Mosaic knitting: an easy way to do colorwork

If you’ve ever wanted to knit colorwork designs, but find the idea of stranded colorwork intimidating because of handling more than one yarn at once, then mosaic knitting might be for you: each row is worked while holding only one yarn. (Stranded knitting is not actually as hard as it looks either, in my opinion, but it’s not as easy as mosaic.)

The key to mosaic knitting is the slip stitch. Mosaic knitting essentially involves knitting two row stripes in alternating colors. You can be knitting along in one color, but when you need a contrasting color, you slip a stitch instead of knitting it. Because the previous row was a different color, it looks as if you knit that stitch in the contrasting color. In other words, you only need to hold one strand of yarn at a time while knitting, and yet it looks as if there are two colors in that row.

I’m going to demonstrate how this works with photos and words in this post; I’m also going to explain how to read the specific kind of mosaic knitting charts I like to use.

Continue reading

Some more random mosaic knitting charts

George: a free mosaic knitting chart, by Naomi Parkhurst

Here are two more mosaic charts I doodled recently. (They aren’t made using my encoding method, so there’s no hidden meaning involved.) I couldn’t think of names for one of them based on appearances, so I just went with a family name.

I checked all of them at Scott Pakin’s mosaic charting webpage which has a feature that checks to make sure that a mosaic chart is actually possible.

I’m going to have to write up a thorough tutorial on mosaic knitting and how to read this specific kind of chart now that Twist Collective’s awesome website is gone. In the meantime, here’s the closest thing I can find right now. (The isolated column to the right in my charts indicates what color is being used in a given row, like the first column in the charts on that page.)

An added benefit to finding that page is learning that the same charts can be used for mosaic crochet, which I didn’t know was a thing!

Follow link for charts

Some random mosaic knitting charts

Here are four mosaic charts I doodled over the weekend, each a variation of the first. (They aren’t made using my encoding method, so there’s no hidden meaning involved.) I couldn’t think of names for two of them based on appearances, so I just went with some family names.

I checked all of them at Scott Pakin’s mosaic charting webpage which has a feature that checks to make sure that a mosaic chart is actually possible.

I’m going to have to write up a thorough tutorial on mosaic knitting and how to read this specific kind of chart now that Twist Collective’s awesome website is gone. In the meantime, here’s the closest thing I can find right now. (The isolated column to the right in my charts indicates what color is being used in a given row, like the first column in the charts on that page.)

An added benefit to finding that page is learning that the same charts can be used for mosaic crochet, which I didn’t know was a thing!

Follow link for charts

Charting mosaic knitting in StitchMastery

It occurs to me that it might be helpful (for other designers at least) to explain how I use my chart software to make mosaic knitting charts. For one thing, while there is a mosaic knitting format built into StitchMastery, it isn’t the one I personally prefer, so I do some extra editing to make my charts in the Barbara Walker format.

This is not a post about how to design mosaic knitting stitches; it is a post about how to produce a particular kind of chart format in the StitchMastery software. I don’t know enough about other knitting chart software to know how the methods translate.

I also use vector graphics art software for some of the final editing on these charts. Some major examples of this kind of software include Adobe Illustrator (subscription software), Inkscape (free and open source), Affinity Designer (this is what I use on our desktop computer). I usually prefer using Graphic for iOS. (They also have a version for MacOS which I have not tried.)

Continue reading

Doodle digression – various colorwork charts

Last week I showed how I turned a doodled colorwork chart into a very different-looking mosaic knitting chart. I had a plan worked out for a series of posts showing how that original colorwork chart would look as a knit-purl pattern, and even as lace. I will come to those blog posts eventually, I hope, but I got whacked in the head by an idea and feel compelled to run with it.

Important note: after the initial mosaic chart, none of the charts in this post are suitable for mosaic knitting.

Continue reading

Doodle: a free mosaic knitting chart

The other week, I posted a needlework chart I called doodle, because I’d doodled on graph paper. I did in fact have some particular things in mind when I made the doodle; I wanted a design that I could turn into various kinds of knitting stitches to demonstrate how that works.

A key thing when I’m playing with stitch patterns is that I’m rarely concerned with making the variations look like the original chart. I’m more interested in seeing how the original chart is transformed by the process.

This variation is mosaic knitting. The nice thing about mosaic knitting is that the charts are similar to the final appearance of the knitting, so I’m not going to provide a swatch this time. Mosaic knitting looks difficult, but it’s really easy to do! Basically, knit two-row stripes, and slip stitches from the row below to make the contrasting pattern. If you can knit stripes, you can knit mosaic patterns.

Here’s an article from Twist Collective about how it works.

Continue reading

Typo: a free mosaic knitting chart

Last week’s code grid for the Typo lace turns out to work quite well as the basis for a mosaic knitting chart. The nice thing about mosaic knitting is that the charts are similar to the final appearance of the knitting, so I’m not going to provide a swatch this time. Mosaic knitting looks difficult, but it’s really easy to do! Basically, knit two-row stripes, and slip stitches from the row below to make the contrasting pattern. If you can knit stripes, you can knit mosaic patterns.

Here’s an article from Twist Collective about how it works.

Continue reading

Wish: a mosaic knitting stitch pattern

Wish: a mosaic knitting stitch pattern

Yesterday’s needlework chart for Wish turns out to work quite well as the basis for a mosaic knitting chart. I ran out of time to knit a swatch, but the nice thing about mosaic knitting is that the charts are similar to the final appearance of the knitting.

The thing about mosaic knitting is that it just looks difficult. It’s really easy to do! Basically, you’re knitting two row stripes, and slipping stitches from the row below to make the contrasting pattern. If you can knit stripes, you can knit mosaic patterns.

Here’s an article from Twist Collective about how it works.

Continue reading

Snug: a free mosaic knitting stitch pattern

Snug: a free mosaic knitting stitch pattern

I’m occasionally going back to look at the needlework charts I’ve been posting to see what interesting stitch patterns can be made from them. My hope is to inspire you to see how to do this yourself.

This month’s stitch pattern is a mosaic knitting chart made from Snug. I ran out of time to knit a swatch, but the nice thing about mosaic knitting is that the charts are similar to the final appearance of the knitting.

The thing about mosaic knitting is that it just looks difficult. It’s really easy to do! Basically, you’re knitting two row stripes, and slipping stitches from the row below to make the contrasting pattern. If you can knit stripes, you can knit mosaic patterns.

Here’s an article from Twist Collective about how it works.

Continue reading