How to Front Post Crochet and Swatch
If this is the first post you've seen, and you're new to crochet, we recommend reading the How to Chain Stitch, Single + Double Crochet, and Treble Crochet and Beyond, as these skills are needed in this tutorial.
If you're familiar with knitting sweaters, crochet is no different in one major way: we need a swatch to start. We know swatching is rarely a fun task, but it's a great way to nail down the stitch pattern before getting into the full garment, and to make sure the hook size does not need to be adjusted from the Size H / 5.0 mm listed in pattern.
As an example, our Elara Pullover pattern has a gauge statement listed in the beginning of the pattern, which reads: 16 sts and 20 rnds = 4” / 10 cm in (FPtr, dc) pattern, after gently wet-blocking. We'll walk through how to crochet this stitch pattern, and how to work "front post" crochet stitches, which are a little different than simple crochet stitches. Front post crochet stitches are used extensively in the yoke of the Elara Pullover, and learning them here will make those instructions easer to understand. If you prefer video instructions, check out the video version of this tutorial on our Instagram channel below.
Step 1: Chain 18 stitches
We like working two more stitches than called for in the gauge statement, so we can be absolutely sure the stitch and row & rnd gauge is accurate.
Step 2: double crochet into chain stitches
For a refresher on how to work double crochet stitches, see our blog post on double crochet here. This is a foundation row for this stitch pattern, and it won't be repeated again.
Step 3: Ch 3 to start the next row
As with the stitches we learned in the first week of the makealong, each row in this stitch pattern will require a certain amount of chain stitches before starting. The first row / round of this stitch pattern requires 3 chain stitches.
Step 4: Dc into the next stitch below
The first dc stitch in this pattern is a regular dc stitch, worked into the stitch below as you would any regular dc stitch.
Step 5: Work the first FPTr (front post treble crochet) stitch
All front post crochet stitches are worked into the actual post of the crochet stitch below, rather than the top of the stitch. In the above gif, you can see the post of the stitch. This is where we are going to work the FPTr.
Step 5a: Yarn over twice
The first step in working this stitch is doing two yarn overs on the crochet hook, as we would for any Tr (Treble crochet) stitch.
Step 5b: Insert hook, so that the post of the dc stitch below is over the hook
This is the main distinction in a front post crochet stitch. The entire dc crochet stitch below should be over the hook after this step. This stitch will be treated as a regular loop over the crochet hook in the next steps when working a regular Tr (Treble crochet) stitch. There are now four loops on your hook, which includes the entire dc stitch.
Step 5c: Yarn over, and pull yarn over through first loop on hook
After this, there are 4 loops on the crochet hook.
Step 5d: Yarn over again, and pull yarn over through the next two loops on hook
After this, there are 3 loops on the crochet hook.
Repeat the last step again: yarn over, and pull yarn over through the next two loops on the hook. There are now 2 loops on the crochet hook.
Repeat the last step one more time: yarn over, and pull yarn over through the next two loops on the hook. There is one loop left on the hook, and the stitch is complete. You will alternate dc and FPTr stitches until the end of the row, and it should start to look a little something like the gif below.
We're now ready to work the next row. In crochet, there isn't so much a 'right' and a 'wrong' side, as there is in knitting, but the row facing will be visible when the pullover is worn right side out. The Elara pullover is worked in the round, and so when you work the next section, you will not need to turn your work.
Step 6: Single Crochet until end of row
Continue to single crochet until the end of the row, and turn work ready to work the next row.
That's the entire stitch pattern! In subsequent rows, you'll insert your crochet hook into the FPTr in the row two below, skipping the single crochet row. You will repeat the last two rows until your swatch measures 4" from the chain stitch edge.
That's the entire stitch pattern!