     Home | Patterns on the Web | My Original Kitchen Items | Items I've Crocheted | Family Photos | Links to Doilies | Original FILET Patterns | BO and The NWO! Figuring the Number of Starting Chains in Filet   Figuring How Many Chains In Your Starting Chain

 It's actually very easy to figure out how many chains should be in a starting chain for any filet crochet chart.  I've given formulas below to figure starting chains for both a 3 dc mesh and a 4 dc mesh.

First, count the number of squares across the first row that you will be working on the chart.

Charts are usually begun at the bottom right.  Many edgings are worked sideways (the short rows) so that the length can be decided as you go along.

Next, decide if you want to work the chart in a 3 dc mesh or a 4 dc mesh. A 3 dc mesh = a mesh containing 3 dc in each mesh (after the first mesh, the last dc of a mesh also counts as the first dc of the next mesh).  A 4 dc mesh = a mesh containing 4 dc in each mesh (after the first mesh, the last dc of a mesh also counts as the first dc of the next mesh).

If working the chart in a 3 dc mesh, multiply the number of squares across on the first row of the chart, times 2, then add 1. That's your starting chain. Add number of chains for turning chain before starting first row: If the first square on the chart is a solid mesh, then chain 3 (counts as first double crochet of first mesh). If the first square on the chart is an open mesh, then chain 4 (counts as first double crochet and the chain-1 of first open mesh).

If working the chart in a 4 dc mesh, multiply the number of squares across on the first row of the chart, times 3, then add 1. That's your starting chain. Add number of chains for turning chain before starting first row: If the first square on the chart is a solid mesh, then chain 3 (counts as first double crochet of first mesh). If the first square on the chart is an open mesh, then chain 5 (counts as first double crochet and the chain-2 of first open mesh).

Why is there an add 1 at the end of the starting chain formula: Because (for a 3 dc mesh) after the first mesh, the last dc of a mesh also counts as the first dc of the next mesh, meaning that you will need 2 dc for each new mesh across the row. This is why you multiply the number of mesh on the first row of the chart times two. But you need 3 dc for the first mesh of that row and after multiplying the number of mesh across first row times two, there are only 2 dc allotted for the first mesh of the row. That's what the add 1 is for - to bring the number of mesh allotted for the first mesh of the row up to 3 dc. The same reason and principle for the add 1 applies to a 4 dc mesh starting chain formula.

Note:  If you ever have a problem with the starting chain of any of my filet patterns, come back to these instructions. 