Lisa Lately

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Name: Lisa
Location: Indiana, United States

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Friday, October 07, 2005

How to Calculate Pattern Multiples


Okay, it's time for some crochet math!

Wait! Come back! It won't be that hard, I promise!

Sometimes you might want to make a crochet pattern a different size than the pattern dictates. This is especially common for afghans. The pattern might be for a baby afghan, but you'd like to make an adult-size afghan, for instance. Really helpful pattern writers will include a line stating what the multiple for the pattern is. This is usually given as something like "chain a multiple of 4 + 2," which means to make a number of chain stitches that is a multiple of 4, then chain 2 more. This is often abbreviated as "mult 4 + 2."

If the pattern doesn't tell you what the multiple is, though, can you figure it out for yourself?

Yes! To figure out the multiple, you need to count the chains used in the pattern repeat. Let's use the following pattern snippet as an example.

The pattern starts:

Chain 133.
Row 1: work shell (3dc, ch1, dc) in 6th chain from hook, *skip next 3 chs, work shell in next ch; repeat from * across to last 3 chs, skip next 2 chs, dc in last ch; 32 shells.


The pattern repeat in this pattern is the part between the *'s:
*skip next 3 chs, work shell in next ch; repeat from *
This tells you to skip 3 chains, then do a shell in the 4th chain, so the repeat uses four chains.

Next, you need to add the chains at the beginning and the end of the first row:
work shell (3dc, ch1, dc) in 6th chain from hook
and
across to last 3 chs
So you need 6 chains at the beginning and 3 chains at the end, or 9 total. Thus your starting chain is 9 chains plus a multiple of 4, usually written:
multiple of 4 plus 9
or
mult 4 + 9

In the example, the starting chain was 133, which is 124 + 9, or (31 * 4) + 9. The (31 * 4) is 31 shells. The 32nd shell is the first one in the 6th chain.

Sometimes you need to look at the second or third or later rows to be sure about your repeat. For example, you might need, say, an even number of shells to work the second row. If so, you'd still have the same repeat (mult 4 + 9), but you'd have to figure out how many shells you want first. If you wanted 16 shells instead of the original 32, do this: Remember that the + 9 part includes one shell, so you need to figure out only the number of stitches needed for 15 shells. This would be 15 * 4, or 60. So you'd need (15 * 4) + 9 or 60 + 9 or 69 stitches.

There now, that wasn't so bad, was it?

22 Comments:

Anonymous Karen O' said:

Multiples used to give me fits, but I've been figuring it out lately (suddenly I'm getting used to math???). This is great, to have it all down and set out! Now if I forget about multiples, I can check out your blog!! Thank you!

Saturday, October 08, 2005 8:19:00 AM 
Anonymous barbara fraser said:

This is wonderful, I always have problem making a larger size so anymore hint on doing so would be greatly appreciated here in Ny,

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 7:15:00 PM 
Anonymous Lisa Silverthorne said:

Happy Birthday, Lisa!! Hope they just get better and better. :)

--Lisa S. :)

Friday, November 11, 2005 2:10:00 PM 
Anonymous JBjork said:

It seems as if I've been crocheting for a million years, but I've never been able to calculate multiples. Thanks so much for adding to my crochet knowledge and making it easy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 7:40:00 PM 
Blogger Jenn said:

Thank you SO much for posting this! I was trying to figure out how to do the multiple math to make a baby granny ripple afghan pattern a larger afghan.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 6:05:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said:

i made your crinkle textured baby blanket and it was lovely. Now i want to make another one but i want to use a different stitch. can i use the same instructions but substitute lets say a double crochet instead of the single crochet?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 8:38:00 PM 
Anonymous ellen california said:

I made your crinkle textured baby blanket and it was lovely. Now i want to make another one but i want to use a different stitch. can i use the same instructions but substitute lets say a double crochet instead of the single crochet?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 8:38:00 PM

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 8:41:00 PM 
Blogger Lisa said:

Ellen - Give it a try on a test swatch and see how you like it. That's how you make up a new pattern! :-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 8:59:00 PM 
Anonymous Janie said:

I have been searching all over the internet to figure out multiples in patterns so I could get a gauge without doing the entire pattern using the amount of chains the pattern required. I was just about to give it all up when I found this.Thank you, thank you, thank you

Thursday, January 26, 2012 12:59:00 AM 
Blogger Lisa said:

Janie - you're welcome! :-)

Saturday, February 04, 2012 10:29:00 PM 
Anonymous Janie said:

Lisa,
When a pattern states 1 pattern repeat to determine gauge, can I assume the repeat is everything between the **'s. My problem is if I am beginning a pattern with 100 chain stitches, I am trying to obtain the number of stitches I need to use to determine if my gauge is correct. There has to be an easier way than making a swatch with all the 100 stitches (I hope)
I'd appreciate it if you could help me on this.

Monday, March 05, 2012 10:55:00 PM 
Blogger Lisa said:

Janie - you don't need to make all 100 stitches for a gauge swatch. Just use the explanation above to determine the pattern multiple, and then make a few repeats for your swatch. I hope this helps!

Friday, March 09, 2012 10:58:00 PM 
Blogger SunShinyDa said:

I am trying to figure out the multiple of a lattice stitch using a ch 3, sc, ch 3, sc instead of the ch5 normally called for since I want a smaller mesh--suggestions.

Thursday, March 22, 2012 9:03:00 PM 
Blogger Lisa said:

SunShinyDa - you might try to rewrite your pattern the way you want it, and then using your new pattern, go through the directions given above. I hope that helps!

Sunday, March 25, 2012 4:26:00 PM 
Blogger Craftyfarmgirl1977 said:

Hey Lisa, can u please help! I have a pattern for a Bernat ripple afghan and I'm needing to make it wider. Here is the first row.

Note: Ch 3 at beg of row counts as dc throughout. With A, ch 157. 1st row: (RS). 1 dc in 4th ch from hook. Ch 1. Miss next ch. 1 dc in next ch. Ch 1. Miss next ch. 3 dc in next ch. Ch 3. 3 dc in next ch. Ch 1. Miss next ch. 1 dc in next ch. Ch 1. Miss next ch. *(Yoh and draw up a loop in next ch. Yoh and draw through 2 loops on hook) 3 times. Yoh and draw through all 4 loops on hook – cluster made. Ch 1. Miss next ch. 1 dc in next ch. Ch 1. Miss next ch. 3 dc in next ch. Ch 3. 3 dc in next ch. Ch 1. Miss next ch. 1 dc in next ch. Ch 1. Miss next ch. Rep from * to last 2 ch. 1 dc in each of next 2 ch. Turn.

Do you think you can help?

Thursday, July 19, 2012 11:18:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said:

I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out the multiple of a pattern I wanted to reduce. Just couldn't come up with a viable multiple until I read your calculation instructions and BINGO - I got it. Thank you soooooooooooo much. I'll never have this problem again. Kudos from Cathedral City, CA!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 8:24:00 PM 
Blogger tzellner said:

does this also work if the repeat is not until row 2? I need to make a ripple pattern smaller but the first row is a stright hdc to the end.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012 8:07:00 PM 
Blogger crochet53 said:

reba m. thanks so much for this information. This has been quite helpful. Thanks Lisa!

Monday, December 10, 2012 7:06:00 PM 
Blogger Unknown said:

So I'm getting confused. I have a pattern

Row 1 Sc in 2nd ch from hook and each chain across.

Row 2: Ch 1, DC in next, sc in next sc
Row 3: CH 1, DC in next dc, sc in next sc
Row 4: Ch 1, dc in next dc, sc in next sc

I can't figure out what the multiple is?

Thursday, July 18, 2013 5:25:00 PM 
Blogger Unknown said:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Thursday, July 18, 2013 5:26:00 PM 
Blogger Unknown said:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Thursday, July 18, 2013 5:26:00 PM 
Blogger Lavahlo said:

THIS IS AN AWESOME HELP! THANKS so much! Your response to Jane was a BIG help as well!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 4:59:00 PM 

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