette as being a symbolic representation of their favorite author. We have formatted it into a filet crochet pattern that can be used to make a doily or any item that can be crocheted using the filet crochet method."
The Jane Austen fan in me just had to start the project immediately. I propped open my Filet Crochet book to refresh my memory. Using size 8 crochet thread and a size 8 crochet hook, I started hooking away. Here's what I accomplished in over an hour, 12 and a half rows into the project:
I don't exactly know if I'll use it as a doily or have it framed for my daughter's room. One thing I'm sure of is: I'm happy to have established a friendly camaraderie with filet crochet. Hopefully more crafters master the art, to ensure the perpetuity of this lovely branch of the crochet arts.


  1. Those are really impressive! I still have kind of a hard time handling thread rather than yarn, but you make a good case for trying again. Your Jane so far--great progress on that, fast. The Blessed Mother Prayer Shawl is lovely. You know, there's a very large, framed filet version of The Last Supper hanging in a room at my church. I've been meaning to get a photo of it--eventually I'll remember. Will post a link to the photo when I finally get that done.

    1. Thanks, Annie! I'd love to see that Last Supper hanging. I don't believe I've seen anything like it yet. And you can try doing filet crochet with thicker yarn--maybe sock yarn? There are too many lovely filet crochet patterns out there; you shouldn't give up on it!