Reading Numerical Filet Patterns – A How to Guide

posted in: Crochet | 25

So…my filet crochet patterns might be just a little different from other filet patterns you’ve read. Years ago, I saw a rudimentary example of what I’ve developed into “numerical filet” in a traditionally written filet pattern. This pattern offered a sequence of numbers and commas after each row of the traditional written instructions as a “shortcut.”

The idea of a short cut was nice – but there wasn’t any guidance to make a smaller or larger blanket and no graph was given. It was frustrating!

This inspired me to develop a fully numerical filet pattern writing technique that could stand alone without any written words. And of course, in all my printable patterns in my shop – I always include a graph for you!

Numerical Example 1: 8 , 4 , 8

More “traditionally” this reads: 8dc, ch1, sk 1 st, 4dc, ch1, sk 1 st, 8dc

Numerical Example 2: 5 , ( 1 , ) x3 then 5  

More “traditionally” this reads: 5dc, ch1, sk 1 st, ( dc, ch1, sk 1 st ) rep between ( ) three times total, 5dc

  • Each number is an amount of dc stitches. 
  • Each comma represents the “ch1, sk 1 st” sequence. 
  • The “(  )” indicates a repeated section and the “x” notes the number of times to repeat that section. For example, “x3” means to repeat what is inside the ( ) 3 times total.
  • “Ch2, turn” is made at the end of every row, and it always counts as the first dc of the next row. Make sure you begin your second dc of the row 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 to count for your first dc and your first “ch1, sk 1 st” (the first comma).
  • Repeats can occur inside of other repeats. If this happens, I bold the outer most repeat and use a bracket [ ] shape to help avoid confusion.
  • I use “then” after a repeat when there is not a comma directly after the repeated section to help avoid confusion with the repeat number. 
  • Commas may begin or end a repeat ( ) section, so watch carefully. 
  • NEVER “ch1, sk 1 st” unless you see a comma! Unless there is a comma, you will not make a filet hole.
  • My patterns are tested by teams 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.

25 Responses

  1. Kaz

    I know I’m the minority in this chat and it’s so embarrassing! but, I so wish this under-construction pattern was in writing, not numbers because I’ve read and read and read the explanations over and over but again I can’t process any of the number ways because I’m constantly battling with Dyscalculia, it’s kind of like Dyslexia but the trouble is processing numbers in any way. I just can’t do this pattern. I got the pattern to make for my 2yr old Grandson but I don’t think I can do this . No lack of trying . I’m pulling my hair out with frustration.
    I can see how it can simplify the filet pattern but I haven’t got a hope in hell’s chance of working this out.

    • Becca

      I’m sorry you’re having trouble. The listing does state the pattern is written in numerical filet. Are you able to count without trouble? If so you can use the graph to make the pattern and even write down the number with “dc” next to them if that helps for clarity.

      ~ Becca

  2. 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.

  3. 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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