Master Crochet Charts with a Sidewalk Shawl Guide

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Master Crochet Charts with a Sidewalk Shawl Guide

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Why Use Crochet Charts
  3. The Sidewalk Shawl Pattern
  4. Understanding Crochet Chart Symbols
  5. Reading the Crochet Chart
  6. Following the Written Instructions
  7. Comparing the Chart and the Written Instructions
  8. Special Stitches and Abbreviations
  9. Tips for Reading Crochet Charts
  10. Conclusion



Welcome to the Marly Bird YouTube channel! In this video, crochet expert Marly Bird will teach you how to read a chart for the pineapple stitch. Many crocheters find it challenging to follow written instructions and keep track of their progress. That's why crochet charts can be incredibly useful. In this article, we'll explore why it's beneficial to use crochet charts, specifically focusing on the Sidewalk Shawl pattern by Kimberly McAlinden. We'll guide you through the process of reading the chart and comparing it to the written instructions, ensuring you have the skills to read crochet charts effectively.

Why Use Crochet Charts

Crochet charts provide a visual representation of a pattern, allowing crocheters to see the stitches and their placement. For many people, visualizing the stitches is easier than interpreting written instructions. Charts offer a clear visual guide that can prevent confusion and mistakes. They allow you to see the entire pattern at a glance, making it easier to plan your work and follow along. While not all patterns include crochet charts, they are incredibly helpful when they are available.

The Sidewalk Shawl Pattern

The Sidewalk Shawl is a stunning crochet pattern designed by Kimberly McAlinden. This beautiful shawl is available as a free pattern on, accompanied by a video tutorial by Marly Bird on the Marly Bird YouTube channel. As Marly Bird herself experienced while crocheting the Sidewalk Shawl, following written instructions for complex patterns can be overwhelming. That's why she chose to create a crochet chart for this pattern, to help crocheters like herself keep track of their progress more easily.

Understanding Crochet Chart Symbols

Before diving into reading the crochet chart for the Sidewalk Shawl, it's important to familiarize yourself with the crochet chart symbols. These symbols represent different crochet stitches and techniques. The key or legend provided with the chart will guide you in understanding what each symbol represents. It's crucial to refer to the key whenever you come across a symbol you're unsure of. Taking the time to understand the symbols will make reading the chart much simpler.

Reading the Crochet Chart

To read the crochet chart for the Sidewalk Shawl, start by examining the chain stitches indicated at the bottom of the chart. These chains mark the beginning of your work. The numbers on the chart indicate the order in which you should read the rows. Each row is represented by a different color to aid in distinguishing between them. As you follow along the chart, you'll notice arrows or lines that indicate where stitches from the previous or next row should be placed.

Following the Written Instructions

While crochet charts provide a visual representation of the pattern, it's essential to refer to the written instructions as well. The written instructions provide detailed explanations and additional information that may not be visible on the chart. By comparing the chart and the written instructions, you can ensure you're following the pattern accurately and avoid any confusion. It's crucial to have both the chart and the written instructions when reading a chart for the first time.

Comparing the Chart and the Written Instructions

Comparing the crochet chart to the written instructions allows you to correlate the symbols on the chart with the specific stitches described in the written instructions. By doing so, you can reinforce your understanding of the chart symbols and strengthen your ability to read crochet charts independently. It's a valuable skill that will enhance your crocheting experience and open up more possibilities for working with charts.

Special Stitches and Abbreviations

Crochet patterns often include special stitches and abbreviations that may differ from standard crochet terminology. It's crucial to refer to the special stitches section or the legend/key provided with the pattern to ensure you understand these unique instructions. The Sidewalk Shawl pattern, for example, includes a specific shell stitch that is a combination of two doubles, a chain two, and two doubles. Always double-check the special stitches and abbreviations to ensure you're following the pattern correctly.

Tips for Reading Crochet Charts

Reading crochet charts becomes easier with practice and a few helpful tips. First, take your time to familiarize yourself with the chart symbols and the key provided. Practice reading simple charts before tackling more complex designs. Use a highlighter or colored pencils to mark the rows or stitches as you complete them. This method can help prevent mistakes and keep you focused on the correct part of the chart. Remember to refer to the written instructions whenever necessary for clarity.


Crochet charts are valuable tools that can enhance your crocheting experience and make complex patterns easier to follow. The Sidewalk Shawl pattern serves as an excellent example of how crochet charts can clarify instructions and simplify the crocheting process. By understanding the chart symbols, comparing the chart to the written instructions, and practicing reading crochet charts, you can become a confident chart reader. With this newfound skill, you'll be able to tackle a wider range of crochet patterns and explore the world of crochet with confidence and creativity.


  • Learn how to read a chart for the pineapple stitch with Marly Bird
  • Discover the benefits of using crochet charts in your projects
  • Explore the Sidewalk Shawl pattern by Kimberly McAlinden
  • Understand crochet chart symbols and how to read them
  • Follow along with the chart and written instructions for clarity
  • Get tips for reading crochet charts and improving your skills
  • Master special stitches and abbreviations for accurate pattern execution
  • Enhance your crocheting experience with visualization and planning
  • Gain confidence in reading crochet charts and tackling complex patterns
  • Create your own stunning Sidewalk Shawl and embrace your creativity

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