Help with calculating evenly spaced increases and decreases

Sometimes patterns instruct you to make evenly spaced increases and/or decreases. But what does this mean? How many stitches do you have to make before you make the increase/decrease? And why does the pattern not just state the amount of stitches?

One of the most important reasons – at least for me – is to keep the pattern simple and easy to follow. Garment patterns often include multiple sizes. The pattern would become a total mess without clear overview if all the increases/decreases were included for all sizes. In order to make it easier to follow and not make you feel lost, the pattern is written in a shorter way.

Example: my Simple Dress to Impress uses this way of formulating the increases/decreases
Simple Dress to Impress - free crochet summer dress pattern - using evenly spaced increases and decreases

So here is how to calculate evenly spaced increases / decreases

It’s quite simple to calculate how many increases/decreases you need to make. All you have to do is divide the current number of stitches by the number to be increased/decreased. Let’s say you have 186 stitches and you need to decrease 8 stitches to get a stitch count of 178 st. 186/8=23.3.

You obviously can’t decrease every 23.3 stitches, so we round the number down to 23, which means you need to crochet together every 22nd & 23rd stitch. However, you’ll notice you will end up with 176 stitches (23 x 8 – 23 = 176) instead of 178 because of rounding it down. Therefor you need to add a couple of extra decrease in there by working the 23rd & 24th stitch together. Don’t worry, a few unbalanced stitches like this is not going to be visible. Just focus on getting the correct amount of stitches.

If you have 186 stitches and you need to increase 8 stitches to a total stitch count of 194, you will have to increase at every 23rd stitch (186/8=23.3). However, 23 x 8 + 8 increases = 192 and we need 194 stitches, so in this case you would need to add two extra increases. You will need to add a few more increases every here and there to get the correct amount of stitches.


If you have any questions about my patterns or calculating the evenly spaced increases and/or decreases, feel free to join my Facebook Group. I created this group for you to share pictures/ progress, ask questions and to help each other out.

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  • Reply
    Gina Olivieri
    22 February 2021 at 2:52 pm

    Hello Wilma,
    My name is Gina, I live in Virginia Beach VA, I’m not a big social media fan but I’m a huge fan of yours !!!! Your videos have helped me tremendously and I wanted to let you know that your style and instructions have brought back my love of crochet. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I haven’t mastered too much but I continue to practice. Maybe I’ll rejoin
    Facebook just to be in a class of yours. Do you ever have Zoom conferences ?
    Sincerely, Gina Olivieri

  • Reply
    Denise Gainey
    25 August 2020 at 1:37 am

    I am going nuts trying to figure this out. I am putting the border on my blanket. I have done the top now to the side (which is the rows). So 70 rows but I have to put 163 stitches evenly in those 70 rows. Please help me

  • Reply
    10 September 2019 at 4:29 am

    Please tell me how to work: Row 90: ch 1, work 1 row of hdc while increasing 4-4-5-5-5-5-5 stitches evenly, slip stitch in the first stitch (126, 140, 157, 179, 199, 219, 233)

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