When I first saw "multiple of 8 stitches plus 3 for foundation row" written for a stitch pattern, I was ready to put down my crochet hook and take up paint-by-numbers instead — that was the extent of the kind of mathematics I wanted in my hobbies!
There is a lot of fancy-schmancy math terms when it comes to multiples, but I'll only go into enough details to understand what us knitters and crocheters need to know! After all, this is art, not rocket science.
But before we get started, allow me to make one point clear: DON'T FEEL DUMB FOR NOT GETTING THIS WAY BEFORE READING THIS EXPLANATION. You'll soon see it's one those things that is so in-your-face simple, you'll want to slap yourself silly, but just know you are not alone. Also, don't feel alone if you've done this a million times, then one day have a momentary lapse of reason and forget how (like I did last week). They want me to do WHAT?!
A multiple is a number that can be divided by another number without a remainder. That translates to: all we need is a multiplication table or this no-brainer generator.
So are multiples making more sense now? Now on to how they fit in with a foundation row. Let's continue to use "multiple of 8 stitches plus 3" as an example. We've decided on the multiple 16 as the number of stitches for our project. This means the stitch pattern will repeat twice in the row.
When a stitch pattern requires a specific number of multiples, that is because it takes that many stitches to create the design and for it to repeat across the rows. The "add" number is usually the turning chain in crochet. In knitting, the "add" number could simply be an additional knit, purl at the end of the rows to even out the pattern.
Get it now? Doesn't it feel good? If you're still having trouble with multiples, leave a comment and we'll figure it out together!