Picture of Filet Crochet Name Doily
In Filet Crochet chains and double crochets are used to create a grid, and double crochets are used to fill the grid spaces to create the pattern.  I was first introduced to it by my mother who created a name doily for me for Christmas.  My children each wanted one, but my mom had made so many that she said she wouldn’t do any more.  So I learned how to make the name doilies using Filet Crochet.  So far I have made over 50 of these doilies and given them as gifts.  The one I made in this Instructable was for the bridal shower of my nephew’s fiancé. (They are now married)  Everyone who sees one expresses disbelief that I had made it. They don’t know me very well, do they?  So I know that I can make one of these and get a positive response. (FYI- it will take +/- 1 hour to make a letter, and an hour to make each end, so 7 hours for this doily.)  Here we go on how to make a Filet Crochet Name Doily.
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Step 1:

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Graph paper
#10 crochet thread (white or ecru work best but you can use any color)
Size #7 crochet hook
Alphabet pattern (there are loads of alphabet patterns free on the internet)

Ch(s) – Chain(s)
dc - Double Crochet (US term, outside the US it is called tc, triple crochet)

Step 2:

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First you need to create a graph of the name you are going to spell on the doily.  I get out my favorite font graph and have the correct spelling of the name beside me (this was really important for the 15 letter name that ended with “witz”).  I then use pencil to transfer the name to the graph paper each letter of the name with one or two rows of space between each letter.  It’s doesn’t have to be all on the same line. You will be reading the pattern from top to bottom on the first row and from bottom to top on the second row, alternating which end you start at for the width of each letter.

Step 3:

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First you start by creating a chain 66 stitches long.

Step 4:

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Row 1:  Dc in 4th chain from the hook, dc in the next 2 chains (this is the start of the solid edge along the top).  *Chain 2 and dc in the 3 chain (or in other words, skip 2 chains), repeat from* until you have 19 open grid spaces, dc in the last 4 stitches, (the solid edge along the bottom) chain 3 and turn.

Step 5:

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Row 2:  dc in tops of next 3 of dc, (Crochet through both the top and bottom loops)  *Chain 2 and dc in the top of the next dc, go from * until you have 19 open grid spaces, dc in the last 4 stitches, chain 3 and turn.

Step 6:

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Row 3:  Now we start the letters.  You are coming from the top so, dc in tops of next 3 of dc,  create open grids for 5 spaces ending with a dc, read the first line on the left side of the first letter.  If that first square has an X in it, dc into the 2 chs and dc in the next dc, if the next square has an X fill it with 2 dc, if it doesn’t crochet 2 ch over the empty space. (all the letters are 9 squares deep so you will either fill each square with 2 dc or just ch2, for those 9 squares.  Then make 5 empty square, dc the last 4 stitches, ch3 and turn.

Rows 4 etc:  read the pattern for the next row from the bottom up, filling any square with an X with 2 dc, and any empty squares with ch2.  Each square consists of 3 stitches.  The first dc stitch for that square and then 2 more stitches, to either fill or leave open the square.  The first dc of the next square also serves as the last dc of the previous square.  Because of the size of each letter, not every letter takes the same number of rows to create, (compare I and W).

When you have completed the first letter, the next two rows will be repeats of row #2.

Step 7:

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Look carefully at the first letter and determine whether you are starting at the top or the bottom of the next letter.  On some of the letters it doesn’t matter, because they are symmetrical top to bottom (I, O, E, B etc.), on others it would make a big difference because they are not symmetrical, (G, Z, K, etc.)  You would hate to get most of the way through a name only to discover that one or more letters is upside down. (Been there done that.)  There is nothing to do but rip it out and start again at the last 2 empty rows after the last correct letter.

Step 8:

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When you are done with the last two empty rows after the last letter, then you start with the end edging, reading it the same way you read the letters.  One problem, the patterns for the ends, are copy righted in a book I bought.  You can get a copy of the book here:    http://www.amazon.com/Your-Name-Filet-Crochet-Leisure/dp/B000LQHML8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352657667&sr=1-1.

Once one end is done, tie off and weave in the thread end.

Step 9:

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  Turn the doily over and repeat the end pattern for the other end.  Again weave in loose ends.

Step 10:

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I usually just hand wash the doily and block it (lay it on a flat surface and use straight pins to pull the edges out so that it will lay flat) and let it dry. 

Step 11:

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Now it is ready to be matted (that’s another Instructable). 

Step 12:

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If it is to be a table doily, soak it in liquid starch and then block it allowing it to dry.  Beautiful!  Enjoy!
Hlmorton0920 days ago
Hello. I am very new to crochet. If i have a 11 square letter top to bottom how many chains do i need to start out with?

It can be hard to track down the books on this, for those interested, you can email the lady that runs this shop and set up an order: http://www.countryyarns.com/

apalmer0015 months ago

Thanks for sharing!

Hi I was wondering where I can find the free Alphabet patterns online? or what one do u recommend ? thank you

craftknowitall (author)  nikki.wright.399 months ago
All you have to do is google; "filet crochet alphabet patterns". Look at the ones offered and decide if you like them. Some are free and some ask a fee. I done several different ones based on the ones available in the books I bought. You know what you like and I know you will be able to find one that will fit your needs. Thanks for asking.
poofrabbit2 years ago
Congratulations on being a finalist in the fiber arts contest!! Good luck to you!
That is just beautiful! I'd love to try this :)
poofrabbit2 years ago
This is really neat! I can't crochet, but love all the projects that come from knowing how, one of these days I just may need to learn!