Figure Out Stitch Multiples

Figure Out Stitch Multiples

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If you love a stitch combination so much but want to change the size, how can it be done? This is how Mikey figures it out.

The Crochet Post Stitch Washcloth is a combination of double crochet and then front post trebles.

For new crocheters, you cannot just start with any size chain. It has to be a certain count in order to get this pattern to work.

When I started preparing for this, I didn’t realize there was a mistake in the pattern until I was writing this blog. I realized that the diagram I drew was correct to my experience but incorrect in matching the pattern as written. 

You will see how valuable it is to know how to read and write these diagrams. This is how mistakes are found. 


Firstly, you need to understand the basics of crochet diagrams. So here is an introductory tutorial on how it is done.


Step 1

Read the pattern and look for when the pattern reveals a stitch change increment in a row. In the example, you can see row 1 and row 2 are just the same stitch across the row, so you cannot tell the stitch multiple from that.

You can see there is a stitch change in row 3.

Row 3 is where you need to start building out your diagram. 

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Look for repeating.

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Look for repeating.


Step 2

Start drawing your diagram with Row 3. Notice the instructions said the beginning ch 3 didn’t count as a stitch. Draw it anyway but remember the first double crochet and the ch 3 are in the same stitch.

Build out the diagram until you can see 3 repeats happening. 

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Row 3

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Row 3


Step 3

Go back to the instructions and read how row 3 is finished. You will notice it was repeating from double crochet and front post trebles. The last stitch is double crochet.

Draw the ending of the row on your diagram. We now know how the row starts and how it ends. 

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Notice the last stitch instructions.

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Notice the last stitch instructions.

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Finishing Ending Row 3

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Finishing Ending Row 3


Step 4

We knew that row 2 was a chain 1, 1 sc in each st across. So draw the single crochet under row 3 to finish that row. Count the stitches to be sure it matches to row 3. 

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Go Backwards and finish the rows below.

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Go Backwards and finish the rows below.

Row 1 stated that the first double crochet was the 3rd chain from the hook. Remember, the hook is in one loop already, which is the top chain.

It appears to me the instructions are wrong as the diagram doesn’t match the instructions given. Do you see what I have done differently? I’ll tell you why the instructions I believe are written wrong below. 

I have made an error in the diagram but if I draw it the way it’s stated, the starting chain will not make sense.

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Going Backwards to the Beginning

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Going Backwards to the Beginning


Step 5

Look for the repeating and draw a straight line down past the beginning chain. Start on the side where the start of the chain begins. You can tell as usually a climbing up the chain to row 1 is the end of the chain for where row 1 is started.

In the case below, the left side of the chain is the start and the right side is climbing up to begin row 1.

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Look for the repeating and draw a line down.

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Look for the repeating and draw a line down.

Now count the leftover chains that are not in the repeating. There are technically 3 leftover chains. Do you see them on the right-hand side climbing up to the start of row 1? 

We know the repeating is in sets of 2 chains. So anything left over, combine them with the same multiple.

With 3 chains left over, subtract 2 from that which equals 1 chain left over.

So I believe the multiple for this stitch combination is 2 ch + 1. This is why I believe the instructions as written are incorrect. 

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Left Over Chains.

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Left Over Chains.

Crochet Stitch Multiple: 1 Chain left that cannot be paired with a multiple count.

Crochet Stitch Multiple: 1 Chain left that cannot be paired with a multiple count.


Step 6

Let’s verify that our stitch multiple can get to the number that starts off this pattern. Remember, the starting Chain was 17. So whatever we do, we must be able to reach 17 with our stitch multiples. 

  1. 17 chains / the multiples we believe, in this case, is 2 = 8.5. 
  2. Take only the whole number, 8, and x the stitches that appear in a multiple, this case is 2 = 16.
  3. 17 starting chains – closest multiple without going over, 16. = 1. 
  4. The multiple is verified to be 2 ch + 1. 
Crochet Stitch Multiple: Calculating the Multiples

Crochet Stitch Multiple: Calculating the Multiples


Spotting the Error

Have you figured out the error yet? 

Through my experience as a crocheter, I knew that double crochets are usually 4th chain from the hook. So I drew that automatically without realizing the instructions called for: 1 dc in 3rd chain from the hook. 

So technically, there is 1 extra chain in my diagram than there should be. But the diagram is right and the written instructions are wrong. How do I know that? 

The starting chain stated 17 which is an odd number. If I eliminate 1 chain from the diagram, how many chains are left over after all the repeats are paired together? The answer is zero. This means the stitch multiple would be 2. 

  • 17 divided 2 = 8.5.
  • 17 can’t be equally divided by 2.
  • It needs that 1 extra chain to get to an odd number, in this case, 17 chains. 

This also means, that if a crocheter were to use the instructions only, they would be one extra chain to use at the end of row 1. 

Crochet Stitch Multiple Error in Written Pattern

Crochet Stitch Multiple Error in Written Pattern

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Mikey, aka Michael Sellick, is the creator of The Crochet Crowd. From Nova Scotia, Canada. He is informal and teaches on YouTube to expand the global crocheters' knowledge of ideas and stitches.

Started unofficially in 2008 and transitioned into a full-time job in 2011. He is a stitch ambassador for Yarnspirations in teaching crochet. Most of the patterns he develops are free for you to enjoy.

2 thoughts on “Figure Out Stitch Multiples”

  1. Carol says:

    I actually think the designer was consistent with the idea that the first chain of a row doesn’t count as a stitch. The concept, which would fit into your diagram, would be that the dc into the 3rd chain is the first stitch for row 1, the ch 2 left over doesn’t count. Certainly not how most crochet patterns are written, so I can see how Mikey’s way is more traditional (and what my instinct would have led me to as well).
    Mikey – I love your use of diagrams. I have a whole notebook filled with basically incomprehensible scribbles trying to figure out puzzles like this!

    1. Mikey says:

      Actually, I think you are right as well. I cross-referenced some current Yarnspirations diagrams to verify as I was doubting myself.

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