Posted on 7-4-2022 by Janita van Rijnsbergen
Spring is all about color, and a fun technique that allows you to incorporate different colors into a project is mosaic knitting. Let us show you how in this new 'Stitch of the Month'.
What is mosaic knitting?
Mosaic knitting is worked in two colors, similar to the Fair Isle technique. The main difference between Fair Isle and mosaic knitting is that with the latter you work with just one color at a time. This means that mosaic knitting is much easier to master, particularly for less experienced knitters. Its special slip-stitch technique, coupled with alternating colors, can be used to produce geometric motifs and add visual depth to your knitted fabric.
Mosaic knitting vs. Double knitting
These two techniques are related in that both use slip stitches to produce colorwork fabrics. With double knitting, also known as double face knitting or double-sided knitting, you actually knit two projects or layers at the same time. The color on the back or inside of your project will be the reverse of that on the front or outside. Double knitting is a great technique for making double-sided hats, scarves, or cowls. It is also a handy technique to know if you want to knit two identical pieces (sleeves, for example) at the same time.
Mosaic knitting, however, typically produces a single-layered fabric. And this is the technique we will focus on in this blog post. You work both a forward and a return rows in the same color. Then you change to your second color. In the forward row, you only knit the color A stitches on the chart. When you come to a Color B stitch, you simply slip it purlwise onto the right-hand needle without working it. In the return row, you knit or slip the stitches as they present themselves. This means that you knit the Color A stitches and slip the color B stitches purlwise with the yarn at the front this time.
Mosaic knitting: Seeing & doing
It may sound complicated, but mosaic knitting is much easier than you think. It is very much a matter of seeing and doing. That is why we have recorded a detailed video to help you. In it, we take you step-by-step through how mosaic knitting works. From how to read a mosaic chart to how to knit and slip the stitches.
Free pattern: Mosaic knitting
To demonstrate this mosaic knitting technique, we knitted a swatch using Yarn and Colors Serene (100% merino wool). This free pattern can be used to create all sorts of fun projects. Use a softer yarn, such as Yarn and Colors Baby Fabulous, Charming, or Joy, to knit a mosaic baby blanket. Or cast on with a 100% cotton yarn, such as Yarn and Colors Epic, Favorite, or Must-Have, and brighten up your kitchen and dining table with mosaic potholders, placemats, and/or coasters.
Materials needed for the swatch:
- 2 colors of Yarn and Colors Serene (we used 002 Cream and 101 Rosé)
- Knitting needles 3.5 mm
k – knit
p – purl
pwise – purlwise
rep – repeat
st(s) – stitch(es)
When slipping stitches, always hold the yarn on the wrong side of your work. In the forward rows, this means you keep the yarn at the back. In the return rows, you need to bring the yarn to the front before slipping the stitch.
For the swatch, we worked a total of 51 rows across 49 stitches.
Start: With color 101 Rosé, cast on 49 sts.
Row 1: Knit all sts.
Row 2: Knit all sts.
Row 3: Knit all sts.
Row 4: Color 002 Cream. Slip 1 pwise, *k3, slip 1 pwise, k7, slip 1 pwise, k3, slip 1 pwise*, rep *to* 2 times.
Row 5: Color 002 Cream. *Slip 1 pwise, k3, slip 1 pwise, k7, slip 1 pwise, k3*, rep *to* 2 times, end with slip 1 pwise.
Row 6: Color 101 Rosé. K1, *slip 1 pwise, k3, slip 1 pwise, k1, slip 1 pwise, k1, slip 1 pwise, k1, slip 1 pwise, k3, slip 1 pwise, k1*, rep *to* 2 times.
Row 7: Color 101 Rosé. *K1, slip 1 pwise, k3, slip 1 pwise, k1, slip 1 pwise, k1, slip 1 pwise, k1, slip 1 pwise, k3, slip 1 pwise*, rep *to* 2 times, end with k1.
Continue following the chart pattern in this way. Repeat the pattern in bold across the row.
Video tutorial: Mosaic Knitting
Learn more knit stitches
Do you want to learn more knit stitches and upgrade your knitting skills? Then check out the rest of our Stitch of the Month series on the blog, packed with inspiration, handy tutorials, and free patterns.
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