What’s the Multiple?
The Vintage Fan Ripple Stitch on the right is a great example of a pattern where the multiples were not given. Does that stop me from figuring it out? Absolutely not! I have two methods in how I figure it out.
I will share with you my two secrets… well they aren’t really secret, but this is how crocheters go about doing it. This will give you the power to figure it out. Just keep in mind when you ask someone else to do the work, you are essentially asking them to do exactly what I am about to suggest. So you can either wait for your answer for someone else to do the leg work or just spend 5 – 10 minutes and figure it out so you can start your real project right away. By knowing how to do this, you will be able to excel in crochet with so many stitches and ideas that have multiples but are not mentioned in the patterns.
Firstly, let me give you the free pattern for the Vintage Fan Ripple. It’s an amazing stitch. AND YES, I have written in the article about the multiple chain counts if you want to change the sizes.
Option 1 – My Most Preferred Method
I do this option most of the time. If you saw the above Vintage Ripple Fan Thumbnail, this is actually my test swatch to figure out the multiples. I do this for nearly every tutorial where I will reveal the multiples in the video.
- I look at the pattern and determine a rough number of how many stitches are needed to repeat the pattern at least 3 times.
- I will chain between 30 – 50 stitches. I don’t worry about knowing the multiple count at this point.
- I will start the pattern as written. I will work across the chain with the set of instructions provided. I’m not worried about my stitchwork hitting every chain. I stop where it appears that the pattern is repeating itself. I do this by looking at the pattern picture to see how the edges look. I know the starting of this row is correct, so I want to stop when it appears the other side looks right. If it’s not obvious, I continue to Row 2. Examples of it not being obvious is when the instructions say things like SC across the chain. There is no multiples in that. This will mean the pattern could actually start with the next row.
- I continue to the next row and follow the instructions and crochet at the same time. Multiples are usually obvious by now with the instructions. I stop when I get close to my full row or when the multiples appear to be finished correctly. Because we have guessed our chain length, we most likely cannot crochet completely across. If I have completed a minimum of 3 – 4 multiples. I stop this row and move up to the next.
- I continue a couple more rows to verify.
Cheating Tip: Most of the samples you see in the thumbnails have chains and/or the first row that is way too long. For photographic reasons, I fold in the extra long chain I created under the project so you cannot see it.
Now that you have a sample in your hands, you can physically count the stitches for the multiple. Keep in mind that you have to consider that usually the edges may have 1 – 2 stitches to stabilize the pattern, which you will be able to see in your sample. Also, you have to keep in mind that the starting chain also needs extra stitches for the first stitch into the chain. For chains that involve SC in the first row, you will need 1 extra stitch. HDC = 2 extra stitches. DC = 3 extra stitches. TR = 4 extra stitches.
Method 2 – Back Up Checking and Designer’s Sample
The pattern calls for 105 Chains for the Cool Breeze Baby Afghan. In the pattern by Red Heart, I can clearly count how many stitches that 1 wave needs before it appears to repeat. I need to check the math to ensure I have the right number.
- Count the stitches on what you believe is the repeat.
- I can see that there are DC in the first row. So I know I will need 3 extra chains at the end of the chain to accomplish this row. So whatever I do, I have to add 3 extra chains at the end of my calculation.
- I believe there is 17 stitches, but let me check by pulling out my calculator.
- 105 starting chain / 17 stitches of what I can see = 6.18 repeats. This makes sense as if this number was an even number right now, it’s not factoring in the extra stitches needed for the first DC in the row. So there’s hope I could be right.
- I then take the even number only of 6 repeats x 17 stitches = 102.
- If I need 3 extra stitches to make the first DC, I would add 3 stitches to the 102 = 105 of what the designer has asked for.
- I’ve just confirmed that 17 stitches is right.
- So now I can safely chain in mutables of 17 and add 3 Chains at the end.
What If I am Wrong
If I have got my number wrong saying I thought it was 16.
- 105/16 sts = 6.38 repeats.
- 16 sts x 6 repeats = 96 stitches + 3 for the first DC = 99.
- Knowing the designers asked for 105 and I am getting 99 with my guess of 16. I know I am wrong for the stitch counts.
- If I think 16 is close and knowing I don’t have enough stitches to get to the 105 as the designer has called for. I will increase the stitch by 1 and see where that takes me.
So there you have it… Most of the time I make a test sample to see the physical stitches and just do some calculations. As a back up, I will look at the designers picture just figure out the math based on what I can see and the information they provided. This method is much harder when the model or objects are blocking the full view of the project to get a clear indication of the stitches. Sometimes, you just have to make assumptions and do your best. The answer is there which may need you to recalculate your information a few times before getting to the right answer.