How to read crochet diagrams

A crochet diagram consists of symbols, 1 symbol = 1 stitch (or a group of stitches) - the symbol definition explains what kind of stitch it is/how it is worked. The diagram shows all stitches seen from the right side (unless otherwise specified).

A typical crochet diagram looks like this:

1: 1. A.1 is the name of the diagram and refers to the entire diagram - inside the square brackets. Everything inside the square brackets is 1 repeat of the diagram.
2: 2. This is the symbol definition, which explains how each symbol is worked.
Blue arrows: The symbol is worked in or around the stitch directly below itself in the diagram. Sometimes multiple stitches are worked in/around the same stitch.
Purple ovals and arrows: Not all stitches are worked in, for example: sometimes you work a chain stitch and the stitch below is skipped.

A crochet diagram is read 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 work several repeats of a diagram (ie: if it is to be repeated several times on the row/round), work until the end of the row of the diagram and begin again with the first symbol on the row.

Back and forth:

When you’re working back and forth every other row is worked from the right side and every other row is worked from the wrong side. When working from the wrong side the diagram has to be read the opposite way: from left to right (see red arrow from right side, and blue arrow from wrong side below).

The row typically starts with a given number of chain stitches - the number equals the height of the following stitch, and are included to ensure you are starting from the top of the following stitch (see green circles below). If the chain stitches are included in the diagram (as in this example) all stitches are worked exactly as they appear. Sometimes the pattern includes CROCHET INFORMATION at the top of the instructions, which tells you how many chain stitches to work at the beginning of every row, and whether these chain stitches are replacing the first stitch on row (or in addition). If the chain stitches are NOT included in the diagram: follow instructions under CROCHET INFORMATION.

In the round:

When working in the round, all rounds are worked from the right side: from right to left (see red arrows below). How the round begins and ends are often displayed in a diagram of its own (see A.2 below - green square). Similar to when working back and forth, the round starts with a given number of chain stitches, equal to the height of the following stitch. At the end of the round you typically join the beginning and end of the round with a slip stitch in the last of the chain stitches at the beginning (see blue square below). In other words: the chain stitches in A.2 = the beginning of the round, while the slip stitch in A.2 = the end of the round.

If you are supposed to work several repeats of the diagram (A.1) (ie, it is repeated several times on the round) you work until the last stitch, and then begin again with the first stitch on the same row in A.1. NOTE: in this example it is ONLY A.1 that is repeated, A.2 shows how the beginning and end of the entire round is worked.

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 diagrams 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 the opposite way, as usual.

Circular diagrams:

When working in a circle, ie you start in the middle and work your way outwards, this will often be displayed in a circular diagram. The diagram can either display the entire circle - in this case every symbol is worked exactly as it appears, or the diagram can display a fraction of a circle which is then repeated a given number of times to make a full circle.

Full circle:

In a full circle diagram you begin with the symbol in the middle of the circle: typically a small circle representing a given number of chain stitches, made into a ring with a slip stitch (see red circle below). Similar to when working in the round, the round begins with a given number of chain stitches (equal to the height of the next symbol) and ends with a slip stitch in the last of these chain stitches - ie: equivalent to A.2 in our previous example (see blue square) - NOTE: when the chain stitches are displayed in the diagram these do NOT replace any of the other symbols, and every symbol is worked exactly as they appear. If the chain stitches ARE replacing any stitch, this will have been removed from the diagram.

You work counter-clockwise: from right to left, 1 symbol after the other (see red arrow below). The stitches on the first round are typically worked AROUND the chain stitch ring, meaning you put the crochet hook THROUGH the middle of the chain stitch ring, pick up the strand and pull it back through the ring (working the stitch as usual) - You are not working the stitch IN any of the chain stitches, but rather AROUND the chain stitch ring. At the end of the round, join the beginning and end with a slip stitch, and start with the second round in the diagram: the second closest to the middle (se green arrow).

Fraction of a circle:

If the diagram is only a fraction of a circle, this is because the fraction is repeated a given number of times in the round, to make a full circle. You begin with the symbol at the bottom (see red circle) and work the same way as for FULL CIRCLE, but A.2 will be repeated a given number of times in the round. Similar to when working in the round there is typically a separate diagram illustrating how the round begins and ends (see A.1, blue square below). You begin with the diagram row closest to the chain stitch ring at the bottom, work the chain stitch(es) in A.1, then work the symbol(s) in A.2 (in the first round it is only 1 symbol) and repeat the symbol(s) in A.2 the number of times stated in the pattern.

At the end of the round you join the round with the slip stitch in A.1. When the first round is completed, continue with the next round: second closest to the chain stitch ring (see green arrow below).

Square diagrams / color diagrams:

Some crochet diagrams are displayed in a square diagram, where 1 square = 1 stitch. What type of stitch is worked will typically be explained in the pattern instructions, while the purpose of the diagram is to display what colors the stitches are worked in (see red circle below = symbol definition).

You work as explained above, depending on whether you work BACK AND FORTH, IN THE ROUND or a CIRCULAR DIAGRAM.

Comments (44)

Ilja-Nora 16.01.2021 - 21:03:

Jeg hekler støvelmansjetter med et mønster som brukes både til lue og votter, og etter jeg har heklet mønsteret står det Kant: 1. rad. Fortsetter jeg da der jeg avsluttet med mønsteret? Hva betyr: Sett til tråden nederst på Høyre side (retten).? Skal jeg da klippe tråden og hekle nederst? Hva er krepsem?

DROPS Design 18.01.2021 - 07:58:

Hei Ilja-Nora. Hvilken oppskrift gjelder det? Om du legger inn ditt spørsmål under selve oppskriften er det lettere å hjelpe. Om du skriver "Krepsemaske" i søke ord under alle "Instruksjonsvideoer" og "Søk i alle videoer", vil video for krepsemaske dukke opp. Krepsemaske = du hekler fastmasker fra venstre mot høyre. mvh DROPS design

Babelle 13.01.2021 - 16:05:

Je suis gauchère comment lire les diagrammes et comment respecter l'envers et l'endroit ? merci d'avance Babelle

DROPS Design 14.01.2021 - 08:31:

Bonjour Babelle, je suis désolée, personne de notre équipe n'est gauchère, essayez juste, en fonction de votre façon de crocheter, d'ajuster l'endroit et l'envers - demandez conseil à votre magasin et/ou à un forum spécialisé où d'autres crocheteuses pourront vous aider. Bon crochet!

Maria Randerly Cunha Feitosa 06.01.2021 - 01:43:

Quero imprimir. Diagrama

Maria Randerly Cunha Feitosa 06.01.2021 - 00:51:

Excelente. Muito obrigado

Maj-Britt Poulsen 01.01.2021 - 15:57:

Hej Jeg er helt vild med modellen JANIS - bluse med rude i Paris. Og vil gerne hækle den. Jeg kan ikke finde ud af at tyde diagrammer og vil spørge om ikke jeg kan finde opskriften på video. Håber du kan hjælpe mig. Godt nytår ☺

DROPS Design 11.01.2021 - 09:08:

Hei Maj-Britt. Ja, dette er virkelig en flott modell. Til denne modellen er det laget 2 hjelpevideoer, Hjelp til Halsfellingen og Hvordan hekle A.3. Å lage en video til hele genseren er dessverre ikke mulig, men håper hjelpevideoene og andre generelle videoer du finner under modellen kan hjelpe deg. God Fornøyelse!

Hilde - Igjen 29.12.2020 - 12:34:

Jeg skal begynne på 2. omg og der står det "= omg med fm/lm" - skal det da kun hekles fm og lm på denne omgangen - før jeg går videre?

DROPS Design 11.01.2021 - 08:56:

Hei Hilde. I 2. omgang skal det kun hekles fastmasker og luftmasker. Om du ser på diagram A.1 (og A.2) hekles det en omgang med bare fastmasker og luftmasker, mens neste omgang hekles det kun staver (her økes det også i A.2). Altså alle omganger med partall, der hekles det kun fastmasker og luftmasker, mens omganger med oddetall hekles det kun staver. God Fornøyelse!

Hilde 18.12.2020 - 16:34:

Gjelder Misty Mountain bærestykke:Når jeg skal hekle 2. omg og det står "hekle A1 over de første 10 stavene", så betyr ved det at jeg skal hekle 1. raden på A1over det de første stavene? Etter 2. omg: "repeter A1 i høyden og øk som vist i A2 samtidig økes det jevnt fordelt slik:" Blir dette starten på 3. omg? Har heklet mye - men dette mønsteret er ikke lett å forstå!

DROPS Design 11.01.2021 - 08:07:

Hei Hilde. 1. omgang i diagram A.1 og A.2 er forklart i oppskriftsteksten, den har også en stjerne markert i diagrammet (*). Når du har heklet 1. omgang har du 84 staver (str. S) og du starter nå på 2. omgang på diagram A.1 og A.2 (fastmasker og luftmasker). På 3. omgang hekler du kun staver og da økes det også når du hekler A.2. På 4. omgang hekles det fastmasker og luftmasker igjen, mens på 5. omgang hekles det kun staver og her økes det igjen (i A.2). Når du har heklet A.1 1 gang i høyden repeteres A.1 i høyden. God Fornøyelse!

L H 09.12.2020 - 16:34:

Do you have your heart pattern written out. I can follow a written pattern but have a hard time with a diagram better. Thank you

DROPS Design 10.12.2020 - 09:30:

Dear LH, could you please ask your question on the pattern you would like to work? If there is only a diagram under the pattern page without any written explanation, this means there is only a diagram, but there might be a video showing how to crochet this pattern. Happy crocheting!

Leanne 26.10.2020 - 00:47:

I need 183 stitches but am not sure where to add the extra stitches across the 155 that form the pattern, eg where do I add the extra 18 stitches to make 108 across the 90 that make up A.3a (3 repeats)? I presume 6 in each repeat but am not sure whether to add all 6 to the start of the A.3a row, the end or whatever. There are 2 chain stitches amongst the trebles in this row and I'm not sure where they should be positioned in relation to the extra stitches that I need to include. Thank you.

DROPS Design 26.10.2020 - 13:37:

Dear Leanne, could you please ask your question under the pattern you are working on? It will be then much easier for us to get the correct reference to help you. Thanks for your comprehension. Happy crocheting!

Ursula Pereyra 17.10.2020 - 15:05:

Gracias por las explicaciones!!!, son de gran ayuda recien me inicié en este maravilloso mundo y gracias a sus patrones y explicaciones estoy tejiendo, Gracias!!! Estoy maravillada y sorprendida de mis logros!!!

Patricia Bailey 03.10.2020 - 11:24:

A4,5,9 how many times then the next bit how many times ... totally confusing pattern, I ripped it out

DROPS Design 05.10.2020 - 13:25:

Dear Mrs Bailey, could you please ask your question in the question section of the pattern you are working on? This would help us to be able to assist you - remember to add the size worked as well as the part of the pattern you are stuck. Thanks for your comprehension!

Nikki 16.08.2020 - 10:13:

Hi I have a crochet pattern here which I believe is one of your older ones as couldn’t find it on your site, but I need help following the diagram. I have horizontal lines in different lengths with no meaning, apart from the small one meaning a chain stitch. I say its your pattern as Drops Alpaca and Drops cotton viscose is used from the garn studios. I need help with this please. I can’t see a way of using photos to show you.. Thank you Nikki

DROPS Design 17.08.2020 - 10:25:

Dear Nikki, could you please ask your question in the "question" section of this pattern? It would be much easier for us to help you when we also can see the diagram and the diagram key. Thanks for your comprehension. Happy crocheting!

Angela Jane Charles 02.08.2020 - 16:32:

You have a diagram of crochet stitches at the top, but in the pattern I am doing, I have 1) a stitch that appears in the diagram for the Fraction of a circle above: an upright line with a solid circle near the top. 2) two stitches that appear in the Full circle diagram: a solid oval and an outline oval with two solid dots in it. I can't find any step-by-step instruction on how to make these stitches, and the description in my pattern is not clear enough. Could you help me please?

DROPS Design 03.08.2020 - 09:03:

Dear Mrs Charles, could you please post your question under the pattern you are working on? It would be much easier for us to explain you. Thanks for your comprehension. Happy knitting!

Mary 28.07.2020 - 01:42:

Thank you for the comprehensive explanations of different types of diagrams.

Samantha 26.06.2020 - 07:41:

I brought this pattern because it states it has a tutorial video. Cant find it. Not very happy

DROPS Design 26.06.2020 - 07:58:

Dear Samantha, all our patterns are free - you are not supposed to buy them. There are videos for every patterns showing the different techniques used - but not all patterns do have their single videos - this page explains how to read a diagram. Feel free to ask your question in the pattern page or contact directly the store where you bought the yarn for any individual assistance. Happy crocheting!

Kloe 21.06.2020 - 23:50:

Hi! Is it me or the pattern is weirdly written? At the end of a row, I'm used to do a slip stitch followed by a single crochet stitch, turn my work and start the next row. Now, you just turn and turn in the anticlockwise all the time? Is it because of the pattern at the beginning? Thanks in advance!

DROPS Design 22.06.2020 - 09:19:

Dear Kloe, this is the method how to work diagrams - there might be some difference from a pattern to another, these would then be explained in the pattern - feel free to ask your question on the pattern you are working on to be sure. Happy crocheting!

Claire Menyuk 12.06.2020 - 20:55:

This is the first Drops pattern I am trying, and I feel completely confused by your diagrams. I am making 177-24. You say to work A.1b, then A.3 over the next 45 treble crochets, but they both not only go across, but up as well. Does this mean, I repeat the pattern for 6 rows up? You offer no videos of how to work these patterns. I'm so frustrated, I'm ready to give up before even starting.

DROPS Design 15.06.2020 - 10:44:

Dear Mrs Menyuk, A.1b shows how to start the rows, then you repeat 5 times the 9 sts in diagram A.3 in width (9 sts x 5 = over the next 45 sts). Happy crocheting!

Connie 06.06.2020 - 21:45:

It would be nice if your video's had sound, explaining as she/he went along

DROPS Design 08.06.2020 - 09:45:

Dear Connie, Our videos do not have sound because we are a worldwide company and our videos are watched by people around the world, speaking different languages, many of whom do not understand English. We have therefore written instructions to accompany our videos, Happy crocheting!

Cynthia 03.06.2020 - 07:25:

I bought DROPS pattern 190-21 (CA Dream top), and I’m really struggling with the diagrams. Do you offer them written out in English anywhere, or have some helpful resources I can use? I watched the linked video, and still have a lot of questions.

DROPS Design 03.06.2020 - 07:42:

Dear Cynthia, there is only diagrams to this pattern, with the help of this lesson you should be able to understand how to follow the diagrams, please feel free to ask your question in the pattern or request individual assistance from the store where you bought the yarn and remember our patterns are free, you were not supposed to buy it. Happy crocheting!

Guadalupe 26.05.2020 - 00:09:

Por favor, me encantaría hacer este poncho serena, pero me cuesta entender el paso a paso. Tendrán otra forma de poder estudiarlo?? Muchas gracias. Espero su respuesta

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