• Kat Zimmermann

Filet-o-Crochet Fishtail Lace Headband


A white woman with magenta hair looking to the side, wearing a sage filet crochet headband with a W pattern in lace.

Crocheters - you didn't think I forgot about you when I made that last headband post, right? This pattern mimics the knit version but is fully crochet!


Filet crochet is a technique that's been around nearly as long as crochet has - many antique pattern books have patterns using this technique or similar (e.g. netting) to make a sturdy lace with little stretch. This type of crochet lace was commonly used for camisole yokes, trims and edgings, insertion lace, and a LOT of household items like tablecloths and curtains. In fact, if you've ever been to an antique store, there's a good chance you've seen this type of lace before.


At some point, I want to do more with filet crochet and antique patterns - this was a good place to start simply because of size. Plus, I've found this headband (because it has little stretch) stays in place well and is great for those "I haven't washed my hair in 3 days but don't want to use dry shampoo" sort of days. It's also excellent for activities like cooking and gardening because once it's tied, it doesn't move much.


Click here to jump to the pattern!


Q: What do I need for this project?

A: To make this headband, you will need:

  • Crochet thread - I used Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread in size 3 (see notes below on weight)

  • 2 mm crochet hook (again, see notes below)

  • Snips

  • Tapestry needle




A white woman with magenta hair looking to the side, wearing a sage filet crochet headband with a W pattern in lace.

Q: How long does it take to make?

A: This pattern took me just about 4 hours on the mark to complete start to finish (including some frogging). My version shown in the photos is a tied headband - if you make an around the head type, I would expect it to be a bit faster.


Q: How difficult is this pattern?

A: Not very - this is a good way to learn the technique of filet crochet because there are only 3 rows which repeat for the entire pattern. The most difficult part is working with such a small hook and thread size. If I had to choose, I would say advanced beginner just because of the control needed to work with thread and a 2 mm hook. Skills needed: ch, dc.


Q: What size is the final headband?

A: Any size! The way I've made it, the headband is fully adjustable because it is tied when worn. This also means it can be used to hold hair in a bun. If you prefer to make an around the head type headband, I've included notes below on how to adjust based on head measurement, accounting for negative ease.


 

Tips, Notes, & Learnings


A white woman with magenta hair looking to the side, wearing a sage filet crochet headband with a W pattern in lace. From the back, it can be seen that the headband is tied at the nape of the neck and hangs a few inches below the shoulders.

(Yarn & Hook) For the example shown, I used Aunt Lydia's Cotton Crochet Thread size 3 (fashion weight) in sage. The yarn packaging recommends a 3 mm hook, but I found that the resulting fabric was too wide to be a headband. I also tried a 2.5 mm, but liked the 2 mm fabric the best because the stitches are nice and close together. Having a high stitch density makes it easier to see the lace pattern resulting from the filet technique.


You could easily use a finer weight crochet thread for a more delicate look or to make insertion lace for a garment. You could also use a heavier yarn and larger hook size to make a scarf - repeat the pattern as a multiple of 8 + 3 to make a wider garment like a shawl.


With the crochet thread, I used 1 entire ball of thread (worked the pattern until I was just about out) - the final length is 41.5 inches.


(Tension) When working with a fine weight yarns and threads in crochet, tension becomes very important as it can dramatically change the final size of your project. Working in filet, it becomes even more important because a loose tension can make it difficult to see the pattern.


If you are using crochet thread, try to keep your tension on the tighter side. Crochet thread is not prone to splitting as many more weightier yarns are, so don't be afraid to keep the stitches on the tight side. Once you've done a few rows, you will be able to spot pretty quickly if anything was looser than the stitches around it because the top of the double crochet will stick out like a sore thumb.



A white woman with magenta hair looking to the side, wearing a sage filet crochet headband with a W pattern in lace.

(Adding Repeats) The pattern below makes a W pattern using the lace holes left by the open filet squares. As noted above, you could absolutely use this pattern to make wider items by chaining a multiple of 8 + 3 to begin. If you choose to do this, you will repeat the first 4 columns all the way across, ending on a column 1 (where the open square is at the top).


This could make for a nice light summer wrap or even a bedspread. The great thing about the filet technique is that once you get into it a ways, you won't even need to read the pattern anymore, just look at the squares.




(Open or closed) I worked this pattern up to look similar to the previous fishtail lace headband (knit) , so the holes make the W pattern. However, if you want a lighter, lacier look, try reversing the chart shown! That is, work the black squares as open and the white squares as closed. If working in crochet thread or other hefty yarn, there should still be little stretch and the final project should be nice and sturdy.


 

Fishtail Lace Headband Pattern in Filet Crochet


Abbreviations

ch - chain

dc - double crochet

st - stitch

sk - skip


Gauge

14 dc = 2 inches

11 rows in dc = 4 inches



A white woman with magenta hair looking to the side, wearing a sage filet crochet headband with a W pattern in lace. From the back, it can be seen that the headband is tied at the nape of the neck and hangs a few inches below the shoulders.

Determine Headband Length

For my headband, I simply crocheted until I was just about out of thread before doing the final row of all double crochets. If you prefer an around the head headband, use the math below to determine the best sizing.


To figure out how long to make your headband, first measure around the head of the person who will wear it. If you're not sure, check out this table from the Craft Yarn Council of standard head sizes for reference.


Crochet lace is not very stretchy - that's one of the attributes that made it so popular for things like curtains, bedspreads, and tablecloths. For a headband to stay in place, it does need to be a little bit snug. Since we don't have a lot of stretch to work with, you'll want to use a very small amount of negative ease, about 5-10%.


To figure out how long to make your headband, take your head size and multiply by 0.9 or 0.95, this gives 90 or 95% of the total size.


For example, my head measured 23 inches, times 0.9 = 20.7 inches OR 23 x 0.95 = 21.85 inches. These are then the measurements I'll aim to be between when working up the headband. Remember that the final row is all double crochets and will add a bit less than 1/2 inch to the total length.


Once you've reached the length desired, bind off at the end of the row, leaving a long tail for sewing. Sew the ends together using your preferred method.



Pattern - written out


A close up of the headband. The stitches are small and tight which makes the W pattern of the lace holes much clearer to see.

Ch 22.

Foundation: Working into the 4th ch from hook, 1 dc in each st across (19 dc - note that the 3 unworked chs count as 1 dc).


R1: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc here and throughout), 1 dc in next 4 sts, ch 1, sk 1 st, 1 dc in next 7 sts, ch 1, sk 1 st, 1 dc in next 5 sts. Turn.


R2: Ch 3, 1 dc in next 2 sts, [ch 1, sk 1 st, 1 dc in next 3 sts] to end of row. Turn.


R3: Ch 4, sk 1st st, 1 dc in next 7 st, ch 1, sk 1 st, 1 dc in next 7 st, ch 1, sk 1 st, 1 dc in last st. Turn.

Repeat R1 - R3 until you reach the desired length (see above).


Final row: ch 3, 1 dc in each st across.

Bind off and weave in ends.



Pattern - chart

Ch 22.

Foundation: Working into the 4th ch from hook, 1 dc in each st across (19 dc - note that the 3 unworked chs count as 1 dc).

Follow chart for R1 - R3, chain 3 to begin each row (counts as 1 dc).


For closed/black squares: 1 dc in each of next 2 sts.

For open/white squares: ch 1, sk 1 st, 1 dc in next st.


Note that to begin row 3, this means you will chain 4 sts because the first square is open.


Repeat R1 - R3 until you reach the desired length (see above).


Final row: ch 3, 1 dc in each st across.

Bind off and weave in ends.

Filet crochet chart for the fishtail pattern. See written pattern above for instructions.
Chart created using Stitch Fiddle.


 

A white woman with magenta hair, wearing a sage filet crochet headband with a W pattern in lace.

That's all, friends!


I hope you enjoy this week's pattern and share photos of your creations here in the comments and on Instagram!


Be sure to follow me on Instagram and subscribe to the blog by filling out the form at the bottom of the page.


106 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All