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 (98)

Cheyenne wrote:

Hallo ik heb een patroon van jullie gedownload ik snap alleen iets niet. Er staat in het patroon dat 1 stokje tussen de twee onderste stokjes gehaakt moeten worden maar dit snap ik niet helemaal dat is dan toch hetzelfde als een normaal stokje

08.11.2022 - 17:50:

DROPS Design answered:

Dag Cheyenne,

Is het mogelijk om je vraag te posten bij het betreffende patroon op onze site? Dan kunnen we kijken hoe e.e.a. bedoeld is en je hopelijk beter helpen. Bij voorbaat dank!

08.11.2022 - 20:07:

Judy Moritz wrote:

I am visually challenged I guess. Could the pattern for the Christmas ornaments (Drips extra 0-1546) be written in stead?

08.11.2022 - 00:30:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Mrs Moritz, we unfortunately only have a diagram for this pattern. Maybe you yarn store can help you. Happy crocheting!

08.11.2022 - 09:29:

Barbara wrote:

Please explain the chart for drops 195-27 design and how to work it

27.10.2022 - 18:25:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Barbara, each symbol represent 1 stitch - start diagrams with A.1 (beg + end of round), then repeat A.2 all the round ; repeat the parts written A or B or C on the side - as explained in the pattern; colours are given with the numbers on the left side of diagrams. Read more about diagrams in this lesson. Happy crocheting!

28.10.2022 - 11:56:

Patricia Naranjo wrote:

Hola cómo están? Los felicito por todo lo que presentan en su página, quisiera saber si tienen el patrón para hacer un saquito en crochet con un diagrama nórdico para un duendecito en tela que voy a hacer de más o menos en total de 40 cm de alto, mil gracias

21.10.2022 - 19:14:

DROPS Design answered:

Hola Patricia, nos alegra que te guste nuestra página. No disponemos de un patrón que se ajuste a tus necesidades y no hacemos patrones personalizados. Puedes ver en el siguiente enlace nuestra pequeña colección de juguetes:

22.10.2022 - 18:29:

Cornelia Baerwolf wrote:

Hi , habe mir das Heft Amigurumi Nr.7 gekauft . Möchte gerne die Autos häkeln, komme aber schon mit dem Lesen des Diagramm von den Reifen nicht klar . Ich kann es nicht lesen und auf meine Arbeit übertragen . Häkel viel Amigurumi habe hier mit aber Probleme . Eine schriftliche Übertragung ohne Diagramm gibt es nicht . Danke im voraus .

03.10.2022 - 15:58:

DROPS Design answered:

Liebe Frau Baerwolf, meinen Sie dieses Modell? Wir haben dafür nur Diagramme - aber die schriftliche Anleitung zusammen mit dieser Lektion sollte Ihnen helfen können. Gerne können Sie hier bzw bei der Anleitung mehr Fragen stellen. Viel Spaß beim häkeln!

04.10.2022 - 08:14:

Connie Pilgaard wrote:

Jeg antager at jeres beskrivelse af diagrammer er gældende for højrehånd? Derfor fra højre mod venstre fra start. Er det ikke muligt at kunne udskrive diagrammer til venstre hånd?

24.08.2022 - 17:03:

DROPS Design answered:

Hei Connie. Man leser et strikkediagram motsatt av slik man normalt leser: Fra høyre mot venstre, nedenfra og opp. Du begynner altså nederst i det høyre hjørnet, og jobber deg mot venstre og oppover. Vi har dessverre ingen mulighet på nåværende tidspunkt å lage diagram for venstre hånd. mvh DROPS Design

29.08.2022 - 07:43:

Volbabe wrote:

It\'s so confusing, have read about the diagrams a lot of times, but it really give sense and my brain don\'t get it. Now it's impossible for me to make what i like because those diagrams are everywhere. So sad.

28.07.2022 - 12:22:

Lori wrote:

I cannot find how to start the row after I did the c5 and join together. I read the entire pattern from beginning to end. please help

26.07.2022 - 02:55:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Lori, could you specify which pattern you are referring to? This is a lesson for all crochet patterns with diagrams.

31.07.2022 - 22:59:

Lori wrote:

I cannot find how to start the row after I c5 and join together. I read the entire pattern from beginning to end. please help

25.07.2022 - 18:46:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Lori, could you specify which pattern you are referring to?

31.07.2022 - 23:02:

Annette Mccollough wrote:

HELL0, for the chains I am doing for small 304, but how do i decrease the chains as I go

09.07.2022 - 15:23:

May wrote:

Hvordan leser man heklediagrammet til en genser når det står A1 i klamme på den ene siden av diagrammet og A1a på den andre? Hvilke deler skal man da hekle når det står A1? Hvor går grensen mellom A1 og A1a?

06.07.2022 - 20:13:

DROPS Design answered:

Hej May. Vilken opskrift gäller det? Mvh DROPS Design

13.07.2022 - 14:54:

Ida Van Der Poel wrote:

Ik snap niet hoe 1stok om l-lus moet gehakt worden aub

23.06.2022 - 10:41:

DROPS Design answered:

Dag Ida,

Als je om een steek moet haken, dan steek je de haaknaald niet in de steek, maar er omheen.

24.09.2022 - 12:41:

Valérie PASCAL wrote:

Bonjour, pour le modèle de gilet 170-31 j'ai du mal à suivre votre diagramme pour le début du dos. Pouvez-vous m'aider s'il vous plait?

14.06.2022 - 17:05:

DROPS Design answered:

Bonjour Mme Pascal, lisez les diagrammes A.4-A.6 à partir du rang avec la flèche (endroit) ainsi: 1 bride (= 3 ml), sautez 1 b, 1b+1ml+1 B dans la m suivante, sautez 1 b (A.4a), *sautez 1 b (soit 2 au total), 1 b+1 ml+1b dans l b suivante, sautez 1 b*, répétez de *-* 5 à 9 fois selon la taille et terminez par 1 b dans chacune des 2 dernières b. Au rang suivant = sur l'envers, lisez de gauche à droite: A.6, répétez A.5 at terminez par A.4. Bon crochet!

15.06.2022 - 09:34:

Margot wrote:

Hi, mir ist nicht klar wie man von der Jacke in den Ärmel kommt. Bei mir sieht es so aus, als ob ich das Armloch zugespielt habe.

22.04.2022 - 13:40:

DROPS Design answered:

Liebe Margot, könnten Sie uns bitte sagen, welches Modell Sie gerade häkeln? So kann mann Ihnen am besten helfen - Gerne können Sie Ihre Frage direkt an dieses Modell schreiben. Danke im voraus für Ihr Verständnis!

22.04.2022 - 14:06:

Lise- Lotte Lindgren wrote:

Varför står det på engelska i de små rutorna bredvid symbolerna. Vet ni var jag kan få ett helt mönster översatt från engelska till svenska. Har hittat och köpt ett mönster från usa på en poncho. Skall göra den till min sonhustru. Men jag går bet på att läsa mönstret. Hoppas på svar. Jag har använt mej av era mönster flera gånger. Nu hittar jag inget mönster på en poncho hos er som passar riktigt. Mvh Lise-Lotte Lindgren

12.04.2022 - 20:25:

DROPS Design answered:

Hei Lise-Lotte. Dette er et bilde som er det samme bilde på alle våre sider (og da bruker vi engelsk). Du finner også en ordliste på vår side, gå til "TIPS & HJÂLP", deretter til "Ordlista" under "Andra Resurser". Den kan hjelpe deg til å oversette ord fra engelsk til svensk, har ikke en side som oversetter en hel oppskrift fra et språk til et annet. mvh DROPS Design

19.04.2022 - 07:42:

Jaye Hubarth wrote:

I'm working on the hat of Baby29-3 and am having trouble with reading the diagram for rows 5 and 6. The picture show 3 rows with double crochet groups and I only have 2.

10.04.2022 - 23:08:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Mrs Hubarth, make sure you have the correct number of stitches in A.3 from the beginning: 12 dc after round 1; (sc,hdc,dc,ch, dc,hdc, sc)x6 on 2nd round, (3dc,ch,3dc)x6 on 3rd round and (3 dc, ch, 4 dc)x 6 on 5th round; so that there will be a total of 12 ch-spaces on 6th round. Hope it will help. Happy crocheting!

19.04.2022 - 13:27:

Lisen Hillestad wrote:

Hei Monica! Ad ditt spm fra februar i år: De 10 luftmaskene blir "fanget opp" og holdt på plass av dobbeltstavene som hekles i buen og faktisk også ser ut til å skulle hekles sammen med dobbeltstaven i omgangen foran. 😊Hilsen Lisen

07.04.2022 - 14:39:

Roberta wrote:

One my prior question you said just what I did and it was still very twisted. I then did a single crochet in each stitch, The next row I did the double crochet chain 3 and skipped one stitch and it worked out great. I got 32 spaces to finish the shawl.

28.02.2022 - 20:06:


Telpatroon Dropshot 175-24. Moet ik bij dit patroon altijd van rechts naar links lezen of moet ik heen en weer lezen? Bij voorbaat dank!

28.02.2022 - 11:57:

Roberta wrote:

The beginning row it says to do 1 dc ch2 all around for 31 more times ( but not into a chain stitch), When I get to the end of the row, the chain is so twisted, I can't do the slip stitch in the first Ch 3. Is there a way to do the stitches in the chain row? This is on pattern 147-1.

26.02.2022 - 23:03:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Roberta, you start with a founding chain stitch row, which is joined with a slip stitch. It's important that this row is not twisted so that you can continue working correctly. When working the first ch5 (which replaces 1dc, ch2), place a marker in the 3rd ch, to make it easier to join. Happy crocheting!

27.02.2022 - 16:15:

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