# New on the forum and need help

I recently got 400 Knitting Stitches: A Complete Dictionary of Essential Stitch Patterns. I want to knit a sweater for my dog using the “Cobblestones” pattern on page 21, but I’m having trouble figuring out how many stitches to cast on because the beginning of the pattern confuses me. The pattern itself looks like a bunch of offset circles.
The pattern says: "For symmetry, work on a multiple of 18+5 sts, + 1 edge st on each side."
I’m most confused about this!! And why not just say 23 stitches instead of 18+5? I’m sure there’s an obvious reason, but the intro to the book doesn’t say how the pattern works.
Can anyone help??!
Here’s the rest of the pattern, just in case: (I do understand how to read this pattern and the chart, I just don’t know how many sts to cast on.) “1st (right side of work), 3rd, 11th, 15th, 15th, and 23rd rows: Knit all sts.
2nd and every alternate row: Work each st in the manner that it presents.
5th, 7th, and 9th rows: K1 (edge), K9, P5, K4; repeat from * to * to last 6 sts, K5, then K1 (edge).
17th, 19th, 21st rows: K1 (edge), P5, K13; repeat from * to * to last 6 sts, P5, then K1 (edge). These last 24 rows form pattern.”

I did a swatch by casting on 24 stitches (18+5+1edge) and it doesn’t look like the picture. It doesn’t make any sense. Can someone help me because there are so many new stitches that I want to learn and now I am completely lost.

Thanks!!!

"For symmetry, work on a multiple of 18+5 sts, + 1 edge st on each side."