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Ultimate Guide to Crochet Post Stitches

by Kathryn Vercillo

Crochet post stitches, where the stitch is worked around the post of the previous row instead of into the top of the stitch, are easy to learn and versatile to use. Post stitches can be used to make highly textured fabric, add unique decorative details and strengthen the functionality of various products such as hat brims. They are definitely a technique worth mastering.

Same Stitches, Different Location

When you crochet post stitches, you are crocheting the same types of stitches that you already know how to make, just placing them in a different location (which we'll cover in detail in the next section). The double crochet stitch is a very common stitch to use for post stitches, for example. If you know how to dc, then you can make a dc post stitch. You just need to learn where to put it. In fact, you have two options: a front post double crochet (fpdc) or a back post double crochet (bpdc); both of these use the basic dc stitch as the foundation.

While the dc is by far the most common stitch used in post stitches, it's not the only one that you can use. Treble stitches are also common; you'll often see patterns calling for a front post treble crochet (fptr), for example. Shorter stitches are more difficult to use for post stitches, merely because of their placement, so it isn't common that you see a pattern call for single crochet (sc) or even half-double crochet (hdc) post stitches, but it does happen, and it's certainly possible to make these stitches.

Finding the "Post" for a Post Stitch

C fpdc

FPDC (around dc)

The reason that these stitches are called "post" stitches is because you crochet around the "post" of another stitch, meaning the body of that stitch. It's all about the location of where you crochet. Typically when you crochet, you crochet into the loops at the top of the stitch from the row or round below the one in which you are working. You may crochet into both loops or into just the front loop or just the back loop; regardless, you are inserting your hook into a loop and working your stitch into that. However, with post stitches, you will be inserting your hook into an empty space, not a loop, and you will be working around the post of the stitch.

A-HookBehindSCPost

FPDC around SC

Note that you can crochet around various types of posts. Typically, patterns call for crocheting around the same type of stitch that you're making. So, if you're making a front post double crochet, it will be crocheted around a double crochet from the previous row. However, that's not always the case. Sometimes, you will be asked to make your post stitch around another type of stitch in the previous row. A good example of this is seen in the Front Post Double Crochet around Single Crochet Square in the Checkerboard Textures Throw Crochet Along.

Front Post vs. Back Post Crochet

There are two different directions you can go when you make post stitches, creating either "front post" or "back post" stitches. The difference is in the direction where you insert the hook around the post.

Front Post Crochet

basketweave crochet 4

When you work front post stitches, you will insert your hook from the front of your work to the back. If you are right handed, you will be working right to left across the row, and you will insert your hook into the right side of the post that you want to work around and then back up on its left side. (See another example here.) When you first insert your hook, the post that you want to crochet around will be sitting right in "front" of your hook, which is a good way to remember that this is front post crochet.

See our front post crochet video with Marly Bird here.

Back Post Crochet

basketweave crochet 8

When you work back post stitches, you will insert your hook from the back of the work towards the front of the work. When you first insert your hook, the post that you want to crochet around will be siting in "back" of your hook.

See our back post crochet video with Marly Bird here.

How to Front Post Double Crochet (fpdc)

So, all of the instructions for your stitch will be the same as normal, but you'll be placing the stitch around the post. Here are the written instructions for a front post double crochet stitch:

  • Yarn over.
  • Insert your hook front-to-back through your work, so that the post you want to crochet around is in front of your hook.
  • Yarn over again and pull through. There will be three loops on your hook, just like there would at this stage of a normal double crochet.
  • Proceed as normal with your double crochet stitch: Yarn over and pull through the first two of the three loops on the hook.
  • Yarn over and pull through the remaining two loops on the hook.

That's it; a double crochet worked around the front of the post.

How to Back Post Double Crochet (bpdc)

Likewise, the back post double crochet is going to be exactly the same except for the placement of the stitch.  Just to make sure we are clear, here are those instructions:

  • Yarn over.
  • Insert your hook back-to-front through your work, so that the post you want to crochet around is behind your hook.
  • Yarn over again and pull through. There will be three loops on your hook, just like there would at this stage of a normal double crochet.
  • Proceed as normal with your double crochet stitch: Yarn over and pull through the first two of the three loops on the hook.
  • Yarn over and pull through the remaining two loops on the hook.

That's your back post double crochet stitch.

Note: You can find step-hg-step photo tutorials for both fpdc and bpdc in our basketweave crochet guide.

How to Front Post Treble Crochet (fptr)

fptr

FPTR

Just to make sure that you've got it down, let's look at how a fpdc is different from a front post treble crochet (fptr) (which is, essentially, the same difference between a double and treble stitch).

  • Yarn over twice.
  • Insert your hook front-to-back through your work, positioning the post that you want to crochet around in front of the hook.
  • Yarn over again and pull through. There will be four loops on your hook, just like there would at this stage of a normal treble crochet.
  • Proceed as normal with your treble crochet stitch: Yarn over and pull through the first two of the four loops on the hook.
  • Yarn over and pull through the next two loops on the hook.
  • Yarn over and pull through the final two loops on the hook.

Increasing and Decreasing Post Stitches

Some patterns may call for you to increase or decrease your crochet post stitches. This might throw you for a loop at first, but just remember that you're doing the same thing as with a normal stitch, just placing it in a different location. So, if you were going to decrease in double crochet, you would dc around two stitches at the same time; decreasing around double crochet post stitches means that you dc around two post stitches at the same time. It's not as complicated as it sounds at first. My Hobby is Crochet has a great guide to decreasing in double crochet post stitches. Moogly offers a good video tutorial for increasing with post stitches.

What You Can Create with Post Stitches

Now that you know how to crochet post stitches, maybe you're thinking that they are kind of nifty but you're not sure what to use them for. Well, there are many ways that post stitches can be used. They create richer, denser, more textured fabric than traditional stitches. Some of the types of techniques that use post stitches include:

Vertical Ribbing

vertical ribbing

Cordial Coasters

When you alternate front post and back post stitches across the row (always crocheting front posts around front posts and back posts around back posts), you create a fabric with thick vertical ribbing. This is a two-sided fabric with ribs on both sides. It is richly textured and cushy, great for heavy blankets and cozy cushions and warm winter wear.

Basketweave Stitch

basketweave crochet 16

The basketweave stitch is created using front and back post stitches as well. The placement of the stitches (whether front or back) is alternated to create the desired basketweave pattern. Find complete details in our Ultimate Guide to Basketweave Crochet.

Crochet Cables

LW4865 Diamond Cables Cowl

Crochet cables often rely on post stitches for the cabled texture that protrudes from one side of the fabric. In this case, stitches are worked back and forth across the same row so that the post stitches crisscross each other to create the beautiful cable work design. Learn more about crocheting cables from our "Learn a Stitch, Make a Crochet Cowl" tutorial for the Diamond Cables Cowl; this project uses front and back post treble crochet stitches. You can also learn more about crochet cables from this video with Kathleen Sams.

Crocodile Stitch

crocodile stitch

So far, what we have described are post stitches where one stitch is worked around each post. However, you can also work multiple stitches around each post. This can be done to increase (an example might be the use of the "front post double crochet two together" or fpdc2tog stitch). However, it is also done in specific techniques, such as the crocodile stitch, where post stitches are worked up and down to create the unique texture of this scaled design. Learn all about this from our Ultimate Beginners Guide to Crocodile Crochet.

Shallow Post Stitches

Shallow post stitches are made into the top section of the stitch, instead of around the post of the stitch. Learn more and see how the shallow post stitches are made with this instructional video from Marly Bird.

Crochet Patterns to Practice Post Stitches

Here are some additional patterns that feature post stitches:

post stitch throw

Post Stitch Throw

crochet cowl

Crocodile Stitch Infinity Scarf Free Pattern post stitch beanie

Beanie with a Dash

cowl shoulder cozy

Cowl Shoulder Cozy cable cardi

Crochet Cable Cardi

LW4132 Checkerboard Textures Throw

Checkerboard Textures Throw Crochet Pattern; many of the squares in this sampler afghan feature post stitches.

Ultimate Guide to Crochet Post Stitches