Today we start making the last of the crochet elements for our Victorian Garland: an iconic piece of British Victorian history that’s still around today – the red post box.

The launch of the Penny Post in 1840 opened up the postal service to pretty much everyone in Britain. As use of the system increased, the earlier systems for collecting, sorting and delivering letters had to change. One of these changes was the introduction of the post box. Early standardised letter boxes were painted green so as to be unobtrusive. This proved to be a bit TOO successful as many people struggled to find them in the dark or in rural areas and in the 1870s, red was adopted as the standard colour.

Our post boxes are made in the same gorgeous BURGUNDY yarn we made our stocking bows in waaaaaay back on Day 9. We’re making 2 rectangles today, working rows of double crochet that won’t test or trouble you at all. Dcs are worked into the end of each row of the rectangle’s short sides to neaten up that edge.

Join the BLACK yarn  and work a row of dcs in the BACK LOOP only. This creates a nice edge between the main red part and the black base. Looking at your crochet from above, each stitch looks like a V. Each side of the V is one of the loops:

With regular dc stitches, your hook is inserted under the front and back loops of the V but for this first row of BLACK, inserting the hook INTO the V will work the back loop only.

The following rows of BLACK are worked with regular dcs.

Do not turn your work at the end of row 26.

The final row for today is worked in crab stitch, also known as reverse double crochet because each stitch is the same as a double crochet stitch, but you work in the opposite direction. If you’re right-handed, crab stitch goes from left to right, instead of right to left as with standard crochet. For left-handers: the reverse. It’s a splendid stitch that will create a twisted cord effect to the bottom of our post box bases.

I took a whole series of photos to demonstrate how to work crab stitch but the definition of the BLACK yarn in my photos is really solid looking and I don’t think you can make out the individual stitches as clearly as you can in real life. So, I’m going to refer you to this great photo tutorial that really makes it clear:

Crab Stitch tutorial