Endless Filet Crochet Possibilities with the Crochet Market Bag Kit
As soon as the To Market Bag Kit went on sale, I had to get one. I love crochet market bags with filet crochet and all the endless design possibilities they offer. Designer Laura Ricketts incorporated the phrase “To market, To market” along with a cute apple design into this practical crochet market bag that’s perfect for summer adventures to farmers’ markets or vintage fairs.
Although I love the design and color of the original bag, I chose to customize my filet crochet design with a geometric design and make it in the alternative color, hazelwood. Once you understand the basics of filet crochet, the pattern is easy to alter, and I wrote a blog post that includes a few charts for different filet patterns to get you started. Along with the “To market” pattern download, the kit also includes articles on how to read filet crochet charts and blank graph paper you can fill out with your own design!
Still feeling uneasy about reading a filet crochet chart? Here is an excerpt from an article by Kathryn White titled “7 Tips and Tricks for Perfect Filet Crochet.” The full article, along with filet crochet diagrams and examples, is available for download with the kit.
How to Count Filet Crochet Stitches
Knowing how to properly count the stitches for your blocks and meshes is critical to making the design work correctly. Each square, whether it is a block or mesh, will consist of three parts: three stitches in a block and a stitch and two chains in an open mesh. At the end of a row you will add one more stitch, so your ending block will have four stitches and your ending mesh will have a stitch, two chains, and a stitch.
Reading a Filet Crochet Chart
If a chart has a symmetrical image, you can read it from right to left or left to right—it won’t make a difference. If your chart is asymmetrical, it’s imperative that you work it in a certain direction to ensure the design will face the correct way when you’re finished. If you are right-handed, you will begin on the right side of the chart for row 1 and work from left to right for row 2; all rows will be worked with the odd rows beginning on the right and the even rows beginning on the left. If you are left-handed, you would begin the same chart on the left side for row 1, and all rows will be worked with the odd rows beginning on the left and the even rows beginning on the right.
Note that the To Market Bag is worked in the round, so there is no need to add the extra stitch at the end of the round; the round will end with 2 chains and a join with a slip stitch. There is also no need to keep track of left to right or right to left, because all right-handed crocheters will read the chart from right to left for every round and all left-handed crocheters will read the chart left to right for every round. These are just 2 of the reasons the To Market Bag is great for filet crochet beginners.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you’re new to filet crochet (or even if you’re not), I encourage you to use these tips to practice the technique on a couple of swatches before you start your crochet market bag. If you’re planning to customize your bag, use the graph paper included in the kit to plan your design carefully, then start crocheting! If you’re customizing, let us know what you’re doing and share your finished pictures on Ravelry!
Editor, Interweave Crochet