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 (196)

Janine Söderhjelm 06.05.2021 - 12:43:

Hej förstår inte mönsterstickningen :l 3 ”Nästa varv stickas .... sen sticka A.1A .... jag hur mönstervarven följer på varandra - är det vartannat\r\nvarv, eller vart tredje. Går det att få en tydligare beskrivning mönstervarven och hur de ligger är jag tacksam. Hälsningar janine

DROPS Design 07.05.2021 - 09:29:

Hej Janine, skrive dit spørgsmål ind under selve opskriften, så bliver det lettere for os at svare. Husk at skrive hvilken størrelse du strikker og hvor langt du er kommet i opskrften.

Ingrid Jensen 05.05.2021 - 22:46:

Jeg skal til at strikke Summer Leaves top. Jeg vil gerne lave den uden knapper i ryggen og vil gerne vide om jeg ikke kan strikke hele toppen på rundpind og derfor kun bruger 1. linje af bladmønsteret, og ikke 2. linje som normalt skulle strikkes som vrangpind? Hilsen Ingrid

DROPS Design 07.05.2021 - 09:27:

Hej Ingrid, Du kan strikke rundt, du er nødt til at strikke alle pinde i diagrammet for at få mønsteret og da strikkes 2.pind også fra retsiden :)

Lynne 03.05.2021 - 10:39:

Regarding my previous question - just found A.x and A.y!

Gunnel Crona 03.05.2021 - 10:06:

Stickar tröja19-16 Tvekar var jag ska börja på M2 och M3.Gäller pilen endast M1.Stickar storlek S

DROPS Design 07.05.2021 - 09:28:

Skriv dit spørgsmål ind under selve opskriften, så kan vi se hvilke diagrammer du mener og det bliver lettere for os at svare :)

Lynne 01.05.2021 - 12:30:

Hi I’m knitting the dots and drops jacket and have just separated for the body and sleeves. Pattern refers to A.x and A.y and I do t know what this means and can’t find a reference to them anywhere to explain. Please could you help? Thank you

DROPS Design 03.05.2021 - 10:38:

Dear Lynne, in the diagrams A.3 and A.4 in this pattern you will see some marks on the right side of A.3 (= A.x) and A.4 (= A.y), ie the last 12 rows in the diagrams. Happy knitting!

Sonya Noble 29.04.2021 - 17:07:

On pattern number 190-41 the cast off row has both large circles and half squares. The pattern shows the half squares as cast off, but I can't find what the large circles mean. This is on gragh A3b all sizes.

DROPS Design 30.04.2021 - 07:41:

Dear Mrs Noble, in This pattern, the black circle is explained under next to last symbol (= 8th symbol), ie : cast off 1 stitch, make 1 yarn over, cast off yarn over. Happy knitting!

June 25.04.2021 - 10:40:

Confused from armhole shaping on left front for Drops 74-27 Sunday Morning pattern. The confusion is after I have completed the front decreases, I cannot work out the rest of pattern it appears different than on the picture of the original pattern Thank you

DROPS Design 26.04.2021 - 09:41:

Dear June, you cast off for armhole on left front piece at the beginning of every row from right side when piece measures 31-35 cm (see size), and continue working M.5 as before. When piece measures 34-38 cm (adjust after a whole repeat of M.5), work M.6A over the stitches at the end of row from RS (beg of row from WS) to shape neckline and continuing pattern as before. Happy knitting!

Reidun Layfield 23.04.2021 - 18:05:

Jeg strikker Drops 52-28,str 7/8. Jeg er ferdig med M2,begynte med M3 der pilen viser på diagrammet men maskeantallet stemmer ikke med diagrammet. Det vises ikke hvor midt foran og mildt bak er på diagrammet. Har prøvd flere ganger til å få mønsteret til å stemme. Hva gjør jeg galt? Jeg er fortvilet!

Danielle Rioux 22.04.2021 - 16:17:

Bonjour, est-ce qu’avant de faire le diagramme A1, je fais 1 côte au point mousse?

DROPS Design 23.04.2021 - 08:12:

Bonjour Mme Rioux, vous est-il possible de poser votre question dans la rubrique "Questions" du modèle que vous tricotez? Sans savoir duquel il s'agit, nous ne pouvons malheureusement pas vous répondre. Merci pour votre compréhension. Bon tricot!

Danielle Rioux 21.04.2021 - 23:59:

Bonjour, je fais le modèle 167-32. Je ne comprends l’explication des diagrammes. A1 : est-ce que chaque rangée est un tour complet soit 72 mailles? Même chose pour Les autres diagrammes Merci de me répondre

DROPS Design 22.04.2021 - 08:20:

Bonjour Mme Rioux, je ne suis pas sûre de comprendre votre question, vous commencez par tricoter A.1 sur les 72 mailles, autrement dit, vous allez répéter 36 fois les 2 mailles de A.1 (=36x2= 72). Au 7ème tour, vous aurez 36 fois(2 lm ens à l'end, 1 jeté). Et ainsi de suite. Quand vous tricotez A.3 sur 64 mailles, vous devez le répéter 8 fois en largeur (= sur toutes les mailles), tricotez le 1er rang 8 fois, puis le 2ème rang 8 fois et ainsi de suite (= 8 x8 m = 64). Bon tricot!

GIUSY FERRARI 19.04.2021 - 15:00:

GILET SENZA MANICHE CON COLLO ALTO DROPS 218-23 MI SCUSI MA NON RIESCO A XCAPIRE SE A1 SI LAVORA SOLO DUE RIGHE E POI SI PASSA A 2. LA SPIEGAZIONE NON LO DICE O NON CAPISCO IO GRAZIE

DROPS Design 19.04.2021 - 22:23:

Buonasera Giusy, A.1 è solo di 2 ferri, poi si passa a lavorare A.2. Si ricordi di scrivere in minuscolo la prossima volta. Buon lavoro!

Montserrat 09.04.2021 - 02:39:

Bonjour je ne comprend pas vous explication je fait le modèle ai-228 Pour faire le motif Tailles S, L, XL, XXXL: 1 maille lisière au point mousse, 3-3-4-5 mailles endroit, 4-5-5-6 fois A.4 (= 18 mailles) au total en largeur, A.5 (= 10 mailles), 3-3-4-5 mailles endroit et 1 maille lisière au point mousse.

DROPS Design 09.04.2021 - 08:26:

Bonjour Mme Montserrat, les explications données à votre question sur le pull ont-elles pu vous aider? Sinon, merci de bien vouloir préciser votre pensée que nous puissions vous aider. Bon tricot!

Gro Andersen 08.04.2021 - 12:05:

Hei. Jeg strikker miss cookies. Drops children 32-2. Har kommet til seler. Skjønner ikke hvor på mønster A 5 jeg skal begynne å strikke. Prøvd mange ganger, men får det ikke til å stemme.

DROPS Design 12.04.2021 - 08:41:

Hei Gro. Hva er det du mener som ikke stemmer? Du legger opp 66-70 (74-78 eller 86) masker avhengig av hvilken str. du strikker. Når du har strikket 6 pinner glattstrikk strikker du en "picot" kant /brettekant fra neste pinne fra retten (1 kantmaske rille, * 2 rett sammen, 1 kast * , strikk fra *-* til det gjenstår 1 maske, avslutt med 1 kantmaske rille). Så starter du med diagram A.5 med 1 kantmaske rille ( kastene strikkes ikke vridd). I den minste str gjentar du A.5 16 ganger (= 64 masker) + 2 kantmasker = 66 masker. mvh DROPS design

Birgit Thomsen 07.04.2021 - 08:17:

Hej, jeg strikker Summer Leaves (169-3)og vil gerne spørge om diagrammerne skal læses fra højre mod venstre på retpinden og venstre mod højre på vrang pinden. Syntes ikke jeg kan få det til at passe

DROPS Design 12.04.2021 - 08:11:

Hei Birgit. Ja, det stemmer når du strikker frem og tilbake. Hva er det du ikke får til å passe? mvh DROPS design

Danielle Viguet-carrin 30.03.2021 - 07:57:

Bonjour, pour le modèle 190-42 le diagramme se lit toujours de droite à gauche ou bien en aller retour? Quand je fais les jetés je me retrouve avec 12 mailles? est ce que je tricote les jetés avec une maille si oui précédente ou suivante? Merci

DROPS Design 07.04.2021 - 10:06:

Bonjour Mme Viguet-carrin, sur l'endroit, lisez les diagrammes de droite à gauche (et de gauche à droite sur l'envers); les jetés viennent compenser les diminutions, vous devez toujours avoir 10 mailles dans chaque A.1a. Bon tricot!

Monica Lassar 23.03.2021 - 17:59:

Vad är skillnaden mellan en fylld ring (svart) eller en ofylld ring(vit) när det gäller omslag. I beskrivningen av den svarta ringen står att maskan ska vridas på nästa varv, men när det gäller den vita ringen står bara "mellan 2 maskor görs ett omslag". Betyder det att man inte ska vrida omslaget på nästa varv?

DROPS Design 07.04.2021 - 08:16:

Hei Monica. Det kommer an på hvilken forklaring det står under den enkelte oppskrift. I noen oppskriften kan en sort ring bety et kast for at det skal økes, da strikkes det vridd på neste rad/omgang slik at det ikke skal bli hull. Om et kast ikke skal strikkes vridd, kan det bety at det skal bli et hull i et evnt hullmønster. mvh DROPS design

Peggy Hansen 21.03.2021 - 20:57:

I’m knitting size 5 Forest Dance dress. A1 row 7 or is it 7 stitches and then a YO or Is it 6 stitches and then a YO? Help please ASAP. Thanks

DROPS Design 22.03.2021 - 11:24:

Dear Mrs Hansen, on row 3 in A.1 you increase 1 stitch = 7 sts in A.1. On row 4 you will then increase one more st = 8 sts. Row 7 will be worked like this over 8 sts + 1 inc: *YO with off white, K2 with off white, K1 with cerise, K3 with off white, K1 with cerise, K1 with off white* and repeat from *-*. Happy knitting!

Milla Oestreich 21.03.2021 - 17:11:

I am unfamiliar with some of the symbols on chart M.1 in the NOVA pattern for babies and children. The symbols I am wondering about are: (1) an oval followed by a straight line through the next two stitches to the right; (2) an oval followed by a diagonal bar across the next two stitches to the right from lower left hand corner to upper right hand corner; (3) an oval followed by a bar across the next two stitches to the left, from the lower right hand corner to the upper left hand corner.

DROPS Design 22.03.2021 - 11:15:

Dear Mrs Oestreich, in this pattern, you will find the key to diagram symbols just above the chart/diagrams, the oval means a yarn over that will have to be worked either from RS or from WS but worked either K from WS (over the first/lasst stitches on diagram) or P from WS (for the lace pattern in A shape). Happy knitting!

Susanne Askjær Kristensen 20.03.2021 - 18:04:

Vedr. Sweateren Mountain Moss drops 210/20 str. XL Hvordan skal det forståes i diagram A.1 er der 2 omslag i den del , for så kan jeg se at der er 138m, når jeg er rundt i A1. Hvor opskriften siger at efter A4 skal der være 138m Er udtagene selve mønster.? Eller mangler jeg noget af opskriften Venlig hilsen Susanne

DROPS Design 22.03.2021 - 08:18:

Hei Susanne. Her har det blitt en tastefeil, det skal stå A.1, ikke A.4 i første økning. Dette skal vi få ordnet opp i asap. Takk for at du gjorde oss oppmerksom på dette. mvh DROPS design

Lisbeth Nielsen 20.03.2021 - 14:52:

Hej, jeg er lige gået i gang med Grey Whisper 173-40 og har et par spørgsmål. 1. I starten står der strik 3p ret, herefter fortsæt med mønster og start fra retsiden: skal man så klippe tråden og starte fra modsat pind, da man ellers vil starte fra vrangsiden? 2. Når jeg så går over til at strikke mønster *-* (maskerne før og efter diagram) er det så ret på ret og vrang på vrang, så det bliver "bølget" og ikke glatstrikning. På forhånd tak.

DROPS Design 22.03.2021 - 07:54:

Hei Lisbeth. 1) På bildet (av ryggen) ser det ut som at det skal strikkes 3 riller (6 pinner rett) i begynnelsen og deretter strikkes det mønster. Når du da er ferdig med 3 riller, er siste pinne fra vrangen og du starter da fra retten slik det står i oppskriften. 2) Når du skal strikke mønster, strikker de første maskene rett, 3 vrang (se i oppskriften for din str. for hvor mange ganger). Når du skal strikke fra vrangen strikker du rett maskene vrange og de 3 vrangmaskene rette. Da får du mønstre du ser på bildet, mvh DROPS design

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