Motif of 16 to 20 sts?

I want to knit a hat using this pattern from Schachenmayr called Hat and Loop with Lace Pattern, S8636 A/B

It’s lovely and I may even knit the loop if I can figure it out.
My problem is with the part that says:
Cont. with 4.5-5.5 mm needles and basic patt. = motif of 16 to 20 sts.

I don’t understand the 16 to 20 part. Why is there a range? It seems that after the first row, there will be 24 stitches…
I’m wondering if the M1P will help this… but what about the 4 stitches that are on the cable needle… when is it ever 16 sts…?
Help!

Here’s the link to the pattern:
http://us.schachenmayr.com/free-patterns/hat-and-loop-lace-pattern-s8636-ab

Welcome to KnittingHelp!
What a lovely pattern for both hat and loop.
The chart requires 16sts per repeat to work row 1. The yarn overs won’t use up a stitch and the M1p occurs on the strand between two sts, so don’t count them as sts. Since there are 4 M1p, that’s the 20 sts in row 1. So the repeat starts as 16sts but because of the increases, ends as 20st repeat.

What the pattern doesn’t say explicitly is that you don’t repeat row 1 as you knit the hat. repeat rows 3-14.

I’m not sure what you’re asking about the cable?

Thanks for the reply. I’m excited to have found this forum–admittedly to find help with this pattern but I’ve taken a brief look and there is a wealth of knowledge here! Looking forward to exploring.