Mosaic Knitting

Last week I compared Slip Stitch knitting with Mosaic knitting. Mosaic is a sub-set of Slip Stitch knitting.

This week I’m going to dive deeper into the topic of Mosaic knitting!

There are a few rules that need to be followed in order for a pattern to be considered Mosaic knitting.

  1. Only one color is used per row. (typically two colors are used in a project, but you can sometimes see more than two.)
  2. Each color is used for two rows before switching colors.
  3. The second row of a working color is exactly the same as the first (stitches that were worked are worked again, stitches that were slipped are slipped again.)
  4. All stitches are slipped purlwise, with the yarn held to the WS of the work.
  5. The first and last stitch of a row are always worked (this anchors the color at the edges.)

Some other things of note:

You can use any number of stitches in a project. You don’t have to worry about sticking to the stitch multiple. Since the 2nd row is worked the same as the first, you just repeat your motif until you get to the last stitch, then knit the last stitch. Now, if you want to center your motifs in a fabric you will need to figure out your optimal stitch count to do so, but if you’re not concerned about that, you don’t have to bother.

Mosaic patterns are all very geometric. The slipped stitches create vertical lines and 90 degree angles. Any “diagonal” lines are actually stair steps in the pattern.

You can work Mosaic knitting in either a garter-base fabric or a stockinette-base fabric. Most Mosaic is garter based. (This helps keep the designs “square”.)

Shadow, or inverse, Mosaic patterns repeat the motif, flipped along the horizontal axis, in a light color and a dark color – sort of like a picture negative. 

“Magic” Mosaic patterns exhibit 4-way, or rotational, symmetry. No matter which way you rotate the design, the design presents the same. (You may notice the “dots” in the  sample below, since Mosaic knitting only slips stitches, in order to have longer stretches of a solid color, you actually alternate slipped “dots” of the opposing working color in order to avoid very long floats in the fabric. Mosaic knitting does not have long floats. These “dots” recede when viewing the pattern and the other color dominates.)

Also, when changing color at the right edge, or at the beginning of a round, always be consistent with how you drop and pick up the yarns.

Here is my YouTube video talking about Mosaic Knitting, and I cover all of these points, and have a few examples to show:

I hope this was informative! Next week I’ll talk about reading Mosaic Knitting charts (they are slightly different than “regular” knitting charts.)

Until then, Happy Knitting!!

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