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 / colour 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 colours 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 (128)

Agnes wrote:

I can't find the answer on Google for what's in and what's around the stitch. Can you please explain the difference

03.10.2023 - 02:33:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Agnes, in this video we show how to crochet in or around a stitch, hope it can help you. Happy crocheting!

03.10.2023 - 08:20:

Theresa Burnham wrote:

I am starting Drops Jewel Tide sweater, pattern r-808 Is there a written version of the charts as I have no clue what I am doing

16.08.2023 - 17:39:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Mrs Burnham, there are only diagrams to this pattern - follow this lesson to know how to read the diagrams, and then follow the order of the diagram in the pattern, for ex for right shoulder front, work from RS: A.1A (= 2 sts), repeat A.1B (6 sts) in width and end with A.1C (6 sts). From wrong side, work: A.1C, repeat A.1B reading from the left towards the right and end with A.1A. Happy crocheting!

17.08.2023 - 10:53:

Eveyor wrote:

Qué significa la abreviación fo =

15.08.2023 - 21:45:

DROPS Design answered:

Hola Eveyor, puedes indicarnos a qué patrón te refieres? Hay algunos diagramas antiguos que están en el idioma original noruego y pueden causar dudas.

20.08.2023 - 18:32:

Alma Compernolle wrote:

Beste, Graag had ik een VIDEO ontvangen betreffende mijn aankoop van: Cathy bij DROPS Design. ttz. Gehaakte vest BIG MERINO - Drops 194-33. OOk bevestig ik dat bij mijn bestelling B666851 Datum: 3-8-2023 de naald 14 breed oog zonder punt - 1.90x60 mm ontbreekt!! Hopelijk nu een duidelijke uitleg? Deze naald is nergens te bespeuren en is ook niet geprikt op geen enkele manier! De rest van de bestelling is goed. Dank voor uw aandacht en begrip a.u.b.

08.08.2023 - 11:29:

Ofra wrote:

The pattern that Jane was referring to (I think) isn't exactly entitled 'French Market Basket' but 'Market Day'. The number is 170-1 and the graph is ver complex... Being French I had to have a look at it! I was wondering what did it look like. 😁

02.08.2023 - 01:46:

Rosebud wrote:

Did someone go to NASA to learn how to come up with this idea. I feel like I need a university degree to understand this type of pattern. Oh well! This is where I hit the delete button.

20.07.2023 - 08:16:

Francesca Cosi wrote:

Sto facendo il modello Drops 239-22. Penso che oltre al diagramma sarebbe utile la descrizione. Io non capisco la terza e quarta riga del diagramma A.1C. Sarebbe possibile avere una descrizione? Grazie

23.06.2023 - 19:14:

DROPS Design answered:

Buonasera Francesca, purtroppo non ci è possibile descrivere riga per riga il diagramma, ma se segue con attenzione la legenda riuscirà a lavorarlo. Per un'assistenza più personalizzata può rivolgersi al suo rivenditore DROPS di fiducia. Buon lavoro!

23.06.2023 - 19:38:

Andrea wrote:

Hallo, gibt es irgendwo eine Übersicht über alle in den DROPS-Anleitunge verwendeten Symbole? Bei manchen (Häkel-)Anleitungen ist das falsche Symbol beschrieben, was zu ziemlicher Verwirrung führt.

22.06.2023 - 18:22:

DROPS Design answered:

Liebe Andrea, die Beschreibung von jedem Symbol finden Sie in jeder Häkelanleitung; es kann auch passieren, daß ein Symbol eine unterschiedliche Bedeutung in verschiedenen Anleitung hat, so muss man nur die Beschreibung in der genannten Modellen folgen. Gerne können Sie Ihre Frage an das Modell stellen, wo Sie Fragen dazu haben.Viel Spaß beim häkeln!

23.06.2023 - 07:55:

Joke Sonneveldt wrote:

Ik ben met het haakpatroon bezig maar er zijn 3 maten en het patroon staat alleen voor maat s dat zijn 51 stokjes en ik ben met 'm bezig en heb 68 stokjes hoe verander ik dat in het patroon? Mvg joke

18.06.2023 - 12:38:

DROPS Design answered:

Dag Joke,

Zou je zo vriendelijk willen zijn om je vraag bij het betreffende patroon te plaatsen, dan kunnen we je hopelijk beter helpen.

06.07.2023 - 21:27:

Marie D wrote:

Bonjour existe-t-il des tableaux avec les traductions du nom des mailles ( anglais -français) car j'utilise des traducteurs en ligne mais ce n'est pas toujours fiable. merci beaucoup

15.06.2023 - 11:31:

DROPS Design answered:

Bonjour Marie D, retrouvez notre lexique ici - notez bien que la terminologie anglaise UK et US sont différentes. Bon tricot!

15.06.2023 - 15:33:

Patricia H Ledain wrote:

Do you do regular patterns I can never figure out charts To me they are very confusing, Thank you You have very pretty patterns

30.05.2023 - 16:15:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Mrs Ledain, we do have some patterns with diagrams and some other patterns with written pattern - and to help you with diagrams, you can read this lesson and look at our videos where we show how to work some diagrams. Happy crocheting!

31.05.2023 - 16:38:

Astrid Smit wrote:

Wat betekent “haak een stokje in elk van de volgende 3-0-0-0-0-3 lossen”?

19.05.2023 - 22:42:

DROPS Design answered:

Dag Astrid,

De reeks getallen slaat op de verschillende maten, dus het eerste getal geldt voor maat S, het tweede getal voor maat M, enzovoorts. Als je bijvoorbeeld maat S breit dan brei je in de volgende 3 lossen elk 1 stokje. Als je bijvoorbeeld maat M breit hoef je niks te doen.

29.05.2023 - 16:03:

Bernadette Richard wrote:

Drop 239-28 Je ne comprends pas A3 et A5 puisqu'il n'y a pas de mailles en l'air avant. Ou s'accroche les 3 brides du haut? Merci. Bernadette

28.04.2023 - 17:58:

DROPS Design answered:

cf réponse précédente, sauf si je n'ai pas compris de quelles "brides du haut" vous parliez, auquel cas, n'hésitez surtout pas à nous préciser de quelles brides vous parliez, merci d'avance pour votre compréhension.

02.05.2023 - 10:19:

Bernadette Richard wrote:

Drop 239-28 Je ne comprends pas A3 et A5 puisqu'il n'y a pas de mailles en l'air avant. Ou s'accroche les 3 brides du haut? Merci. Bernadette

28.04.2023 - 17:57:

DROPS Design answered:

Bonjour Mme Richard, lorsque l'on crochète A.2-A.6, on commence le rang sur l'endroit par A.2 (par 3 ml au début du rang), on crochète ensuite A.3/A.5 (3 brides dans la bride indiquée par A.3 et A.5/ ou entre les groupes de brides au 2ème rang) et on termine le rang par A.6 (pas besoin de 3 ml à la fin du rang), on tourne on commence le rang par A.6 (par 3 ml) et on termine par A.2 et 3 ml, 1 mc dans la 3èm ml du début du rang précédent. Bon crochet!

02.05.2023 - 10:18:

Birgit wrote:

Behöver hjälp med diagrammet/mönstret till Let’s Safari drops 127-45. Kan inte hitta hålmönstret bland instruktionsvideorna.

25.04.2023 - 14:57:

DROPS Design answered:

Hej Birgit, skriv direkte i mønsteret, hvilken størrelse og hvad du vil have hjælp med, så svarer vi så hurtigt som muligt :)

25.04.2023 - 15:04:

Annette wrote:

Hallo, ich versuche mich an der Granny Häkeltasche Drops 175-17. Ich hab den Luftmaschen Ring und die 11 Stäubchen. Jetzt kommt keine Luftmasche für nach oben für die nächste Runde sondern 12 Luftmaschen jeweils oben zwischen 2 Stäbchen? Oder hätte die jeweils eingezeichnete Luftmasche zwischen die 11 Stäbchen gehört? Gerne höre ich von euch

15.04.2023 - 11:48:

DROPS Design answered:

Liebe Annette, am Anfang der 1. Runde häkelt man 2 Luftmaschen (ersetzen das 1. Halbstäbchen) dann häkeln Sie *1 Luftmasche, 1 Halbstäbchen* 11 Mal insgesamt in der Luftmaschen Ring, am Ende der Runde häkeln Sie 1 Luftmasche, 1 Kettmasche in die 2. Luftmasche vom Anfang der Runde - In diesem Video zeigt man, wie das Quadrat gehäkelt wird, es kann Ihnen sicher weiterhelfen. Viel Spaß beim häkeln!

17.04.2023 - 16:08:

Lene Holse Andersen wrote:

Hej igen Det er blusen Blue Annabelle jeg vil lave i største størrelse - jeg kan slet ikke diagrammer - så kan jeg måske få en opskrift med forklaring og ikke diagrammer ? Mange hilsner Lene

14.04.2023 - 11:35:

Lene Holse Andersen wrote:

Hej Jeg har hæklet rigtig meget i mange år - men nu er det første gang jeg skal hækle efter diagram . Mit spørgsmål er - hvorfor diagrammer og ikke bare efter almindelig opskrift? Jeg er gået i gang med at hækle Blue Annabelle - og jeg forstår slet ikke diagrammet . Det er helt sort for mig - også slev om at jeg har læst vejledingen flere gange. Kan i hjælpe mig til at forstå ? På forhånd tak! Mange hilsner Lene

12.04.2023 - 14:23:

DROPS Design answered:

Hei Lene Vi prøver å tilfredstille alle våre kunder, noen ønsker kun tekst forklaring og andre kun diagrammer. Så vi har variasjon i våre oppskrifter. Hekler du Blue Annabelle jakken eller genseren? Hvilken str? Og hvor er det du stopper opp i oppskriften? Om du er litt mer presis hva du har problemer med, så skal vi hjelpe deg så godt vi kan. mvh DROPS Design

14.04.2023 - 08:47:

Nadege wrote:

Bonjour, Merci pour l'explication. Je me demandais si on pouvait dessiner un animal à plat sur une feuille, puis transformer ce dessin en diagramme ? J'essaie de reproduire un petit chien que j'ai, mais je ne trouve aucun tuto correspondant à la forme du chien :(

24.02.2023 - 23:43:

DROPS Design answered:

Bonjour Nadège, désolée pour le retard de la réponse. On peut fort probablement faire ce genre de choses, demandez conseil à votre magasin (même par mail) ou bien sur notre groupe DROPS Workshop. Bon crochet!

08.03.2023 - 13:13:

Juliana Northrop wrote:

I am trying to work the shawl in DROPS 214-7 , but I am stuck on diagram A.3 . The pattern says "Work A.2, A.3 (= 4 times in width), A.4 over the tip, ..." What does "= 4 times in width" mean? Am I supposed to work diagram A.3 4 times? If I did, that would only give me twelve stitches. I need sixteen stitches to get to the tip where I work diagram A.4. What should I do? Please help!

23.02.2023 - 14:29:

DROPS Design answered:

Dear Mrs Northrop, this means you have to repeat the 3 sts in A.3 a total of 4 times = work A.3 over the next 12 stitches. Diagrams should be worked from bottom up, ie start first row with row after the one with a star (reading bottom up). Happy crocheting!

23.02.2023 - 15:25:

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