How to Calculate the Starting Chain Using Stitch Pattern Multiples

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How to Calculate the Starting Chain Using Stitch Pattern Multiples

How to Calculate the Starting Chain Using Stitch Pattern Multiples

Have you ever seen a pattern with a stitch pattern multiple? Or a starting chain formula?

Basically it will look like this:

Chain a multiple of 8 + 2 chains

This means:

To make the stitch pattern work you need to ensure that the starting chain you crochet is divisible by 8 and then you need 2 extra chain stitches for the turning chain.

As an example: 

I want to make a blanket that is 10″ wide. It takes me 70 stitches to reach the 10″ size I want – the stitch pattern I want to use has the stitch pattern multiple of:

Chain a multiple of 6 + 2 chains

6 does not go evenly into 70 – you now need to modify the number of stitches in your starting chain to make the stitch pattern multiple (for your chosen stitch pattern) work!

It is really quite simple to do – you can either add extra stitches or take stitches away…

6 x 11 = 66

66 + 2 = 68

I will then take two stitches out of my starting chain – to make it 68 stitches in total length. This will allow the stitch pattern I chose to repeat 11 times across the width of my project.

Handy right?

Knowing how to apply this formula allows you to:

  • use your own choice of yarn
  • use your own choice of hook
  • use your own measurements for crochet projects (i.e. Baby Blankets or King Sized Blankets – totally up to you!)
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48 Comments

  1. Hi Deb, which stitch pattern from the book? I actually purchased that book for myself so I can take a look for you 🙂 All the best, Rhondda

  2. What if you want to use a foundation single crochet instead of a foundation chain? How does that change things? Do you just eliminate the +2? I’m trying to use a stitch payers from Every Which Way stitch guide, which gives me a multiple of 6+2 but tells me there are 8 stitches in the stitch pattern. I want to use a fsc to start rather than a chain and I can’t get the stitch pattern to come out right.

  3. Do you mean this answer: Hi Andrea,

    Yes – unless you need to build up height to begin the next row – for a taller stitch – you would still need to chain a few stitches (depending on the pattern) for height to make it work nicely. So you would still need a ‘turning chain’ – does this make sense?

    I often read ahead to R2 and R3 to see what turning chains they use and apply the same to begin the Row after my foundation single crochet (or hdc or dc) row.

    Hope this helps,
    Rhondda

  4. I have the same question as Andrea and don’t see it answered. Thank you!

  5. Hi Tressa,

    It is a little bit more difficult to figure out if you are working backwards from the pattern to the multiple. Sometimes you can figure it out with the repeat section of the pattern. For instance the repeat might indicate to work a certain number of stitches in sequence and then indicate “repeat from * to the end of the row. You would be able to figure out the repeat by checking how many stitches the sequence you are ‘repeating’ use and then take into account the turning chain for the initial row (which would give you the + part of the repeat sequence).

    Hope this helps,
    Rhondda

  6. I was wondering how to figure out the multiple of a pattern and to know how many starting chains to begin with if it isn’t given in the pattern. I’ve had patterns I’ve wanted to modify patterns to make them different sizes but think I’ve made it harder than it really is.
    Thanks for any help you can give me.

  7. hi, multiple in written pattern easy to find out but in charts so confusing to me i wish you can help me with it
    thanks.

  8. Hi Amie,

    For me I have to figure out the stitch pattern multiple I am using first and then work the surrounding design into that multiple – so if you were adding a row of sc or dc – that row would need to have the total number of stitches you need to make your stitch multiple work – or you would need to adjust accordingly to make it to the stitch pattern multiple you are using.

  9. How do you factor in a design? You will usually have a first row of sc or dc and for other rows a repeating pattern.

  10. It would make it easier if they did have the stitch pattern multiple – I usually find this information in the stitch books – more often than the actual blanket patterns – maybe one day it will become a standard 🙂

  11. I just wish every pattern had the stitch pattern multiple so you could use this formula. I have lots of afghan patterns that I would like to make larger or smaller but there is no stitch pattern count on the pattern. Thanks for the info though.

  12. Hi Andrea,

    Yes – unless you need to build up height to begin the next row – for a taller stitch – you would still need to chain a few stitches (depending on the pattern) for height to make it work nicely. So you would still need a ‘turning chain’ – does this make sense?

    I often read ahead to R2 and R3 to see what turning chains they use and apply the same to begin the Row after my foundation single crochet (or hdc or dc) row.

    Hope this helps,
    Rhondda

  13. How does this multiple thing work if you are using foundation single crochets? Do you subtract the +2?

    thanks for the help!
    Andrea

  14. I’ve always wondered how to figure out the beginning chain. Thanks for the information.

  15. This will be very helpful. I have to enlarge a few patterns and this will help me decide how to do it.

  16. Thanks for this info. I am always modifying patterns in different yarns and sizes, and I am not usually very accurate. This should be a great help to me next time!

  17. I love your explanation. I am trying to adapt some patterns and this could be of great help.

  18. Hi Molly 🙂 I understand exactly what you are saying. When I have a stitch pattern I want to try that has those skipped ones (to make up chevrons and things like that) I try a small sample using only two repeats (so I don’t have to do a whole blanket size to find out I needed to add a few extra!). Once I try a few rows in the ‘repeat’ I measure it and then decide how many repeats I need to get to the width I want (approximately). Then I go for the larger starting chain. It can sometimes take longer – but usually saves me having to rip out an entire large Afghan/Blanket row and add more. Hope this helps 🙂 Rhondda

  19. Thank you for the How-to! Sometimes the way patterns are worded makes it a challenge to figure out how many stitches I need to begin. This will be very helpful in the future!! =)

  20. Hi Rhondda, The problem I have is some of the stitches, by virtue of their pattern, don’t stay the same length after being worked up. i.e. first row says sc in 2nd ch from hook, *skip 4 sts, shell in next, sk 4 sts, sc in next, repeat from *. The skipping of sts, causes the 4 skipped chains to hang a little in turn shortening the length of the piece. had to do trial and error a few times to get what I needed for length yesterday.

  21. Thank you Rhondda, You have so many Helpful tips and I know it helps me so much i really do appreciate it and You!

    Thank you!

    Hugs: Sharon K

  22. Hi Terri 🙂 I’m so happy I could help!! Thank you so much for letting me know 🙂 All the best, Rhondda

  23. I have avoided many patterns that call for stitch pattern multiples because I have never been able to get an “how to”

    explanation. Now, thanks to you I know what stitch multiples mean. Thank you very much. I am now a subscriber and looking forward to following you!

  24. It’s so funny because I was thinking of writing a post on this! Now I can just share yours every time some asks me about multiples 🙂 Thanks Rhondda!

  25. Interesting stuff to ponder. I am a beginner and find your site quite helpful. Thank you for that. One day I will be accomplished.

  26. Thank you Rhondda…the information provided is super helpful- will bear that in mind for a future project. Regards,Margaret