Charting Your Way in Crochet Lace and Why Post Stitches Are Awesome

I love Robyn Chachula. A crochet designer with impeccable skill, she is a long-time Interweave contributor. In addition to countless magazine patterns, she’s authored five books and contributed to several more. Yet no matter how many of her patterns you may have worked or how many of her books you have on your shelf, you are only getting part of the picture.

Put simply, Robyn is FUN, big time. I’ve had the pleasure working with her over several years, and she’s an editor’s dream. She’s always on deadline, she has a great design sense, and her easy-going nature belies a sharp eye and (occasionally) sharp tongue when something doesn’t meet her high standards. She has one of the best laughs ever: somewhere between a guffaw and a giggle, it’s the sound of pure delight. (She’s also one of the few people in this world shorter than me, which is a petty but refreshing dynamic for me.)

Robyn Chachula

Robyn’s background as a structural engineer gives her a unique insight into crochet design. Breaking down a project idea into smaller concepts of size, fit, and motif, she then builds it back up into a finished design via yarn choice, gauge, and stitch choices that realize her original concept. And like all good engineers, Robyn depends on good blueprints for her work.

A passionate evangelist for understanding and using crochet symbols, Robyn includes great tutorials on chart reading in pretty much everything she does. I know chart confrontation can be an “eat-your-spinach” moment, but haven’t most of us learned to love some horrid-seeming vegetable we cringed at as children? If you find yourself resisting the idea of reading all those weird-looking squiggles and lines, take a peek at the motif below.

The beauty of crochet stitch symbols is that if you squint a little, you can see the finished fabric in every chart. Learn a few symbols and that chart may be all you need for simpler patterns—and it might make more complex ones far easier to work.

post stitches

A crochet stitch chart. Like kale, they are good and good for you.

Charts or no, how many of you have created gorgeous lacy motifs for a shawl or tunic or skirt, only to have them sag, stretch, creep, or grow over time? Once again, Robyn has a secret weapon: post stitches. Post stitches are where beauty meets brawn. Worked around the post of the previous row rather than into the top, post stitches are often used to create ribbings, cables, and other sturdy textures. When inserted into lace, they work like tiny suspenders, keeping everything where it needs to be, period.

It’s a simple trick to a common problem, and one Robyn teaches in Crochet Post Stitches in Lace. Over the next several months, Robyn will be working with us to create a series of video courses exploring a variety of stitch patterns, but you can learn about post stitches now. Learn how to handle charts handily, create lace that lasts, sample several stitch motifs, and even get a free shawl pattern in the mix with this course. And with any luck, share in Robyn’s buoyant excitement as you learn!

crochet post stitches

Post stitches in action. This lace isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Crochet Post Stitches in Lace is now available as an on-demand course you can watch at your own pace, anywhere, any time, on any device.

Happy watching!
—Allison


Header Image: Robyn Chachula’s Crochet Post Stitches in Lace is now available in an on-demand, watch-anywhere course format.


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