Filet Crochet!


Today I’m happy to share with you a chart for an adorkable filet crochet cat.

Filet crochet is a technique to make designs using open and filled squares or blocks. Usually filet crochet patterns are charts, without written instructions.

If you would like more information on working filet crochet I would recommend this article by Kathryn Vercillo on the Spruce.

Size 10 crochet cotton
1.5mm steel crochet hook

Finished size 4.25″ wide, 4″ tall, blocked
Abbreviations in US terminology
dc = double crochet
ch = chain
sk = skip
sc = single crochet
st (sts) = stitch(es)
yo = yarn over

Special stitches
dc2tog =  2 double crochet together worked over 2 sts of previous row. Yo, insert hook into st and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops, yo, insert hook into next st and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops, yo and pull through all loops on hook.

dc4tog = 4 double crochet together, worked over 4 sts of previous row. Yo, insert hook into st and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops, (yo, insert hook into next st and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops) three times,  yo and pull through all loops on hook.

The grid chart is read right to left on all odd number rows, and left to right on even numbered rows.

new chart_1622

To start: ch 48, work a dc into 4th ch from hook, dc into each chain of the row. 46 stitches, ch 3 at beginning counts as a dc here and throughout.

Row 2: read from left to right on the chart. ch 3, 3 dc (first filled square made), ch 2, sk 2 dc, dc in next st (open square made). Work in this manner across following the chart. When you reach the last 4 sts make 4 dc (filled square) to end the row.

Continue on reading the chart in the same manner. When working a filled square over an open square work into the chain space.

Beginning on row 11 I have added a few stitches to the mesh to make the cat design look more cat like. For these groups of stitches I have used traditional crochet chart symbols,  see the key on the chart. For the dc2tog and dc4tog see the special stitches section above.

When you are done I highly recommend blocking to even out the stitches. I soaked mine for about 10 minutes in cool water, then rolled it in a towel to extract excess moisture. I pinned it out on a blocking square but an ironing board cover also works well.

I am happy to be participating in Crochetville’s 5th Annual NatCroMo Blog Tour. Check out the featured blogs at Crochetville.



McDuff checks out the work in progress. Is that a cat treat under the yarn bowl?



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Crochet Workshops at Yarncon

I’m excited to offer several crochet workshops on April 1 & 2 at Yarncon in Chicago.

tunisian crochet_1611

I’m teaching a beginning workshop on Tunisian crochet. Above is a photo of some Tunisian crochet stitches worked in several colors. I think this will become a scarf; even with the most basic stitches you can create something beautiful.

pink cables_1613


Above is a photo of the crochet cables I’ll be teaching in a workshop. I’ll cover how to make cables and offer instructions on how to make a cabled headband or ear warmer. This is a really cool technique and a fun project for anyone who wants to try cables for the first time.

baby suri scarf- 513

The Tunisian Crochet Lace workshop is an introduction to lace stitches. We will begin making my Skinny Mint Tunisian Scarf (shown above) using the techniques we have learned. This is the perfect spring accessory, light and airy. Add this to your crochet arsenal.

Yarncon is one of my favorite fiber events. Indie dyers and yarn stores sell their wares. It’s a great place to shop for unique yarn, spinning supplies, various knit and crochet supplies, project bags etc. I’m excited to see what the vendors have to offer this year. With so many local yarn stores closing this is an opportunity to see the yarn and fibers in person and still buy from indie shops.

Here is the schedule for my workshops.

Beginning Tunisian Crochet Saturday April 1, 12-12:50 pm (beginner level)

Crochet Cables Saturday April 1, 1-2:50 pm (intermediate level)

Beginning Tunisian Crochet Sunday April 2, 11-11:50 am

Introduction to Tunisian Crochet Lace Sunday April 2, 12-1:50 pm (advanced beginner level) Take the beginning Tunisian Crochet workshop and you’ll be able to do the Tunisian Crochet Lace.

Yarncon April 1 & 2 2017
Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union Hall
1340 W Washington St
Chicago IL 60607

For more information or to sign up for classes see their website.

Coming up: NatCroMo Blog Tour on Crochetville.

My blog will be featured on March 21, 2017. I’ll be featuring a new crochet pattern.



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Heart Mania


With valentines day coming up I got stuck on a heart kick. I found a free pattern, Heart Crochet Hot Pad, while searching patterns on Ravelry. The pattern calls for worsted weight cotton. In my first attempt, shown above, I used Patons Grace, a sport weight cotton. It’s pretty, but kind of large, about 6.5″ at its widest worked with a 2.75 mm hook.


The hearts above are all done in size 10 cotton crochet thread except the very top heart, which is done in size 8 perle cotton. The pattern done in size 10 crochet cotton made a heart about 4.25″ wide using a 1.5 mm hook.


The size 8 perle cotton, above, made a heart 3.25″ wide using a 1.25 mm hook.


In the end I decided I liked this pattern in the size 10 cotton, above, the best. This one has an edging of variegated pinks.

The pattern has written instructions but no chart. Since I really like working from a chart I decided to draw my own. If you want to see the chart and more info. see my Ravelry project page.

I altered the edging slightly. In the second round of the edging I worked sc, ch 2, sc, into each chain space around. It gives it a little postage stamp edge. Thanks to Chalklegs on Ravelry for that neat idea.

This is a fun little project so if you’re interested I urge you to give it a try. And you might even want to try your hand at drawing a chart for this too.



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A Scrappy Thing


My favorite weight of yarn is fingering, and over the past 8 years I’ve used a lot of it. About two years ago I decided to make a scrap yarn project using all the little balls of leftovers. Finally after 25 months I have finished my scrappy thing!

With the yarn all heaped together in a big pile I realized almost all of it was variegated or self striping. It looked like a big clash of colors. Fooling around with it I found that the singles yarns didn’t quite match gauge to my multi-ply scraps, so I sorted out all of my singles and just used the multi-ply.

Finding a pattern was a bit of a challenge. Eventually I decided on Color Blend Stole which is a free pattern by Aparna Rolfe, one of my favorite designers. I followed the pattern as written except that I did all of my stitches in the back loop only. And I used my leftovers changing colors after 2-4 rows of the pattern depending on how much of each color I had.

At first I didn’t think it was going to work, everything seemed to clash. But as I continued  I was surprised to see that the overall effect was quite striking.


I went until I had used most of my leftovers, using 451 grams total of yarn. The finished size is 72″ by 31″ not including the fringe. Normally I’d just weave in the ends but they looked interesting so I added more strands making a fringe that is not too dense.

Using the back loop only technique made the wrap have a very soft drape and also a bit of a ribbed texture.


I have to say after all these years of crocheting, making many projects,  I was surprised by how this project turned out. I really didn’t expect it to work as well as it did. I’ll call it my New Year’s surprise.

If you’ve been thinking of doing something with your scraps I would recommend Color Blend Stole. You can use the pattern with whatever weight yarn you like. It does take a bit of concentration to follow the waves of stitches but it’s totally worth it.

A List of some of the yarns used:
Fluer de Fiber Acadian
Frolickijng Feet Done Roving
Malabrigo Sock
Smooshy With Cashmere
Claudia Hand Painted Fingering
Hand Maiden Casbah
Misti Alpaca Handpainted Sock
Crazy Zauberball
Zitron Trekking Hand Art
Sun Valley Fibers Merino Nylon Fingering
Three Irish Girls Velvet Sock
Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock

You can see more details on my Ravelry project page.

Now I have a box full of singles yarn scraps to work with. I have my eye out for the next scrap yarn project.



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Snowflakes 2016 in review


This year my sister gave me an old magazine called “Favorite Classics Christmas Crochet” from 1992. This set of snowflakes if from the article Snowflake Fancy. The magazine doesn’t credit the designer which is a shame because I’d love to know who designed these.

I like the whimsical decorations at the ends of the points, suggesting flowers.

Unfortunately this magazine is out of print but the snowflake in the center is available, including a workable chart, on pinterest.

I got a little crazy and tried a couple of snowflakes in pink.


Continuing on the theme of interesting terminal decorations, I found this snowflake that appears to be from a Russian website. Here’s the link on postila.


The ends of this flake look like little crowns to me.

All of these flakes were done in either size 10 or size 20 crochet cotton.


If you would like technical details for the snowflakes shown visit my  Ravelry projects page

Search snowflakes to see all of the snowflakes I’ve made along with notes including hook size, thread size, finished dimensions and pattern used.


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Summer Crafting

IMG_1387Going back to my childhood, summer has always been a time for crafting. Making stuff filled the days and staved off boredom. As an adult crafting is a mini-vacation from all the chores and duties of life.

I recently tested a pattern for Lara Oberman, known as DreamsinCrochet on Ravelry. My version of her Grackle pattern is shown above.  Beautiful in its simplicity, it’s worked starting at a corner of the triangle. The edging is worked last and stylishly decorates one side of the triangle. With one skein of fingering weight yarn from a local dyer I and was able to make a cute shawlette. The pattern is available from Ravelry here and includes two patterns, the Grackle and Lorikeet. Included are written instructions and good charts (which always make my crocheting so much easier). I’d like to make another larger one using scrap yarn, colors would stripe nicely on this. See my Ravelry project page for technical details.

Getting even more crafty I went bananas.


When I saw this pattern on Ravelry I had to make one. Then I thought, what I am I going to do with this? Of course, make a cat toy. So I made another and stuffed it with catnip to send to an friend. The pattern is Amigurumi Banana and is available free on Zan Crochet. Details on my Ravelry project page.

Working on unfinished projects, I finished a cowl that I started in April for a class I was teaching at YarnCon on my TriTone Tunisian Cowl pattern. This one was made with leftovers of Cascade 220 and Shephards Wool.

tritone cowl 3_0760

Lastly, I finished a shawl using the free Sunspree One Skein Shawl pattern by Rebecca Velasquez.

another spree_1374

I used MJ Yarns Silken Lace instead of the DK weight called for. The pattern can be downloaded from the Ravelry pattern page. This is Lucky Cat. She arrived in December, starving. When we couldn’t find her owners she asked if we’d like to adopt her.

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Coaster mania

flower coaster_1341

Recently I visited friends who have a beautiful burl wood table. When the drinks came out I noticed they had no coasters. This sent me on the quest for the perfect coaster.

I settled on the Springtime Coasters pattern by Doni Speigle. This pattern is very well written and produces wonderful results. Plus, it’s available free on Ravelry. The post stitches make this an advanced beginner project. There is a video tutorial  providing an excellent opportunity to learn a new skill if you’ve never made post stitches before. If you already know how to make post stitches you probably won’t need the video.

flower coasters_1332_3

As you can see I went a bit overboard with the coaster and will have some coasters leftover for other friends! I used Lily Sugar ‘n Cream yarn with a G (4 mm) hook. See my Ravelry project page for more details.

And, if you are interested in learning how to make these Tunisian crochet mitts…

fingerless mitts class photo

I am offering a class at Windy Knitty in Chicago. The two week class meets this Saturday May 7 and May 14, 1-3 pm.  You can sign up online, the deadline to sign up is Thurs. May 5 at 7 pm. So if you’re interested head right on over to their website to sign up.

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