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Mosaic Knitting – Learn About The Slip Stitch Knitting Technique

Mosaic knitting or slip stitch knitting is a beautiful colorwork technique used to make colorful fabric patterns. You can knit many things with it, like sweaters, socks, hats, pillows, scarves, and blankets.

Sound interesting? Read on to learn more about slip stitch colorwork,how to do mosaic knitting for beginners and some recommendations for mosaic patterns.

Mosaic Knitting Feat Img

Table Of Contents

A Few Cool Things About Mosaic Knitting

What’s great about this knitting technique is you only knit with one color per row, making it easier than other colorwork methods.

Another cool thing is it doesn’t have floats (the leftover yarn that hangs out on the back of fair isle knitting).

At the time of writing, I’ve made two mosaic knitted projects, the Kentia Wrap and the Slip Knit Love Shawl. I really enjoyed making them and loved how they turned out.

Mosaic Knitting Origins

Mosaic knitting has been around for around 60 years. Most people haven’t heard of it. Intarsia and Fair Isle knitting are more commonly known. Both are different types of colorwork knitting.

Who Invented Mosaic Knitting?

An author named Barbara. G. Walker invented it sometime in the 1960s. She has written many different books, but here a few she wrote about knitting.

  • Mosaic Knitting
  • Knitting From The Top
  • A Treasury Of Knitting Patterns
  • Lear-To-Knit – Afghan Book

Slip stitches had been around for a while. But Barbara took it up a few notches, as you can see from all the beautiful mosaic knitting patterns out there!

Every winter, she chose a new field of study and learned all she could about it. When she was 35, she decided to learn to knit. The rest, as they say, is history.

A close-up of my mosiac knitted shawl, the Kentia Wrap.

The Mosaic Knitting Technique

You work with one color yarn per row.

Let’s say color 1 is yellow and color 2 is purple. You work across a row by knitting all the stitches in color 1 and slipping all of the stitches in color 2.

Apart from that, you use stitches you use for all sorts of projects, like the garter stitch and stockinette stitch.

What Is Slip Stitch Knitting?

It’s a color technique used in knit projects. It’s unique among color methods as it’s based on two-row stripes. So, two rows of one color, two rows of the other.

Slip stitch knitting uses bright colors, two yarn types (sometimes more), and slip stitches.

Slip Stitch Abbreviations

Here are some important abbreviations.

  • wyif – with yarn in front
  • CC – contrast color
  • wyib – with yarn in back
  • sl (number of stitches) – slip (number of stitches)
  • MC – main color
Another section of my Kentia Wrap.

Mosaic Knitting Tutorial

Pro tip: Use contrasting colors so the pattern stands out. If you used a blue and a dark blue, it wouldn’t look as nice as purple and yellow.

A tutorial for a basic mosaic knitting swatch by KnitFreedom on Youtube.

How To Read Mosaic Knit Charts

Here’s a helpful guide by Knitting with Suzanne Bryan on Youtube.

Knitting Mosaic In The Round

It’s quite similar to doing it flat, but you work all rows fron right to left as you’re always working on the right side. If you’re working from a mosaic chart, you read that right to left as well.

Here’s a great beginners tutorial by The Chilly Dog on Youtube.

Knitting Mosaic Chart Generator

Here is an excellent chart generator for knitting slipped stitches by Laura Kogler. You can use it to generate all sorts of patterns. If you do end up using it, make sure to thank Laura!

A work in progress shot of my first mosaic knitted shawl.

Mosaic Knitting Patterns To Knit Right Now

Here are some great knitting mosaic patterns for your next knitting project.

A beautiful cowl – The Tesserino Cowl by VeryPink Knits.

A lovely shawl -Etude NO 6 Shawl by ExpressionFiberArts

A baby blanket by Purl Soho.

If you’re not new to this technique, here’s a lovely cowl pattern for more advanced knitters.

Your Questions Answered

Is Mosaic Knitting Hard?

No, mosaic knitting isn’t hard. It’s one of the easiest colorwork techniques to learn. It’s great for beginners, as you are only using one color (one strand of yarn) at a time.

Why Do Mosaic Colorwork?

Some people think mosaic colorwork is a substitute for stranded knitting (another type of colorwork).

It’s a good alternative, but the two techniques are quite different from each other. Mosaic knitting is much easier than stranded knitting, and it’s also more stretchy.

Is Mosaic Knitting Reversible?

It depends on whether you like the wrong side of mosaic knitting. I think it looks better on the right side. The pattern is more defined on the right side, it often looks strange on the wrong side,

Some mosaic knitting patterns are made to be reversible; it looks the same on both the right and wrong side.

How To Fix Mistakes In Mosaic Knitting?

Here is a video tutorial by WatchBarbaraKnit on Youtube.

How Do You Knit Different Colors In The Same Row?

Here’s a great video tutorial by 10rowsaday on Youtube.

How Do You Slip Stitch In Knitting?

Here are some instructions for how to slip a stitch in knitting.

For right-handed people:

Step 1. Insert the right needle into the first stitch of the left needle. If you are using a pattern, it will tell you to slip knitwise or purlwise.

To insert your needle knitwise, insert it as if you were going to knit. If you want to make a slip purlwise, insert your needle as if you were going to purl.

Step 2. Now your right needle is inserted into the first stitch on your left needle. Without making a yarn over, transfer the stitch onto your right needle.

You’ve completed your slipped stitches!

For left-handed people:

Step 1. Insert the left needle into the first stitch of the right needle. If you are using a pattern, it will tell you to slip knitwise or purlwise.

To insert your needle knitwise, insert it as if you were going to knit. If you want to make a slip purlwise, insert your needle as if you were going to purl.

Step 2. Now your left needle is inserted into the first stitch on your right needle. Without making a yarn over, transfer the stitch onto your left needle.

For a visual guide on making slipped stitches, here is a video by NobleKnits.

Slip Barbara G Walker invented stitch knitting in 1960, is the same thing as mosaic knitting, uses contrasting colors and slip stitches, and creates beautiful patterns.

I hope you enjoyed this colorwork article and that you found it helpful. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to ask them down in the comments.

Something I forgot? Or have a question? Leave a comment at the end.

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About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Knit Like Granny. (Yes, I’m a real person :) ) Thanks for being here.

I created Knit Like Granny to help show 1,000,000 people the benefits of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion.

I love knitting and have met so many other fabulous knitters through this site. I enjoy learning and helping others discover the joys of working with yarn.

Please say hello!

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