Chaining Multiples in CrochetBy Erin Burger – 38 Comments
I’ve been adding a lot of ‘How to Crochet’ type posts lately about special stitches and trims to add to your crocheting arsenal. In the comments of almost every one of these posts there is a question about an important part of the stitch/trim instructions, the beginning chain and what it means to ‘chain a multiple of’.
Some of us might have seen the term ‘multiple’ in crochet stitch instructions and convulsed in fear, being that it is so reminiscent of grade school math. If you aren’t familiar with this term, the definition is: the product of a quantity by an integer; “36 is a multiple of 9”.
To get you started, this is the Chevron Stitch:
(the instructions for the chevron stitch can be found here: Three Special Stitches for Your Crocheting Arsenal)
In order to complete a successful chevron pattern you have to have the correct number of starting chains. But, because instructions like these are meant to teach only the stitch/trim itself and not give you an end product of a certain size, like a scarf or a blanket, you have to figure out how many chains to chain and apply it to each individual project. That’s where the term ‘multiple of’ comes in. The beginning chain for the chevron stitch is a ‘multiple of 12 plus 3’.
So in order to complete the chevron stitch properly we have to chain a multiple of 12 and then add 3 to replicate a turning chain in the instructions. So for a washcloth we might chain 24 and then chain 3 more for a total of 27 for our beginning chain. 24 because 12 can be multiplied by another number (2 in this instance) and will equal 24, making 24 a multiple of 12.
See how simple?
Here is another example:
This is The Classic Checkerboard Stitch:
(the instructions for the checkerboard stitch can be found here: Stitches for Your Crocheting Arsenal: Part 2)
It’s beginning chain instruction is ‘chain a multiple of 6 plus 5’. So in order to successfully complete The Classic Checkerboard Stitch you have to figure out the approximate size of your intended project and then chain a multiple of 6: 6, 12, 16, 24, 30, 36, 42, for example and then add 5 to the multiple in order to replicate a turning chain for the next row of your stitch.
Playing around with these stitches and trims helps you become a more efficient and creative crocheter. Applying the multiple rule to your projects gives you many applications for crocheting projects such as the aforementioned washcloths but also scarfs, tablecloths, headbands, blankets, place mats and many more.
Have any questions or comments about chaining multiples? Don’t be shy, leave a comment here!