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 colour (in multicoloured 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 (369)

Edith Pedersen wrote:


23.09.2022 - 16:54:

Mabille GEORGETTE wrote:

Je ne comprend pas vos diagramme pour le modèle"baby 43-8>.d'habitude toute les mailles sont representées sur la grille par un carré ?par exemple dans le diagramme A.2, il y 6 mailles sur le premier rang et 5 sur le deuxième plus un jeté au début mais pas de case devant?idem sur le quatrième rang comment dois je interpréter ce diadramme merci de me donner des explications car j'aime beaucoup ce modèle Cordialement Georgette

11.09.2022 - 11:20:

DROPS Design answered:

Bonjour Mme Mabille, les diagrammes se lisent de haut en bas, dans ce modèle, on commence A.2 sur 4 mailles dans toutes les tailles en augmentant 1 m en même temps, soit au 1er rang : *1 m env, 1 m end, 1 m env, 1 jeté, 1 m end* = on a ainsi 5 m; puis au rang 3, on augmente 1 m ainsi: *1 jeté, 1 m env, 1 m end, 2 m env, 1 m end*, = on a bien 6 m. Bon tricot!

12.09.2022 - 12:23:

Reveilleau wrote:

Bonjour Je réalise le modèle drops 212-37 Je comprends pas le diagramme Comment dois je lire ce diagramme Es ce que le rg 1 est le rang endroit et le rang 2 le rang envers ou dois je intercaler entre chaque un rang au point mousse ? Dans quel sens dois je lire le diagramme ? De droite à gauche pour tout les rangs ? Je n ai pas compris le jete torse également Merci par avance

10.09.2022 - 21:51:

DROPS Design answered:

Bonjour Mme Reveilleau, tous les rangs figurent dans le diagramme, autrement dit, le 1er rang se lit sur l'endroit = à l'endroit sur l'endroit et le 2ème rang se lit sur l'envers = à l'endroit sur l'envers, autrement dit, on tricote au point mousse (tous les rangs à l'endroit) avec des jetés (qui vont soit former des trous (ovale blanc) soit ne pas en former (ovale noir). Bon tricot!

12.09.2022 - 12:25:

Maureen A Watson wrote:

I'm working DROPS pattern ne-347, "Autumn Wreath" My question is regarding the instructions for the yoke, paragraph 2: "Now work pattern as follows from the right side: 5 band stitches in garter stitch, knit 1, work A.2 over A.1B (= 7-8-8-9-9-10 repeats of 10 stitches), work the first stitch in A.2, knit 1 and 5 band stitches in garter stitch." What does it mean to "work A.2 over A.1B"?

10.09.2022 - 15:39:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Mrs Watson, afeter you have worked A.1B there are 10 sts in each A.1B, you now work A.2 (= 10 sts) all the way, over each A.1B. Happy knitting!

12.09.2022 - 12:26:

Sophie Couillaud wrote:

Je viens de commencer le gilet Agnes T 5 ,6 ans. Je ne comprends pas la terminologie "tricoterA'1 au dessus de la maille suivante dans le paragraphe empiecement. Si je comprends bien au premier rang de A1 et A2 je tricote 7 mailles à l'endroit. Si c'est le cas, je ne répéte pas A1 et A2 14 fois Merci de votre aide

04.09.2022 - 15:58:

DROPS Design answered:

Bonjour Mme Couillaud, tricotez les diagrammes ainsi: 5 m point mousse, la maille suivante en suivant A.1, répétez ensuite 14 fois les 6 mailles de A.2 et terminez par 5 m point mousse. Sur l'envers, répétez A.2 en lisant de gauche à droite et terminez par A.1. Vous allez augmenter dans A.2 (cf jetés ovales noirs à tricoter torse sur l'envers pour éviter des trous) et vous aurez 16 mailles dans chaque A.2 quand les diagrammes sont terminés. Bon tricot!

05.09.2022 - 10:19:

Petra Bobik wrote:

Hallo, stricke Model 220-27 (Größe M). Ich bin am Anfang der Anleitung/ Rumpfteil Zur Rundnadel Nr.4 wechseln. Die letzte Runde von A.1 & A2 stricken Die restlichen M. rechts. So ich im Wechsel A.1+A.2+A,1+A.2 ...usw. stricken ???Oder 1Reihe A.1 & 1Reihe A,2 stricken?? Den darauf folgenden Satz verstehe ich auch nicht!! Vielen Dank im Voraus PETRA

31.08.2022 - 09:34:

DROPS Design answered:

Liebe Petra, alle Maschen sollen wie zuvor gestrickt werden, nur mit den grösseren Nadeln (= A.1 über 7 M, 2-19 rechte Maschen (siehe Größe), A.2 über 80-96 M usw. Viel Spaß beim stricken!

01.09.2022 - 10:35:

Kris wrote:

Chart question for pattern 219–15. For size medium, at the beginning of chart A.2 there is a bracket with no boxes only a star which = mid stitch. I have never encountered this mid stitch terminology before and so I don’t know what it means. Are the 4 stitches a pattern repeat or something else? Am I supposed to center them on a certain stitch or what exactly do I do?

22.08.2022 - 04:34:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Kris, A.2 is first worked over 4 sts - the star refers to the mid-stitch that should be worked on sleeve on top of the sleeve to center the pattern (read here how to center a diagram) and doesn't apply to yoke nor body, only to sleeves. Happy knitting!

22.08.2022 - 10:32:

Lesnes Patricia wrote:

Bonjour, dans le modèle Adagio 151-9, dans le diagramme A1, des mailles à diminuer se chevauchent sur A et B comment faire qd on doit répéter le B 5 fois ? La première maille de B doit être comment pour les répétitions ? Merci

21.08.2022 - 11:21:

DROPS Design answered:

Bonjour Mme Lesnes, le nombre de mailles de chaque diagramme va toujours rester le même via le jeu des jetés et des diminutions, par ex. au 11ème rang, vous tricotez la dernière maille de A avec la 1ère m de B, puis la dernière de B avec la 1ère du B suivant/ de C. Au rang suivant (sur l'envers), vérifiez que vos diagrammes contiennent bien le bon nombre de mailles (6 pour C, 12 pour chaque B et 9 pour A) en utilisant des marqueurs si besoin. Bon tricot!

01.09.2022 - 16:32:

Joanna wrote:

This is for the A1 chart in the Spring Break pattern. I don't understand how to follow the chart where there are no squares.

13.08.2022 - 05:26:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Joanna, the blank squares are there to maintain the structure for later rows (since you are adding yarn overs each row, right where the blank spaces are). You should ignore the blank space and simply work the next symbol in the row; these spaces will help you position the stitches in later rows. Happy knitting!

14.08.2022 - 20:03:

Sue wrote:

Regarding drops 176-25 poncho. Diagram A1 has 12 rows and A2 has 16 rows . Can you help me as I’m not sure where to start A1 as it seem to be at A2 row 5 . Hope my question makes sense. Kind regards

10.08.2022 - 12:59:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Sue, when the 12 rows in A.1 are done, work A.1 from the first row while continuing A.2 as before, ie the both diagrams are repeating over a different number of rows. Happy knitting!

10.08.2022 - 16:20:

Yasmin wrote:

Hejsa Kan du uddybe det her: "Strik A.1, A.2, A.3 totalt 1-1-2-3-4 gange». Her strikkes først A.1, så strikkes A.2, men hvor A.3 så skal gentages 1-1-2-3-4 gange i bredden (vælg din størrelse). Altså, det er KUN A.3 som skal gentages." Jeg forstår det kun er a 3 der skal gentages. Men hvor mange gange ? Hvad står 1-1-2-3-4 for? Hilsen Yasmin

07.08.2022 - 22:22:

DROPS Design answered:

Hei Yasmin. Jo, de tallene henviser seg til str på plagget. Om et plagget har 5 størrelser, vil det stå i begynnelse av oppskriften stå: Størrelse: S - M - L - XL - XXL, når det da henvender seg senere i oppskriften som f.eks: A.3 totalt 1-1-2-3-4 gange, skal det i str. S og M strikkes 1 gang, i str. L 2 ganger, i str, XL 3 ganger og i str. XXL 4 ganger. mvh DROPS Design

08.08.2022 - 12:01:

Anne Goodman wrote:

Thank you for your previous answer for pattern 77-26, but I can't find anywhere in the pattern that M.1/M.2 is mentioned unless they are Pattern 1 and Pattern 2? Also where do I use the part of the chart that that isn't bracketed? I'm sorry that I don't understand this and look forward to your help. Many thanks, Anne

04.08.2022 - 19:58:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Mrs Goodman, pattern-1 is matching diagram M.1 and pattern-2 is matching diagram M.2 - they are the worked over the same number of stitches in width, only height will be different. Happy knitting!

05.08.2022 - 08:48:

Andrea Muñoz wrote:

Hola, estoy tejiendo el modelo Jackson y no sé si debo agregar los MP después de tejer todo el diagrama A4 y A5 o si debo hacerlo después de terminar la primera corrida...

03.08.2022 - 18:51:

DROPS Design answered:

Hola Andrea, insertas los marcapuntos inmediatamente después de la 1ª vuelta; después continuas trabajando los diagramas y mueves los marcapuntos hacia arriba con la labor.

07.08.2022 - 23:57:

Anne Goodman wrote:

Hello, I am going to knit Drops 77-26 and do not understand the chart. At the right side of the chart are two bracketed references; M.2 and M.1 and I'm afraid I don't know what they mean. Can you please explain these to me as I would really like to knit this lovely design. Many thanks Anne

03.08.2022 - 04:14:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Mrs Goodman, the brackets shows 4 rows - both for M.1 and M.2, these 4 rows are those you have to repeat when working M.1/M.2. Happy knitting!

03.08.2022 - 10:37:

Marie France Gardiner wrote:

Why can't I post a question about the Sweet Scarborough Graph? :(

31.07.2022 - 09:26:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Marie France, you can post a question about the graph; you can find the form under the latest comments and questions of the pattern. You only need to tag the inquiry as a question and explain your problem. Our question service does not admit pictures, so you can't attach them to your question. Happy knitting!

31.07.2022 - 17:13:

Birgitta Appelholm wrote:

Glöm alla mina problem med 32-7. Har löst det. Felet fanns på rad 3.

27.07.2022 - 22:22:

Birgitta Appelholm wrote:

Tillägg till fråga på diagram 32-7. Rad 4 i rapporten börjar med 2 msk m bottenf istället för 1 msk. Det blir då endast 8 msk i rapporten. Rättas detta till vid ökning på rad 5?

27.07.2022 - 18:38:

DROPS Design answered:

Hei Birgitta. Så bra at du fant ut av det selv. mvh DROPS Design

08.08.2022 - 10:59:

Birgitta Appelholm wrote:

Stickar diagram 32-7 st 5/6 och har kört fast redan rad 4 i diagrammet, som slutar med 3 msk i mönsterfärgen och det finns 2 msk kvar på varvet. Maskantalet efter ökn stämmer. Stickar på rundsticka. Snälla hjälp mig.

27.07.2022 - 09:39:

DROPS Design answered:

Hei Birgitta. Så bra at du fant ut av det selv. mvh DROPS Design

08.08.2022 - 10:59:

Eva Roten wrote:

I am knitting drops 32-24 Nordic pattern and wonder if I can accesss the diagrams better and larger? It shows M1-M3 in very small diagrams I find it difficult to see and plan. I am using only blue and white.

27.07.2022 - 07:57:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Eva, unfortunately, this is the only available format for the patterns. You could try to download the pattern as a pdf or print it on a larger scale. Happy knitting!

28.07.2022 - 13:27:

Fiona wrote:

I am working on Dreams of Aran and the instructions say work 'M.3, M.4, M.3, M.1 on the next 44-44-52-52'. I am knitting large so I need to knit 52 stitches. The total number of stitches with 'M.3, M.4, M.3, M.1' combined is 34 stitches. Should I start the pattern of M.3, M.4, M.3, M.1 again until I reach 52 stitches? Or repeat M1 (the last cable chart) until I reach 52 similar to the way it's described above. Thanks

26.07.2022 - 01:09:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Fiona, you repeat only M.1 until you reach 52 stitches. Happy knitting!

31.07.2022 - 23:01:

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