Thursday, August 11, 2005

Question from Reader: Post Stitches

Hello Dee,
I enjoy your journal. I have a question tho. I don't understand how to do front and back post stitches. Can you explain how to do them?
Thank You

Hi Tonya,
I'm delighted that you enjoy reading my journal; I appreciate your visit! :)

You're not alone in having difficulties with post stitches.  So let's see if I can help make understanding the stitch a bit easier:

First, let's say that every stitch we create, regardless of size, has two parts to it.  It has the top: this is the top two loops that we use to create the next row.  And it has a stem -- like a stem that holds a flower up.  Let's talk about those loops for just a moment: sometimes we'll use just the back loop, sometimes just the front, sometimes alternating between the front and the back loop to create our stitches, but most times we go under the two loops to create our fabric.  The loops I'm talking about here are the ones that look just like the top of our foundation chain.  Are you with me so far?  Good!  J

Second, let's look at what holds that stitch up -- the post!  Think of the letter "T" -- the top of the letter "-"  would represent the loops we just discussed and the "l" would represent the post.  When a stitch is created around the post of the stitch we usually ignore the loops on the top (your pattern will tell you if you're to use them or not)

The third part of post stitches is to look at our actual work.  In most cases there is a front side, also known as a right side, and there's a wrong -- or back side.  Most instructions will state on a particular row to mark it as the "right" side.  If you're looking to make a front post stitch, you will insert your hook to the right of the post you'll be using, and then bring it around the backside of the stitch and push it to poke out in the front of your work on the left side of the stitch.  You'll yarn over and back your hook out the same way you went in and finish making the stitch.

The back postis where you'll insert your hook coming from the backside of your work to the front, coming around the front, and pushing to the backside again to grab your yarn over.

I thought about perhaps taking pictures and placing them here but thought that the website did such a great job on their free video clips that I'd offer you the links to those instead:
                              front post
                              back post

I would recommend doing a practice piece ... something you can donate to a local charity, such as a scarf, or a 24" square to an animal shelter.  You'd get the practice and the confidence in creating the stitches, and the charity would benefit from your donation.  A great stitch pattern that will help you learn both stitches and help in counting would be the Basket Weave stitch.  Here's a link to a free pattern for a washcloth.

I hope this helps, and thanks again for visiting!

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