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 (93)

Gunilla 06.07.2020 - 16:38:

Betyder det att jag ska börja mönstret till Oceana 77-23 med ett omslag?

Aisha 29.06.2020 - 18:52:

Thanks a million for the tips!!

Christine Bovy 29.06.2020 - 07:45:

Bonjour sur certains diagrammes il y a les différentes cases avec les dessins puis un blanc sans case et sans motif puis le diagramme reprend. Comment doit on interpréter ce "blanc". Merci

DROPS Design 29.06.2020 - 15:00:

Bonjour Mme Bovy, il est possible que ce soit simplement des mailles qui n'existe pas sur certains rangs et sont augmentées après ou bien diminuées avant - n'hésitez pas à poser votre question sur le modèle concerné, la réponse pourra être bien plus précise. Bon tricot!

Castel Sophie 21.06.2020 - 16:22:

Bonjour, Les diagrammes se lisent-ils aussi de bas en haut dans le cas d'un pull tricoté en top-down ? Ou faut-il commencer par le haut du diagramme ? Merci d'avance pour votre réponse.

DROPS Design 22.06.2020 - 09:17:

Bonjour Mme Castel, les diagrammes se lisent toujours de bas en haut, sauf dans quelques cas bien précis et explicitement indiqué dans les explications. Bon tricot!

Noël Isabelle 18.06.2020 - 15:23:

Bonjour, je fais le pull numéro 199-22 En rond et il y a un diagramme pour les manches de points ajourées Est la 1 fois que je fais un de vos modèles et j’en ne comprends pas les´ grilles des diagrammes Vous dites faire A1 1 fois en hauteur, au-dessus des mailles de manches A2 ( 13 mailles)A3 au dessus des 24 mailles ........ je pensais qu’il fallait les mettre les uns au dessus des autres .il y a plusieurs diagrammes et formes différentes , , merci

DROPS Design 19.06.2020 - 08:13:

Bonjour Mme Noël, effectivement quand A.1 est terminé, vous tricotez différents diagrammes: A.2 , A.3 (2 fois) et A.4. Vous continuez à augmenter comme avant (comme dans A.1) et les augmentations figurent maintenant dans les diagrammes A.2 et A.4, entre ces 2 diagrammes, tricotez simplement 2 fois A.3 en largeur. Bon tricot!

Auvray Chantal 18.06.2020 - 12:25:

Bonjour Je souhaite faire le modèle 211-10 et je n’arrive même pas a faire l’échantillon impossible de comprendre le diagramme, faut il le faire en rond? Existe t ’il une vidéo de ce point texturé ? Merci pour votre aide.

DROPS Design 19.06.2020 - 08:11:

Bonjour Mme Auvray, ce modèle se tricote d'abord en rond, puis le devant et le dos se terminent en allers et retours . Le diagramme A.1 se tricote ainsi: (2 m end, 1 m point mousse). En rond, on va tricoter la m point mousse alternativement à l'endroit et à l'envers. Bon tricot!

Margaret Scerri 15.06.2020 - 10:21:

Drop Design 158-21 can you tell me if I have to repeat the pattern A.1all round

DROPS Design 16.06.2020 - 09:34:

Dear Mrs Scerri, right, when you work the Lake District hat; diagram A.1 will be repeated in the round and work only 1 time in height. Happy knitting!

Ronda Reinstein 14.06.2020 - 20:58:

I'm trying to knit Saltwater DROPS 168-32 in size small. I thought I understood A1, but I can't get 22 stitches. I end up with 20. Are there two yarn overs per chart, or more? My understanding of the pattern is: 2 stitches (knit/purl); yo, slip 1 st, K1, psso; 2 stitches (knit/purl); yo, k2 tog; 2 stitches (knit/purl). Am I incorrect? That only gets me to ten stitches. Please help! Thank you, Ronda

DROPS Design 15.06.2020 - 10:46:

Dear Mrs Reinstein, in this pattern work A.1 over 2 sts, ie over 22 sts you will have to repeat A.2 a total of 11 times (= row 1 = from RS = *YO, slip 1 as if to K, K1, psso,* repeat from *-* a total of 11 times - row 2/4 = purl from WS - row 4 = *k2 tog, yo*, repeat from *-* a total of 11 times). Happy knitting!

Diana 12.06.2020 - 07:39:

Hallo zusammen! Ich möchte Sie nur auf einen Fehler in der Beschreibung hinweisen. In der Rubrik 'Wie man Strickdiagramme liest' befindet sich unter Punkt 'Ein Diagramm sieht so aus:' ein Fehler in der Ziffernlegende. Unter 4. wird 3. beschrieben etc. Nur zur INFO! Freundliche Grüße

Elvira Starace 07.06.2020 - 01:05:

Buongiorno come posso effettuare gli aumenti senza distircere il disegno? Grazie Elvira

DROPS Design 09.06.2020 - 11:06:

Buongiorno Elvira. Generalmente nei modelli viene indicato come aumentare, anche quando gli aumenti sono previsti all'interno del diagramma. Possiamo essere più precisi con l'indicazione del modello drops che sta seguendo. Buon lavoro!

Connie Whalen 06.06.2020 - 00:12:

Drops 178-23. A-3 is a repeat of 14 stitches, why then is there 43 stitches for the instep after turning the heel? my calculations should be 42. please explain what I am to do with the extra stitch?

DROPS Design 08.06.2020 - 09:47:

Dear Mrs Whalen, you will repeat A.3 over 43 sts so that pattern will be symetrical, ie repeat A.3 a total of 3 times = over 42 sts, then work first st in A.3 = 43 sts. That way, pattern starts and ends the same. Happy knitting!

Annie Poolen 05.06.2020 - 20:09:

Hallo! Ik wil de vest Sunset Lace (drops118-7) breien. Ik heb een vraag over de uitleg bij het telpatroon: "Recht aan de goede kant, recht aan de verkeerde kant"; wat is de bedoeling? Een rechte steek is averecht aan de verkeerde kant; is dit een andere steek? Alvast bedankt.

Wilfred De Bats 04.06.2020 - 20:26:

Ben het patroon Lucy in the sky aan het breien. Snap niet hoe ik na elke keer het telpatroon breien nog 1 herhaling van A.5 tussen A.4 en A.6 aan elke kant van de midsteek moet breien. Graag goede raad

Edwige 02.06.2020 - 19:01:

Merci infiniment pour les explications sur comment lire le diagramme.

Manora 30.05.2020 - 05:52:

In Serafina pattern, Why do you have three A2a and three A2c ?Also, in row 24 of the first A2a, is shifted to left? Then how o you that? Thanks.

DROPS Design 02.06.2020 - 11:23:

Dear Manora, follow the diagram appropriate to the size - in row 24 you start the round by slipping the first st on the round without working it, then repeat A.2a (= finish with YO, slip the next to last st in A.2a, k tog the last st in A.2a + the first st next A.2a, psso, YO, the 2nd YO is now the first st next A.2a). Happy knitting!

Dina 28.05.2020 - 07:49:

Sto iniziando a lavorare il modello Free Flow Sweater e nelle spiegazioni mi viene riportato che al 5° giro/ferro di A1 lavorare una maglia diritto in più tra il segnapunti a lato e la 1° maglia di A.1.Sul 15° giro/ferro di A.2 lavorare una maglia diritto in meno tra l’ultima maglia di A.2 e il segnapunti a lato. Non riesco a capire cosa significa esattamente "lavorare una maglia diritto in più/meno\". Aumentare una maglia e poi diminuirla al 15° ferro? Grazie per l'aiuto

DROPS Design 02.06.2020 - 13:28:

Buongiorno Dina. Non ci sono aumenti o diminuzioni. Al quinto giro inizia il diagramma A1 una maglia dopo rispetto ai giri precedenti. Verifichi che il motivo traforato sia incolonnato correttamente. Analogamente, al giro 15, inizia il motivo una maglia prima. Buon lavoro!

Bontemps 26.05.2020 - 09:17:

Je suis française d'origine portugaise et donc ai appris à tricoter à la portugaise le fil autour du cou avec ma grand mère . Je commence pour la première fois un modèle à diagramme . C'est une étole sweat Alicia pour ma belle fille pour le mariage Le fil de mon tricot est vers moi et non derrière le travail . Donc toutes les mailles envers sont pour moi des mailles endroit . Je convertie au fur et à mesure ou bien je fait le diagramme à l'envers ?

DROPS Design 27.05.2020 - 09:23:

Bonjour Mme Bontemps, les diagrammes montrent tous les rangs, ceux sur l'endroit aussi bien que ceux sur l'envers. Ainsi, dans Sweet Alicia, vous devez ainsi tricoter les rangs impairs sur l'endroit (rangs 1, 3, etc..., ceux avec des diminutions et des jetés) et les rangs pairs sur l'envers (= soit des mailles endroit, soit des mailles envers). Après le rang de montage, tricotez les diagrammes sur l'endroit = 1er rang = en les lisant de droite à gauche ; sur l'envers, vous les lirez de gauche à droite. Bon tricot!

DANIELLE COFFIGNIEZ 25.05.2020 - 15:25:

Bonjour, concernant le diagramme DROPS 206-9, j e ne comprends pas comment faire une maille endroit en piquant sous la maille suivante ! Cordialement. Danielle

DROPS Design 25.05.2020 - 16:28:

Bonjour Mme Coffigniez, cette vidéo montre comment tricoter cette maille. Bon tricot!

Hanne Soelberg 17.05.2020 - 20:26:

Jeg strikker Nineveh jumber. Jeg forstå ikke mønstret når der står at jeg skal strikke *A.1(=2 masker), A 2( =7masker)Strik ** omg. Rundt

DROPS Design 18.05.2020 - 08:15:

Hei Hanne. Du skal strikke A.1 (over 2 masker) og A.2 (over 7 masker). Når du har strikket disse over 2+7=9 maskene, skal du gjenta dette over de neste 9 maskene, så de neste 9 maskeen, osv hele omgangen rundt. Avhengig av hvilken størrelse du strikker skal du gjenta disse 9 maskene 10-11-12-12-13 eller14 ganger. Når du har strikket A.1 og A.2 1 gang i høyden har du også økte til mange flere masker. God Fornøyelse!

Wenche Tveråen 12.05.2020 - 20:36:

Jeg skal strikke en genser til dame -LOFOTEN. Når denne strikkes fra halsen og ned, -skal da også diagrammene strikkes ovenfra og ned -eller skal man strikke diagrammene nedenfra og opp? Jeg spør fordi man vanligvis strikker nedenfra og opp, -og da strikker man også diagrammet nedenfra og opp. Mvh Wenche

DROPS Design 18.05.2020 - 08:07:

Hei Wenche. Du strikker diagrammene nedenfra og opp som vanlig. Om du f.eks ser på digram A.1 og A.3 ser du at diagrammene øker når du kommer lengre opp i diagrammet, noe som stemmer. Det er færre masker øverst i genseren enn over bysten. God Fornøyelse!

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