Mosaic Knitting

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A mosaic knit swatch worked in stocking stitch and using one variegated yarn
Socks knitted using a mosaic stitch with one variegated and one solid yarn

Mosaic Knitting, sometimes known as slip stitch knitting, is a knitting method used to add color to patterns without carrying more than one strand of yarn at a time. Each row of knitting is done with only one color, following a chart, while the second color stitches are slipped without being knitted. In order to create the pattern, the knitter follows a chart. Each pattern row consists of two rows of knitting and slipping before changing to a new row of the chart and the other color of yarn. The designs are geometric in nature, with a graphic result similar to dot matrix printing. Charts for 2 color mosaic knitting use black and white squares. The color to be used for each round is indicated by a square in a side box of the chart.

Mosaic knitting charts never have you slip more than a few stitches of the other color before knitting in the current color. The floats carried on the back of the work are usually shorter than in stranded or fair isle knitting techniques. However, because there are floats, the resulting fabric is less stretchy than one color or intarsia knitting patterns. You may knit mosaic charts in stockinette stitch, garter stitch, or a combination. Mosaic knitting worked in garter stitch will look different because of the purl bump texture.


  • Bartlett, Roxana

Slip-Stitch Knitting
Interweave Press, 1998
ISBN 1883010322

  • Porter, Kristi,

Slip in Some Color,
Knitty online Magazine, Summer 2003

  • Walker, Barbara.

Charted Knitting Designs.
Charles Scribner & Sons, 1972.
ISBN 0942018184

  • Walker, Barbara.

A Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns,
Schoolhouse Press, 2000.
ISBN 0942018206

  • Walker, Barbara.

A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.
Charles Scribner & Sons, 1970
ISBN 0942018176

  • Walker, Barbara.

Mosaic Knitting.
Schoolhouse Press, 1997.
ISBN 094201815X

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