Mosaic Knitting: Color with Slip Stitches
Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 30, 2012
I knitted this mosaic jacket aeons ago, using my lumpy-bumpy beginner handspun. Apart from the experience in mosaic knitting, it taught me a valuable lesson about cleaning VM (= vegetable matter) out of fleece before spinning it. If you skip this step or card in a lot of burrs, leafy bits, and other debris, you will end up picking it out of the sweater for the rest of its life. I have whiled away many a boring meeting by picking bits of twigs out of this sweater. It’s a less thrilling diversion than it sounds.
The central panel on the back is from Melanie Falick’s Knitting in America.
Mosaic knitting a name for working colours with slip stitches. It has a couple advantages: because it doesn’t require bobbins or carrying yarns along the back, the tension is very easy to control. The technique results in a slightly denser fabric than ordinary stockinette or garter stitch, which is desirable in outerwear.
I knitted this baby jacket for my son about 17 years ago. At the time I thought the pattern was my own invention, but it’s found in Barbara Walker’s Mosaic Knitting book, which shows that there’s nothing new under the sun! The background is a grey fingering-weight acrylic. The design yarn was a ball of lots of leftover yarns tied together. It’s an easy way to use up leftover yarns, as long as you’re careful to weave in the ends as you go. If you haven’t mastered the knack (not rocket science) you will go mad trying to darn in all the ends afterwards.
Want to give this a try? Here are some resources:
- On-line Tutorial: http://www.smart-knit-crocheting.com/mosaic-knitting.html
- Another on-line tutorial: Slip in Some Color, by Kristi Porter
- Barbara Walker’s book, Mosaic Knitting (a classic, with lots of wonderful patterns)
- Roxanna Bartlett’s Slip-Stitch Knitting
- On-line Pattern Generator
- Mosaic Knitting section of the Walker Treasury Project
- Video by Norah Gaughan: