Filet of Dragon
Thank you for all the complements!? Filet crochet isn’t difficult if you’re comfortable following a chart. It flollows the same logic as knitting a colorwork pattern in the flat from a chart – back and forth row by row. The hardest part is making the correct number of chain stitches to form the foundation on which the first row is worked. I did the math, then used safety pins to mark off every 25 stitches as a counting aid. I did end up being one short, so I cheated, and added a mesh at the end. If you look VERY closely to the first mesh at the cast-on tail, you’ll see it’s a bit heavier on one side where I slip stitched back up after making my cheat mesh?in preparation for the next row.
Once the count of the first couple of rows was established, the thing became a simple mantra of counting. Begin, A, B, 1, A, B, 2, A, B, 3 and so on, with "Begin" standing in for "make initial double crochet of the mesh," "A, B" being either work two chains for open meshes, or two more DCs for filled ones; and the number being the count of the open or filled meshes for that particular run.(UK crocheters read trebles for the doubles cited here.)
I used the improvised magnet board system I wrote about earlier. Since each row was "proofed" by the row that followed, my mistakes became almost immediately apparent. The two I did most often (and each only a couple of times) was skip over a mesh when making a long run of open meshes, reducing the count on the new row by one;?or substituing an open box for a filled one – in effect forgetting that the design on the new row was shifting up or down by one box to make a visual diagonal. Since I was both confirming the raw count of each segment as I worked it as well as doing the "work even/one more" system, I never had to rip back more than one row.
So to sum up, filet crochet is much easier than the complexity of the finished piece would lead one to believe. The style I used employs only chain stitches and double crochets, and once one is used to making even stitches,?is an excercise in chart-following more than anything else.
Some people asked me to repeat the photo of my book (The New Carolingian Modelbook), showing the dragon pattern page, so they could do a quick compare for the distortion effect. Here it is: