Getting Started With Mosaic Knitting

I have just started a new project. It is a lovely cowl pattern designed by Jennifer Weissman called Desperado. It may look complicated, but it’s really not. A mosaic pattern is created by knitting with one color at a time and slipping stitches, unlike Fair Isle patterns where the two or more yarn colors of yarn are carried across a row. This eliminates floats and twisting yarn to prevent gaps between color changes. The technique was made popular in the late 1960s by Barbara Walker. The patterns can be created with garter or stockinette stitches.
If you are considering knitting a mosaic pattern, here are some things to keep in mind.
⦁ Mosaic knitting is easier than Intarsia or Fair Isle knitting. Mosaic patterns, therefore, are a great introduction to colorwork. You can experiment with color (even variegated, speckled, and ombre yarns). In fact, these types of yarns can produce some dazzling effects.
⦁ You really don’t need to be an expert knitter to pull off a project like the one pictured. Basically, you need to know how to knit, purl, slip a stitch, and read a pattern or chart. In fact, a mosaic pattern can be a great introduction to chart reading. Below is a nice tutorial, by Stiches and Scraps, on how to read a mosaic chart.



⦁ Pick yarns that strongly contrast in color. As you can see in the photo of the Desperado Cowl, the colors strongly contrast showing off the intricate pattern.
⦁ Mosaic patterns can be knitted flat or in-the-round. The Desperado Cowl is knitted in-the-round so there is not a wrong side showing once completed.
⦁ Whether knitted flat or in-the-round, you will knit two rows of one color, then two rows of contrasting color. Slipping stitches of the contrasting color creates the pattern.
Although, I have not knitted a mosaic sweater, I knitted shawls and cowls. I just love the clean geometric lines and knitting mosaic patterns. I hope you will too.