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 (248)

Dorthe 17.10.2021 - 20:43:

Jeg er igang med Seiland jumper (me-038-bn). Jeg skal til ærmet og forstår ikke hvad der menes med “strik A4 rundt, start med 3.-2.-1.-8.-7.-6. maske i A4

DROPS Design 18.10.2021 - 08:02:

Hei Dorthe. Om du f.eks strikker str. 2 år, skal du starte med 3. maske i A.4, i str. 3/4 år starter du med 2. maske, str. 5/6 år starter du med 1. maske osv. mvh DROPS Design

Karro 17.10.2021 - 05:59:

Hei. Jeg skal strikke marius sokker, men jeg skjønner ikke helt rapporten. I slutten er det tatt bort 14 ruter, 7 på vær side, sånn att det er 2 rader mer med bare midten maskene.. da skjønner jeg ikke hva jeg skal gjøre med de 7 maskene på vær side som også skal inneholde litt mønster. Skal jeg da begynne med de maskene nederst i rapporten igjen? Å må jeg da fortsette og ligge 2 rader over på disse? Håper du skjønner mitt spm. Mvh

Jeannette 14.10.2021 - 12:33:

Hi and thankyou. I am knitting Poetry Reading 218.4 and having trouble understanding the section on graphs where there are A1 to A5. Some of the graph have 8 rows and some 10 and 14 rows. Do you continue on next row back to row A5, A3, A1, all have 8 rows. Do you have to continue knitting till A2 and A4 are completed to contine to armholes in this way . Not sure what to do when completing the 3, 8 rows. Please help and thankyou

DROPS Design 15.10.2021 - 08:21:

Dear Jeanette, all diagrams/pattern are not worked over the same number of rows, this means, when A.1, A.3 and A.5 are done in height (= 8 rows), repeat them from first row, while work the 9th row in A.2 and A.4 to continue these patterns/diagrams as shown. Happy knitting!

Josée Legendre 14.10.2021 - 01:27:

Modèle 178-23 A.2 Ligne 5 Je tricote comment ?

DROPS Design 14.10.2021 - 09:53:

Bonjour Mme Legendre, au début du tour, glissez la première maille sans la tricoter (elle sera tricotée avec le dernier motif du tour), puis *tricotez: 3 m end, 1 jeté, glissez 1 m à l'end, tricotez ensemble à l'endroit la dernière m du motif + la 1ère m du suivant et passez la m glissée par-dessus les m tricotées ensemble, 1 jeté (= c'est maintenant la première maille du motif suivant)*, répétez de *-*, au dernier motif à la fin du tour, le dernier jeté remplacera la 1ère maille du début du tour. Bon tricot!

Barbara Poutsma-Cazemier 08.10.2021 - 13:11:

Ik heb een telpatroon voor een damestrui, waarin het patroon zowel in de panden als in de mouwen wordt gebreid. Onder het telpatroon staat daarom aangegeven waar het midden is voor de panden en waar het midden is voor de mouwen, zodat ik kan uitrekenen met welke steek in het patroon ik moet beginnnen. Zo ver geen probleem, maar er staat nóg een 'midden' aangegeven, een derde pijltje dus. Wat voor midden is dat dan?

DROPS Design 23.10.2021 - 18:13:

Dag Barbara,

Om eerlijk te zijn heb ik geen idee wat daarmee bedoeld wordt. Zou je je vraag bij het patroon kunnen posten? Dan kunnen we je wellicht beter helpen.

Denise Gendron 02.10.2021 - 17:12:

Je ne comprend pas le rang 11 car d'après le patron il devrait y avoir deux jetée

DROPS Design 04.10.2021 - 09:21:

Bonjour Mme Gendron, merci de bien vouloir poser votre question sur le modèle concerné, ce sera ainsi plus facile pour nous de pouvoir vous répondre. Bon tricot!

Emma 30.09.2021 - 16:54:

Hej igen. Ok då har jag gjort helt fel. En rad är alltså = Ett varv. Men jag har rundstickor som det står i mönstret. Betyder inte det att jag alltid går från höger till vänster när jag läser stickdiagram eftersom jag inte har nått avigt varv?

DROPS Design 07.10.2021 - 13:24:

Hej Emma. Även om du har rundstickor så stickas arbetet fram och tillbaka och när du vänder arbetet så är det då alltså på avigsidan. (Om arbetet stickas runt så läser man alltid diagrammet från höger till vänster). Det stämmer att en rad är ett varv. Mvh DROPS Design

Emma 29.09.2021 - 21:24:

Hej igen. Jag stickar en baby filt med flätor, Modell mb-002-by. Bredd 68 Längd 80. Jag gör varannan A1 å varannan A2 som det står i mönstret å börjar varje varv med rutan längst ner till höger. Men jag förstår inte hur detta ska bli ett flätmönster...

DROPS Design 30.09.2021 - 14:52:

Hej Emma. Du ska inte göra varannan A.1 och varannan A.2. Du börjar med 4 varv rätstickning. Sedan stickar du första varvet i A.1 (upprepa A.1 14 gånger på varvet) med 2 maskor rätstickning i varje sida. Nästa varv läser du diagrammet från vänster till höger (det gör du på alla aviga varv) och stickar varv 2 i diagram A.1 med 2 rätstickade maskor i varje sida. Sedan på nästa varv stickar du på diagram A.2 första raden, med 2 rätstickade maskor i varje sida. Nästa varv stickar du rad 2 i diagram A.2 osv. När alla varv i diagram A.2 är upprepade börjar du om på rad 1 av diagram A.2 igen och fortsätter så. Mvh DROPS Design

Emma 28.09.2021 - 21:26:

Hej! Jag stickar en filt där vartannat varv (A1) har omfång vilket gör att antal maskor hela tiden ökar. Detta gör att mönstret inte går jämt ut utan ibland avslutas mitt i en rapport eller tom i en rad. Ska jag alltid, oavsett vart jag slutat, börja mönstret från början när jag börjar på nytt varv? Eller ska jag fortsätta i där det avslutades? Mvh Emma

DROPS Design 29.09.2021 - 12:08:

Hej Emma. Vilket mönster (och storlek) är det du gör? Antalet rapporter på varvet ska vara detsamma oavsett om du ökar maskor.. Mvh DROPS Design

Sanne Frederiksen 23.09.2021 - 15:48:

Hej Jeg skal i gang med drops design 217-13, men forstår ikke diagram a1, som starter med en blank firkant uden for diagrammet ( strikkes fra retsiden ) Hilsen Sanne

DROPS Design 28.09.2021 - 07:34:

Hei Sanne. Denne blanke "firkanten" forteller deg at du strikker fra retten, (se beskrivelsen under diagramteksten). Ingen maske som skal strikkes. Om du trenger mer hjelp, ta en titt på instruksjonsvideoene som er laget til denne vesten. mvh DROPS design

Caroline Bussieres 21.09.2021 - 13:55:

Bonjour ! Je suis rendue à faire le diagramme A1. Je tricote en rond, j'ai 80 mailles. . Je ne comprend pas la portion du 3 fois en hauteur.

DROPS Design 22.09.2021 - 08:01:

Bonjour Mme Bussieres, peut-être pourriez-vous poser votre question sur le modèle concerné? Ce serait ainsi plus facile de pouvoir regarder les explications pour vous répondre, merci pour votre compréhension.

Wendy 16.09.2021 - 22:31:

I will be making the Kaia top in the 11/12or 13/14. What do you mean bend the circular needle double? Also there are two M1 diagrams. One says 12 across and 13 rows up the other is 16 across and 18 up. Which one is used? Can this be knit fully in the round from bottom up and then split at the decrease and neck edge? I’m finding reading the pattern very confusing.

DROPS Design 17.09.2021 - 07:45:

Dear Wendy, you bend the circular needle to cast on the stitches on both tips, just as shown in this video with 2 needles; for the tunic use the diagram M.1 worked over 16 sts (the one over 12 sts applies to hat). You work body from bottom up in the round to the armholes, then divide pieces and work back and front pieces together, splitting front pieces in 2 sides. Happy knitting!

Lene Berg 16.09.2021 - 07:51:

I opskrift Baby 19-10 - kørepose, er der 3 diagrammer. I 2 og 3 er der i toppen af diagrammet i midt, hvor det ser ud til, at der skal strikkes to pinde (og kun der). Skal garnet brydes og disse pinde strikkes alene?

DROPS Design 20.09.2021 - 08:44:

Hei Lene. Når du har strikket 4 pinner av M.2 og M.3, så gjentar du diagrammene i høyden, MEN over de "midterste" flettene (12 masker) strikker du 2 rader til med glattstrikk før du gjentar diagrammene i høyden. Altså de midterste flettene har 5 rader med glattstrikk mellom hver flette, mens flettene i sidene har 3 rader med glattstrikk mellom hver flette. mvh DROPS design

Elizabeth 15.09.2021 - 17:37:

Jeg strikker babypledd Princess Chantilly 18-30. Diagrammet M1 går over 13 masker. På rad 1, der det er 6 kast på pinnen. Skal det første kastet komme direkte etter de 2 rettmaskene i rapporten?

DROPS Design 20.09.2021 - 07:35:

Hei Elizabeth. På 5. rad i M.1 der det er 6 kast, strikkes det 2 masker sammen slik: ta 1 maske løst av ponnen, 1 rett, løft den løse masken over, så gjøres 1. kast, osv. mvh DROPS design

LINDA 11.09.2021 - 01:56:

Drop design 217-33 Please explain the sequence for the pattern I cant figure out how to get the pattern started. Have the collar now need the yoke pattern. Have knit your patterns before and had no problem. Really like the ones have kint . All were pull overs. Thanks for your help

DROPS Design 13.09.2021 - 09:48:

Dear Linda, on yoke you will now work (A.1, A.2) all the row, starting and ending with 5 sts in garter stitch for front band sts. A.1 will be worked over the same 3 sts in height all the way, and the number of sts in A.2 will increase as shown in the diagram (first row is worked over 3 sts with 1 increase and depending on the size you will increase 6 to 7 sts in each A.2). Happy knitting!

Dorothy Ann Aarholt 09.09.2021 - 19:47:

Jeg skal strikke Pink Petals Hat but can't work out how to follow diagram A1. I have 7 stitches. Where do I start? I can't find a starting point with 7 stitches. Oops, gikk over til engelsk. Språkforvirret, Hilsen Dorothy

DROPS Design 13.09.2021 - 07:39:

Hei Dorothy. Se svar på ditt forrige spørsmål :) mvh DROPS design

Dorothy Ann Aarholt 09.09.2021 - 19:30:

Jeg skal strikke Pink Petals Hat but can't work out how to follow A1. I have 7 stitches. Where do I start? I can't find a starting point with 7 stitches. Oops, gikk over til engelsk. Språkforvirret, Hilsen Dorothy

DROPS Design 13.09.2021 - 07:38:

Hei Dorothy. Du strikker frem og tilbake. Legg opp 7 masker, snu. Strikk 1. pinne fra vrangen og etter diagram A.1 = 7 masker vrang, snu og strikk 2. pinne fra retten og 2. rad etter diagram A.1 (7 kast + 7 rett = 14 masker). Snu og strikk 3. pinne etter diagram A.1 (maskene strikkes rett og kastene strikkes kastet vridd rett). mvh DROPS design

Hilary Ball 04.09.2021 - 19:57:

I am trying to knit the Egyptian Feathers jacket pattern drops 201-29 but don’t understand the diagrams. I can’t find the A.1A or A.2A patterns to start the neck. Help I’m completely stuck Hilary

DROPS Design 05.09.2021 - 16:14:

Dear Hilary, you can find the A.1A and A.2A patterns in the measurement guide/ sketch (the last picture) just below the left sleeve. The other diagrams are in multiples because they vary depending on their size, but those are equal for all sizes.

Elma 02.09.2021 - 10:34:

Als je in de rondte breit komt bij de overgang van averecht naar recht, de laatste averechtse steek naast de eerste rechte steek te liggen.\r\nDaardoor loopt de averechtse ribbel niet mooi in elkaar over. Is hier een trucje voor zodat de ribbel wel naast elkaar komt te liggen bij de overgang naar recht.\r\nAlvast bedankt.

Yvonne Bogues 30.08.2021 - 17:35:

Hi, I'm knitting Drops Seasons in the Sand. What does 'cast on 60 sts (inkl 1 edge st in each side). Does it mean edge st is included in the 60 or do I have to add an extra edge st on each side? I have never come across this notation before. Many thanks

DROPS Design 30.08.2021 - 18:34:

Dear Yvonne, you need to cast on 60 sts in total; the edge st are always included in the amount of sts to cast on initially in our patterns. Happy knitting!

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