How to read knitting diagrams

A knitting diagram consists of squares. 1 square = 1 stitch - the symbol definition provide information on how the stitch is worked. The diagram shows all stitches seen from the right side (unless otherwise specified).

A diagram looks like this:

  1. A.1 is the name of the diagram, and refer to the entire diagram.
  2. A.2 is only the part of the diagram within the square brackets.
  3. This number refers to the number of stitches on the 1st row of the diagram.
  4. This is the symbol definition: it explains how each stitch is worked, or in what color (in multicolored patterns).

You read a knitting diagram completely opposite to how you would normally read: from right to left, from bottom to top. In other words: you start with the symbol in the bottom right corner, and work your way leftwards and upwards (see RED in diagram below). If you are supposed to start at a different point/with a different stitch, will this be specified - for example: the different sizes can start at different places in the same diagram (see BLUE box below).

If you are supposed to work several repeats of a diagram (ie: work the same diagram several times in width) you’ll work until the end of the diagram row, and start again with the first stitch for the next repeat.

Back and forth:

When working back and forth, every other row will be worked from the right side and every other row will be worked from the wrong side. Since the diagram shows all stitches seen from the right side, you’ll have to work it in opposite way when working from the wrong side (see BLUE arrows in diagram below): you read the row from left to right, knit stitches are purled, and purl stitches are knit etc (this will often be specified in symbol definition: “knit from right side, purl from wrong side”).

In the round:

When working in the round all rounds are worked from the right side, and the diagram is read solely from right to left. When starting a new round, simply start working the first symbol on the next row in diagram.

Several different diagrams worked consecutively on the row/round:

If you’re working several different diagrams after each other on the same row/round, work as follows: Work 1st row in diagram 1, continue with 1st row in diagram 2, then 1st row in diagram 3 etc. REMEMBER: if you’re working back and forth, the diagram will have to be worked in the opposite order from the wrong side - ie: start with diagram 3, then diagram 2 and lastly diagram 1. They are also worked in opposite way as usual.

In the pattern this can be written as follows: “work A.1, A.2, A.3 a total of 1-1-2-3-4 times”. This means that you first work A.1, then A.2 and finally you repeat A.3 a total of 1-1-2-3-4 times (depending on your size). It is ONLY A.3 that is repeated, A.1 and A.2 are worked 1 time each.

When stitch count doesn’t match whole repeats of diagram:

Sometimes the stitch count is not divisible with full/whole repeats of the diagram in width. For example: A.1 covers 12 stitches and is to be repeated over 40 stitches. In this case you will work 3 full repeats of A.1 (=36 stitches), and then work the first 4 stitches in the diagram over the remaining stitches (see RED line below). This is usually the case where the diagram is a repetitive pattern, so that regardless of working full repeats, the pattern will still be consistent.

Comments (170)

Carolyn Salon 03.03.2021 - 18:37:

I am knitting Catch the Wind and have just completed the section of A1, A2, A3 (47 stitches) . Now to continue, I need to knit A1, A2, A2, A3 . Two A2 sections give me 28 stitches; that leaves 19 stitches -- maybe 10 on one side and 9 on the other to continue the A1 and A3. but just where in the A1 and A3 charts do I start? there are just 2 or 3 stitches at the beginning and too many at the end. You answered me on Monday but my computer said "404:page not found" so I missed it.

DROPS Design 04.03.2021 - 08:10:

Dear Mrs Salon, when A.1 is finished you have increased 14 sts, you now work these 14 sts as follows: 2 sts as in A.1 and the next 14 sts as shown in A.2 (= 1 more repeat in A.2 in width). When A.3 is done, you have also increased 14 sts and work the 17 sts as follows: the first 14 sts as a new repeat of A.2 and work A.3 over the last 3 sts. Hope this can help. Happy knitting!

Elena 02.03.2021 - 23:38:

Nel caso in cui trovo un diagramma esempio ho 126 maglie da lavorare e trovo un diagramma con 30 maglie devo eseguire le 30 maglie nel primo giro e poi continuare a ripeterlo? La maglie che ho di avanzo le eseguo sul secondo giro? Grazie

DROPS Design 05.03.2021 - 00:11:

Buonasera Elena, deve ripetere il diagramma sulle maglie indicate: se lo deve ripetere su 126 maglie, continuerà a lavorare le 30 maglie ripetute e alla fine quelle che rimangono sempre con il motivo. Può essere utile separare le varie ripetizioni con dei segnapunti per identificarle meglio e magari individuare prima gli eventuali errori. Buon lavoro!

Carolyn Salon 28.02.2021 - 19:22:

I am making Catch the Wind and have completed the first section of A1, A2, and A3 for a total of 47 stitches in the sleeve section. Now I need to knit A1, A2, A2, A3 for the next section of the sleeve. However, the number of stitches does not correlate to those pattern sections. Where do I start A1 and A3? Two A2 sections give me 28 stitches so I need to make up 19 stitches to maintain the stitch #. How do I do this? thank you for your consideration. Carolyn Salon in New York

DROPS Design 01.03.2021 - 11:05:

Dear Mrs Salon, when the diagrams are done in height, you will repeat them from first row, but you will now have enough stitches to work 2 more A.2 between A.1 and A.3, this means: work a new A.1 in height over the first 3 sts of previous A.1, work A.2 over the next stitches until the last 3 sts in previous A.3 remain (you will now repeat A.2 2 more times in width) and work A.3 over these last 3 sts. Hope this helps, happy knitting!

ThérèseChampagne 23.02.2021 - 03:50:

Bonjour Dans le modèle vs-061, après avoir tricoté le premier rang du diagramme ( j'ai tricoté 2 fois entre *-*) je comprends que je commence à faire les augmentations en suivant le point de fantaisie du diagramme, mais après A.1c je continue A.2 je fais 2 fois de suite 1 jeté? puisqu'à la fin de A.1c il y a 1 jeté et au début de A.2 il y a un autre jeté. Éclairez-moi s.v.p. Merci beaucoup!

DROPS Design 23.02.2021 - 09:57:

Bonjour Mme Champagne, vous devez avoir 2 mailles endroit entre A.1c et A.2: *1 maille endroit, A.1a (= 4 mailles), A.1b au-dessus des 18-18-18-27-27-27 mailles suivantes (2-2-2-3-3-3 motifs de 9 mailles), A.1c (= 6 mailles), 2 mailles endroit, A.2 (= 19 mailles), 1 maille endroit* - autrement dit, les augmentations vont toujours se faire de part et d'autre des 2 m end. Bon tricot!

Annick Brochet 19.02.2021 - 16:58:

Bonjouur Je tricote actuellement le modèle Cosy twist sk 003 by . Le 1er rang se tricote à l'endroit sur l'endroit Quelqu'un peut il me dire si le second rang se tricoté bien de la droite vers la gauche svp ? Un grand merci aux personnes qui auront la gentillesse de me répondre.

DROPS Design 22.02.2021 - 10:43:

Bonjour Mme Brochet, les diagrammes se lisent toujours sur en commençant en bas à droite et de droite à gauche sur l'endroit et de gauche à droite sur l'envers. Autrement dit, dans ce modèle, vous tricotez: A.1, A.2, A.3, A.4, A.5, A.1, A.6, A.7, A.8, A.1 sur l'endroit (= lisez les diagrammes de droite à gauche), vous tricoterez sur l'envers: A.1, A.8, A.7, A.6, A.1, A.5, A.4, A.3, A.2, A.1 en lisant cette fois de gauche à droite. Bon tricot!

Sylvie 12.02.2021 - 23:30:

Bonjour, je commence la robe modèle Wendy Darling. Est-ce que le premier rang di diagramme A1 se fait à l’endroit ou à l’envers ? Merci !

DROPS Design 15.02.2021 - 10:32:

Bonjour Sylvie, le premier rang du diagramme A.1 en bas de la robe se tricote en rond, on va donc tricoter ce tour en mailles envers sur l'endroit. Bon tricot!

Marielle Melanson 12.02.2021 - 22:37:

Dans le modèle Z-898 sur le diagramme A3 la 3ieme ligne un rond et un x sur la première maille ça dit3 mailles Jersey. Comme c’est la première maille du rang je ne comprends pas. Merci

DROPS Design 15.02.2021 - 10:34:

Bonjour Mme Melanson, lorsque vous avez tricoté le tour précédent, vous aviez un petit rond noir qui indiquait que vous alliez augmenter 2 mailles, autrement dit ,vous avez maintenant 3 mailles à ce niveau et vous les tricotez en jersey. Cette vidéo montre comment tricoter ce petit motif. Bon tricot!

Marianne Ipsen 11.02.2021 - 18:27:

Jeg er ved at strikke butterfly dream. Hvad gør jeg når jeg skal til at strikke M1b, der er jo flere masker i rapporten fra slut M1, end start M1b. På den måde bliver mønstret skævt.. Skal jeg strikke flere glat masker mellem iind og udtagninger?

DROPS Design 12.02.2021 - 07:46:

Hei Marianne. Ja, du får flere masker for hver gang du strikker rad 6 og rad 10. Ta gjerne en titt på hjelpevideoen: Hvordan strikke M.1B i DROPS 140-14, 133-1 og 130-1. mvh DROPS design

Hanneke 11.02.2021 - 12:13:

Hallo, ik het moeite met patroon A4 van Drops 171-20. Aan weerszijden van het patroon wordt in de even pennen geminderd door samenbreien/afhalen. In de oneven pennen wordt dit niet gecompenseerd met bv een omslag. Het werk wordt daardoor steeds smaller wat niet de bedoeling is. Moet er misschien toch een omslag worden gebreid of van een samengebreide steek weer twee steken worden gemaakt? Alvast bedankt voor de uitleg

Cathrin Nybø 08.02.2021 - 19:21:

Hei, jeg er i gang med winter carnival sweater, skal begynne på diagram a1 nå.. jeg lurer på: den strikkes jo ovenfra og ned, skal jeg da begynne fra toppen av diagrammet? Og dermed strikke økning nr 6 først?

DROPS Design 12.02.2021 - 07:24:

Hei Cathrin. Nei, du strikker diagrammet som "vanlig", altså du starter i nederste høyre hjørne og med økning 1. Når en oppskrift er skrevet ovenfra og ned er oppskriften tilpasset, både med diagrammer og økninger. God Fornøyelse!

Hanneke 08.02.2021 - 16:08:

Hallo, ik het moeite met patroon A4 van Drops 171-20. Aan weerszijden van het patroon wordt in de even pennen geminderd door samenbreien/afhalen. In de oneven pennen wordt dit niet gecompenseerd met bv een omslag. Het werk wordt daardoor steeds smaller wat niet de bedoeling is. Moet er misschien toch een omslag worden gebreid of van een samengebreide steek weer twee steken worden gemaakt? Alvast bedankt voor de uitleg

Karin Jaensson 03.02.2021 - 17:45:

Jag stickar Lillesand kofta. När jag stickar aviga varv ska jag läsa från vänster till höger i mönsterdiagrammet. Ska jag då börja med A2 efter kantmaska? Jag slutar ju med A2 på räta varv.

DROPS Design 08.02.2021 - 07:57:

Hei Karin. Du starter å strikke diagram A. 1 og A.2 fra retten, og når du skal strikke 1. rad fra vrangen starter du med 2. rad i A.2 og avslutter med A.1. Du starter 3. rad i diagrammet fra retten med A.1 og avslutter raden med A.2, du starter 4. rad fra vrangen med A.2 og avslutter med A.1 (kantmaskene kommer i tillegg). mvh DROPS design

Martine Ferol 31.01.2021 - 16:58:

Modèle R-756 3 diagrammes A1 A2 A3. Je lis sur la première ligne 2 m envers 1 jeté 1 m endroit 1 jeté et 2 m envers il es indiqué A1 6 m A2 6 m A3 7 m pour moi les 3 diagrammes sont les mêmes. Où est-ce que je fais une erreur ? Merci pour vos conseils

DROPS Design 01.02.2021 - 11:28:

Bonjour Mme Ferol, dans ce modèle, A.1 et A.2 commencent par 1 maille endroit dans toutes les tailles, puis 2 mailles envers, etc... regardez bien l'encadré noté A.1/A.2 - A.3 commence aussi par 1 maille endroit et se termine par 1 maille endroit. Augmentez au milieu du diagramme comme indiqué. Ces diagrammes sont différents: A.1 montre comment tricoter le motif en début du rang, A.2 comment le répéter et A.3 comment le terminer. Bon tricot!

Carole 31.01.2021 - 16:14:

Pour le bandeau avec le diagramme A1 debut 4 ieme rang je dois tricoter 3 mailles et passer la dernière par dessus les 2 autres donc diminution d’une maille qu’est ce qui se passe au rang suivant il me manque 1 maille, que dois je faire?

DROPS Design 01.02.2021 - 11:25:

Bonjour Carole, il est difficile de vous répondre sans connaître le modèle en question, à priori, il s'agit d'une petite torsade ajourée, au rang suivant, vous devriez avoir 1 jeté à faire pour "récupérer" vos 3 mailles. Si ce n'est pas le cas, et même pour toute confirmation, n'hésitez pas à bien poser votre question dans le modèle concerné, merci pour votre compréhension. Bon tricot!

Joan Cook Faust 31.01.2021 - 03:15:

Is the needle size I use for the tension swatch the same as the one for the garnmnet, or when I get to the main pattern do I increase the needle size as ordered?

Henneke Rollema-Goede 26.01.2021 - 10:05:

Ik brei Drops 116-11. In het patroon staat: 10 ribbels, M1(=6st). Maar op de foto ziet het er echt anders uit. Ik volg het patroon op de foto, maar vind het wel vervelend zonder patroon.

Carina Richard 21.01.2021 - 13:31:

Hej Jag skrev en fråga om ökningar på en ärm. Mönstret är 37-9 ,tycker fortfarande det är svårt att få det snyggt. Ökningen är ju från 42 till 66 maskor. Jag har helt kört fast kan ni förklara på ett tydligare sätt ? Carina

DROPS Design 25.01.2021 - 08:33:

Hei Carina. Kan ikke se at det er noen andre spørsmål under oppskriften til DROPS 37-9, en jakke i Paris med border. Det er oppgitt 3 størrelser til denne jakken og du legger opp 42 masker, sørg for å få en rapport av mønstret midt oppå ermet, samtidig som det økes midt under ermet. Det økes ulikt på de forskjellige størrelsene og du skal etter økningene ha 92 (92-96) masker, kan ikke se 66 masker. For at vi skal hjelpe deg på best mulig, husk å oppgi hvilken størrelse du strikker og gjerne legg spørsmålet under selve oppskriften. mvh DROPS design

Amy Perry 18.01.2021 - 00:07:

I am working on pattern “Drops102-43” and am confused by how the diagrams work. In the pattern, it has me using M.1, M.2 and M.3 throughout the row. This works for the first 8 rows, but now I’ve run out of rows in M.2. Do I jump back to row 1 again for M.2, but continue with row 9 in M.3 and M.1? And M.3 only has 10 rows, so would this mean on the 11th row, I’m using row 3 of M.2, row 1 of M.3 and row 11 of M.1? I think this could get very confusing! Please help!

DROPS Design 18.01.2021 - 12:14:

Dear Mrs Perry, diagrams are not repeated over the same number of rows in height, ie when M.2 is done in height, repeat from first row (= there should be 3 rows between each cable) and continue other diagrams as before. Same for M.3, when it's finished in height, start again from 1st row and continue M.1 as before. Happy knitting!

Carina Richard 13.01.2021 - 21:41:

Hej jag stickar efter mönster 37-9. Har problem med ökningarna på ärmen de blir inte bra. Hur gör man för att få in dom i mönstret ? Tacksam för svar Carina

DROPS Design 18.01.2021 - 07:49:

Hei Carina. Før du begynner med ermene, husk å telle maskene slik at du får en rapport av mønstret midt oppå ermet. Det er ikke beskrevet hvordan de økte erm maskene skal økes i denne modellen. De må bare strikkes i den fargen som gir et penest resultat. mvh DROPS design

Linda 12.01.2021 - 20:33:

Hej! Jag är nybörjare på stickning och ska för första gången våga mig på att sticka "mönster" i färg på enfärgad botten. Jag önskar vägledning till ett av de enklaste mönster ni har, gärna något litet som vantar, strumpor eller något för barn. Tack för jätte fina mönster, men en liten vägledning om svårighetsgrad till varje mönster skulle jag uppskatta! Tusen tack!

DROPS Design 13.01.2021 - 07:19:

Hei Linda. Velkommen til "strikkeverden" :) Ta en titt på vottene i DROPS Extra 0-1197. Her får du prøvd deg på rett og vrangmasker, økninger, fellinger, tommelstrikk og strikking etter diagram. Om du strikker de i DROPS Air får du noen veldig myke og deilige votter. God Fornøyelse!

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