Free stitch pattern: Knit Net

Last weekend I was inhaling Mary Thomas’s  Book of Knitting Patterns. (I was in a rush as I’d borrowed it through Interlibrary Loan and didn’t have it for long. I’ll be buying a copy of my own!) One of the things that struck me was her section on knitted filet lace. Filet lace (also known as lacis) has interested me for a while as being an obvious thing to do with my secret code grids. The example I’ve seen in person was amazing! This is just a subsection of it:

A section of a lacis (filet lace) tablecloth.

Basic filet lace starts with the netted grid; squares are filled in with darning. This has extra embroidery aside from the basic darned netting.

Filet crochet was invented in imitation of netted filet lace and can also be quite beautiful.

Knitted filet lace has mostly been kind of awkward. The filet lace in Mary Thomas’s book really isn’t what I’m looking for (the open squares aren’t really open – they have a horizontal bar through them). Jackie E-S has a method that looks really nice, but I haven’t learned it yet.

I was fiddling around with the Mary Thomas method and came up with this variation on how she made open spaces. My variant actually produces open squares instead of half-squares. I haven’t been able to work out how to knit filled squares that don’t distort the fabric, though. Still, I’m going to share this with you because I think it’s interesting in its own right. The key is to decrease/bind-off stitches before knitting them.


Free stitch pattern: knitted netting.


  • This is a stitch pattern such as might be found in a stitch dictionary. It is not a pattern for a finished object.  Selvedge stitches are, however, included.
  • knit net is a multiple of 3+4 stitches and 2 rows.
  • Designers, please feel free to use this stitch in your patterns.
  • If you like my posts like this, please consider supporting me on Patreon or donating with my Paypal tip jar in the sidebar. Thanks!


In all these descriptions, A is the stitch closest to the needle tip. I named the decreases J, L, and upside-down T because of the shape of the resulting stitches. (As always, it’s possible that someone else invented them separately and also came up with better names for them. Please let me know if so!)

  • J decrease: pass B over A, then knit A.
  • k: knit.
  • L decrease: slip A knitwise, slip B knitwise, pass A over B, knit B.
  • p: purl.
  • Upside-down T: slip A knitwise. Pass C over B. Slip B knitwise. Pass A over B. Knit B.
  • yo: yarnover.

Cast on a multiple of 3 + 1 stitches.

Row 1 (RS): J decrease, yo x 2, *upside-down T, yo x 2 ; work from *, L decrease.
Row 2 (WS): p1, *k1, p2 ; work from *, k1, p2.