Reading Numerical Filet Patterns – A How to Guide

posted in: Crochet | 19

The Numerical Filet Pattern might be different from other filet patterns you’ve encountered. I first saw a method of counted filet in a pattern from Owl B. Hooked. She used a sequence of numbers and commas after each row of her traditional written instructions as a shortcut. But there wasn’t an easy way to make the pattern repeatable for larger or smaller blankets. This inspired me to develop a fully numerical filet pattern writing technique that could stand alone without any written words. Here’s how to use it. Below are some examples of what a row of numerical filet looks like:

8 , 5 , 6 , 4 , 7, 8

5 ( ,  6 , 1 , 1 , 5 , 11) x3 then 3, 5  

5 , 7 , [ 6 , ( 1 , ) x4 then ( 5 , ) x3 then 10 , 4 ] x2 then 1 , 2 , 5 , 6

  • Each number is an amount of dc stitches. 
  • Each comma represents the “ch1, sk1 st” sequence. 
  • “Ch2, turn” is always assumed at the end of a row, and it always counts as the first dc of the next row. Make sure you begin your second dc in correct stitch (into the second to last dc of the row below). 
  • If a Row begins with “1 , “ then you need to chain 3 before turning. This counts as your first dc and your first “ch1, sk1” (the first comma). When you return to crochet this end on the next row, make sure you remember this. Now, you’ll begin stitching in the 3rd to last dc of the row below.
  • The “(  )” indicates a repeated section and the “x5” notes the number of times to repeat that section. 
  • Repeats can occur inside of other repeats. I will bold the outer most repeat and use a bracket [ ] shape to avoid confusion.
  • I use “then” after a repeat when there isn’t a comma (“ch1, sk1 st”) space to avoid confusion with the repeat number. 
  • Commas can begin or end a repeat/section! Watch carefully. 
  • NEVER make a “ch1, sk1 st” space unless you see a comma! Unless there is a comma, you will not make a space – even after sections or repeats. Very often you will make an amount of dc and then continue with more dcs in the next repeat or section WITHOUT having made a space! 
  • My patterns are rigorously tested by a team mixed of experienced and “new-to-numerical-filet” crocheters to ensure everything is understandable and as error-free as humanly possible.

Still stuck? Ask for help in our Facebook Group – lots of helpful folks can point you in the right direction! Or, contact me – I’ll return your email within 3 business days.

19 Responses

  1. Michelle Anderson

    This may sound silly, but I’ve never done filet crochet before and although I understand the numerical sequence I’m unsure if I should be working into the ch 1 space or the actual ch 1 stitch when I encounter them

    • becca

      You can work into the ch space or into the actual ch1 stitch – it is personal preference!

    • Judy dirks

      Ok I’m sorry I’m really slow here on the snowman crochet 19 ,3, so you skip a stich with comma wants the 3 ? Skip a stich then dc three times This for some reason cannt figure out sorry there a simple solution I’m sure thanks a million judy

      • becca

        Yes – dc 19, ch and skip, dc 3. The commas represent the “ch1 sk1 st” filet hole.

  2. Anna's Gotta Crochet

    Okay, now it makes total sense to me. I actually like this comma method better than others I’ve used over the years.

    Thanks for making this so uncomplicated.


    • Anita Madewell

      I am having problems with row 3 – 3 (13,3,5,3,7) x4. Can you explain how many dc`s you are supposed to have?

      Thank you,
      Anita Madewell

      • becca

        For the blanket (with 4 repeats across the width), you should have 126 stitches across. As far as reading the pattern, the numbers ar dc and the commas are “ch1, sk1” spaces. You can read more about Numerical Filet here.

    • becca

      Of course! It makes filet sooooo much easier to follow rather than muddling through written words of each row!

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